| |

How to Make Homemade Chili Powder from Dried Chiles

Homemade chili powder is a versatile and flavorful spice blend that can be used to add depth and complexity to a variety of dishes, from chili and tacos to stews and soups. It’s also surprisingly easy to make, and using dried chiles allows you to customize the heat and flavor profile to your liking.

Homemade Chili Powder

Chili powder is a staple spice in many cuisines around the world, and it’s easy to make at home using dried chiles. This way, you can control the heat and flavor of your chili powder, and you can also create your own unique blends.

Ingredients and Equipment You’ll Need:

  • A variety of dried chiles, such as ancho, guajillo, arbol, cascabel, and pasilla. You can use any combination of chiles you like, but try to use at least two different types for a more complex flavor.
  • A spice grinder or blender
  • Optional: Other spices, such as cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika


  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles. You can do this by tearing the chiles open with your hands or by cutting them with a knife. If you want a milder chili powder, remove more of the seeds.
  2. Toast the dried chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and slightly pliable, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them, or they will taste bitter.
  3. Let the dried chiles cool completely.
  4. Place the dried chiles in a spice grinder or blender and grind until they form a fine powder. If using a spice grinder, you may need to grind the chiles in batches.
  5. If desired, add other spices to the chili powder, such as cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika. Mix well.
  6. Transfer the chili powder to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.


  • For a more smoky chili powder, roast the dried chiles over an open flame or under a broiler until they are blackened.
  • If you don’t have a spice grinder, you can grind the dried chiles in a food processor. Just be careful not to over-process them, or they will become oily.
  • To create your own unique chili powder blend, experiment with different combinations of dried chiles and other spices.
  • For a milder chili powder, use more mild chiles, such as ancho and guajillo. For a spicier chili powder, use more hot chiles, such as arbol and cascabel.

Suggested dried chiles for chili powder:

  • Ancho
  • Arbol
  • Cascabel
  • Cayenne
  • Guajillo
  • New Mexico
  • Pasilla
  • Piquin
  • Serrano

You can use a single type of dried chile to make chili powder, or you can combine a variety of chiles to create a unique flavor profile. Experiment with different combinations to find a chili powder that you love.

How to use homemade chili powder:

Homemade chili powder can be used in a variety of dishes, including:

  • Chili
  • Tacos
  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Meat marinades
  • Veggie burgers
  • Quesadillas
  • Dips

To use chili powder, simply add it to your dish to taste. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Homemade chili powder is a delicious and versatile spice blend that can add depth and complexity to your favorite dishes. It’s also easy to make and customize to your liking. So next time you’re in the mood for a flavorful meal, reach for your homemade chili powder instead of the store-bought stuff. You won’t be disappointed.