Learn how to make homemade salsa seasoning mix yourself! It adds loads of flavor and mild heat to everything from salsa to Pico de Gallo, tacos, chicken, veggies, and dressings! This easy dry salsa mix recipe takes 5 minutes, using just 7 pantry staple ingredients.
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Homemade salsa seasoning mix
This salsa seasoning mix can be used in near-endless ways in your cooking – from main dishes to sides to dips; I’m sharing some ideas below. It adds a balanced bit of spicy, savory flavor to Mexican-style food and just about anything – making it the best salsa seasoning in my book!
Plus, the spice mix is ready in 5 minutes or less, requires just 7 ingredients that you probably already have in your spice cupboard, and has an authentic flavor.
You’ll also learn to make fresh salsa and see how to use this salsa seasoning mix for canning. It’s a quick process, and you’re going to love creating your own homemade salsa in minutes.
What is salsa seasoning?
Salsa seasoning mix is a spice blend that features ingredients typically found in salsa, such as onion, chili, cilantro, and garlic. Dry salsa mix has a little heat but isn’t overpowering. It’s traditionally used to make salsa, but we love to throw it on everything, from pasta to fish and roasted vegetables.
Why you’ll love this dry salsa mix
- Delicious homemade salsa in minutes: Salsa dry mix is a quick solution to make salsa fast. Instead of chopping lots of different ingredients, you add the spice mix to chopped tomatoes or canned tomatoes, simmer for a few minutes, and, voila, instant salsa.
- Tasty seasoning for other dishes: This dry salsa recipe is wonderful to season your favorite dishes from meat, poultry, seafood, dips, salads, soups, veggies, eggs, and so much more.
- Adjust the heat: Creating your own spice blends allows you to adjust the level of heat to your liking, and make it mild, medium, or hot.
- Great food gift: Homemade spices mixes are wonderful food gifts for your friends and family. Download our free printable labels to package the spice mix for gifts. You can find them near the end of this post.
This salsa seasoning mix is made with a handful of readily available dried herbs and spices. My recipe consists of 7 ingredients that you’d typically find in salsa, but the options are endless. I’ve also included variations so you can customize the instant salsa mix to your liking.
- 1/4 cup onion flakes – I prefer onion flakes or freeze-dried onion for a bit of texture. Still, you can also use 1/4 cup onion powder.
- 1/4 cup dried cilantro – Cilantro is a classic flavor in salsa. Feel free to swap in parsley if you don’t like or can’t find cilantro.
- 1/8 cup chili powder – 1/8 cup adds nice heat without being overpowering and suits my family’s taste. You can increase the amount to 1/4 cup in case you prefer really hot salsa.
- 1/8 cup red pepper flakes – Red pepper flakes add a nice kick. You can omit this spice if you don’t like heat.
- 1/8 cup garlic powder – Garlic packs an aromatic punch and livens up he other aromas.
- 1 tbsp cumin – Cumin adds complexity and deepens the flavor.
- 2 tbsp salt – Salsa tastes flat without salt. I used fine sea salt; you can also use 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt.
Variations & optional ingredients
- Less heat: If you like a milder aroma and less heat, replace part – or all – of the chili with paprika powder.
- Sweetener: In case you like your salsa on the sweeter side, add 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or brown sugar.
- Smoky: For a layer of smoky flavor, swap out the regular salt with smoked salt.
- Lime peel: For that citrusy flavor salsa often has, add 1 tablespoon dried lime zest.
- Additional spices: Optionally add 1 to 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, coriander, basil, or oregano.
How to make salsa seasoning mix
So, how to make your own salsa powder mix? It couldn’t be easier to prepare and will elevate your cooking!
- Mix. Add the onion flakes, dried cilantro, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Stir together until the ingredients are well combined.
- Store. Transfer the salsa seasoning mix into a spice jar, mason jar, or airtight container and store sealed in a dark, cool place.
Salsa seasoning uses
There are so many ways to use this salsa seasoning recipe! Once you whip up a batch, try some of these ideas:
- Salsa: This salsa mix recipe allows you to make salsa on a whim. All you need is a bunch of fresh or canned tomatoes and a scoop of the spice mix, and you’ll be noshing on delicious homemade salsa in minutes. I’ll explain what to do below.
- Pico de Gallo is a type of salsa made with fresh ingredients and isn’t heated. To make it, chop 1 pound ripe red tomatoes. PLace the tomato chunks into a bowl, add 1/8 cup homemade salsa seasoning + 3 tbsp fresh lime juice, and stir.
- Protein: For a quick marinade, combine 1/4 cup olive oil or butter with 1 tablespoon salsa spice blend and use it to coat chicken, steak, salmon, shrimp, and other protein. Or stir some into meatloaf or hamburger meat or sprinkle over tacos.
- Vegetables: Mix 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon salsa seasoning. Drizzle over vegetables and toss before roasting. This works well for oven-roasted and stir-fried veggies.
- Dips: Stir salsa dry mix into sour cream, Greek yogurt, softened cream cheese, cheese dip, or guacamole, and allow to marinate for 3 to 4 hours to spice up your dip recipes.
Since this powdered salsa mix contains salt, you may not need additional salt when using it to season salsa, protein, and vegetables.
How to make salsa with dry seasoning
Now that you have a jar of salsa seasoning, let’s put it to good use and whip up a batch of homemade salsa. It’s super quick, and you can use fresh tomatoes or the canned variety. The following recipe is for fresh salsa; I’m sharing an easy salsa recipe for canning afterward.
I kept the ingredient list short on purpose. However, you can add diced bell pepper, spring onion, lime juice, and fresh herbs if preferred.
- 1 lb fresh tomatoes, finely sliced (about 3 to 4 tomatoes) OR 2 x 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1/8 cup salsa seasoning mix
- Add the tomatoes and salsa mix to a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- The salsa can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for up to weeks.
The following salsa recipe is suitable for canning. It contains vinegar to adjust the acidity and make the salsa safe for canning. I also doubled the quantities.
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, finely sliced (about 3 to 4 tomatoes) OR 3 x 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup salsa seasoning mix
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Add the tomatoes and salsa mix to a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Prepare and sterilize the canning jars and lids according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Transfer the salsa into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 in / 1.5 cm headspace. Seal the jars airtight.
- Process the jars in boiling water for 20 minutes.
- Store in a dark, cool place and consume within 1 year.
- Packaging: Fill your salsa seasoning mix recipe into an airtight glass jar or storage container. Mason jars and flip-top jars are great options. Optionally, decorate your spice jar with our printable labels. They come with an instruction card for gift giving.
- Storage: Store your instant salsa mix in a dark, cool place where the spice mix isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, for example, in a cupboard or drawer.
- Shelf life: Homemade salsa mix keeps well for 1 to 2 years. You can store it longer than that, but the spices will slowly lose their potency.
FAQ’s & tips
What is in salsa seasoning?
Traditionally, it’s a blend of dried onion, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, dried cilantro, and salt. But you’ll find many variations and additional ingredients, including oregano, cumin, and even dried lime peel or lemon zest.
Is there a substitute for salsa seasoning mix?
If a recipe requires salsa seasoning and you don’t have any, your best option would be to make your own using my dry salsa spice mix recipe. Even if you don’t have one ingredient, it should still work fine. Alternatively, taco seasoning is somewhat similar.
What is the difference between salsa seasoning and taco seasoning?
The flavor profile of the two mixes is very similar. The main difference between salsa vs. taco seasoning is the ratio of spices vs. herbs, and even the spices used. Salsa seasoning contains more onion and has cilantro. In contrast, taco seasoning has more chili and is often made with smoked paprika.
Can you make salt-free salsa seasoning?
Of course! Simply make this spice blend without salt, and then add salt directly to the dish you use it for. This allows you to adjust the salt in each meal to your taste. If you want to reduce sodium, you can add a salt substitute instead of the salt in salsa seasoning mix.