SAZON SEASONING – a powerful blend of flavorful and aromatic spices all made at home is the all-purpose mixture you need for your next hearty dish. You can easily make this pantry must-have without breaking a sweat. This magical ingredient can make any meat incredibly tasty!
I personally find this mix super handy since I often use the sazon seasoning ingredients in some of my dishes. All I have to do is give my dish a little dash here and a little sprinkle there and BOOM! Instant savory goodness ready to be served.
You know me, I’d like to play around with my seasonings. In fact, I got a whole spice rack with all of my homemade spice blends. How cool is that?😉
So, how do you make your own mix for this Latin seasoning? I’ll tell you everything you need to know about it below.
What is Sazon Seasoning?
Sazon literally translates to “seasoning“. So if you say Sazon seasoning, you’re actually saying “seasoning seasoning.” But hey, we love a little mix of culture. You can find this Latin spice in Mexican or Latin markets. This is often applied on poultry, seafood, meats, and on some occasions, soups. YEP!
Some call it Spanish spice because of the effect it gives a dish a bit of heat while enhancing the natural flavors.
You might have seen or heard of this powder from the local grocery store sold in small sazon seasoning packets but that version may include unhealthy amounts of MSG. So, better toss that one aside and make your own.
Sazon Seasoning Ingredients
So, what is sazon made of? Glad you finally asked. To answer that, I’ve listed down all the ingredients you’ll need to make a legitimate mix.
If you’ve searched around the internet, you’ll see that there are variations of the Sazon seasoning which uses cilantro. That is correct, but here’s a fun fact: cilantro is the stem and leaves of the coriander plant. Since we’re doing a dry spice mixture, we’ll need it to be dried and ground for its bit of spiciness with a hint of nuttiness.
Aside from the reddish hue this spice brings, the distinctive heat also gives that needed warmth to your regular dish. If you can, try searching for Spanish paprika, it has a hotter flavor perfect for making the dish more exciting.
This spice gives off a great curry-like aroma and a strong earthy taste. This enhances the flavor of the whole dish especially when mixed together with the other Sazon ingredients.
Mainly used as a food coloring, this ingredient only has a slightly peppery flavor but with a hint of sweetness. In industrialized packets of sazon seasoning, this is substituted with powdered food coloring which, in high dosages, may be harmful to you. It’s defiantly better to make your own.
In its powdered form, the garlicky flavor easily penetrates meats or enhances flavors. It also easily gives any dish a strong iconic fragrance that actually blends well with the other ingredients’ aroma. Perfect for our sazon seasoning.
Don’t confuse it with onion salt because these are two different seasonings. Onion powder is purely just a dehydrated and ground version of the bulb we are familiar with. This is a common ingredient in restaurants to quickly add the onion flavor in meats.
Salt and Pepper
The two most common ingredients every household should have. These two are important for the whole sazon to work. This draws out moisture from your meat so that the other flavors can easily penetrate and incorporate the natural flavors.
What are Annatto Seeds?
Annatto seeds might be an unusual ingredient but you can easily find these in ethnic grocery stores. It looks like small reddish pebbles or flakes. You will have to dissolve this in a dish or mixture to give it an orange or yellowish color. This is what it does to our Sazon. So what exactly is it?
Annato, or in some parts of the world Achiote or Atsuete, is a natural ingredient from the seeds of the achiote tree. It doesn’t really have a distinct taste but it has a slight flavor close to nutmeg. The tree is native to tropical regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Philippines.
I don’t have annatto seeds, what can I use as a substitute?
For annatto seeds, it’s best to think about the color it gives which is a reddish, yellowish, or an orange hue. A really good natural substitute for this is a mix of paprika (for the red), and turmeric (for the yellow). The result will give you an orange kind of result.
Pro Tip: I do recommend that you hold back on the turmeric a bit so that it doesn’t affect the flavor of the whole sazon seasoning.
What Does Sazon Taste Like?
Contrary to what you’re thinking, Sazon is definitely not spicy, it has a bit of heat, but it’s not spicy. You can season your dish with this mixture and it’s still good enough for your kids to enjoy.
With all the ingredients mixed together, the taste profile results in an earthier taste profile with a bit of heat which makes it a dynamic flavorful mixture.
How to Use Sazon Seasoning?
There are a lot of dishes you can use your homemade sazon seasoning but here are some of the dishes I’ve made that use this mix. Try these in your kitchen and let me know in the comments below.
- Picadillo Recipe
- Pastelon (Plantain Lasagna)
- Arroz con Pollo
- Arroz con Gandules
- Ropa Vieja Slow Cooker
Other Homemade Spice Blend Recipes
How To Make Sazon Seasoning
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or in a jar and shake until evenly combined. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ - 1 tablespoon ground annatto seeds
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or in a jar and shake until evenly combined. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.