Loaded with bold spices, sazon seasoning is a flavor bomb full of smoky, earthy, and herby flavors. Sprinkled into your favorite Puerto Rican dishes, it’ll make them extra authentic.
Why You’ll Love This Sazon Seasoning Recipe
You might want to make several batches because you’ll be reaching for sazon time and time again.
- Healthy: Completely homemade and even sodium-free (if you decide so), this sazon is way healthier than anything you can buy at the store.
- Affordable: While it might seem cheaper to purchase the small packets of sazon, making your own is much cheaper in the long run. You likely already have most of the seasonings on hand and hopefully will just need to pick up 1 or 2 spices.
- Easy: Just measure the ingredients and whisk everything together. I like to make a double batch to store for up to 6 months.
- Versatile: Add it to soups, stews, and all your favorite proteins. The possibilities are endless if you want to add some Puerto Rican flavor to your meals.
- No MSG: Most pre-packaged sazon seasonings contain MSG, anti-caking agents and occasionally artificial coloring. By making your own seasoning blend, you can ensure there are no unwanted additives or preservatives.
What Is Sazon?
Sazon is a popular Puerto Rican and Caribbean seasoning blend made from a combination of ground spices and herbs. Some of its most important ingredients include annatto, saffron, cumin, and coriander. It’s a little bit smoky, herby, earthy, and nutty. Sazon is typically used to flavor stews, rice, soups, beef, poultry, or seafood. Besides the flavor, sazon also gives a vibrant red-orange color to the foods it is added to.
Time to hit the spice cabinet! Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.
- Ground Annatto: If you have annatto seeds instead, ground them into a fine powder.
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Cumin: This adds a rich earthiness to your sazon seasoning.
- Ground Coriander: Ground coriander is made from coriander seeds, which are used to grow cilantro. Coriander gives a light and herbaceous flavor to your seasoning blend.
- Oregano: For a milder flavor, you can use marjoram instead.
- Salt and Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper will give you the most flavor.
- Saffron: Saffron can be an expensive ingredient and is optional. You can usually find smaller, more affordable amounts sold in the Latin/ethnic aisle at most large grocery stores.
- Ground Turmeric: Some people skip adding tumeric, however it is commonly added to most store bought sazon blends, has great health benefits, and helps to add color as well.
How to Make Sazon Seasoning
All you need to do is mix. It’s that easy!
- Whisk it. Add all of the spices to a small bowl and mix to combine. Store it for later use.
Tips and Recipe Variations
While this recipe is super easy, here are a few tips and variations to guarantee success:
- Spicy: While not traditional, you can make this seasoning blend spicy if you prefer! Add 2-4 teaspoons of cayenne pepper to give this seasoning a kick of heat.
- Sodium-Free: If your diet requires you to be low sodium, making your own seasoning blends is the perfect way to control the amount of salt. You can leave it out completely or add of half the amount!
- Add More Spices: Increase 1/2 teaspoon at a time of your favorite spices for a sazon seasoning that tastes just the way you like it.
- Fresh Spices: While you might think spices stay fresh for years, that sadly is not true. While ground spices do not go bad, they will become less flavorful after 6 months of storage. So try to use freshly purchased spices for the best flavor.
- Skip the Annatto: Depending on what you are cooking, like if you are making Puerto Rican beans, you may choose to skip adding the ground annatto. Always check the recipe you are using to make sure it does not specify to use sazon without annatto.
Ways to Use Sazon Seasoning
Sazon seasoning is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways!
- Rice and Beans: We always use sazon in our arroz con gandules, in a batch of seafood paella, and when we are making a pot of beans. When using sazon in beans, we usually leave out the ground annatto. It is also adds a delicious earthiness when added to this black bean soup.
- Meats: Everything from beef picadillo to pernil is made with sazon seasoning. We also always add it to a pot of carne guisada and beef sancocho. You can also use it in place of the seasonings in these pollo asado or achiote chicken recipes, or add a bit to your seasoning blend for chuleta frita (fried Puerto Rican pork chops).
Store this sazon seasoning in an airtight jar or container for up to 6 months. Store it in a dark cool space, away from heat and humidity, so that it doesn’t develop bacteria or clump together. You can also place a silicon packet in the container to help keep the spice mix dry!
More Latin Recipes
- Homemade Mallorca
- Churrasco Steak
- Adobo Sauce
- Mojo Marinade
- Best Chimichurri Sauce
- Tortilla Española
- Best Coquito
- If using saffron, crush/grind it into small pieces with a mortar and pestle. Combine the spices in a bowl and stir well to combine.
- Use as desired. Store in an airtight ziplock bag or jar.
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