Sazon seasoning is a flavorful spice blend popular in Puerto Rican and Caribbean cuisine, made with annatto, coriander, oregano, garlic and more. Learn its uses and how to make it.
If you are a spice lover like I am, you may have come across an interesting and flavorful blend of seasonings called Sazon Seasoning. This is a spice blend you want to have on hand.
Sazon seasoning is incredibly unique with a flavor like no other, and once you try it, it just may become a new pantry staple. It's a spice blend from the Caribbean, particularly Puerto Rico, where it is used to flavor a multitude of dishes, adding just the right touch to entice the taste buds.
Let's discuss it, how it is used, and how to make your own homemade sazon.
What is Sazon Seasoning?
Traditional sazón seasoning is an all purpose seasoning popular in Caribbean and Latin cooking, particularly Puerto Rico, though widely used in other regions. You'll find it in Spanish and Mexican cuisine as well. It is generally a mixture of ground annatto seeds, turmeric, garlic, coriander, salt and other ingredients.
There are many popular brands of sazon seasoning, such as Goya and Badia, though it is easy to make at home for home cooks. It is used in a wide variety of dishes, from Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo, Spanish paella, soups like Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew), Mexican roast chicken (pollo asado), stews and so much more.
Of course you can purchase sazon seasoning from your favorite grocery store or buy it online, but it is quite easy to make at home with ingredients that are mostly easy to find.
Let's talk about how to make homemade sazon seasoning, shall we?
Sazon Seasoning Ingredients
Sazon seasoning typically contains some of the following ingredients in different ratios, though others are sometimes used depending on the cook:
- Ground annatto seeds
- Turmeric (offers a vibrant color)
- Garlic powder
- Ground coriander
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano (Mexican oregano is good here)
- Onion powder
- Paprika or cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper
A very simple blend can be made with ground annatto seeds, coriander, garlic, cumin and salt. I use annatto, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, onion, cayenne and salt and pepper in my blend. Feel free to adjust to your own personal tastes.
Saffron is a very popular ingredient, but it is quite expensive and often hard to find. Include it if you'd like, though many brands and recipes omit it.
How to Make Sazon Seasoning - the Recipe Method
Mix together the following ingredients in a bowl until well combined: 1 tbsp ground annatto seeds (subs include saffron, or equal amounts turmeric and paprika), 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp onion powder, ½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a spicier version), ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste).
Use as desired. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dark place.
Boom! Done! Your homemade sazón spice mix is ready to use! What do you think? Good stuff, right? Such a great seasoning. Better than store bought.
How to Use Sazon Seasoning
Sazon seasoning can be used to spice up many regional dishes, though you can also use it for your own cooking as a general seasoning to spice up recipes like soups, stews, grilled meats or anything in the slow cooker, like pulled pork - see this Puerto Rican Pernil Recipe.
You'll find it in popular dishes like arroz con pollo and other rice dishes like arroz con gandules, arroz con guisodos, arroz amarillo, paella, Mexican Rice, even black beans and rice, Frijoles Negros (Cuban black beans), various dishes of beef, chicken and so much more.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Homemade is Best. Many commercial brands use anti-caking agents and coloring agents in their blends for appearance. Some include MSG. If you are looking to avoid these ingredients, making it at home may be the best option for you.
- Salt Free. You can easily skip the salt for a salt free sazon blend. Just add the salt or your salt substitute as needed when cooking.
Where to Buy Sazon Seasoning
Prefer to buy it to try it? There are some great store bought blends. Purchase sazon seasoning online at Amazon. I've provided some affiliate links below for you for ease of purchase.
- Buy Goya Sazon Seasoning (affiliate link, my friends)
- Buy Badia Sazon Seasoning (affiliate link, my friends)
- See All Sazon Blend Options at Amazon (affiliate link, my friends)
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy your sazón seasoning mix! Let me know if you make it and what recipes you use it on. Spice things up!
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Adobo Seasoning
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Jamaican Curry Powder
- Tajin Seasoning
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Homemade Achiote Paste (a good substitute for sazon)
- Sofrito Recipe
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Homemade Sazon Seasoning Recipe
- 1 tbsp ground annatto seeds substitutes include saffron, or equal amounts turmeric and paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, for a spicier version
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
- Use as desired. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dark place.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 5/14/21 to include new photos, video and information. It was originally published on 9/28/20.