Fajita seasoning has the perfect blend of flavors to complement your homemade fajitas while also being versatile enough to be an all-purpose seasoning. As a blend of different flavors used in Mexican cooking, it is a great way to add multiple spices in one step. If you need fajita seasoning and are unable to find some in time, choose a fajita seasoning substitute from the ones below.
Your best bet: Make your own fajita seasoning
Mexican cooks rarely ever use standardized blends like fajita seasoning if they can help it. In Mexico, the individual spices are added to create the cook’s desired flavor profile. There was a time when the spices used in fajita seasoning were considered exotic and hard to find, which meant that a blend was the only way to get them. That is no longer the case and most of the herbs and spices in fajita seasoning can be found in grocery stores across the country. Ingredients like chili powder, cumin, and Mexican oregano have become popular for many applications. By procuring your own spices, you get the option to use ingredients that are fresher and higher in quality than those used in some blends. You also get to adjust them to suit your own preferences, just like Mexican cooks.
A decent second choice: Taco seasoning
Taco seasoning has a lot in common with fajita seasoning in that they are both blends meant to provide the flavor associated with traditional Mexican dishes. In addition, they contain many of the same spices. Consider the fact that both depend heavily on chili powder, cumin, and oregano for their flavor profile. The chili powder also helps to give both blends a reddish color, though some fajita seasoning blends will also have tomato powder to create an even brighter red color. As far as taste goes, the big difference between the two will have to do with acidity. Because fajitas are typically made with lime juice, some fajita seasoning blends will also contain a souring agent. You can make taco seasoning more like fajita seasoning simply by adding tomato powder or using an acidic ingredient like lime juice in the recipe.
Use taco seasoning as a 1: 1 substitute for fajita seasoning.
In a pinch: Chili powder blends
Chili powder is a Texan spice blend formulated to provide the flavors found in chili con carne. The main spices in chili powder also show up in fajita seasoning and include ground chilies, garlic, and cumin. Those ingredients give a similar flavor to that of fajita seasoning with one difference. As with taco seasoning, it will not have the distinctive acidic component found in fajita seasoning; you will have to use a souring agent to get an authentic tasting dish.
Use chile powder as a 1:1 substitute for fajita seasoning.
Adobo seasoning is another seasoning blend with a Hispanic heritage. It has many of the same ingredients as fajita seasoning, which means that it has a similar flavor profile; however, adobo seasoning has more of an emphasis on the garlic component. Adobo seasoning also contains salt, which means that you should reduce any other sources of salt that your recipe requires when using adobo seasoning.
Cajun seasoning is one of the two spice blends most commonly associated with cuisine from Louisiana. It has a similar slate of ingredients as those in fajita seasoning, though it does lack the acidic notes.