What’s the Best Tajin Seasoning Substitute?

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It’s Mexican night on your weekly menu, and you realize you have no Tajin seasoning! This tangy and citrusy spice is your favorite to enhance your Mexican dish and add that final heat touch. You do have other Mexican spices and chili options in your spice collection. Yet, which one or blend could be an ideal Tajin seasoning substitute?

Will the combination you choose offer the same flavor and amount of heat? So, what is the best Tajin substitute? What is the spice like tajin?

Keep reading to learn more about Tajin seasoning, excellent alternatives, and easy-to-prepare combinations to ensure your Mexican meal gets the finishing touch it deserves.

What is Tajin Seasoning Made Of?

Tajin seasoning hails from the state of Jalisco in Mexico. It is the first and most popular spice condiment made by Empresas Tajin. From its humble beginnings in 1985, Tajin Clasico is now available in several countries, including the US, and online. (*)

This flavorful condiment is a blend of chiles de arbol, guajillo, pasilla, dehydrated lime, and salt. Traditional Mexcian cuisine uses it to enhance anything from guacamole and quesadillas to freshly sliced fruit and margaritas.  

Tajin seasoning is extremely versatile and not limited to Mexican cuisine. You can use it in meat marinades and rubs, sprinkle it over seafood and fries, and spice up your sliced mango and pineapple, to name a few.

The heat factor ranges between 4000 – 6000 Scoville units, placing it on a medium to hot heat scale. While it may only suit some people’s heat palate tolerance, the unique combination of assorted chilis and zesty lime has put this condiment in high demand.  (*)

Here’s Where To Buy Tajin Seasoning Near You!

The 8 Best Tajin Seasoning Substitutes

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Fresh Homemade Tajin Mix – (Salt, Jalapeno Peppers, and Lemon or Lime Juice)

We love this fresh Tajin seasoning substitute mix.

Jalapeno peppers come fresh, canned, or dried.  Any of these options will do.  


To make Tajin, follow this quick method:

  • Use two tablespoons of jalapenos. If you use canned or fresh, finely chop
  • Add the juice of 2 medium size lemons or 2 limes
  • Add 1 or 2 pinches of salt
  • Mix together, and viola!

This tajin substitute can be added to a dish when cooking or used as a condiment.  

Pro Tip:

When using fresh lemon or lime, use a zester and add a teaspoon of rind to your dish. The rind of citrus adds zing to your meal.  Be careful not to catch the pith of the lemon or lime, as it is bitter.  

Quick Reference Measuring Guide

  • Teaspoon: 5ml
  • Half teaspoon: 2.5ml
  • Tablespoon: 15ml

And it doesn’t stop there!

The Best Tajin Seasoning Alternative

If you prepare Mexican cuisine at home, you may have guajillo and pasilla chili powder in your collection. In that case, use these two spices combined with chili powder and dry lime.

We recommend the following combination:

  • 2 teaspoons pasilla
  • 2 teaspoons guajillo
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of dry lime (depending on how much tangy flavor you like)
  • 2 – 3 pinches of salt

(for extra heat, add half a teaspoon of chili flakes)

Give it a try Mexican fans, and let us know!

Quick Reference Scoville Scale Units Guide

  • Tajin Seasoning: 6000 – 8000 
  • Chili Powder: 500 – 1500
  • Chili Flakes: 35 000
  • Jalapeno: 2000 – 8000
  • Guajillo chili powder: 2000 – 5000
  • Pasilla chili powder: 250 -2500

Vegetable Seasoning (optional: add dry lime)

Grocery stores have many vegetable seasonings, and the odds of having one in your condiment selection are probable.  

To add the lime touch, mix 3 – 4 teaspoons of seasoning with 1 teaspoon of the lime. Don’t worry if you don’t have the lime; the seasoning works well on its own.  

We understand that vegetable seasoning may not have a hot bite to it. Yet, it still enhances the flavor of your meal and accommodates palates that prefer less spicy food.  

Terrific Tip:  mix 3 – 4 teaspoons of vegetable seasoning with 1 teaspoon of your favorite chili powder to spice it up.

Salt and Dry Lime

This duo is an excellent Tajin seasoning substitute for fruit dishes.  

As with vegetable seasoning, you may need more chili kick. On the other hand, the lime brings out the natural fruity flavors, and the salt balances out the sweetness.

To keep the saltiness in check. Start with 2 teaspoons of dry lime and add salt pinch by pinch until you achieve the desired taste.  

Terrific Tip:  make some fruit skewers using mango and pineapple. Then, sprinkle with this mix. Your children will love this on a hot summer’s day!

Chili Flakes and Dry Lime

Chili flakes add a superheat punch to any meal. When you add dry lime, you get the tangy flavor that Tajin seasoning has.

However, the chili flakes Scoville scale unit rating is 35 000 units. If you try this option, we suggest you start with 2 teaspoons of dry lime.  

Then, slowly add the chile flakes 2 pinches at a time until you get a pleasant balance between the two ingredients.  

Terrific Tip: for a healthy snack on the go, slice some cucumber sticks and sprinkle with this combination. Energizing and spicey at the same time!

Chili Powder, Dry Lime, and Salt

This trio tastes delicious and has less heat than chili flakes.  

The beauty of this combination is you can start with a bit of chili powder and increase the amount until you reach a heat you like.

We suggest you start with the following:

  •  half a teaspoon of chili powder, 
  • 2 teaspoons of dry lime
  • 2 pinches of salt

Give it a taste and go from there.  

Terrific Tip:  Use this blend on roast vegetables or sprinkle on sweet potato fries.

Chili Powder, Sumac, and Salt

Similar to the above alternative, but with a difference.  Sumac is a traditional Middle Eastern spice. You can find it at some grocery stores, Middle Eastern specialty stores, and online.

It has a zesty meets sour taste and is fantastic sprinkled on chicken, vegetables, fresh salads, and hummus.

To make this sprinkle mix: 

  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of sumac
  • 2 pinches of salt.

Terrific Tip:  mix this combination with extra virgin olive oil to make a chicken rub or coat potatoes for roasting.

Salt, Chili, and Fresh Lime Juice

This blend is an ideal alternative to the Tajin seasoning ingredient in your recipe.  

For 1 teaspoon of Tajin seasoning, substitute with:

  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2-3 pinches of salt
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime

Mix the above and substitute the Tajin with this combination.  

Terrific Tip: blend this combination with extra virgin olive oil to make a refreshing salad dressing

Chili Powder with Fresh Lemon Juice

We understand that you may not have limes on hand. In that case, you can use a lemon.

This Tajin seasoning alternative makes a delicious marinade when frying or grilling shellfish and fish. 

To create a pleasant consistency, squeeze 2-3 medium size lemons. Then, add 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder and a pinch or two of salt.

Terrific Tip:  Pair the shellfish or fish with rice and a baby leaf green salad. The sauce in the pan or oven dish makes a tasty sauce for the rice.  

Oh, and add a tablespoon of butter and half a teaspoon of garlic to the sauce before you drizzle. Blend these ingredients in the same pan on low heat. The perfect finishing touch!


What does Tajin do to your body?

One of the primary ingredients in Tajin seasoning is chili.  Chilis, chili peppers, and chili powder are among the best anti-inflammatory food sources on the market. 

The heat in chilis comes from an anti-inflammatory compound called capsaicin which offers our bodies exceptional health benefits.  (*)

Capsaicin assists our bodies in banishing migraines, clearing a runny nose, soothing arthritis, and preserving food, to name a few.  

How to use Tajin Seasoning?

Tajin seasoning is a popular and flavorful sprinkle to use as a condiment and in cooking. The distinct tangy, citrusy, and spicey taste complements traditional Mexican cuisine. It is delicious on corn cobs, fries, popcorn, fruit, margarita cocktails, seafood, and shellfish.  

Can you substitute Tajin for chili powder?

Yes, you can substitute Tajin for chili powder. Tajin seasoning is a blend of chiles de arbol, guajillo, pasilla, dehydrated lime, and salt. It is a staple in traditional Mexican cuisine and is available in several countries and online. You can use Tajin seasoning in cooking. However, its everyday use is a sprinkle to enhance meals, side dishes, fruit, fries, and seafood, to name a few.  

Final Seasoning Thoughts

Certainly, it can be challenging to replicate Tajin seasoning to the exact flavor we all love.  

We understand the distinct tang with citrus notes, and a touch of heat is the perfect sprinkle to complement an array of meals, side dishes, and cocktails. And what would a corn on the cob be without it?!

If you are curious about a good Tajin seasoning substitute, try our alternatives. Our favorite is Chili Powder, Salt, and Dry lime.  What is yours?

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