Homemade Sazon Seasoning Mix

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Making your own homemade Sazon spice blend seasoning is EASY to do – and the best part, no MSG!

 Making your own homemade Sazon spice blend seasoning is EASY to do – and the best part, no MSG!

Homemade Sazon Recipe

What do I make with Sazon? I always season my wings with it, I use it on my grilled chicken wings, in Mom’s Chicken and Rice, Sofrito Chicken Stew, Chicken and Lentil Soup and many more dishes! Tomorrow I will share one of my daughter’s favorite dishes with this spice.

Sazon is like the magic spice blend in many of my Latin dishes. I often find this in the supermarket in small envelopes that you add to stews, beans, rice, etc. It gives yellow rice that yellow color and basically makes anything taste good! While Goya is the most popular brand, but I stopped buying it years ago when I realized it had MSG. Alternatively, I started using Badia Sazon, but it’s not easy to find. Now I just make my own which I keep stored in a small spice jar. So instead of using a packet of sazon, I use one and a half teaspoons of this in its’ place.

The key ingredient in this spice mix is ground annatto (achiote), the spice that gives yellow rice that yellow color. Annatto is comes from the seeds of achiote tree. In India, it’s referred to as sindoor, and in the Philippines, it is called atsuete. I can find it in hispanic markets, but you can also find it on Amazon. If you can’t find this, turmeric would be a good substitute.

More Latin Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Making your own homemade Sazon spice blend seasoning is EASY to do – and the best part, no MSG!
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4.44 from 23 votes
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Homemade Sazon Seasoning Mix

7 Cals Protein 1 Carbs Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Yield: 12 servings
COURSE: Seasoning
CUISINE: American
Making your own homemade Sazon spice blend seasoning is EASY to do – and the best part, no MSG!



  • Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of this mix equals one packet of commercial sazon.


Serving: 11/2 teaspoons, Calories: 7kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Sodium: 281mg
WW Points Plus: 0
Keywords: diy sazon, homemade sazon, homemade sazon without msg, how to make sazon, sazon recipe


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  1. Op is an idiot. There is nothing wrong with msg. Everything you have heard about it giving you headaches and what not is a myth.

  2. MSG is just salt. There’s literally a plethora of evidence showing that it has no neurodegenerative effects like people tend to claim.

  3. Thank you. It is truely awesome.

  4. Haven’t tried your recipe yet but will soon; however, I want to comment on the claims that concerns about msg are “racist”. Let’s not put deprecating labels on things in order to discourage people from using them or believing as they do. People react to things differently. You may not react to msg but others may have anywhere from a mild to a severe reaction. I swell up every time I accidentally consume most artificial sweeteners, my daughter reacts to lime even when she doesn’t know it’s part of a recipe, I can taste a “kick” when something is seasoned with paprika but most people don’t notice that “spiciness”, just being near jalapenos or other hot peppers often makes my eyes start to water and my nose start to run but my daughter-in-law pops these peppers in her mouth and eats them like candy! The whole point is – we all respond to various foods, seasonings, etc. differently. We don’t need to create another “hate” cause even if somewhere in history there may have been an element of truth in the claim – it just doesn’t mean it is so in all (probably not in the majority of) cases.

  5. Facts msg is bad for anyone with arthritis. Has nothing to do with race, stop the lies.
    Awesome recipe.

  6. Yes, finally a healthy version! Tks! Mahalo fr Hawaii!

  7. There’s a recipe in the NY Times food section today for a shrimp and okra recipe using sazon. I cannot eat anything with msg because I react to it almost immediately and painfully. So I Googled homemade sazon, and there you were! And I even have annato which I have never used. So 2 wins! Thank you.

  8. Love the flavor of Sazon but the msg they add is bad for anyone! My Puerto Rican friend made a chicken and veg stew for me that tasted amazing with this and my legs were aching till 3 am! If ones are using for their families please make your own Sazon, MSG has many side affects that kids don’t need. Google MSG and you’ll be shocked! I’m still wondering why the fda allows it in foods here 

  9. What wrong with MSG? Is it bad for you?

    • Nah the decades MSG myth– rooted in racism- has long been debunked. The compound has been found to be as harmless as any other ingredient you consume in moderation. Frankly, any reported “reactions” to it are simply cases of the placebo effect. Believe it or not it even turns up naturally in many commonly consumed foods, i.g. tomatoes. But don’t take my word for it, there’s plenty of literature out there proving as much! Really is a shame too; people don’t know what they’re missing out on lol the stuff tastes great on everything.

      • Thanks for helping to dispel the racist myth that MSG is universally bad for folks. Used in moderation, because it is a form of sodium, it isn’t (though of course some might have a particular reaction to it).

      • If you thing having MSG is a reason to not consume something, you haven’t done much research. People started saying MSG is bad because it was primarily used in Asian cuisine, nothing more than some racist BS. It’s simply a form of sodium used for the ‘Umami’ savory taste.

      • MSG reactions are not a placebo effect. Neither are they a myth. Period.

        Some people are sensitive to MSG and get headaches without knowing in advance that MSG was in the food. I am one of them — and I’m a person who looks on most food “allergies” and trends like carb-phobia, anti-gluten diets, etc. with skepticism.

        The underlying pathophysiology is unclear. MSG challenges seem to indicate that it’s not an allergy as such, but that indeed, some people are sensitive to it in ways that are probably not dangerous, but certainly unpleasant. Take your misplaced preachy energy and use it for something good.

    • Nothing. The headaches Heather claims to get are because most of the time foods that contain MSG contain a LOT of it, meaning they are consuming a ton of salt in one sitting. This can temporarily increase blood pressure triggering a headache.

  10. I am like Cathy i love to make my own.,

  11. Thank you. I always have the store bought packets on hand. Now, I know I can make them at home. Surprisingly I have all of the ingredients.

  12. After finding out that Goya supported a certain orange man, I looked everywhere to buy it and all the Goya products and recipes that included Goya products…. I was successful for most, but could not find this one. So I appreciate your substitute recipe! I look forward to making lots and lots of delicious meals with your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks for this! After finding out that Goya supported a certain orange man, my house has been made completely Goya free and I needed to find a eat to make my own Sazón since I live in a small town in Washington, and Goya is really the only brand that most stores end up carrying. This is great! Also, don’t listen to Ned. Maybe someone should tell him that sazón has existed for way longer than commercial Msg.

  14. I used this seasoning recipe to make the goya black beans and rice recipe (on the low sodium black beans can) because i didn’t have their sazon packets at home. after i bought the sazon packets for convenience, i went back to this recipe because it was so much better. my mom uses this now too. thank you for a healthy and delicious recipe!!

  15. I am so glad to have this recipe. I was looking at the sodium levels on a commercial brand I bought and it is much too high. Thanks again for sharing this blend.

  16. Hi Gina,
    I didn’t realize you have a paella recipe, too. Your Sazon recipe was the first one I saw on your site. Of course i will be trying your, too. I sounds delish!!

  17. Thank you for this recipe.  My adult daughter and I MUST avoid anything that is not GF, and MSG produces a serious reaction for me (faces swells, difficulty breathing, dizziness) so commercially made sazón and other products containing this ingredient are  huge concerns.  Anyway, I don’t agree with Ned Meyers, your recipe is great and does not need to have MSG added to it.  More cumin and oregano can always be added to the recipe itself (which I generally do).  Recently discovered McCormick’s Toasted Cumin — incredibly better than regular cumin.  Annato seeds (I’ve found these in latin markets) can be added to good quality oil and “simmered” to release their color.  That’s what my mother did, and then used that in her sofritos (sautéed onion, garlic etc) for preparing Puerto Rican dishes.  In a pinch, I’ll use regular paprika to add a little color to rice dishes (saffron is way too pricey).  What I also like about making one’s own sazón is that you can reduce the sodium count substantially (important for controlling hypertension).  Thanks again!

  18. Thank you so much for this.  Always wanted an option without MSG!

  19. Misleading saying turmeric can be substituted for achiote as the two are completely different in colour and taste.
    Other than that, with a little adjusting, your mixture is not too bad.

  20. Just an FYI — This recipe is NOT Sazon. It’s a decent but ordinary Mexican Spice Blend. The #1 ingredient in Sazon is MSG. Matter of fact, it’s about 50% MSG. Matter of fact #2: if you just used your regular Mexican spices and added some Accent brand MSG, you’d be closer than using this recipe.

    • Thanks for this, Ned. I have plenty of spices but wondered what was in sazon used for a black bean recipe I found. I’m just going to add more cumin and coriander, then use my all-purpose MSG seasoning. I don’t mind the MSG, but I don’t like too much salt. 

    • apparently you didn’t bother reading anything she wrote. maybe you should try reading it so you can appreciate why she posted this like many others will.

  21. Excellent!! I used the Turmeric.

  22. This is FABULOUS!!!

  23. My son is using organic foods for his family. One of his favorite childhood foods was Goya Yellow Rice to which I’d throw in a can of drained black beans. He recently read the Goya box (which I still use and we love) and was disappointed at the “additives.” Will your recipe taste anything like that? I would love to surprise him!! Thanks.

  24. I love Sazon and would like to make my own. I have some ground aji amarillo. Would that be a good substitute for achiote?

  25. If using Tumeric instead of annato seeds, do you still use the same amount?

  26. Thank You for Stating it is “Latin Rice” and not “Spanish Rice”. I lived in Spain and not once did I see my “Spanish Friend’s” use anything but “Saffron”..to help flavor and give that beautiful yellow color to their rice dishes. I guess Spanish Rice and Latin Rice come’s down to History.
    1. Saffron is the most expensive Spice in the world since it come’s from Crocus plant only when in bloom in October and November. Saffron is a very delicate spice that is the tiny red stigma in the center of the purple crocus flower. Each bulb produces 2-3 flowers. The plants bloom in October and November and must be harvested within a day, or they lose their flavor. Saffron is called azafran in Spanish and is a spice that has a special place in history, always having been considered very valuable. Saffron is not originally from Spain, but came from Asia Minor. The Moors brought Saffron or “az-zafaran” as they called it, to Spain when they Conquered most of Spain,Portugal, Southern France, Southern Italy and Greece for 600 year’s . Today almost three-quarters of the world’s production of saffron are grown in Spain, specifically in the region of Castilla-La Mancha. Today, every kitchen in Spain, Portugal, France and all of Europe use Saffron.
    Saffron was never a part of the Conquistador’s “Battle-gear” since most of the Soldier’s came from very poor family’s themselve’s and could never afford that Spice.
    3. The Conquistador’s noted the captured Native People’s use red seeds to use as make-up and to put into their food.
    These seed’s are are from the Achiote tree found from Mexico to Brazil.
    Achiote (annatto) is a common ingredient in Caribbean, Mexican and Latin American cuisines.

    • Another, note. Should you try Saffron, look for the threads, not the powdered kind. You can find Saffron in most Publix store’s in the Spice and Herb aisle, (Not the Badia Aisle) Indian and Asian Market’s. Even African Market’s have them. I also buy my Vanilla Bean pods at the African Market’s. The reason why they are so expensive now is because a Hurricane/Cyclone wiped out most of the Vanilla Bean tree Plantation’s in Madagascar.😪

    • Thanks for your detailed comment. Yes, I am Latin, grew up on Latin food but I am not from Spain, so I know how unique the cuisine is from each Latin country, all of them delicious!

  27. I’ve been hearing sooo much about Sazon..now I wanna give it a try, Thanks for the recipe… What kinds of meat can I use it on..and is it good one veggies?

  28. First I am a southern black woman living in Illinois who loves to cook and loves good food. I like try different ways of preparing familiar foods in new and tasty ways. While on the Serious Eats website this morning looking for a Kung pao chicken recipe I’d come across in the past, I found another recipe for Colombian chicken and potatoes. That basic recipe led me to a search for other recipes that might provide info on how others might season the dish. Most mentioned this seasoning mix. When I researched the commercial brands I could only find Goya and like many commercial seasoning mixes it had ingredients I didn’t want. So with WWW available to me I did what I do best, found a recipe to make this myself with just the spice component and without the MSG & sodium. 

    Thank you for your spice recipe and your blog. I am going to stick around and see what other recipes I’d like to try. ????
    Just so that you know you and other food bloggers provide a much needed service to many home cooks who want to prepare and serve healthy and wholesome foods to their families. I don’t know about others but these blogs also allow me to see how similar we are when it comes to the foods we eat.

    • What a great post.  I agree.  When it comes to food we can show the love in our hearts and share with others. 

  29. Hi Gina, I Live in your town. Where do you buy the coriander and Anneto.  I am so excitedly to make this. 

  30. This is such an amazing and refreshing recipe. The answer that I had been looking for. I will be making this for my Hemodialysis patients , approximately 75 % of which are Latino and /or of Latino descent. Cutting sodium intake in their diets is so important . Thank you

  31. This is awesome

  32. Thanks for this simple recipe. Saved me from going to the store in the rain and since I had everything in my spice pantry saved me money as well.

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  34. THANK YOU!  I love this seasoning but the more I’ve been using it the worse my headaches have become.  Almost to the point of a migraine which I haven’t had in a long time. What a wonderful solution to make it yourself! So grateful to have found this. 

  35. Delicious! I am on tight budget, as are neighbor moms, so it is economical for us to each buy something, gather over tea, and make our own seasoning blends! Fun, too! Happy eats!!

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  40. thank you for the recipe. my mom was put on a no sodium diet and she loves her sazon. right now she’s acting like an 84 year teenager with the eye rolling and teeth sucking (well her gums) at her doctor. I won’t add the salt though. thank you so much.

  41. Good food and good folks are the spice of the earth.

  42. I made this for a recipe and it was WAY too salty, completely ruined the dish!

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  44. This looks great and easy. Cauliflower in ANY format has become my best friend. I’m going to make the salon seasoning. I just got a bunch of penzy spices so I can’t wait to play!
    Finally, why are people always being sparky? It was a innocent question. Reading through Gina’s recipe I always assumed that she is Hispanic ethnicity. All I know is her recipes are healthy and easy. Geez people lighten up!

  45. This is wonderful! I subbed sweet paprika for the annatto seeds. Going to try this on my next batch of beans. I used this with the Instant Pot Carnitas recipe! I did make a mistake and used 2 T. Mexican oregano instead of 2 tsps. It didn’t seem to overwhelm the recipe. Thank you!

  46. I think you mentioned it in your article as a substitute for achiote: ” Annatto is derived from the seeds of achiote tree. In India it’s referred to as sindoor, and in the Philippines, it is called atsuete.”

    Thank you for the recipe for Sazon. Glad I won’t have to use the storebought kind. This will be fresher and easier to adjust to our own taste.

  47. Gina, Just went to my local Indian grocer and requested sindoor and they asked me what I was using it for. Told them a recipe and they said it’s NOT for eating…it’s more of a cosmetic and religious ritual usage. You may want to amend this suggestion. 🙂

  48. I love this spice mix! I’ve been adding it to my omelettes and loving it! I used the tumeric as a substitute because it’s what I had on hand, but will be trying achiote next time!

  49. Thank you!!!! I love it!!!

  50. How do I add saffron to this mix?

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  52. Thank you, Gina, for sharing this wondwerful recipe. Today I found Goya and Badia Sazon mixes at my local Publix supermarket in GA. Both have MSG!  I’ll be making my own Sazon tonight. 

  53. Love this! I’m learning how to cook Latin dishes nowadays to connect with my heritage and help my abuelita out. I’m Cuban-Dominican with Puerto Rican tias, so sazon has always been a staple.

    A friend told me to cut back on the cumin because it may be contributing to my 6 year old sister’s stomach issues. Hopefully, halving it won”t impact the flavor too much. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ll be using it in ALL my freezer meals this weekend.

  54. is it 1.5 tea spoons or 1/2 tea spoon = 1 packet of sazon ?

  55. Thank you for this Gina! I use sazon so much more often now that i have it in my cupboard! i also feel better using it knowing its not loaded with salt and msg! we love this recipe for it! Even better it’s made with spices i always have!

  56. This sounds great! Can’t wait to make it! Do you know how long it would last before getting maybe hard or old? Even in an airtight container? Or should it last like other seasoning? I’m afraid it’ll be a lot and I only cook for myself.

  57. This sounds great! Can’t wait to make it! Do you know how long it would last before getting maybe hard or old? Even in an airtight container? I’m afraid it’ll be a lot and I only cook for myself.

  58. love this spice mix! I add smoked paprika in place of the achiote because it’s easier to find in my area and I like the ‘bacon-y’, smoked ham feel it gives my dishes

  59. Hi, which Badia Sazon do you recommend? 
    There’s tropical , there’s one with saffron, one with coriander and annato.

  60. Thank you for this! I ran out of packaged Sazon and figured I may as well make my own since it uses all spices I already have in my cupboard! Plus no pesky msg!

  61. Do you know results of using a no sodium salt substitute instead of salt? Does it change the flavor much or are there negative effects to salt substitute?

  62. Hi Lovely Gina,
    I've never made a boriqua dish before and tonight was my first time. I needed a recipe for sazon, sofrito, and for adobo and I found it on diff cites. I liked your recipe for sazon and appreciated I could use tumeric instead of achiote. My rice looks perfect and tastes delicious!!Thanks a bunch !!

  63. The problem with MSG is many are allergic to it, me included. I can have in small doses w/o much of a response therefore anywhere I can remove it I do.

  64. Did you know that msg is what is responsible for making everything more delicious? It's a spice that occurs naturally just like salt and it enhances the flavor of any thing you put it on. The myths about it being bad for you have been debunked years ago. Google it Lol.Sazon without msg is not sazon. If it does not have msg in it you might as well but a cheap bottle of ground achiote and season food as normal.

  65. Isn't that a lot of cumin for the mix? I'm just wondering because cumin is very powerful and I never taste that much in a pack and actually have to add a pinch more when making my rice.

  66. Anything you can substitute for the garlic? I'm not supposed to have garlic or salt.

  67. Hi Gina, love your site! It was a huge help to me when I first started cooking 🙂

    Quick question I'm using Myfitnesspal and tried to enter this manually as a recipe. I put it as 12 servings, and it came back that each serving has nearly twice as much sodium as your nutrition info says it should. Any idea what that's about? I used turmeric instead of annatto, if that matters. Thanks,

    • Depends on what salt you use. I use Diamon Crystal Kosher salt. If you use Mortons, it will be double the sodium.

  68. I have trouble finding sazon here in British Columbia so this is great! Didn't have ground coriander or cumin so just used whole spices and mashed them up with a mortar and pestle. Worked great!

  69. I couldn't find achiote, so I substituted equal parts paprika and turmeric to equal 1 Tbsp. I added 1 Tbsp of the mix to a can of black beans in a saucepan and it rocked. Thanks for sharing!

  70. great recipe..thank you for sharing. always love to make my own combo. I tend to substitue cayenne instead of black pepper because of its health benefits. Cayenne's great for circulation and I suppose I love the taste.

  71. Gina has an Adobo recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/04/aarons-mexican-dry-adobo-seasoning.html

    • This is not the adobo people are requesting. The fun thing about Latin America is that what is called something in one country is a complete different thing in another.

  72. Annatto and sindoor are NOT the same thing. The cosmetic version of sindoor is a mercury derivative, and also may contain lead. It's toxic. I really wouldn't eat it. The ritual version is made from turmeric and mortar lime; not necessarily toxic but I still wouldn't eat it.

  73. Thank you so much for posting this! I bought some sazon at the grocery store to make your arroz con pollo and when I got home saw that MSG was the first ingredient listed!!! I decided to use it anyways and your recipe turned out great, but of course MSG-free will be much better!

  74. This is awesome! I second the adobo request. Speaking of, have you seen the "I love adobo" video making the rounds? Crazy how much sazon and adobo one can go through!

  75. Yep, me neither! Can't wait to start making this on my own from now on. I normally just made the yellow coloring using the annatto whole seeds, my rice never came out an even yellow color. Going to the supermarket! 🙂

  76. And if you make it fresh you can really taste it. I've always thought that jars of spice mix have lost a lot of their flavour as they sit in a jar in the store or on your shelf.

  77. I am from Puerto Rico,I always get this at the grocery store, not anymore. This is Great


  78. Whoops! I see now the measurement is 1.5 tsp per packet of Sazon. I love unique spice blends so I'm eager to try this!

  79. I'm so embarrassed to admit that I've never even heard of sazon, well vaguely familiar at best. I love Latin foods, especially yellow rice and am SO excited to find a less expensive spice than saffron and a much tastier one than turmeric. thanks so much for sharing.

  80. I would leave the salt entirely out and just salt your food to taste when preparing it. I don't cook with much sodium, not because of a restricted diet but because it isn't good for you. Most of the time, we don't even miss the sodium.

  81. I second the Adobo blend request! 🙂

  82. Thanks so much! My beans just aren't the same without sazon. But I won't cook with MSG. Now, can you work on an Adobo blend? 😉

  83. Can I cut the amount of sodium without losing flavor. I am on a very restricted diet? I was thinking of cutting it to 1 tsp rather than Tbsp.

    • I don't see why not..the salt would be to your taste

    • Seriously? You may lose flavor, you may not. Is it worth not following your restricted diet? Gina gives you a recipe to make something, it's not set in stone. Do as you want with it to cater to your needs. Trial and error. Do what works best for you, or, you can always use what you were using before.

  84. Looks great–I am trying to save it to my recipe box, however, and that option seems to be gone! help

  85. It's so much fun making your own spice mixes, especially when there is no grounding of seeds involved (something I have had to do a LOT at work recently, pesky cinnamon sticks and star anise!). I remember I made a creole seasoning once that wasn't far off this one here I'd imagine 🙂 Thanks for the recipe! x

    • Making your own spice mixes is a lot cheaper than buying packets. I always make my own grill rubs and taco seasoning. Plus then there are no strange ingredients that I find listed on most seasoning packets.

      • Since being diagnosed with a heart issue making my own seasonings really helps me regulate sodium, and besides they taste so much better! An electric coffee grinder is wonderful and inexpensive for grinding if needed, and if you grind coffee beans in it after cardomom- YUM!

    • What is your recipe for taco spice?

  86. You can substitute the achiote for saffron. Achiote gives me heartburn and reflux.

  87. Are you Puerto Rican?

    • Why does that matter?

    • I had the same question, because she has many Puerto Rican dishes here. I don't think it matter at all but as a Puerto Rican I'm curious and would be thrilled if she was. She's a inspiration.

    • Seriously?? God forbid you are inspired by a gringo…

    • Shes 1/2 Columbian 1/2 Czech and is married to 1/2 Puerto Rican 1/2 Italian….

      • How would you even know that? Any why are most of you anonymous or unknown? You don’t want people to know you unless you say something stupid? Too late.. The whole conversation is just silly. It doesn’t
        matter what she is from and really it’s no one’s business.

    • Who cares! None of the seasonings were invented by hispanics! People all over the world use these mixes and have other names firmit. So ignorant!

    • Why does her asking make you so mad? You are assuming much out of a simple question.

    • Such hate from a simple question… I'm half Puerto Rican and it is nice to connect with others that share some of the culture we had in our lives and the food of our culture.

    • Sorry to answer this late, no but my husband is. Also, I had family there for many years and spent all my summers there as a kid/teen. : )

    •  Some of you would have a hard time in our state. We celebrate our mixed heritage (and ethnic foods) so much that we ask you flat out. The longer your string of origins, the more envy you engender. BTW, if you are any part Puerto Rican, you WILL be challenged to compare recipes.  People sell gandule rice and pasteles from their trunks and truck beds along the roads.