Brown sugar chili seasoning is amazing as a rub on salmon or chicken, as seasoning on potatoes or vegetables, or on roasted chickpeas! Gluten-free, paleo friendly, and ready in 5 minutes or less!
It's about time that my all-time favorite spice blend got it's own post on the blog. This brown sugar chili seasoning has made many appearances in various recipes over the years! It is the perfect blend of sweet, savory and a tiny bit spicy.
Why do I love this brown sugar chili seasoning so much? It basically goes well on anything: grilled or baked, meat or vegetables, making it a great pantry staple to keep in your house.
We love this seasoning so much that we even packaged it up to give as gifts to Kai's teachers this year!
OK enough with the brown sugar chili seasoning blend love. Let's check it out!
Don't forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!
How to make brown sugar chili seasoning?
Making your own spice blends is so easy, and I bet you already have all of these ingredients in your pantry! All you need to do is mix them up and store them in an air tight container for up to a year. A whole year!!
Let’s discuss the spices in this blend:
- brown sugar- this brings the sweetness necessary to balance the chili powder out. You can swap for coconut sugar to make this paleo!
- chili powder- the chili powder we get at the grocery store here in Canada is not spicy. This is not ancho chili powder or chipotle chili powder, both of which I believe are quite spicy. Just an FYI to make sure you get the right stuff for this recipe 😉
- cumin- adds a bit more dimension, but in all honesty you probably wouldn't notice if you left it out.
- salt & pepper- rounding out the brown sugar chili flavors with the necessary dose of savory.
(Pictured above: the brown sugar chili seasoning on my Chili Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Salsa)
How to use this brown sugar chili seasoning?
Like I said, I'm a bit obsessed with it and have quite a few recipes on the blog that already use it! Here are some ideas:
- salmon- the first appearance of this seasoning blend was on this Chili Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Salsa. So perfect on salmon alone but even better with the avocado!
- chicken- this seasoning is also great on chicken. We use around 1 tablespoon per chicken breast (roughly 2 tbsp per lb of chicken). It's great on chicken thighs as well and can be baked in the oven or grilled.
- lamb- one of my favorite totally unpopular posts ( 🙁 ) is this Brown Sugar Chili Lamb Chops with Peach Arugula Salad. It's pretty much the BEST summery meal you can make!
- ribs- OK I’m totally guessing but I have a feeling this brown sugar chili seasoning would taste pretty amazing on a rack of ribs. Let me know if you try it!
How much of this homemade brown sugar chili seasoning do I use per pound of meat? I roughly 2 tablespoons per pound. You want to use this seasoning aggressively, and it might look like too much. This seasoning goes well with a bit of lime juice.
What are some other ways I can use this brown sugar chili seasoning?
- Add some olive oil and lemon juice and use it as a marinade (I would add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon brown sugar seasoning per boneless skinless chicken breast)
- Add it to the cooking liquid for your rice or quinoa to give it some pizzaz (I would add 1 tablespoon per 1 cup uncooked rice or quinoa)
- Add it to your hummus, or even to a yogurt based dip for a new flavor combo.
Brown Sugar Chili Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Stir together all ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to a year.
- Use aggressively: 1 tablespoon per 7 oz chicken breast, 0.5 tablespoon per 4 oz salmon fillet, and roughly 2 tablespoons per lb of vegetables.