“Old El Paso” Fajita Spice Recipe

There’s a particular type of foodie out there who has a bizarre fascination with replicating brand name products at home. I can kind of understand this fascination – I was overjoyed when I chucked some dried oregano into garlic butter and stumbled on what I consider to be a dead ringer for “Pizza Hut” garlic bread.

If you’re sad like me and interested in researching this topic further, check out Top Secret Recipes. It’s a database of recipes for (mostly American) brand name foods. If you’re really insane, you might be interested in following this guy’s mind-bogglingly detailed instructions for reproducing a Big Mac!

I’m currently going through a phase of trying to eliminate as many processed foods from my diet as possible, plus we all know that homemade tastes better anyway. Here then, is my take on Old El Paso’s Fajita Spice mix. I’m not ashamed to say that this product and I go back a long way. Unlike some of the fajita spice preparations available, this one has a deep smoky flavour which I really like. The smokiness in this recipe is provided by the chipotle chili powder. Use Mexican oregano if you have it, but the regular one will do fine.


  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano (preferably the Mexican variety)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder

Mix together the ingredients and store in an airtight jar. This recipe makes about 5 tablespoons of spice mix. I like to use 2 tablespoons when I’m frying chicken and vegetables for 2 people as I like it quite spicy, but you can use more or less. Just hard fry some boneless chicken fillet until it just starts to blacken in patches, then add your vegetables: onions, peppers etc. Now add 2 tablespoons of spice mix and stir-fry for a few minutes until the vegetables and chicken are cooked through. Add a splash of water if you think the spices are starting to burn. I like to serve this in the (cough!) traditional manner with flour tortillas, lettuce, fresh tomato salsa and sour cream.

And you know the best thing? There’s not an ounce of maltodextrin, hydrolyzed soy protein, silicon dioxide, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, sulfiting agents or ethoxyquin in sight. Ay caramba!


6 Responses to ““Old El Paso” Fajita Spice Recipe”

  1. 1 Renard October 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks, I am looking forward to trying this out, I love the Old El Paso mix but hate all the bad things on the ingredients list so I have been doing without.

  2. 3 pairof_secateurs June 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    used standard oregano, 1.5 each smoked paprika & chili powder & a pinch of cayenne instead of paprika/chili/chipotle chili and black onion seeds instead of onion powder (gotta work with what you got after all) and it worked a treat. thanks for the tip!

  3. 5 Charlotte September 19, 2010 at 1:01 am


    I made this today for my fellah and some friends – I got my hands on ALL the ingredients as suggested by you, but because I’m a pussy when it comes to spices, I left out the first tsp of chilli – the pepper and the chipotle powder totally did it!

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve got the same way-back relationship with the Old El Paso spice mix, but I’m low-carbing and the packet mix is just TOO high in carbs!

    I’m totally putting all my low-carbing friends onto this recipe! 🙂

    Thanks again,

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