Sazon is a popular Puerto Rican spice that can be found in many Hispanic markets. It's made up of a variety of spices, including annatto powder, ground cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and paprika. It's these spices that give sazon its unique flavor profile that goes so well with so many different dishes. So what is sazón seasoning? Let’s take a look.
What is Sazon Seasoning?
Sazon seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is commonly used in Hispanic cooking mainly in Puerto Rico. The most popular brand of sazon seasoning is Goya, which offers both an original and a low-sodium version. I decided to try the original sazon seasoning in my cooking, and I was not disappointed!
Sazon spice mix has a very distinctive taste. The cumin gives it a slight smokiness, while the garlic and coriander give it a savory flavor. The annatto seeds add a slight sweetness and depth of flavor. The blend of flavors is truly unique, and it really elevates any dish to a new level.
If you're looking for something different to add to your kitchen repertoire, I highly recommend giving sazon seasoning a try. Trust me, you won't be disappointed, I also realized it is hard to find, therefore I decided to make my own homemade sazon seasoning, read on to find out more.
What is in Sazón?
Sazón is a staple in Latin American cuisine. It's a spice blend that consists of annatto powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, nutmeg powder, black pepper, and fine sea salt.
This blend is used to add flavor and color to dishes like arroz con pollo, carnitas, and sofrito. So let's break down each ingredient and see what role it plays in this potent spice blend.
- Annatto Powder: Annatto seeds come from the fruit of the achiote tree and they have a slightly peppery flavor with hints of nutmeg and vanilla. The red pigment that comes from these seeds is what gives sazón its characteristic orange color. Annatto powder is used as both a spice and a food coloring agent.
- Paprika: Paprika is made from ground bell peppers and it imparts sweetness to dishes. Spanish paprika tends to be milder than other varieties while Hungarian paprika has a more pungent flavor. sazón typically uses Spanish paprika because of its mellower taste.
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper is made from ground chili peppers and it adds both heat and color to sazón. A little goes a long way with this ingredient so it's important to use it sparingly.
- Coriander Powder: Coriander powder is made from grinding up dried coriander seeds. It has citrusy notes and a faint bitterness that helps to balance out the sweetness of the paprika.
- Cumin Powder: Cumin powder is made from grinding up dry cumin seeds. It has an earthy flavor with hints of lemon and it adds depth of flavor to sazón.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves that have been ground into a fine powder. It's a convenient way to add or store garlic flavor for a longer period without having to worry about the cloves going bad.
- Onion Powder: Onion powder is made from dehydrated onions that have been ground into a fine powder. It's an easy way to add oniony goodness without having to chop up fresh onions.
- Dried Oregano: Dried oregano imparts a woodsy flavor with minty overtones. A little goes a long way with this ingredient so be sure not to go overboard! You could also try replacing regular oregano with Mexican oregano.
- Nutmeg Powder: Nutmeg powder is made by grinding up whole nutmeg seeds. It has a warm, slightly sweet flavor with hints of clove. Also, be sure not to go overboard with this ingredient because too much can make your dish taste bitter.
- Black Pepper: Black pepper is made by grinding up dried black peppercorns. As you probably know, it imparts a fiery heat to dishes. Just like with the cayenne pepper, be careful not to use too much or your dish will be unpalatable.
- Fine Sea Salt: Salt enhances all the other flavors in sazón, making them pop. Be sure to use fine sea salt so that it dissolves easily. Coarse salt will just sit on top of your seasoning without fully integrating itself into the blend.
- MSG: It is a controversial ingredient that some people are sensitive to. MSG is a flavor enhancer that's used in many store bought processed foods. I don't use MSG in our homemade sazón seasoning recipe because I want you to enjoy the true flavors of the ingredients without any artificial additives.
What is Sazón Seasoning Used For?
Sazón seasoning can be used in a variety of recipes to create delicious dishes that are sure to please even picky eaters. Here are just some of the ways you can use sazon seasoning in your home cooking:
- Tacos – Add some zing to your tacos by sprinkling some sazón over the top before serving. This will give them an extra kick without overwhelming the other flavors in the dish.
- Burritos – Sprinkle some sazón on top of your burritos for a smoky flavor that will really bring out the other ingredients in your burrito. You can also mix it into the filling if you want an extra boost of flavor throughout.
- Rice – Give your rice an extra punch by adding some sazón while it’s cooking or sprinkling it on top before serving as a garnish. The earthy flavors of coriander and cumin will add depth and complexity to any rice dish.
- Soups – Adding a dash of sazón seasoning right at the end will give soups an added layer of flavor and make them more interesting than ever!
- Stews – Mix in some sazón while preparing stews or sprinkle it over top before serving as a garnish for added texture and complexity. The smoky notes from this seasoning go especially well with beans and vegetables in stews.
- Sauces – Use this versatile condiment as an ingredient in sauces like tomato sauce or mole sauce for extra depth and complexity that can really bring out the sweetness or spiciness depending on what you’re making!
People Also Ask [FAQs]
No, sazon seasoning is not particularly spicy; the cayenne pepper provides a subtle hint of heat, while the nutmeg and paprika bring out a mild sweetness.
Yes, this homemade sazon seasoning is gluten free because it does not contain any wheat-based ingredients.
Sazon seasoning can be found in the spice aisle of most supermarkets. Goya Foods is a well-known brand of seasonings and Hispanic foods.
📖 Furikake Seasoning
📖 All Purpose Seasoning
Wrap Up: Sazon Seasoning
- Sazon seasoning is a flavorful addition to many Spanish and Latin American dishes.
- It is made from a blend of herbs and spices which gives it a unique taste.
- We also discussed what each ingredient in sazón seasoning blend does, you can experiment with using it in your own cooking! Just remember that less is more when it comes to using spices like cayenne pepper and nutmeg powder. And be sure to use fine sea salt for the best results.
- This seasoning can be found in most Hispanic supermarkets.
- This homemade sazon seasoning recipe is definitely worth a try! Not only does it require minimal effort to make, but it can be used in so many different ways - from chicken and fish to rice and beans. Let us know how you liked it once you've had a chance to use it yourself.
This is How You Make A Sazon Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Annatto Powder
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- ½ tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Coriander Powder or crushed coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon Cumin Powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano or Mexican Oregano
- ½ tablespoon Nutmeg Powder
- ½ tablespoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Store the seasoning mix in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, and it will stay fresh for several months.
- I like to use ground annatto for its vibrant color, but feel free to experiment with different types of paprika.
- The cayenne pepper adds a touch of heat, while the ground coriander and cumin provide a lovely earthy flavor.
- Garlic powder and onion powder round out the savory notes, and oregano or Mexican oregano gives the blend a hint of herbiness.
- Nutmeg for a touch of sweetness, ground black pepper for a bit of bite, and salt to taste.
- This homemade sazon spice recipe is really versatile - you can use it to flavor chicken, fish, rice, beans, or just about anything else you can think of! And it's so easy to make, there's no excuse not to try it!