This Homemade Sazon Seasoning combines a handful of simple spices for a mix that’s versatile and flavorful. I use it once a week for pulled pork, and it’s also great with fish, chicken, beef, beans and rice, and more!
I had no idea Sazon Seasoning was a thing until my foodie trip to Columbus last fall, but since then I’ve sure been making up for lost time.
No joke, this seasoning is always in my pantry now, and I make pulled pork with it at least once a week.
I literally have some sazon seasoned pork in the slow cooker cooking right now. Yes, right this very second.
It’s North Market Spices that I have to thank for introducing sazon seasoning into my life.
When I visited their store last fall, they gave me a packet of sazon to try at home.
Admittedly, at first I had no idea what to do with it.
But I decided to rub it onto some pork shoulder, popped into the slow cooker, and became hooked forever.
If you’re not familiar with this magical spice mix, it’s a staple of Latin cooking.
North Market Spices’ ingredients list for it is: Annatto, Garlic, Salt, Cumin, Black Pepper, Coriander, and Oregano.
For my final version after many rounds of tweaking and testing, I mostly stuck with this mix of spices, with a few minor changes.
I found I like adding a little bit of onion powder to the mix, and I also like making the actual sazon seasoning without salt or pepper.
This comes from a personal preference of seasoning the meat separately since it’s hard to tell how much salt is going on when there’s salt already mixed in.
I’ve developed a knack for knowing how much salt and pepper to add to meat just by eyeing it, but a good rule of thumb to start with is 3/4 tsp of salt per pound of meat. That number will vary based on the salt you’re using, and personal taste.
So, what is this annatto stuff?
If you’re not familiar with it, annatto is a seed from the fruit of the achiote tree, that’s ground and often used as a dye. I first discovered it a few years ago when I noticed it as a common ingredient in cheddar cheese.
But annatto isn’t just for color. It has a distinct flavor too, that has a warm and earthy taste.
As far as using the sazon seasoning for pulled pork, I simply rub a few tablespoons all over a boneless, tied pork shoulder, season with salt and pepper, then throw it into the slow cooker on low for about 8 hours, per my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork method.
Then shred the meat and toss it back into the juices.
You honestly don’t need to bother to sear the meat before putting it into the slow cooker, because the sazon mix is so flavorful.
I hope you give this magical seasoning mix a try. I really love keeping it on hand!
For those who would rather buy it than make it, I saw that North Market Spices has an online shop to buy it.
I don’t recommend the typical grocery store brands, which have MSG and artificial colors and ingredients in them. It’s so easy to mix some up yourself.
This Homemade Sazon Seasoning combines a handful of simple spices for a mix that's versatile and flavorful. I use it once a week for pulled pork, and it's also great with fish, chicken, beef, beans and rice, and more!
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground annatto seeds*
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the spices are evenly distributed.
- Or, place all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag or jar, and shake.
- Store sazon seasoning at room temperature for up to 1 year.
*This is the one spice that your local grocery may not carry. I had to order it online (this is the one I bought). Some people substitute turmeric in place of annatto, and while I don't think it's a similar flavor, the mix does taste delicious with turmeric substituted in.
Did you make this recipe?
I'd love to know how it went!