Homemade Ancho Chili Powder is guaranteed to be better than anything you’ll find at your local supermarket. With this step by step recipe, you can control the level of heat and get the most bang for your buck in the flavor department. A this staple seasoning in your kitchen pantry, you won’t want to go back to a store bought brand again!

Ancho chili powder is in a spoon and spilled from a bowl onto a white counter.

Ancho Chili Powder

I don’t know about you, but I feel like chili powder has become the go-to ingredient in so many popular recipes lately! Considering how versatile it is, it’s not hard to see why it’s garnered so much attention. By making your own at home, you have the opportunity to vary the size of the batch, spice it up or tone it down, and tweak the flavor. And by blending other favorite flavors into the baseline chili powder recipe, you can create your own custom seasoning to add unique spice to anything you cook up!

Ancho chili powder is great for dishes like these Spicy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or sprinkled in with Grilled Jalapeno Poppers with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Of course, ancho chili powder can be used to spice up any kind of taco recipe, chili, or salsa. 

You might be wondering what an ancho chile is and why we’re using them in this recipe. Ancho chiles are really just dried chiles used in many Mexican and Southwestern inspired dishes. More specifically, ancho chiles are smoked and dried poblano peppers. They pack a ton of flavor, and when used whole, they’re perfect for simmering in stews and sauces. 

Today, however, we’re crushing those bad boys up to make a fine powder that will really knock your socks off!

Ancho chilis are broken on a white surface, revealing many seeds.

How to Make It

This recipe is so simple and quick to make, you’ll be wondering why you’ve bothered paying for the lesser quality stuff at the store for so long!

Open the chilis. This is the most complicated step and it really isn’t complicated. First, pull off the stems to open the chilis and remove the seeds. You can pull the stems off by hand or cut them off with a knife. The seeds should easily shake out of the chilis. 

Break. Break up the chilis into smaller pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor available, you can always go old school with a mortar and pestle.

Ancho chilis are placed in a food processor.

Process. Process (or ground) the chilis until finely milled and powdery in texture. 

Store. Store in a jar, shaker, or airtight container of your choice and you’re ready to spice up your next dish! Easy as that. Your new favorite spice will stay fresh for up to 6 months at room temperature.

Dried whole ancho chilis are placed on a white surface.

How Can I Vary The Flavor In My Homemade Ancho Chile Powder?

Many times, chili powder will be blended with other spices such as cumin, garlic, oregano, and paprika to create a classic taco seasoning base. Smoked paprika lends a sweeter smokey taste. If you’re looking to amp up the heat, try adding some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper to the mix.

How Much Will This Recipe Yield?

This particular recipe will make about ½ cup of ancho chili powder. You can easily double or even triple the recipe to yield a bigger batch by increasing the amount of dried ancho chilis!

A spoon full of chili powder is placed next to a full jar.

My Recipe Calls For Light Chili Powder, Is There A Difference?

There really isn’t a difference when it comes to light or dark chili powder. It all comes down to the color, since both are typically made with the same base of ingredients. Ancho chilis are darker in color, so may be referred to as dark chili powder. However, you can use this base recipe of ancho chili powder interchangeably in dishes that make a distinction. The taste will be the same!

A spoon and jar both containing portions of chili powder are spread out on a white surface.

With your newfound favorite spicy pantry staple, you’ll need some recipes to try it out on. Check out these southwestern inspired dishes to add some heat to!

For more easy recipes, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

A spoon and jar both containing portions of chili powder are spread out on a white surface.

Get the Recipe: Ancho Chili Powder

DIY ancho chili powder is the ultimate seasoning for all your tex mex dinners! Easy to make in a big batch to stock your pantry.
No ratings yet


  • 4 ounces dried Ancho Chilis


  • food processor


  • Open the chilis by pulling off the stem and remove the seeds. You can cut the stem off or pull off with your hands. The seeds should easily shake out of the chilis.
  • Break the chilis up into smaller pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Process the chilis until finely ground and powdery.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months at room temperature.


Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months at room temperature.
Calories: 31kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 9mg, Potassium: 177mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2503IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg