Garlic, Onion, & Chili Powder

How to make onion powder-garlic powder- or chili powder at home

If you’ve ever bought spices from the store, you probably noticed that they often contain ingredients like “ant-caking agent” or “natural flavor” (AKA MSG). Many often contain trace amounts of soy or other fillers, and sometimes these don’t even have to be listed on the ingredients.

Mystery fillers aside, these spices also often sit on the shelf, in plastic bottles, for a long time. By the time you bring them home, they have lost much of their flavor (and did I mention they might contain soy, MSG, or other additives!)

As with many aspects of natural living, simple is often cheaper, easier, and more healthy. Making your own garlic, onion and chili powders (or a blend of all three) can be one of the easiest and tastiest changes you can make. These are also a great addition to homemade spice blends!

How to make onion powder-garlic powder- or chili powder at home

3 votes


Garlic, Onion, & Chili Powder



Make your own garlic, onion or chili powders with this simple recipe and avoid any artificial ingredients.


  • Fresh (preferably organic) onions, garlic cloves or chili peppers of choice to dry.


  1. Gather a few onions, several heads of garlic, or 8-10 peppers (sweet, spicy, or mixed all work). You can also mix these three to make an all purpose seasoned salt.
  2. Make sure all are clean, and peel onions or garlic cloves if using those.
  3. For onions and garlic: slice into thin slices (1/4 inch or less) and put on sheet in dehydrator or on lowest setting in the oven (170 or less). For chili and peppers: slice in half and remove seeds (or leave if you want a really spicy version!) Place on dehydrator sheet or on baking sheet in oven on lowest setting.
  4. Dehydrate until they are completely dry and not leathery. They should be brittle enough to break by hand. Depending on type of peppers, onions and garlic used, they may take different times to finish. Check every few hours and remove any pieces that are done.
  5. When all are done drying, put into coffee grinder, food processor or blender. If you want individual spices, blend separately. If you want a mixed seasoned salt, blend them all together.
  6. Once they are finely powdered, leave in food processor or blender with lid on for at least 10 minutes to let it settle. This is important! Trust me... I learned the hard way! Opening it too soon will lead to a rapid sinus cleanse 🙂
  7. Store in glass jars and enjoy!

Courses Spice

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Ever made your own spices? How did they turn out?
Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Chili Powder can be easily prepared at home for an inexpensive and healthy alternative to store versions.

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Reader Comments

  1. I enjoy learning how to make things from scratch  – it never occurred to me to even make my own spices.  Thank you!

  2. Can’t  wait to try this!

    • thank you for posting these recipes for people like me who like to cook and experience new things.

  3. I have made both onion powder and garlic powder.  Better by far in taste that store – bought.

  4. Another thing about store bought spices is that they are often irridated and they don’t have to tell you that so I always ask but good luck trying to get a right answer. Trader Joe’s told me they don’t irridate theirs but the best way for sure is to buy organic ones or make your own. Great ideas thanks so much for them. Blessings!!!

    • what is irridate?

      • The word is irradiate, not irridate. It is perfectly safe. There is nothing radioactive in it. You get far, far more radiation from the sun or an x-ray. Some CT scans can give you a dose of radiation as large as spending a year in the sun. I repeat – irradiated food has NOTHING radioactive left in it.

        • Irradiation damages the quality of food.
          · Irradiation damages food by breaking up molecules and creating free radicals. The free radicals kill some bacteria, but they also bounce around in the food, damage vitamins and enzymes, and combine with existing chemicals (like pesticides) in the food to form new chemicals, called unique radiolytic products (URPs).
          · Some of these URPs are known toxins (benzene, formaldehyde, lipid peroxides) and some are unique to irradiated foods. Scientists have not studied the long-term effect of these new chemicals in our diet. Therefore, we cannot assume they are safe.

  5. can you specify want kind of peppers? Are the jalapeno, poblano etc? I would really like to make my own chili powder. That is similar to the store but without the fillers.

    • it depends on how spicy you want it. anaheim and chili peppers make a
      less spicy powder, where habenero or jalepeno make more spicy ones.
      you can even use sweet peppers and get the taste without the heat.

  6. THank you for all this information! 

  7. I am definatley going to do this !! I have not thought about making my own ..but its now gonna happen 🙂 Thank You

  8. What a great idea! I can’t wait to try this 🙂

  9. I already grow and dry a lot of my spices like rosemary, basil, lavender, etc. but I never thought to make onion or garlic powder. If it’s dehydrated it should last quite a while, right? What a great idea. And my own chili powder… hmmmm 🙂 

  10. I have never done spices on my own, but one time I was in a real pinch and put regular granulated white sugar in my coffee grinder and made powdered sugar. It was quick and easy and I have to admit I was surprised that it worked! But now I can buy my white sugar in bulk and then I can make my own powdered sugar and save some money

  11. I’ve grown my own herbs and let them dry out.  They last longer and taste better.  Just cut a few sprigs of your favorite herbs and place on a paper towel covered counter.  Turn over as needed. In a few days you will be able to rub between your fingers into a dry herb.  Place in airtight container and store until ready to use.  I’ve had success with thyme, basil and dill…I never seem to have what I need at the right time, so by adding to my cupboard dries, I’m assured I’ll have it when I need it.  Do it all summer long and have fresh herbs long into the winter. 

  12. Two questions, what is the estimated shelf life? Do you know a source where I can find glass (preferred) or bpa free shaker bottles for storage of the powders?

    • If completely dry, they will last indefinitely, but they will lose some flavor after the first 6 months…

    • Erica, I just recently found some Ball brand herb storage jars. I was looking around the canning section at Walmart and there they were. They come in packs of 4 and come with BPA free shaker tops and lables (the lables don’t stick very well though). They have a very wide mouth, so they are easy to fill. Also, you can buy canning tops separately to fit the smaller jars. They are a little wide, but they fit on my spice rack. I have already filled up my first set with dried herbs and am going to get more tomorrow. I plan to put my homemade toothpaste and deodorant in them. Going to try making my own jams also!

    • Penzeys spices also sells empty glass spice bottles in various sizes.

  13. Has anyone tried this with a waring pro dehydrator? I was set on making onion powder with it for my first time using it, but I have no clue what setting to pick…

    • 115 degrees for 6 to seven days with dehydrator.

  14. I have made garlic and green onion powder. I find that I get better consistency by puree them before I dehydrate. Makes it easier to grind after.

    • How does the puree process work? Does it burn if you don’t turn it? I’ve never really worked with anything on the lowest setting in the oven so I’m not sure, but the puree idea sounds great.

  15. We dry our peppers and use them in chunks, flakes, or powder. Plan to start making own onion & garlic powder – recently found out I am allergic to corn. Corn powders/cornstarch is a common filler in many products. Thank you for sharing this!

  16. I am new to your site, and must say I LOVE IT! This may be a silly question however, do you have a cook book of all your receipes?

  17. Do you put the onion on any special kind of rack in the dehydrator? I just got one today and I’m excited to try this out.

  18. This looks great! How much powder can be made from these amounts? Say, from one onion?

  19. Hi! I was wondering if you have an idea of how long will it takes to dry the onion/garlic in a traditional oven? I don’t have a dehydrator… Yet 🙂

  20. Really enjoy your site! Have printed many recipes for every day usage and have started a notebook. Question – What dehydrator do you highly recommend. Would love to buy one soon! I’ve made our own deodorant & toothpaste and look forward to moving on to other adventures! Thank you

  21. Really pleased to find this post. Been trying to find onion powder and garlic powder in the shops with no joy. The oven is revved up, let’s see how it turns out! Using it to make a meat rub recipe for a Christmas present 🙂

  22. How do I make paprika at home. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom I really love your post. It is taking my health to a new better level. Thank you so much.

  23. The pepper most commonly used in commercially made chile powders is the ancho. They are sold dried in large bags at Walmart, in the produce department. You have to remove the stems and seeds either before or after soaking in hot water. If you want chipotle peppers, go to a Mexican market. They are dried RED smoked jalapenos, not green. With either, you have to cover with hot water, soften them, then puree. Dehydrate the puree first till it is brittle, then grind. I use my Nutribullet to make a fine powder, but a blender can also be used. I could not grind the whole dried pepper as it came out of the bag using a burr coffee grinder. The puree makes a beautiful product!

    As far as I can tell, you have to grow your own peppers for paprika, then dry them.

    Dry those onions and garlic on a porch, or in a garage or shed so your house won’t stink!

  24. if you check the ingredient list on store bought “chili powder” it’s a blend meant to make Chili with. what you’re making when you pulverize dried chilies is ground chili PEPPER. if you label it the same as they do on the stores, then anybody using your kitchen in an emergency stands a chance of making something edible.

  25. Any suggestions on onion varieties that taste the best? Or even just color suggestions? Red, white, yellow?


  26. been homeless fo 7years. busy climbing out. and finally housing last month. the thing is while accepting whatnots from the missions. Ive always been alabel reader. but learning about skin care and hygeine. a starting reading the labels on packaged and canned food and was startled. and just wanting to do the best I can do to ensure my safety health youth and of others would love to know how to do basic seasonings . salt garlic chili taco italian . also looked up broth. and suprised how simple it was. also beleave it would be more cost affective and lasting. love this page I have no printer avaible at mommment wondering if you could email this so I could save for future reference. greatfuly. J

  27. So how do I make paprika? I followed a link and got here…