Homemade Sazón

What is sazón? Let's start with what it's not. It's not catsup. It's not salsa. It's not a sauce. Instead, it's the wonderful sazón, a Dominican vegetable mixture and a cousin to the Spanish sofrito. Here it's made from scratch with fresh whole ingredients – and it packs a punch of flavor! Just wait until you try Homemade Sazón on Champion Chicken! (And with a name like that, you know there's a story. Hint hint: think World Series baseball.)

Homemade Sazón ♥ KitchenParade.com, the Dominican mixture of onions, peppers, cilantro and spices, packs a burst of flavor.

Real Food, Made from Scratch. Great for Meal Prep. Easy DIY. A New Addition to The Homemade Pantry, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Low Carb. Low Fat. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

Transparency Here.

Until ten days ago, the vegetable concoction "sazón" was an unknown to me.

Not unknown as in "I wonder how to make sazón" or even "Is there a recipe for making sazón from scratch?".

Nope, none of it. Nothing. Nada.

What was known is that St. Louis' beloved Cardinals were winning and both baseball and Home Run Chicken had captured my attention.

That super-easy chicken recipe comes from Deidre Pujols, wife of the St. Louis fan favorite, slugger Albert Pujols. The story goes that before every home game, Pujols tucks into a big plate of chicken baked with sazón on top – and then goes on to hit home runs.

But with every touch of the home plate (pun intended!), Pujols is also tucking into a big dose of MSG – that’s legal in baseball but illegal in my kitchen.

Three minutes of Google search action and a recipe for Homemade Sazón was flying off the printer. (Some times, don’t we just love the Internet?!)

More honesty here. This Dominican-style Sazón is amazing!

Think “instant seasoning” made with fresh ingredients, no chemical enhancement.

Sazón isn’t a gravy to drizzle or a ketchup to squirt. It’s similar to my recipe for Chimichurri except thicker and cooked, albeit briefly; like salsa without the heat of chillis. In fact, it really does remind me of our house salsa, Best Quick Tomato Salsa (Red Salsa).

So far I’ve only used Homemade Sazón on my version of Home Run Chicken (what I call Champion Chicken) but my head is bursting with other ideas.

With chips like salsa. With a smear of cream cheese. Tucked into eggs or cooked rice. A dollop on a steak. A spoonful stirred into a stew. A spread for sandwiches.

More ideas? Share, please!

About This Recipe

Homemade Sazón is a fresh-tasting Dominican vegetable condiment, thicker than a sauce, chunkier than a ketchup.

Other names may be more familiar than sazón? The over-arching name is sofrito but there are several names because variations are popular across Latin cuisines. In Brazil, think refogar. In Colombia, there's hogao. In Ecuador, it's refrito. In Peru, there's aderezo. But in the Dominican Republic? Sazón.

The distinctive ingredients are the vegetables (onion, red and green bell peppers, garlic, green onion), the fresh herbs (parsley and cilantro) all bound together with pantry ingredients that add richness and acidity (tomato paste, olive oil and vinegar) plus distinctive spices (smoked paprika).

The prep and cooking techniques are simple and take only about 30 minutes. First, chop the vegetables and herbs individually until fine. Then briefly cook the chopped vegetables with the other ingredients, just enough to cook off a little rawness.

Homemade Sazón has a brilliant red color, that's thanks to the red bell pepper and the tomato paste.

The recipe makes about 2-1/2 cups. I hope you love it!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If you're inspired by making Sazón from scratch, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Homemade Sazón ♥ KitchenParade.com, the Dominican mixture of onions, peppers, cilantro and spices, packs a burst of flavor.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes plus occasional attention
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 2-1/2 cups
  • 1 medium onion (115g), chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (70g), seeded & chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (70g), seeded & chopped
  • 2 large (9g) garlic cloves
  • 8 green onions, white & green parts, chopped to yield ½ cup (50g)
  • 1/2 cup (25g) parsley, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup (25g) cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup (132g) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (100g) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (55g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon pimentón aka smoked paprika (what is pimentón?)
  • Salt to taste

CHOP THE VEGGIES IN A FOOD PROCESSOR One at a time, run the onion, peppers, garlic, green onion, parsley and cilantro through a food processor (my small prep processor worked fine). Texture is important here, chop these small and fine but don’t purée. They’re chopped separately so each component is the right size, not one big mush.

BRIEFLY COOK To remove just a bit of the rawness, combine the chopped veggies in a saucepan with the tomato paste, olive oil, vinegar and smoked paprika. Bring just to a simmer, stirring often, then let simmer a minute or two, stirring continuously so not to burn or stick. Season to taste with salt.

ENJOY! Let cool, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will last for several days.

ALANNA's TIPS I've included exact amounts because I found this batch of sazón so beautifully balanced. But it's not a recipe that requires exactitude. Try to find tomato paste that's 100% tomatoes, no sugar. Could we reduce the oil? Probably. But I'm so impressed by this, I'm leaving it as is.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2011/11/homemade-sazon.html .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 1/4 Cup: 120 Calories; 11g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 17mg Sodium; 6g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 4 & myWW green 4 & blue 4 & purple 4 & future WW points
Adapted from Gourmet Sleuth, sorry the recipe is no longer online.

Seasonal Cooking: Fall Recipes Across the Years

Chocolate Chili (<< personal favorite) Baked Apples Homemade Applesauce Trio of Sandwich & Cracker Spreads (Cranberry Orange Spread, Almond Cilantro Spread & Sun-Dried Tomato Spread) Thick Chops with Sauerkraut & Apples White Chicken Chili Lamb with Lemon & Oregano Fall Stew Baked in a Whole Pumpkin Healthy Trail Mix Homemade Sazón Champion Chicken Old-Fashioned Southern Brunswick Stew Stuffed Mushrooms with Cauliflower & Smoked Gouda #PieDayFriday

This Week, Elsewhere

~ Sweet Potato Salad ~
from Basket Case Deli in Washington, Missouri
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Weekly Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

~ DIY Dried Herbs ~
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture

Stocking the Homemade Pantry: You Could Make This Too!

The Homemade Pantry ♥ KitchenParade.com, a special collection of recipes for ingredients and dishes we could easily buy but choose to make from scratch at home because they taste better, cost less, have fewer or higher-quality ingredients or are simply more convenient.
~ Homemade Pantry recipes ~
How to make Chimichurri ♥ KitchenParade.com, the Argentinian parsley sauce that's great with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes.

Homemade Finnish Mustard ♥ KitchenParade.com, homemade mustard Finnish-style, a creamy, spicy mustard just like the amazing mustards in Finland.

Homemade Basil Pesto ♥ KitchenParade.com, extra basil flavor thanks to no cheese, mixing technique.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ bell pepper recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2011, 2015, 2021 & 2023

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. can't wait for the chicken recipe to accompany this sauce. make my version of spanish chicken all the time but this sounds intriguing. thanks for all your sharing.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna