Taco seasoning is super easy, fresh and inexpensive. Did you know store bought packets may contain dairy, cornstarch, preservatives and sugar? Skip the fillers and make taco seasoning at home. It’s also the best way to ensure it’s gluten-free.
You can use this homemade seasoning on so many recipes including taco salad, shrimp tacos, taco soup and more!
Store-Bought Seasoning – What’s Really In It?
Years ago when I started reading the labels on the back of food products I remember being shocked the vast majority of the time. Especially on items that were seemingly so simple. You’d never assume there was anything except what you thought should be inside. Oh, but there was. Case in point: taco seasoning.
If you flip a store bought packet of taco seasoning over and read the backside you’ll find unnecessary ingredients ranging from whey (dairy) to cornstarch, potato starch, caramel color, natural colors, sugar and various preservatives. Yep, that’s what’s in that little old packet. A heck of a lot of filler.
The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to make your own taco seasoning at home and once you do, you’ll never need to buy those overly priced packets again.
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
My seasoning mix is made from a handful of fresh spices, including:
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- paprika (or smoked paprika)
- salt and pepper
You could also add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a little spice kick. Making taco seasoning at home allows you to tweak the flavor profile to your preference.
How to Make Taco Seasoning
Just stir all of the spices together in a small bowl. The recipe I’ve listed below equates to approximately 2 tablespoons, which is the perfect amount for one pound of ground beef. But I usually quadruple this recipe and then store in these glass spice jars (make sure to grab the 6-ounce size).
If you’ve watched my YouTube videos, you know that these spice jars match my Simply Organic spice jars perfectly. Then, I use an extra fine tip water-based paint pen to write a label.
As a SoCal girl I love my Mexican food and from the recipes on this website you’ve probably gathered I’m quite the connoisseur. In fact, this taco seasoning mix is the same one that I’ve used on my Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats and Taco Soup recipes.
For More Healthy Mexican Recipes
And if you’re whipping up fajitas, make sure to check out my fajita seasoning recipe!
Taco Seasoning (Better Than Store-Bought)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, optional
- Mix all the spices together in a bowl. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.
- You can easily double, triple or quadruple this recipe to make a larger batch. Then, in the future just use two tablespoons of your taco seasoning mix per one pound of ground beef.
- I don’t add any onion powder to this mix because I typically add freshly diced onions to ground beef recipes. But feel free to add that spice as well, if you’d like.
- To see inside my own spice drawer, don’t forget to watch my spice drawer organization video.
- For another delicious homemade seasoning, check out my brisket dry rub.
Recipe originally posted Aug 2017, but updated to include new information.
I made this taco seasoning but something is missing. The flavor is somewhat bland. What can I add to make the “taco” seasoning pop??
How much onion powder would you include in the recipe if fresh onions were not going to be used? Thank you!
Btw you say 1/2 tsp “salt” but 1/2 tsp of table salt vs Kosher are a pretty different amount. Thankfully it’s clear in your pictures and video that you used kosher salt but you might want to clarify for those that don’t catch that. :)
Great catch Nathan, I just fixed it in the recipe card. And I’d probably add about 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
Hi, I just stumbled on this great recipe. My daughter loves Tacos! What do you mean by Chili powder? Just plain chili ? I would like to make this spice mix but cannot find the chili powder and would like to order it only. I did order chili flakes. Would that work?
Thank you so much for sharing!!
You can typically find chili powder at any market! Otherwise, just search for chili powder online and you should be able to find options :)
Love this seasoning!
What is the equivalent amount to use in lieu of a packet of store-bought packets? I have a recipe that calls for 2 packets of taco seasonings. Thank you in advance.
Hi Carol – I’m not exactly sure as I haven’t bought a store-bought packed in years, but I’d estimate about 2 tablespoons.
How do you come up with 1300 mg sodium ?
The nutrition information is calculated automatically from the ingredient list. In this case, the sodium is coming mainly from the salt.
To fill a standard size spice jar, like one of the Simply Organic size you recommend, how much of this recipe should I make?
Hi Denise, thinking you can multiply the recipe by about 3 times?
No exaggeration- this recipe is life changing!! We always have a batch of this prepared and put it on chicken or veggies all the time. The flavor is incredible, and makes anything taste great! I love putting it on cauliflower and then baking it. This has become a staple in our pantry and it adds so much to every meal we use it with!
My Husband loves tacos but those takeouts are so salty. He loved this. Thank you so much.
Hi Irene – I’m glad he loved this homemade taco seasoning. The great thing is you can always tweak the spices yourself.
Taco tuesday turns into Taco wednesday, thursday, friday with this recipe!! I am in the midst of Whole30, so I needed something that was packed with flavor and compliant to the diet— DID THIS DELIVER!!!!!
Awesome! Happy to hear this was a winning seasoning :)
I make this seasoning almost weekly now. So good and so easy. And so much better than store bought. My friends are asking me for the recipe now, but cannot take the credits for that of course ;-)
I just love this combination! Reminds me of my childhood in Bolivia when my mom would make tacos…. ❤️
Hi Linda – So glad to hear this seasoning brings back a sense of nostalgia! :)
How much onion powder would you add to this for this who don’t use fresh, please?
The best, most fresh seasoning. So much better than store bought paper packets. Make a bunch and keep on hand!
Hi Terri – Definitely much better than buying store bought! :)
Awesome recipe! My son is allergic to many of the additives to taco seasoning so I always buy the expensive health-food store, additive-free kind. We’ll save money while making yummy food for the whole family. Thank you!
So glad you loved the taco seasoning recipe! Taco seasoning doesn’t need all those additional ingredients, plus this is healthy and easy to make :)
Do you have any substitutes for the garlc powder? I can’t have garlic or onion. Thanks Sam
It would change the flavor profile a bit, but you could try it with celery salt or ginger. Or you could just leave it off. :)
Will never buy taco seasoning in the store again! Thank you!
You’re welcome Anne! It’s amazing how easy it is to make taco seasoning at home, isn’t it? :)
I love having taco seasoning around for so many recipes – tacos included, but even beyond. I love the idea of making m own, and your combination of spices is so delicious!
Thanks Valentina! Yes, making your own taco seasoning is so easy and it’s perfect for a variety of recipes. Enjoy! :)
Easily the best taco seasoning recipe I’ve run across yet. The recipe makes 2.75 tbsp as is, so I believe using closer to 3 tbsp per pound of beef as opposed to 2 tbsp to be more accurate, if you’re recommending one recipe taco seasoning per pound of beef.
I added 1/4 tsp onion powder per recipe, multiplied it by four to have extra, then used 3 tbsp per pound ground beef.
Also added a mini (5.5 oz) can of low-sodium V8 and a little water to the whole thing, then simmered a half hour. Really good.
I’m happy you loved the recipe Paula! And good catch on the total amount, I’ve corrected it in the description above. Thanks! :)
Is it smoked or sweet paprika you’re using here?
I use sweet paprika.
Great tip! I also love to make my spice mixes ahead, love all the ingredients in your taco seasoning, will make it right away!
Awesome! I hope you enjoy the taco seasoning blend Patty!
I love making my own taco seasoning! SO much better than store bought and you can adjust the flavor for your liking!
Yes, absolutely! And it just tastes so much more flavorful and fresh. :)
This seasoning is so much better than the sodium and preservative loaded mixes – fresh flavors and easily customizable!
Agree! It’s amazing all of the nasty ingredients that sneak into store bought taco seasonings. Homemade is definitely best! :)
I love to make my own seasonings, and this is a perfect one to always have on hand! Saving to make this in the next couple days!!
Wonderful! I hope you enjoy the recipe Susan!
Just wondering if you use smoked or sweet paprika?
I use sweet paprika. :)
Awesome! Thank you
You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy this seasoning on many tacos!
I made the taco soup or it was actually more mince meat but it was delicious. The taco spice mix is a go to. Amazing.
Yay – happy you enjoyed the recipe Belinda!
I’m not a very good cook yet so for clarification is the chili powder a plain ancho or cayenne or the premixed chili powder that has some of the other stuff in it?
(I stumbled on your site yesterday and am so happy I did!! Can’t wait to try out all sorts of recipes on here!!)
Thank you so much!!
Hi Kay – glad you’re loving my recipes! :) This is the chili powder I use: http://amzn.to/2HKQGLr
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You might consider adding a wee bit of dutch processed chocolate powder to this recipe. I find it adds depth to this mix. For the amount you have here I’d suggest one quarter of a teaspoon to experiment with. I am looking forward to learning more from your work. Thanks for sharing with ll of us.
That’s a brilliant idea Dave! Chocolate makes everything better, right? ;)
This is brilliant!! I love creating my own spices blend too and this helps a lot as you can control the ingredients.
Yes! So important to have quality ingredients, even on things like spice blends. :) x
i love making my own spice blends! It really is frightening looking at the ingredients in a simple spice blend!! Why? It’s terrible!
I know, so crazy what’s in packaged food. But good news is it’s easy to make at home. Enjoy Beth! :) x
Lovely flavor combinations! amazing clicks too
I’m Mexican, and yes, this recipe is spot on.
Thanks Maggie – happy to have that stamp of approval! :) x
I love all these flavors!
Simple but delicious!
Just wondering how spicy this is? Would it be suitable for young children unused to much heat (I usually use Old El Paso).
Hi Liz – I don’t think it’s spicy and my niece and nephew (ages 11 and 13) love it on their taco meat. But what you could do is mix up a batch and just use half of it the first time (with one pound of ground beef), to see how they respond. :) x
Just mixed a batch and used to coat chicken breast. Yummy! Plan to use the rest to whip up some taco soup.
That sounds like some mighty tasty chicken! Enjoy! :) x