Making your own Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe takes just 5 minutes to mix together. Enjoy this fast and flavorful taco mix with all your favorite recipes from classic beef tacos, baked chicken breasts, or blended into your favorite soup!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Mixing together my own spice blends is fast becoming one of my favorite things to make in the kitchen. More cost-efficient than buying pre-made individual packets, or tiny little jars that last a week, making your own saves money and allows you to adjust individual herb and spice levels to suit your personal preference.
But making your own also guarantees a seasoning blend free of MSG and artificial colors or additives.
It’s also fast, easy and actually kind fun.
It’s also SUPER handy for those last minute taco nights when you have your husband swing by the store to pick up a few missing ingredients only to find out that he forgot the taco seasoning (because this totally never happened to me).
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
Here’s what you’re going to need to make this recipe. Now, in order to be the most cost-effective, I highly recommend purchasing some of the more well-loved herbs and spices in bulk from your favorite market or online.
Chili Powder | Chili powder is actually another blend of spices. Common ingredients include a mix of ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, garlic, and cloves. Until I make my own, my favorite store-bought chili powder is made by Simply Organic.
Garlic Powder | Garlic plays a major roll in many seasoning blends and this Taco seasoning is no exception. You may want to play around with the overall amount and adjust to your own personal preference as you may prefer more, or less, of this everyday seasoning.
Onion Powder | Although I typically add onions to my ground meat whenever I make tacos, I still like a little extra onion flavor as I am a big fan of this fragrant, flavor-filled veggie.
Dried Oregano | This is a must-have in any homemade taco seasoning recipe.
Paprika | Made from the dried red fruits of the larger and much sweeter plant variety, Capsicum annuum, Paprika (unless it is labeled “Hot”) is mild, bright red in color, and lacks any kind of bold, powerful flavor.
Ground Cumin | One of the more prominent spices in Taco Seasoning. Ground cumin, absolutely essential to the overall flavor of taco seasoning, can also quickly overwhelm a dish. As such, I tend to add a little less as I prefer to taste the other ingredients and spices, in addition to the ground cumin.
Salt | When I originally made my first batch of homemade taco seasoning, I added too much salt. Feel free to add more or less to suit your preference, just keep in mind that you can always add more salt at the end, but you can’t take it away.
Red Pepper Flakes | Great way to add a little extra heat on your own terms. In other words, add as much or as little crushed red pepper as your family likes!
Black Pepper | Fresh black pepper is a big yes in this seasoning mix. I added the fresh ground stuff, but any black pepper will work.
Granulated Sugar | This is optional. In fact, most taco seasoning blends won’t include sugar at all. However, given the strong flavors of the chili powder, oregano, and cumin, I like to add just a pinch of sugar to balance things out a bit.
Cornstarch | Also optional, however, I find that adding a little cornstarch to the mix is helpful when adding this homemade taco seasoning to things with higher liquid amounts (sauteed veggies, ground beef, blended soup, etc.)
You’ll notice that I didn’t add any cayenne to my homemade taco seasoning recipe. I did this on purpose since I have a very particular 5-year-old who has somehow become quite sensitive to spicy foods over his 5 years on this earth.
If you love more heat, feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of cayenne or an additional teaspoon or two of crushed red pepper.
What to Make with Taco Seasoning
The most obvious answer is, of course, tacos! Beef tacos, chicken tacos, shrimp tacos, veggie tacos, you name it, this homemade seasoning really loves tacos!
But what if you’re not a big fan of tacos? Or you just can’t eat any more of them for a while? Don’t worry, there are countless other ways to use your seasoning.
The best part about taco seasoning is that it is delicious with so many things! And one of my favorite ways to use taco seasoning is blended into my favorite soups, like this vegetarian butternut squash and black bean soup. You can also make these easy and delicious low-carb chicken fajitas and meal prep for the whole week!
Or what about these chicken fajita roll-ups!?
If you’re not into all of that, simply sprinkle a teaspoon or two over a couple of chicken breasts or sweet potato fries and bake! Or, whip up a batch of this Instant Pot salsa chicken and serve with spaghetti squash or baked sweet potato.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much taco seasoning do I need?
This will vary from recipe to recipe, however, most taco seasoning packets come with 2 tablespoons of seasoning.
- As a reference, per 1 pound of ground meat, as in this taco recipe, I will usually add approximately 1.5 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
How long will homemade taco seasoning stay fresh?
For peak freshness, I recommend storing your homemade taco seasoning in a jar sealed with a tight-fitting lid in a cool and dry place. Although there is not an exact “best by” date, I try to enjoy my spices within 6 months.
Do I add taco seasoning before or after cooking?
In nearly all cases, you will want to add your seasoning before cooking. Of course, this will vary from one recipe to the next, but if you plan to use it to make ground meat (beef, chicken, pork, etc) tacos, always add the taco seasoning before it has been browned.
How much water do you add to taco seasoning?
Surprise! I don’t add any water whenever I make my favorite ground beef taco recipe. The secret ingredient? Tomato sauce.
More Mexican Recipes,
If you try making this Taco Seasoning Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 4 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 3 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- Add all spices and ingredients to a medium bowl or mason jar and mix well to combine. Store all ingredients in a small, airtight container until ready to enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)