This is the absolute BEST Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe that you’ll ever make! Ready in less than 5 minutes and made with a handful of simple spices, use it to season all your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes like tacos, chicken, enchiladas, and soup!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Homemade taco seasoning is a must-have in my pantry at all times. It’s simple to make and it tastes amazing with so many things! My family’s favorite? Ground beef tacos, but equally delicious as a seasoning for baked chicken or pan-seared shrimp. Besides, making your own is 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).
Jokes aside, this awesome spice mix is gluten-free, preservative-free, and msg-free!
What is in Taco Seasoning
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 role in many seasoning blends. 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 taco meat, 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: Typically one of the more prominent spices in taco seasoning. Absolutely essential to the overall flavor of taco seasoning it 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Salt: When I originally made my first batch of homemade seasoning, I added too much salt.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.)
If you love spicy tacos, feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper or an additional teaspoon or two of crushed red pepper to your spice blend.
What to Make with Taco Seasoning
It’s also really delicious blended into or added to casseroles and soup, like this vegetarian butternut squash and black bean soup or this taco 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
Most taco seasoning packets contain 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix.
Per pound of ground meat, you will need approximately 1.5 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
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.
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.
Assuming that the seasoning is being used for tacos, you may be surprised to learn that no water is needed. Whenever I make my favorite ground beef taco recipe I add about a half cup of tomato sauce in place of water.
Have you tried making this taco seasoning recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
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 your diy taco seasoning in a small, airtight container in a cool dry place. For best results, use within 6 months.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)