With our homemade taco seasoning recipe, you’ll be making the best tacos of your life! In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it’ll make you never want another store-bought packet mix again!
I love tacos! Beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, fish… You name it, chances are I’ll put it in a taco.
But the taco seasoning packets in the stores bother me. They are either too hot, not hot enough, or just taste a little funky. Add to that the fact that some of them don’t even tell you what spices they use in the mix. They only tell you the chemicals they added (and they don’t tell you what all of those chemicals are for).
Recently this has become an issue for me and my family. We want to know what’s in our food. So, we decided to do something about it by making our own homemade taco seasoning.
Why You Should Make Your Own Homemade Taco Seasoning
There are a few reasons why making your own taco seasoning makes sense.
- Control what ingredients go into the mix. Buy from a reputable supplier to ensure you’re using high quality spices that aren’t going to break the bank.
- Adjust the flavor to suit your family’s preferences. More pepper? Less salt? Hotter? Less cumin? Do with it what you want!
- Make small or large batches. Once you have your ingredients, you can make as large a batch as you want. Great if you eat a lot of Mexican-inspired dishes that call for taco seasoning.
- Absolutely no additives, preservatives, or artificial colors. Unlike the store-bought stuff, you won’t have any “fillers” and unnecessary chemicals.
Our homemade taco seasoning recipe just tastes better than store-bought. Plus, it’s Gluten-Free, Keto, Whole 30, and Paleo friendly!
What’s In Our Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe?
Exactly what spices make up our homemade taco seasoning?
We like to start with fresh spices from Azure Standard. All of the spices used are normal everyday pantry items. You will most likely have all of the ingredients you need to make this homemade taco seasoning recipe at home!
You can add or remove as much of each spice as you like. Make it your own however you like. This is just a base recipe that may or may not be to your family’s liking.
- Chili Powder – The base of any taco seasoning recipe. Gives a bit of heat and a slight smoky flavor.
- Ground Cumin – Signature nutty warm flavor with a hint of spice.
- Garlic Powder – Brings a delightfully aromatic taste that garlic-lovers look for in a recipe.
- Onion Powder – A mild onion flavor that you won’t want to leave out even if you’re not a huge fan of onions.
- Dried Oregano – Adds an earthy and light spice, but with subtly sweet flavoring. I recommend using Mexican Oregano if you can find it.
- Smoked Paprika – You can use regular paprika for a lighter smokey flavor, but why? Paprika also lends color the taco seasoning.
- Salt and Black Pepper – A finishing touch to the taste of the mix.
- Optional Additions – As with any recipe, I recommend trying it as written first. If you’re looking for more spice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (or both). You could also add more black pepper or even some additional white pepper (which is spicier than black pepper, to me). If you don’t want it to be as spicy, just omit the pepper altogether.
How to Make Taco Seasoning
How you make this depends solely on how much you need. If you only want it for one meal, make the recipe as written. We’re giving you the measurements for a single batch (3 Tbsp) of taco seasoning (used to make 1 pound of taco meat). If you want more, it’s easy enough to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. Make as much as you like!
That said, let’s make the Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix!
Measure Your Ingredients
Measure out your chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt and black pepper into a mixing bowl.
Whisk It Together
Using a wire whisk, blend all of the spices together.
Some people will tell you to put all the spices into the jar and shake to mix. You can do this, but I put them into a bowl and stir with a whisk. This assures that if there are any clumps, you can break them up for a better distribution.
But it’s all up to you. Whatever works best for you is what you should do.
Store for Later
Store your homemade taco mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. We keep ours in a Mason jar and add an old Parmesan lid so we can shake or scoop the mix as we need. If you’ve made a larger batch, you could add an oxygen absorber to the container to help it stay dry and fresh.
Honestly, if you get a 100 pack of oxygen absorbers, you can use them in any of your dehydrated or homemade spice mixes. They’re VERY handy to keep around the homestead kitchen, and they’re super affordable.
Variations on Homemade Taco Seasoning
As I said before, you can make this mix to suit your family’s taste buds. Add more of this and less of that, or add something else completely. What you add and/or take away changes the overall flavor of the seasoning, so be sure you’re not removing the “Mexican” flavor signature to tacos.
How to Make a Milder Taco Mix
To make this mixture to be a little milder, reduce the amount of black pepper, or leave it out completely.
How to Make Spicier Taco Seasoning
Looking for more bite to your mix? Add red pepper flakes, cayenne powder, or a finer ground black or white pepper.
How to Make Low-Sodium Taco Spice Mix
To make this seasoning low-sodium, reduce the amount of salt, or leave it out altogether. Also, chili powder typically contains salt, so make sure you’re getting a salt-free blend for the low-sodium recipe.
How to Add More of a Smoky Flavor
If you’re wanting more of a smoky flavor, add additional smoked paprika or 1 teaspoon of ground chipotle.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Measuring Spoons & Cups
- Small Mixing Bowl
- Mason Jar w/ Lid
- 4 tsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Dried Oregano
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Ground Pepper
- Using a whisk, mix all ingredients well in a bowl.
- Pour into a jar with shaker lid.
- Store covered in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
- We use a whisk to combine the ingredients to make sure there are no lumps, but you can just add the ingredients into a Mason jar and shake, if you like.
How Much Taco Seasoning is in a Packet?
The recipe I have provided will make about as much as a single store-bought packet of taco seasoning (3 Tbsp). You can increase the amounts and make a larger batch to scoop out as you need, or put it in a shaker for other applications.
How to Use Your Homemade Taco Seasoning
Brown, drain and rinse 1 pound of ground beef. Add 3 tablespoons of the homemade taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water to ground beef. Stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat. (We also add a cup of salsa to our taco meat.)
Also use your homemade taco seasoning in:
- Doritos Taco Salad (pictured above) (Note: Jessie and Mac love to add ranch dressing to their taco salad using our Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix!)
- Taco Pie (one of Mac’s absolute favorite meals)
- Shredded Mexican Chicken (From Mama Kat’s Texas)
- Cilantro Lime Rice & Sauce (From Mama Kat’s Texas)
- Soups or Stews
- Salads and Salad Dressings
- As a rub for chicken, pork or beef
- Turkey Enchiladas – just omit the spices in the recipe and add 3 tablespoons of the taco seasoning.
- Tater Tot Casserole (make taco meat instead of just adding ground beef, then sprinkle on top of the tots at the end)
- Seven Layer Taco Dip
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
Storing Your Homemade Taco Seasoning
How to Store Taco Seasoning
Store your spices in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. You’ll extend the life of the mix by doing this one simple thing.
How Long Does Taco Seasoning Last?
Provided you’re storing it properly, the homemade taco seasoning will last up to 6 months.
What Will You Make with The Absolute BEST Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix?
Feel free to leave me some of your favorite recipes in the comments below. I would love to try yours!
Also, check out my friend Dusty’s Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix!
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Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.