Homemade Taco Seasoning
This taco seasoning recipe takes just minutes to make, using spices that you probably have in your kitchen. This homemade taco seasoning mix tastes so much better than the packets from the store!
One of the first packaged foods that I eliminated from my family’s diet (we’re going back a few years here) was store-bought taco seasoning. Yes, those little taco seasoning packets from the store are convenient, but their ingredient lists often contain some questionable items. I’d much rather take a few minutes to mix together some spices from my spice drawer, so I know exactly what’s in my taco seasoning.
This recipe is quick and easy to make, and it makes the best taco meat, chicken tacos, and more. Once you mix together the spices, your DIY taco seasoning will stay fresh for months so that you can use it in your favorite taco recipes. Below you’ll find a list of my favorite recipes to use your homemade taco seasoning.
Why you’ll love this Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe:
- It takes less than 5 minutes to make, using ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen already.
- It’s healthier than many of the store bought seasoning packets, and tastes better, too.
- You can customize the recipe to suit your tastes, making it more or less spicy by adjusting the amount and type of chili powder.
- You can use this taco seasoning in so many healthy meals, such as burrito bowls, chicken tacos, taco salad and roasted sweet potatoes.
I have a few other homemade spice mix recipes that I make regularly, including this pumpkin pie spice substitute and this gingerbread spice mix, both of which are favorites during the fall and holiday seasons. Once you start making your own spice blends, you won’t want to go back to store bought.
I’ve been making this taco seasoning recipe for years – it’s one of my staple recipes that I make often. I always keep a batch of this homemade taco seasoning on hand. Sometimes I use it in my favorite taco recipe, crockpot chicken tacos, or taco soup.
This taco seasoning has a little heat but it’s not too spicy. Making your own taco seasoning from scratch allows you to customize your spice blend to your tastes. You can add more or less chili powder or cayenne to this recipe. You can also use mild or hot chili powder depending on how spicy you like your meals. If you don’t care for a specific spice in this taco seasoning recipe, or if you have an allergy, you can leave it out.
I decided to leave salt and black pepper out of my seasoning, and instead I season my taco meat to taste after cooking. This homemade taco seasoning recipe has plenty of flavor from herbs and spices, so you won’t miss the extra salt found in the little packets from the store.
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
- Chili Powder: I use mild chili powder because my kids don’t like too much spice. Try adding a little chipotle chili powder for lots of smoky spice.
- Paprika: You can use sweet paprika or smoked paprika, depending on your preference.
- Cayenne Pepper: This recipe uses just a small amount as cayenne is spicy.
- Ground Cumin: Cumin is a common, earthy spice that is often used in Mexican cuisine.
- Onion Powder & Garlic Powder: Onion powder and garlic powder are often used in spice mixes and add mild onion flavor and mil garlic flavor, respectively.
- Dried Oregano: Dried oregano adds another layer of flavor. While it’s often used in Italian cuisine, oregano is also commonly used in chili and Mexican dishes.
The freshness of your spices will determine the freshness of your taco seasoning, so check the expiration dates before you mix the ingredients together.
How to Make Taco Seasoning
This taco seasoning couldn’t be simpler to make:
- Combine the taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
- Use a small whisk or spoon to mix the spices together until everything is well combined.
- Use right away or store in an airtight container.
How much Taco Seasoning per pound of meat
Use 2 heaping tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground beef or ground turkey. To make taco meat, first brown the ground meat in a large skillet. Then add the taco seasoning and 1 cup of water. Cook at a low simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. After cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to Store Homemade Taco Seasoning
You can store your homemade taco seasoning in a labeled zip-top bag or other sealed container. I like to use these small Weck jars to store my spice mixes.
Store taco seasoning in a cool, dry place, at room temperature. I keep mine in a drawer in my kitchen where I store the rest of my spices.
When the jar is running low, I make another batch of taco seasoning right away so I’ll have it ready the next time I need it. It keeps for quite a while when sealed airtight in a cool, dry place. I usually use mine up within a couple of months but it will be good for about a year, or for as long as the individual spices would be fresh.
Recipes that use Taco Seasoning
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- To make taco meat, use 2 heaping tablespoons taco seasoning per pound of meat. Brown the meat, add in the taco seasoning and 1 cup of water, and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
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