Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning is quick and easy to make with all-natural ingredients that YOU get to control...perfect for your favorite tacos or Mexican food recipes!

Homemade Taco Seasoning with text overlay.

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A few tasty and unique recipes using this Homemade Taco Seasoning include Taco Pasta Skillet, Hot Taco Dip, and Mexican Meatloaf Muffins! And for more from-scratch seasoning blends, you may want to try Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix or Lemon Pepper Seasoning!

Homemade Taco Seasoning is one of the very first recipes I ever shared when Five Heart Home was an itty-bitty baby blog almost five years ago. So seeing as how this is one of my personal all-time favorite, most-often-made recipes -- and seeing as how I have since shared a ton of other recipes that call for taco seasoning -- I thought it might be time for a revamp! From updated tips and tricks to new photos to a spiffy new recipe video, you'll find it all below.

Ingredients

My delicious Homemade Taco Seasoning is a blend of the following:

Overhead shot of labeled spices or ingredients.

A few notes about the ingredients...

  • The chili powder used is the American blend of spices that you can find in the spice aisle labeled "chili powder." It is not overly spicy.
  • I prefer using Mexican oregano if I have it, but regular ol' Mediterranean oregano will work just fine.
  • My original taco seasoning recipe called for crushed red pepper flakes. However, in recent years, I've started using a little chipotle chile pepper powder instead. They both add heat, but I like the touch of smokiness that chipotle chile pepper powder contributes.
  • The crushed red pepper flakes or chipotle chile pepper powder may be omitted entirely for mild taco seasoning.
  • Another way to control the spiciness of this seasoning is by increasing or decreasing the black pepper.
  • For smoky flavor without the heat, you may substitute smoked paprika for about half of the regular paprika.
  • I use fine sea salt in my seasoning blends. Redmond Real Sea Salt is my favorite brand, which explains the pinkish hue of the salt in the ingredient shot above. 😉
  • Cornstarch is another optional ingredient not pictured above. It causes the taco seasoning to really cling to the meat when the water is added and reduced down. Instead of 3 tablespoons cornstarch per batch of taco seasoning, you could instead use ⅓ cup flour to achieve the same thickening effect. But if you don't use cornstarch or flour, the step of adding and then cooking down the water is probably not necessary.

Mason jar of Taco Seasoning with colorful ceramic measuring spoons.

Why Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

If you haven't started making your own DIY taco seasoning yet, the time is now!

  1. It's easy.
  2. It's economical.
  3. Since you are in control of the ingredients, you get to avoid the excessive salt, MSG, preservatives, and other unsavory additives often found in store bought taco seasoning!
  4. I go through a lot of taco seasoning in my kitchen, folks. So for me, the other advantage of throwing together my own mix is that I can make it in bulk.
  5. A final plus to making your taco seasoning is that you can tweak the spices or the proportions to your liking. Adjust the cumin or decrease the salt, if you wish. Make it mild or make it spicy. The choice is yours!

My family loooves our Tex-Mex! So whether I'm whipping up beef or chicken tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chalupas, or some version of a Mexican skillet or casserole, having a big jar of homemade taco seasoning in the pantry makes getting dinner on the table that much quicker (and healthier!).

Whisking ingredients together in a bowl.

How Many Servings in a Batch

This recipe makes the equivalent of about eight of those little packets from the grocery store. Those packets get expensive, so making your own Homemade Taco Seasoning actually ends up being more economical!

Stored in an airtight jar or container, a batch of this recipe will last a long time. If you don't use taco seasoning all that often, you might want to cut the recipe in half...but I use this mix so frequently that I usually double the recipe.

Spices combined in a bowl.

How to Make It

It really is as simple as measure and stir, y'all!

Since I'm regularly whipping up a batch of Homemade Taco Seasoning, I actually printed out the ingredient list and taped it right to my spice shaker. Now when my shaker is empty, I can just look at the label, measure the ingredients into a bowl, whisk them up, and pour them right back into the shaker!

Taco Seasoning in a spice shaker with label of ingredients.

How Much Taco Seasoning to Use

I would say that three tablespoons of this homemade spice blend is equivalent to one store-bought packet of taco seasoning mix.

So when I'm seasoning a pound of ground beef or turkey -- or using this mix in a recipe that calls for a packet of taco seasoning -- I use three tablespoons.

That being said, you can certainly use less if you prefer. You might want to start out by seasoning your pound o' meat with 2 tablespoons of Homemade Taco Seasoning and then adding more to taste.

Ground beef tacos made with homemade taco seasoning.

So go forth and make Homemade Taco Seasoning! It's an effortless, homemade pantry staple that will make you wonder why you ever bought the packaged stuff (and pssst...you may never buy it again?)!

Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • Since I use Homemade Taco Seasoning as a seasoning in so many other recipes (and not just to make tacos), I typically make it without cornstarch (or flour).
  • I used to store my taco seasoning in a mason jar. But then I found a set of reuseable 1-cup spice containers on Amazon. They fit neatly in the spice cabinet holding my various homemade seasonings, and I especially like them because one side is a shaker and the other side opens up to fit a measuring spoon. I make spiffy matching labels for them using my beloved label maker.
  • Finally, I find it helpful to use a small kitchen funnel when transferring my taco seasoning from the bowl to the spice shaker.
Spoonful of Homemade Taco Seasoning.

Recipes that use Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning in mason jar with ceramic measuring spoons.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning is quick and easy to make with all-natural ingredients that YOU get to control...perfect for your favorite tacos or Mexican food recipes!
Course: Seasonings
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 48 servings -- a full batch (about 8 ounces) is approximately equivalent to 8 store-bought packets of taco seasoning, and there are 6 individual servings per packet
Calories: 3kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup cumin
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (OR Mexican oregano)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (OR chipotle chile pepper powder), OPTIONAL (for heat)
  • 3 tablespoons salt, I prefer using fine sea salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons black pepper, depending on desired heat level
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, OPTIONAL (see Notes below)

Instructions

To Make Bulk Taco Seasoning:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, red pepper flake (OR chipotle powder), salt, pepper, and cornstarch (if using) until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container for up to one year.

To Use the Taco Seasoning:

  • Brown one pound of ground beef (or ground turkey or shredded chicken, etc.). Drain any grease and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning over meat, or to taste. Stir in ½ cup water, bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed.

Video

Notes

The cornstarch in this recipe is optional. It causes the taco seasoning to really cling to the meat when the water is added and reduced down. Or, instead of 3 tablespoons cornstarch for this batch of taco seasoning, you could instead use ⅓ cup flour to achieve the same thickening effect. If you don't add cornstarch or flour to your taco seasoning, the step of adding and then cooking down the water is not necessary unless you just prefer doing so. I typically leave out any cornstarch or flour and keep my taco seasoning "plain."

Nutrition

Calories: 3kcal | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 7mg | Vitamin A: 85IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!
Homemade Taco Seasoning | FiveHeartHome.com

Post originally published on June 14, 2014, and updated April 24, 2018.
↓↓↓The original photo from that post
↓↓↓


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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. It's easy to make and use. I use it for tacos, fajitas, steak burritos, etc. Adding the Cornstarch makes the spices cling to the meat and eliminates a runny mess on your plate when you are enjoying your meal.

  2. 5 stars
    This is very similar to a recipe I use for chicken tacos. I coat both sides of some thighs and put them on a hot grill for 5-7 min per side, chop the thighs and place in a bowl, then let sit for 5 minutes before using tongs to toss them around. You can use in tacos or salad.

    1. So happy to hear that, Brandi! I love combining smoked paprika with regular paprika...adds just the perfect amount of smokiness. 🙂

  3. This is the best recipe for taco ‘meat’ that I’ve ever eaten. I became vegetarian the end of November, 2017. I missed tacos so much. I’ve tried ‘meat alternatives’ and there’s no comparison to this! I LOVE this! Wow, I can’t say enough about it and have told everyone about it (even the grocery cashier, ha). The taco seasoning is also SO, so good! Thank you so much for taking the time to develop this recipe.

  4. WAY too salty for us - at least using kosher salt.
    Followed to a T.
    I'd suggest making it without salt and adding to taste as you cook the meat.

    1. Hi Ann! I'm sorry to hear that. I've never made this taco seasoning using kosher salt, so I can't speak to the results. But as I mentioned in the post, you can definitely tweak any of the ingredient proportions to your liking, which is one of my favorite things about making homemade seasoning blends! 🙂

    1. Hi Patty! I apologize for my delayed reply. Regular table salt works great in this recipe. I actually use sea salt, which you can see in the photo of the spices above (the pinkish-white pile), but any fine (not coarse) salt will measure the same. 🙂

      1. FYI table salt and sea salt or Kosher salt do not measure the same. Your food will be under or over salty if you substitute equal amounts of one for the other.

        1. Right, Kosher salt definitely measures differently than regular table salt! I use Redmond Real Salt *fine* sea salt, which does measure the same as table salt. Coarse sea salt, on the other hand, would measure more like Kosher salt. 🙂

  5. I have made this taco seasoning to accompany the chicken and black bean tacos countless times and they are so FABULOUS! Thank you. 🙂 Happy holidays to you.

    1. It is 3 tablespoons, since this homemade recipe is equivalent to 8 batches of taco seasoning. If you wish to reduce the salt, however, you may certainly do so!

    2. 5 stars
      Oh my gosh! This is truly the best taco seasoning EVER. I did add more chipotle powder, & substituted white pepper for the black. We like things spicy! And, definitely use Mexican oregano if possible; so much more flavorful than regular. Thanks for the recipe!