This easy Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe is the perfect way to spice up your chicken or beef!

Making your own taco seasoning mix allows you to control what ingredients go into it (and control the salt and spice levels). It takes just minutes to make and you likely have all of the ingredients you need on hand!

jar of Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix with a spoon full

A Homemade Seasoning (for More Than Just Tacos)!

  • Store-bought seasoning is easy and tastes delicious, but it can be loaded with additives and can be too salty (and the flavor can’t compare to homemade taco mix)!
  •  It is easily customizable to suit your family’s tastes. Reduced the salt or add extra heat if you’d like.
  • This homemade taco seasoning recipe is really fast to make and can be doubled or tripled.

Homemade Taco Seasoning ingredients in metal cups

Ingredients in Taco Seasoning

So, exactly what is in taco seasoning? It’s a blend of spices, most of which you likely have in your pantry.

Chili Powder makes up the largest portion and adds a southwestern flavor. It’s great in the mixture but also for soups and of course chili recipes.

Ground cumin adds a slightly nutty warm flavor while onion and garlic powder are the aromatics in this recipe. A pinch of cayenne pepper adds heat.

Dried oregano, salt, and black pepper are included in this taco seasoning. I sometimes add a little sweet paprika or smoked paprika (1/2 teaspoon) if I have it on hand.

Variations

  • Add less salt (or no salt) based on your dietary needs.
  • To make mild taco seasoning, leave out the cayenne pepper and/or chili flakes.
  • To make it spicy, double the cayenne or add other dried chili peppers to your liking.

Since this is made from spices, it’s naturally gluten free (just make sure your chili powder and all spices are GF).

Ingredients for Homemade Taco Seasoning on a wooden plate

How Much Taco Seasoning to Use

Once you make it, you will never want to go back to store-bought taco seasoning.

  • 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning is equal to one packet of taco seasoning.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning for 1 pound of ground beef. Add 1/2 cup of water with the seasoning and let it simmer.
  • Options:  Add 1/2 diced onion to the meat while browning. Once browned, stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste or a diced tomato if you’d like.

Other Way to Use Taco Seasoning Mix

This spice blend is perfect for your Mexican-inspired dishes (like tacos) but it can be used for so many other dishes in the kitchen. Whether it’s weeknight chicken tacos, or fajita Friday, skip the seasoning packet and make your own.

Use it on any of the following:

  • 1 pound of ground meat: ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey
  • Pork or chicken cutlets. Try it on shrimp before grilling.
  • Stir it into sauteed veggies.
  • Add it to creamy pasta sauces
  • Use it as popcorn seasoning for a delicious treat!

I love using this recipe to make Dorito Taco Salad and Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos.

mixed Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix with a spoon

Storage

Homemade taco seasoning will last 6 months stored in a cool, dry place like your spice cupboard! I use cute little spice jars found on Amazon to keep my spices, but check the dollar store or use a small mason jar.

I usually make a triple batch so it’s ready to go whenever I need a little taco mix!

Favorite Recipes made with Taco Seasoning!

Did you enjoy this Homemade Taco Seasoning? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Homemade Taco Seasoning in a clear jar
4.9 from 175 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

I love Taco Seasoning! It’s not JUST for Tacos! I use this DIY Taco Seasoning Recipe to add a little zip to items like soups and casseroles.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper optional

Instructions 

  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Store in an airtight container. for up to 6 months in a cool dry place.

To Use:

  • For tacos add 2 tablespoons (or more taste) to 1 pound of cooked ground meat (optional, add diced onions) in a large pan or skillet
  • Add ½ cup water and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.

Notes

  • 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning is equal to one packet of taco seasoning.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning for 1 pound of ground beef. Add 1/2 cup of water with the seasoning and let it simmer.
  • Options:  Add 1/2 diced onion to the meat while browning. Once browned, stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste or a diced tomato if you'd like.
Tuck the taco meat into taco shells or tortillas and top with your favorite toppings like lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. 
4.9 from 175 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2.25tablespoons | Calories: 24 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 655mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1293IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I think this is a great recipe but I don’t have any cumin….what do you suggest? Can I just increase the chili powder?5 stars

    1. Hi Ashleigh, cumin is a big part of the flavor in this seasoning. You can leave it out if you don’t have it on hand but it will change the flavor!

    2. Ashleigh, I can’t think of anything that replaces cumin. I strongly suggest you buy some ground cumin and keep it in your kitchen for this and many other recipes; It is easily in my top five favorite spaces and, again, IMO, irreplaceable in recipes for which it is called.

    3. If you don’t have cumin try tumeric. My guess though is if you don’t stock cumin it’s doubtful your spice shelf will bare any tumeric. Fingers crossed.

  2. Love this recipe! Will never buy packets again. Would like it if you could offer
    multiplier for larger quantities. Will make 5-10 times more and freeze for future use.
    Thank you for posting.

  3. Hi!!! I made this and stepped out of the kitchen to help my 10m old and my 3 year old dump the whole thing in my already browned meat. I see that you say to use 2 table spoons for tacos. We have 1 pound of meat…….. should I start over?

    1. Hi Katie, I would taste test and see how it goes. That is definitely going to be some flavorful meat! If it was already browned, you could maybe try rinsing it to get some of the spices off.

  4. The taco seasoning and chicken recipe is stellar. My husband is one of the pickiest eaters. He really liked your recipe. He even would like to make it in advance and freeze it. I really enjoyed it too. Simple and a great flavor. Better than a restaurant and a lot heathier!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing this.5 stars

    1. I’d say that’ll work just fine Karrie! I’d replace the onion powder with 3-4 times the amount of onion flakes. Enjoy!

    2. I have grinded onion flakes as a substitute for onion powerder in many dishes. I don’t think it will be a problem. Just give it a try. Have fun!

      1. HI,
        How much of your recipe equals 1 packet of store bought taco seasoning?
        Thank you for sharing your culinary talents.
        Helen

  5. Haven’t tried pancake mix yet, but will asap. Don’t like” just add water mixes”- they are less tasty, and sometimes rubbery. Thx5 stars

  6. NEVER will I EVER buy taco seasoning packets again! This recipe is amazing ! It can be tweaked to any liking but it is fabulous on its own. I used it in the Beef Enchilada Casserole recipe also from this site and the dish was a hit ! I had no leftovers what so ever and one of my guests used a few chips to scrape the bottom of the pan ! Thanks for posting this5 stars

  7. Excellent taste; if you like it less spicy I would say add a little less than instructed. Otherwise it was excellent.5 stars

  8. Holly

    Perfect for taco beef mince…… and surprisingly good seasoning for a bbq pork chop‼️

    THANKS‼️

  9. It is a great recipe but making it X4 allows to use it several times instead of making it just for the day you need it. The measurements listed are really just one use. (about 2 T)5 stars

  10. Awesome alternative to buying premixed. I had everything I need to make it and it helps my spices rotate out! (Some tend to only get used periodically and just sit)5 stars

  11. Holly, how much of the homemade taco seasoning do you use in place of one packsge of store bought envelope of seasoning?

    1. I have only made the recipe as written. It may change the taste a little, but you could try parsley if you prefer. Enjoy!