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.


  • 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


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
4.90 from 231 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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. 
4.90 from 231 votes

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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Recipe Rating


  1. I made 2cups total of this, and before shaking it was so pretty, all the spices layered. I wish I could post the picture here. I think I am going to try to make it in sma spice jars, tamper down each layer, and give as party favors or christmas gifts. Recipe is tasty, I reduced the black pepper to 1/4 off the recipe.

  2. I’ve been searching for the perfect taco seasoning recipe and I’ve finally found it. We made the best tacos ever tonight and it had a lot to do with this seasoning. I’m definitely pinning this’s a keeper! Thank you!5 stars

  3. I wasn’t a huge fan of this seasoning. It tasted bland and I changed some stuff to it to make it more flavorful for my husband and I. We are huge foodies and love to eat at top restaurants around Chicago, so we don’t exactly have low standards. It’s definitely more of a bland texmex taco, pretty average.3 stars

      1. I love how homemade seasonings can be so easily adjusted to suit everyone’s taste :)

    1. This seasoning mix is really good. If your food is bland & you’re comparing it to restaurant food, you need to add more salt. Professional chefs add salt in layers & plenty of it. Acids help if you think you can’t add any more salt. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon or a dash of vinegar.5 stars

  4. This is a great recipe. Honestly one of the best I’ve tried. Made it with ground turkey. So easy. It will be my go to now when I make tacos. thanks!!!5 stars

  5. Okay, so I used all organic spices and find this is THE BEST TACO SEASONING I have tasted and cooked with. The first time I made it I kept adding it to all my meats! :-D Thank you SpendingWithPennies! <35 stars

    1. Micheal, I wonder if you tried all organic spices and if your measurements were correct… I hope you will try it again.

    2. Michael,

      I’m so sorry you had a bad experience! For me, if I eat something that is too hot, I can’t taste anything after that. I think that’s why you thought it was tasteless, because with those ingredients it couldn’t possibly be tasteless!

      Try again using seasonings you know you like…onion powder, garlic powder, chopped onion and others. Only coat a small piece of the meat you’re preparing, and test that way! If that works, great! If not, add more ingredients or delete some. Make it yours, for your tastes! Don’t forget to make notes!!!

  6. This recipe doesn’t deliver as promised. I made thinking this was a spice I could add to my cupboard after current use for taco meat. It doesn’t even make the 2 Tablespoons suggested should be added to 1 pound ground beef! I can do the math to keep proportions correct to make a bigger batch, but the recipe and article are definitely misleading as to what you get using this recipe.1 star

      1. Hahaha, I was just thinking that when I read your comment! “I can do the math” indeed!
        Just about to try this for some super bowl snacks

  7. Always amazing! Love that I can finally enjoy Tacos without dying of sugar or flour poisoning XD

    I do have a question, when it says “Serves 8.” is that 8 tacos? Thank you!5 stars

  8. I loved the flavor this gave my ground beef for tacos.. :) the only thing is the recipe only made about 2 tablespoons.. which was fine because I only wanted to try it before I made a whole bunch, which I will do.. because it tasted soooo good.. but the recipe said makes 8 servings.. I think you just need to adjust for the larger amount.. :)

    1. It makes 8 tacos. One serving here is 1 taco. You can adjust for more tacos than 8. I always quadruple the recipe so I can use it 4 times.

  9. Thank you for this! I did have almost all ingredients in the pantry even though I have almost nothing. :)5 stars

  10. This has been our go-to recipe for taco seasoning or some time – I double or triple it (or more) usually and keep it in a jar. I usually use more cumin and add some cornstarch (makes it more saucy when you add it to the taco meat), but otherwise it’s perfect.

    Note that your spice level can vary wildly depending on what kind of chili powder you use. ;)

  11. My new go-to taco seasoning! Tastes perfect and doesn’t have any fillers like every store-bought version out there!!5 stars

  12. Great seasoning, definitely better than the store bought packets. One thing I’ve learned recently is that when making your taco meat, simmer it in plain, unseasoned tomato sauce rather than (or in addition to) the water. I’ve been doing this for a while now, and the results have been great!

  13. I understand it is easy to call something “chili powder”. But the store bought stuff and even the recipe provided is just another blend. I mean look at the ingredients in these “chili powders”. Garlic powder? Onion Powder? Oregano? Cumin? Paprika? What do these have to do with a dried chili? Try ordering some New Mexico Chili Powder. It is actually just chili powder with no other ingredients. It will give a more earthy, chili flavor and allow you to add all the other ingredients in proportions you want.

    1. Hi Steve, the recipe in this post is our version of a homemade taco seasoning, which we do use a chili powder blend to make. Feel free to substitute it out for dried chili as you prefer.

  14. Did you use ground cumin or dried cumin for this taco spice recipe? I love the fact of making your own seasonings without the preservatives and other ingredients we really don’t need! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us!

  15. It was delicious! We are on a diet ant am glad I can make my own seasoning without added unnecessary ingredients.5 stars

  16. This is the second time I am returning to make your taco seasoning—its that good and my family loves it! Thank you for figuring out the combination of spices and posting it.5 stars