Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (2024)

I love homemade seasoning mixes so I can adjust the salt and spice levels.

This easy Taco Seasoning recipe is the perfect way to spice up your chicken or beef with ingredients you likely have in your pantry.

I keep a large batch of this taco seasoning at all times to quickly cook up tasty tacos.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (1)

For More Than Just Tacos

  • Store-bought seasoning is convenient but contains additives and lots of salt. Making your own taco seasoning at home means you can reduce the salt or add extra heat if you’d like.
  • It’s quick to make and can be doubled or tripled and stored in the pantry.

Ingredients in Taco Seasoning

It’s a blend of spices, most of which you likely have in your pantry. It’s the perfect way to season meat for tacos and beyond.

  • Chili Powder: It’s not just for chili, it adds depth, warmth, and heat. You can use mild or hot chili powder.
  • Ground Cumin: Adds a slightly nutty warm flavor
  • Garlic Powder: Adds color, sweetness, and classic taco flavor.
  • Onion Powder and Dried Oregano: Adds savory depth of flavor.
  • Seasoning: Salt & pepper can be adjusted to taste.
  • Options: A pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes add heat. A pinch of smoked paprika adds a nice smoky flavor.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (2)


  • To make a low sodium verison, 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, double check that your chili powder and other spices are gluten-free.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (3)

How Much Taco Seasoning to Use

Once you try it homemade, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought packets of taco seasoning.

  • To replace a store-bought packet, use 2 tablespoons of homemade 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

Of course, it’s great for ground beef tacos, but this DIY taco seasoning recipe can also be used for other types of tacos or as a seasoning for meat and vegetables.

  • 1 pound of ground meat: ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey
  • Sprinkle it on shrimp or chicken before grilling.

I love using this recipe to makeDorito taco saladandslow cooker chicken tacos.

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Store this taco seasoning recipe in a spice jar in a cool dry place. It will last at least 6 months. I usually prepare a triple batch so it’s ready to go whenever I need a little taco mix!

Ways to Use Taco Seasoning

5 Minute Taco Dip

Dips and Dressings

Shrimp Tacos


Taco Ring

Ground Beef

Easy Taco Salad


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

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (9)

4.91 from 282 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

This Taco Seasoning recipe is easy to make and it's just for tacos! Use it as a seasoning for meats and veggies or to add a little zip to soups and casseroles.



Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (11)

Servings 2 tablespoons

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (12)

Author Holly Nilsson



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


  • In a small bowl, add all ingredients and mix well to combine.

  • Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 6 months.

To Use:

  • To prepare ground beef tacos, add 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of seasoning mix to 1 pound of cooked ground meat (optional, add diced onions) in a large pan or skillet.

  • Add ½ cup water, mix, and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.


  • 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning is equal to one packed of store-bought 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.

4.91 from 282 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.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (13) Course Pantry, Seasonings

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (14) Cuisine American

© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

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Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (2024)


What can I use if I don't have enough taco seasoning? ›

Packet Taco Seasoning replacement: if you only want to make enough taco seasoning to replace 1 packet, use the following amounts:
  1. 1 tablespoon chili powder.
  2. ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
  3. ¼ teaspoon onion powder.
  4. Pinch of cayenne pepper.
  5. ¼ teaspoon dried oregano.
  6. ½ teaspoon paprika.
  7. 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin.
  8. 1 teaspoon salt.
Mar 16, 2021

How much taco seasoning for 1 lb of meat? ›

To use: Use about 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning for every 1 pound of meat. Use more or less depending on your preference. Brown meat and drain the fat. Add your taco seasoning along with about 1/2 cup of water.

What is taco seasoning made of? ›

Most taco seasoning mixes contain salt, warming spices (such as paprika, oregano, and chili), onion powder, and garlic powder. This top-rated recipe is made with chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper, ground paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper flakes.

What are the ingredients in Mccormick taco seasoning? ›


How to improve homemade tacos? ›

Salsa and guacamole are great, but look to mix it up with fresh radish, chicharrones, or pickled onion. A fresh, warm tortilla is made better by a crunchy counterpart.” One of Romero's favorite toppings is a morita pepper and peanut salsa, which lends a spicy, smoky, crunchy lift to any taco.

How do you season without seasoning? ›

Acids act a little like salt in that they help bring out the natural brightness of foods and work to meld flavors together. Try making a quick salad dressing with lemon juice and zest or red wine vinegar with a smidge of oil—or toss veggies and grains with citrus or vinegar to brighten them up.

How many tacos will 2 lbs of meat make? ›

Each taco shell or small soft taco-size tortilla fits about 2 ounces or 1/4 cup of meat. If you add diced onions, you could stretch a pound of ground beef to make about a dozen tacos. With just the meat and spices, you can make about 8 tacos from a pound of meat.

How much taco seasoning for 2lbs of meat? ›

Plan for about 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of meat. To season ground meat tacos, first sauté the meat until it loses its pinkish color. Then sprinkle with taco seasoning and stir to combine. Add one cup of vegetable, chicken or beef stock per pound of meat and stir to combine.

How many packets of taco seasoning per pound? ›

Each packet comes with enough powder to use with 1 lb of steak, ground beef and more.

What's the difference between Mexican seasoning and taco seasoning? ›

Mexican seasoning typically consists of a blend of traditional herbs and spices while taco seasoning is a specific blend of spices that may not be used as much in traditional Mexican dishes.

What makes tacos taste like tacos? ›

For the most classic Tex-Mex style tacos, your filling needs a base of ground beef. However, even well-seasoned versions of this popular taco ingredient can lack dimension. To give your ground taco beef an extra layer of nuance and bold flavor, consider mixing in some spicy Mexican chorizo.

What gives the taco taste? ›

Mexican Tacos: For authentic Mexican flavor, use a blend of spices that includes cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and/or onion powder. These spices will give your tacos a warm, earthy flavor and just a touch of heat.

What is El Pastor taco seasoning? ›

Ingredients. Spices (paprika, chipotle pepper*, chili pepper, and other spice), Onion Powder, Sugar, Salt, Garlic*, Corn Starch, Malic Acid. Contains 2% or less of: Vegetable Oil (canola and/or soybean oil), Silicon Dioxide (anticaking agent), Annatto Extract (color), Vinegar*.

Who makes Old El Paso taco seasoning? ›

Old El Paso is a brand of Tex-Mex-style foods from American food producer General Mills. These include dinner kits, tacos and tortillas, taco seasoning, sauces, condiments, rice, and refried beans. Pet, Inc. Old El Paso products are marketed across the globe.

What is in Ortega taco seasoning? ›

Yellow Corn Flour, Spices, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Modified Corn Starch, Onion Powder, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Caramel Color. Product formulation and packaging may change. Please refer to the product label for the most accurate information.

How do you spice up bland taco meat? ›

Ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and dried oregano: Pretty straight-forward. Paprika: I prefer to use smoked paprika, but you could also use standard or sweet paprika if you prefer. Salt and black pepper: I used fine sea salt and finely-ground black pepper for this recipe.

What can I add to taco meat to make it go further? ›

Some great ideas that you can use to bulk up your ground beef and other ground meats are:
  1. rolled oats.
  2. breadcrumbs.
  3. cream of wheat.
  4. textured vegetable protein.
  5. vegetables: grated, chopped, or processed in the food processor.
  6. cooked beans.
  7. cooked rice.
  8. cooked lentils.
Mar 26, 2020

How much water do I add to Old El Paso taco seasoning? ›

Ingredient List
  1. 1 box (12 count) Old El Paso™ taco shells.
  2. 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef.
  3. 2/3 cup (150 mL) water.
  4. 1 package (24 g) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix.

What can I substitute for paprika in taco seasoning? ›

Our favorite smoky substitutions are:
  • Chipotle chili powder (For smoked sweet paprikas)
  • Cayenne pepper powder (For hot/sharp paprikas)
  • Ancho pepper powder (For sweet paprikas)
  • Guajillo Pepper powder (For hot/sharp paprikas)
  • Chili powder (For hot/sharp paprikas)


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