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I’ve been making my own homemade taco seasoning recipe for a long time (most often for taco salad), but prior to that, I searched for them in stores. Unfortunately, the options I found were filled with chemicals and sugar, and the few that weren’t were expensive. So, to learn how to make my own taco seasoning, I looked at the packaging of several store-bought brands to identify common themes. Then I came up with the best DIY taco seasoning ingredients below!
This recipe also holds a special place in my heart: It’s the first one I published after I left my software engineering job (back in 2018) to work on Wholesome Yum full-time. I also loved it so much that I included it in my first cookbook. Years later, I’m still so grateful that I get to call this my job.
I’ve used this taco seasoning mix in dozens of recipes since then — see ideas for using it below! And if you’re a fan of homemade healthy seasonings like this one, don’t miss my zesty lemon pepper seasoning (great for chicken), Montreal seasoning for steak, Cajun seasoning, and homemade fajita seasoning.
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- Warm, spicy, and smoky
- Simple seasoning with common ingredients
- No artificial ingredients, starches, fillers, and preservatives
- Takes just 5 minutes
- Easy to store for a long time
- Naturally gluten-free
- More affordable (and I’d say more delicious) than store-bought taco seasoning
- Perfect for all kinds of Mexican recipes
What Is In Taco Seasoning?
This section explains how to choose the best DIY taco seasoning ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chili Powder – The main ingredient in this seasoning blend.
- Ground Cumin – Adds an intense, smoky flavor. It works to balance the sweetness and heat of the other spices.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Smoked Paprika – I have not seen smoked paprika in a store-bought packet, but always use it in mine because I believe it tastes better. Feel free to use regular sweet paprika if you want to.
- Dried Oregano – You can replace this with Mexican oregano, dried coriander, or dried cilantro if you prefer those flavors.
- Garlic Powder – Enhances the savory flavor.
- Onion Powder – Gives an earthy, slightly sweet flavor and adds depth to the mixture.
- Cayenne Pepper – The level of pepper in this mix is mild overall. If you like a spicier blend, you can double the amount or add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
Does taco seasoning have salt?
Yes, taco seasoning blend does include salt.
Because most store-bought mixes have salt and I wanted it to replace those 1:1 in any recipe, I included salt in my homemade version of this spice mix. If you are trying to reduce your sodium intake, you can omit the salt or reduce the amount.
How To Make Taco Seasoning
Stir all the taco seasoning recipe ingredients together in a small bowl, then transfer to an airtight container or small glass jar.
TIP: Shake right in your storage container to save on dishes.
If you don’t want to dirty extra dishes, you can place the seasonings right into a mason jar, cover it, and give it a good shake.
How Much Taco Seasoning Per Pound Of Meat?
Use 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat, such as ground beef or pork, shredded chicken, or shrimp.
Most pre-made packets recommend this, and I developed this homemade taco seasoning recipe to match, so that you can easily replace store-bought in any recipe.
My easy taco seasoning recipe makes a fairly large batch, because I think it’s annoying to make it every time I need it. It makes enough for 3 pounds of meat, which is usually three separate meals at our house. If you have a larger family, or if you want to make it even less often, feel free to double, triple or even quadruple it.
What Is Taco Seasoning Used For?
Taco seasoning can add zesty flavor to many Mexican dishes, including taco meat, chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and more.
Here are a few ways to use it:
- Ground Beef – The most common way to use taco seasoning is for ground beef tacos! Brown a pound of ground beef in a skillet, then add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Cook until the extra liquid absorbs into the meat. Warm your favorite tortillas (I prefer almond flour tortillas or even cheese taco shells), then stuff them with the taco meat and toppings, like fresh salsa, shredded cheese, avocado (or guacamole), shredded lettuce, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.
- Chicken – Sprinkle it on before baking chicken breasts or season shredded chicken before using in other dishes.
- Taco Salad – My most popular recipe that uses this spice mixture! Tens of thousands of readers have made it and it gets rave reviews.
- Other Taco-Flavored Dishes – Of course, you can use this recipe for any taco inspired dishes such as layered taco dip, 5-ingredient taco soup, baked taco casserole (or low carb taco casserole), or swap out the fajita seasoning in shrimp fajitas (or any kind of sheet pan fajitas).
- Vegetables – Give your veggies a taco kick. Try this taco seasoning recipe on your sauteed broccoli, garlicky sauteed zucchini, or crisp-tender air fryer cauliflower.
More Easy Homemade Seasoning Recipes
Taco meat seasoning is just the beginning! There are plenty of other homemade seasoning recipes to try:
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (5 Minutes!)
Learn how to make homemade taco seasoning in 5 minutes! This taco seasoning recipe uses simple pantry ingredients and tastes better than store-bought.
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes!
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Stir all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.
How to use taco seasoning mix:
Brown the ground beef (or other meat) first. Then, add 2 tbsp (28 g) seasoning and 1/2 cup (120 mL) water per pound of meat. Simmer until the extra liquid evaporates or absorbs into the meat.
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Serving size: 1/2 tbsp
- Recipe from The Easy Keto Cookbook.
- Recipe makes approximately 6 tbsp total. Use 2 tbsp per 1 lb meat, with no additional salt – more details in the post above. Serving size is for enough seasoning for 1/4 lb of meat, which would be 1/2 tbsp seasoning.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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