I can get my kids to eat almost anything with ketchup or homemade ranch dressing on top… or if I season it with taco seasoning! In fact, I know many moms who keep taco seasoning packets on hand to use in the thousands of kid-friendly ways suggested by Pinterest.
I lived in Texas for much of my life and I fell in love with the flavors of both Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican cuisine. This taco seasoning mix is a family favorite recipe we’ve carefully perfected over many years.
Ground beef, chicken, eggs, or even a veggie scramble… it’s all better with this taco seasoning on top!
Why Make Homemade Taco Seasoning?
Why go through the trouble of making your own seasoning mix when you can buy it at the store? Here are a few reasons I like doing it:
- Perk #1: You get more for your money. If you’ve ever bought taco seasoning packets from the grocery store, this is a simple and cost effective switch you can make right away. Store-bought taco seasoning is crazy overpriced for the two tablespoons of actual spices it contains. It also often contains things like MSG, anti-caking agents, and artificial colors or flavors. Buying spices in bulk saves money and skips the cheap fillers and harmful additives.
- Perk #2: It’s easy. This homemade version is so easy to make with almost no prep time! The total time to make up a big batch is about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container (I love my mason jars for this) and store away from heat and light to have it on hand for months to come. No more running to the store because you’re out of taco seasoning!
- Perk #3: You can control the spice level. Leave out a little of the cayenne pepper to cut the heat or double down on the cumin for a more smoky and savory approach. The gentle blend of flavors is great with much more than just tacos though. Add it to scrambled eggs, mayo, stir-frys, soups, and even salad dressings! Since kids usually don’t love spicy foods, I make this a mild taco seasoning and give the adults a grinder with red pepper flakes or bottle of hot sauce at the table.
How to Make Your Own Taco Seasoning Recipe
When you make taco mix yourself, you’ll find it is incredibly easy! You only need a few basic spices:
- chili powder (here’s how to make your own)
- garlic powder
- onion powder (here’s how to make your own)
- oregano leaf
- Himalayan salt or sea salt (optional)
- black pepper
Measure in the ratios below, mix in a small bowl or mason jar, and store for use! It’s that easy. This recipe should give you a starting point but feel free to adapt it to your family’s tastes and make your own “secret” recipe.
Taco-Inspired Recipes to Try
I use the spices above in many other recipes, so it’s great to have the option of using them on their own or combining them into various homemade seasonings (see the whole list of my favorite spice mixes below).
We use our DIY taco seasoning the most in:
- taco meat (obviously) – because we love tacos!
- as a sub for fajita seasoning
- sprinked over eggs
- with ground turkey or beef in a meat and veggie scramble
- in an easy taco soup (taco meat + leftover veggies + broth + squeeze of lime)
- to season chili
- with ground chicken and veggies in a lettuce wrap
- as a tasty addition to this Crock Pot chicken recipe
- to season fish tacos
I’m sure the options are endless (not all of them good… I’ve seen some of the kitchen experiments my kids come up with!). If you have other ideas, please drop a comment and let me know!
How to Substitute Homemade Taco Seasoning for Packets
Use 2-3 tablespoons of this spice + ¼ cup of water per pound of meat. Add the spice and water while the meat is browning and cook on medium-high heat until the water has evaporated and the meat is fully cooked.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
Yield 3/4 cup
Homemade taco seasoning is simple and cost effective to make and easily takes the place of store bought seasoning packets for quick meals.
- Combine all the spices in a jar and shake well.
- Store in an airtight jar for up to six months.
Use 2-3 tablespoons of this spice + ¼ cup of water per pound of meat. Add the spice and water while the meat is browning and cook on medium high heat until the water has evaporated and the meat is fully cooked.
Serving Size 1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.3 g
Sodium 42 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Sugars 0.5 g
Protein 0.3 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Want to make other spices too?
Check out my full list of spices you can make at home with basic ingredients to overhaul your spice cabinet today! You’ll love it because the flavor of fresh, homemade spice blends is incredible and you’ll save money too!
What are your favorite seasonings?