Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (Secret Family Favorite)

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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! 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 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 blend on top!

Why Make Homemade Taco Seasoning?

Why go through the trouble of making your own seasoning mix when you can buy a packet of taco seasoning 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 store-bought packets, 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, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavors. For those with food sensitivities or allergies, you can also avoid the added cornstarch and it’s gluten-free. 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. Add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for heat. 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-fries, 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 a 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’s incredibly easy! You only need a few basic spices:

  • chili powder (here’s how to make your own)
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder (here’s how to make your own)
  • dried oregano
  • paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • 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:

There are so many options (not all of them are good… I’ve seen some of the kitchen experiments my kids come up with!). So try some of this seasoning for your next taco Tuesday.

How to Substitute Homemade Taco Seasoning for Packets

Use 2-3 tablespoons of this spice + ¼ cup of water per pound of ground 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. You can use a pound of ground beef, turkey, or even shredded chicken.


Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Homemade taco seasoning is simple and cost effective to make and easily takes the place of store bought seasoning packets for quick meals.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Calories 4kcal
Author Katie Wells


120 teaspoons



  • Combine all the spices in a jar and shake well.
  • Store in an airtight jar for up to six months.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 tsp)
Calories 4 Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0.02g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g
Sodium 67mg3%
Potassium 21mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 0.1g0%
Protein 0.2g0%
Vitamin A 161IU3%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 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.
  • This recipe yields about 3 cups total. 

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

This amazing homemade taco seasoning recipe with herbs and spices is inexpensive to make and takes the place of store bought seasoning packets with MSG.

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. The flavor of fresh, homemade spice blends is incredible and you’ll save money too!

What are your favorite ways to use taco seasoning? Drop a comment and let us know!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


47 responses to “Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (Secret Family Favorite)”

  1. Stephen Avatar

    5 stars
    I keep coming back to this Taco Seasoning recipe when I need more. I usually double it because I eat tacos a lot (every night if my partner would allow it). My suggestion for everyone is to invest in Mexican Oregano if you can. It adds so much more than the italian oregano you can find in the store (mexican oregano has liquorice undertones which go better with mexican food than the minty undertones of regular oregano). Also because I tend to prefer seasoning my meat myself, I either skip, or just add a small amount of salt to this (this double batch I just made got like 2 cracks on my himilayan salt grinder). I tried it once with the salt amount in the recipe and it got way too salty. 1 TBSP of salt is more than enough if you double the batch.

  2. Susan Avatar

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this seasoning for a few years now and absolutely love it! It’s well rounded flavor, and I love that I know exactly what is in my seasoning. Thank you for creating this.

  3. Tiffany Avatar

    5 stars
    I don’t like adding salt to seasoning mixes because, depending on the audience, I like to amp up the spice! I put in 2-3 TBSP seasoning mix, 1/2 tsp salt per pound, and I don’t use water since I don’t like my taco meat saucy. I also split the paprika with half regular and half hot smoked! Yum!

  4. Uma Avatar

    5 stars
    Awesome Katie

    Love your blog & podcast .

    When do you find time with 6 kids ?

    Hats of to you .

    Keep up the good work .

    With warm regards, From San Francisco Bay Area

  5. Jim Avatar

    Methinks your recipe is missing an ingredient. In your description of the recipe, you mention adjusting the amount of cayenne to achieve desired spiciness. Your recipe has no cayenne powder in it.

  6. Gail Avatar

    Love diy can’t wait to try this taco seasoning
    My daughter says it’s wonderful

  7. Michele Avatar

    5 stars
    Katie, your recipe for taco seasoning saved our supper plans. I was so sure I had packaged taco seasoning on hand, but when I went to find it in the pantry there was none. We had just returned from the grocery store and my sweet husband offered to go back to purchase seasoning. Instead we thought we’d find a recipe to mix up at home. Thankfully we found yours! We were very pleased with the flavor and will use your recipe from now on. I did find that we preferred the addition of 1/2 cup water instead of the 1/4 cup recommended. Thank you so much!

  8. Donna Hatch Avatar
    Donna Hatch

    5 stars
    I love this mixture! So much better (and cheaper) than the store-bought blends!

  9. Heidi Avatar

    Thanks for this recipe. The store brands are chock full of yucky stuff! Mexican food is s staple at my house and this is my new go to!

  10. Caroline Avatar

    5 stars
    Store bought taco seasoning are really unhealthy so I make my own but this recipe is definitely an improvement. Kudos to you for sharing this.

  11. Sarah Avatar

    Hi! Your recipe for taco seasoning above is different than in your most recent book. I feel like based on the amount of salt the book calls for, that the online recipe is the correct one? Can you please advise

  12. Liz Avatar

    Sidebar question — Does anyone have an idea for how to keep garlic powder from turning rock hard in its (supposedly airtight) jar? I live in a high-humidity area and even just opening the jar to use the product seems to let in enough moisture to cause problems.

  13. Mike Avatar

    Is the chili powder a blend “with other spices” or just ground chili’s?

  14. Shawna Avatar

    Do you have smaller amount measurements for us mere mortals?

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