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. Add cayenne pepper for 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
- sprinkled 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
- ¼ cup chili powder
- ¼ cup cumin
- 1 TBSP garlic powder
- 2 TBSP onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 TBSP Himalayan salt (or sea salt, optional)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Combine all the spices in a jar and shake well.
- Store in an airtight jar for up to six months.
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?
Discussion (47 Comments)
This was delicious and easy. I used half the recommended salt and cooked it with beef. Thank you!
I made this today. Way too much salt. I’m having to brown two more pounds of ground beef to dilute what I have already made. Then I’ll make the mix without salt. (I used organic sea salt.)
I make my own achiote paste. The paste is marinated or rubbed directly on meat or seafood before grilling.
2 tablespoons annatto seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
6 allspice berries
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 tablespoons lime juice
Combine the annatto seeds, cumin seeds, oregano, allspice berries, and salt in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Grind to a powderlike consistency. In a small bowl, mix the powder with the garlic and lime juice. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.
Do you have suggestions for when you are following an AIP meal plan?
Katie - Wellness Mama
Yes, working on finishing these up!
Any suggested seasoning when nightshade are not able to be consumed. Ex.peppers
Because I hadnt salted much, I, reluctantly, used 1 Tbsp. Certainly didnt need any more. I did add some cayenne, just a tsp or so. Nice!
I’ll take a quart to my grown sons tomorrow. Homegrown tomatoes and a rich homemade bone broth gave some depth of flavor. So yummy!
Brenda I too have Hashimotos and arthritis. I went away from ALL night shades for close to 3 months, finding absolutely no improvement in my arthritis. I think it, for me, it woul be hard to know if there were impoverishment in the thyroid. I see these are very old posts, so sorry.
Do you try to stay away from night shade vegetables and ingredients? Has affected your hashimotos? I’m just wandering if it’s worth a try. I haven’t been diagnosed but have all the symptoms. But the idea of not being able to enjoy Mexican flavor is a bit much.
Is the salt amount correct … 1/4 cup?
I used sea salt, and 1/4 cup salt is WAY too much! I go light on the salt so only used 1/2 table spoon and it was great.
I use 1tsp salt for every pound of hamburger I fry up. Of course, use a quality salt, not the blue canister of death in the groceries.
For this, I just omitted the salt, we like stuff very flavored so it was still good. Then I added my usual tsp of salt and some fresh pepper. We still all use redhot with it, I put my hotpepper vinegar on it too. I put that on most everything lol
I also followed the recipe and used 1/4 cup salt. WAY TOO MUCH! I am sure the author has made a typo?! Please correct ASAP:) Otherwise, fabulous recipe.
It doesn’t say 1/4 cup salt! You only need very little or non at all
And I was just wondering how to make taco seasoning…. Another timely post!
Thanks so much. Your blog is what got me started on my journey to better health!
When you add this recipe to your hamburger do you add water too? If you do how much water?
See above… in the recipe.
I love adding ground Coriander (Cilantro). It definitely boosts the flavour. I also use ground cumin, ground paprika and salt & pepper. Hadn’t thought to add garlic powder & onion powder. Lucky me – burritos are on the menu tonight! Will have to give it a go.