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Homemade Taco Seasoning

I used to think the magic of tacos was only possible through that good old premade seasoning packet. You know, the one collecting dust in the back of your cupboard? It wasn’t until recently that I realized that you could make your own seasoning mix, which not only tastes delicious, but is devoid of any of the suspicious preservatives.

It takes only a few minutes to assemble, and you can store it in an airtight container for months. (Though it might not last that long after you give it a try, like with some lentil tacos…)

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Serves: 6 tablespoons
What You Need
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more, depending on your spice tolerance)
What To Do
  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.


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  • Reply
    July 12, 2011 at 1:38 am

    O I never thought to make my own spice mix either but great idea!!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2011 at 2:47 am

    I officially HEART you for posting this! Thank you!! :D

  • Reply
    July 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I hardly ever make taco meat without the seasoning packet. That’ll change now. :)

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Wow, have just stumbled across your site from Thursday Night Smackdown. Will definitely be making this and trying it with the lentil tacos. I am very much in accordance with your ethos of limiting my intake of pre-prepared foods, both because I am suspicious of all the odd ingredients used to extend “freshness” or enhance flavour, and also because onion and its relatives make me ill, and is present in most pre-prepared savoury foods.

    A couple of questions, though – 1. What is Kosher salt (other than being Kosher) and what makes it different from any other type of salt. I have never seen it for sale in Australia.

    2. What are red pepper flakes? Again, never seen them for sale here – could I substitute paprika? Or a tiny pinch of chilli flakes?



    • Reply
      July 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

      Hi! I’m glad you found our site.

      1. Kosher salt seems to be hard to find in Australia (judging from some quick internet research). It is flaky and larger than normal table salt and is not iodized. It dissolves better and doesn’t have any undesirable flavor that you may get from iodized table salt. Maybe you can find something like a crushed or flaked sea salt? Kosher salt is not crunchy and as large as normal (American) sea salt.

      Here’s a close-up picture of some: http://morganmoore.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c51ba53ef011571636ee3970c-800wi

      2. It appears that chili flakes are your version of our red pepper flakes – it’s always a good idea to add to taste, depending on your heat threshold!

      Enjoy the tacos!

    • Reply
      July 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Hello, red pepper flakes are most of the time on a spice jar called crushed red pepper. They add heat to any recipe. I wouldn’t substitute them with paprika as this will not do the same thing. you could substitute red pepper flakes with cayenne pepper but be careful how much you use, it can get hotter for you.

      • Reply
        July 14, 2011 at 8:54 am

        Thanks guys, very informative. I will also look up a specialist spice supplier here and see if they stock these products.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Great idea! Now I’m full of ideas on how to tweak this into our own blend.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Great recipe. It’s a keeper.

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    July 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Sounds great! I will be saving this and making some soon!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I have made the lentil tacos with the homemade taco seasoning mix. I absolutely love the idea of ditching the prepackaged powder! Just wondering… if I am using the homemade seasoning with ground turkey or beef, would I add water and simmer like the old packaged stuff? What would you suggest? Thanks for any recommendation.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Great question, Kristin! I think you could just mix the powder wtih the ground meat. You also could saute some diced onions / garlic beforehand and then add the meat and powder. Let us know if you give it a try!

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