Taco Seasoning

This easy homemade taco seasoning recipe is all natural and full of flavor! It takes just minutes to mix up using spices you might already have on hand.

Taco seasoning

Think the magic of tacos is only possible through that good old premade taco seasoning packet? Think again! Try this homemade taco seasoning! It tastes incredible and is all natural: none of those preservatives or additives that are in the store bought seasoning mix. Another benefit of homemade seasoning: you can control the salt! Many times pre-packaged taco seasoning has a large amount of salt, but here you can customize it your liking. Alex and I have been making taco seasoning for years: here’s our master recipe!

How to make taco seasoning

This easy taco seasoning recipe takes only a few minutes to assemble! All you’ll have do is mix together these spices (which you might already have on hand):

  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper
Easy homemade taco seasoning mix

A great way to use up spices!

This taco seasoning mix is a great way to use up spices before they get to old. The shelf life of most spices is 8 months to 1 year (see this graphic), after which they start to lose their flavor and potency. If you have some odds and ends to use up, try making this seasoning mix.

If your spice drawer or cabinet is like ours, always getting messy and overcrowded, go to How to Organize Your Spices…the Minimalist Way. It’s a helpful way to keep tabs on your spices.

How long to store homemade taco seasoning

You can store your homemade taco seasoning mix in an airtight container for 6 months to 1 year. Of course, the fresher the better! And it might not last long after you give it a taste. This easy taco seasoning recipe is the star ingredient in our Lentil Tacos, which is a favorite with our friends and family. They’re always begging us to “make those Lentil Tacos!”

how to make taco seasoning

Ways to use taco seasoning

There are so many ways to use this taco seasoning mix, and it doesn’t just have to be with taco meat! Here are a few ideas recipes where you can use it:

  1. Lentil Tacos Naturally! Add big flavor to all your taco recipes.
  2. Mac and Cheese Stir in a bit to mac and cheese to give an exciting new flavor.
  3. Scrambled Eggs Adding to scrambled eggs makes it a whole new dish.
  4. Tofu Scramble Use this seasoning mix to amp up the flavors.
  5. Refried Beans or Refried Black Beans Just a sprinkle adds a flair to beans.
  6. Sweet Potato Hash Browns Sprinkle onto hash browns for a Mexican flair.
  7. Rice or Instant Pot Rice Throw it into rice with some olive oil for Mexican flavored rice.
  8. Quinoa or Instant Pot Quinoa Same as rice, but with quinoa.
  9. Veggie Quesadilla Sprinkle inside a quesadilla for a pop of flavor.
  10. Roasted Broccoli or Grilled Broccoli Add a pop to roasted veggies by sprinkling on a pinch or two!
Seasoning blends
Try all our seasoning blend recipes!

This taco seasoning recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant based, dairy free, naturally sweet, refined sugar free, low carb, and keto.

Print
Taco seasoning

Taco Seasoning (Easy & Homemade!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 4.58 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 tablespoons 1x

Description

This easy homemade taco seasoning recipe is all natural and full of flavor! It takes just minutes to whip up using spices you might already have on hand.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight container or jar. Store for 6 months to 1 year in a cool, dry place.

  • Category: Pantry
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Taco Seasoning, Homemade Taco Seasoning, Mexican Seasoning, How to Make Taco Seasoning

More seasoning blends

Making DIY seasoning mixes at home is so easy! They taste incredible—much better than storebought—and are fun gifts, too. Try all our seasoning blends (listed by style):

Last updated: April 2020

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Simone
    July 12, 2011 at 1:38 am

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

  • Reply
    Zarah
    July 12, 2011 at 2:47 am

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

  • Reply
    Tanya
    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
    Claire
    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?

    Thanks

    Claire

    • Reply
      Alex
      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
      John
      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
        Claire
        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
    Chrissie
    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
    Christine
    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
    Kristen
    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
      Sonja
      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!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    How much seasoning do you put in for 1 lb of ground beef?

  • Reply
    Micaela
    April 9, 2020 at 1:15 am

    Looks delicious, but what do you mix it with? It only says to mix all the spices together. The store packages usually have you add water, which I think is what makes the sauce. Should I be adding water when I am ready to cook? How much?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 9, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Hi! It just depends on the recipe. We generally don’t add any water when adding to recipes.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.