Taco seasoning packets are convenient, but they're loaded with preservatives and salt. Making your own taco seasoning is easy, affordable and much healthier than the store-bought kind. Plus you can customize it to suit your tastes (and what's in the pantry).
I've got a delicious recipe that will help you make restaurant quality tacos at home in no time! Here's how to make it...
What you need to make taco seasoning
To make this taco seasoning, you'll need a variety of spices. I've tested out various ratios, and find the measurements listed in the recipe to provide the best results, but feel free to experiment with them to find the flavor that's perfect for you.
- chili powder - this is typically the more confusing one. There is a difference between chili powder, chile powder and chili seasoning. The chili powder that we are using is a blend of ground chili peppers and other seasonings, but doesn't have as many ingredients as chili seasoning and doesn't include the thickeners. Chile powder is more pure and only consists of ground chili peppers.
- garlic powder - dehydrated and ground garlic, not to be confused with garlic salt which also contains salt
- onion powder - dehydrated ground onion
- kosher salt - coarsely ground salt usually without additives
- cumin - toasted and ground cumin seeds that adds a sweet warm flavor
- oregano - dried
- paprika - ground from red peppers
- pepper - regular ground black pepper
How to Make Taco Seasoning
To make the taco seasoning, you'll simply measure out the spices and add them to a bowl. Mix everything well to combine.
Store them in a jar with an airtight lid for best results. Ensure the jar is completely dry before adding the spices so that you don't end up ruining the spice blend.
A Few Notes on Buying Spices
When you choose spices for this recipe, make sure they're not too old (if it's been sitting on the shelf in your pantry for months or years, it will have lost its flavor), and that they haven't been exposed to humidity or other conditions that can compromise their quality.
You'll want to consider whether budget or quality is most important to you. I've made this taco seasoning with many types of spices, and it turns out well either way. Higher quality spices will often have better flavor and may even be organic, but the difference in taste is small so use whichever you have access to.
How Do You Use Taco Seasoning?
When we make taco seasoning, I like to add 2 tablespoons per pound of meat if cooking ground meat.
For other uses, 1 -2 tablespoons is typically enough to spice up most dishes and is particularly delicious when mixed with beans, tofu and veggies.
There are tons of possibilities for how you can use this tasty taco mix!
How long does taco seasoning last?
Well, I've never made a batch that didn't get used up pretty quickly! It's best if you use this taco seasoning within 3 months.
However, as long as you store it properly, it will last as long as the expiration of the individual spices you've added.
How do you store homemade seasoning?
The most important thing is to store the taco seasoning in a completely dry container with an air-tight lid. I prefer either a
How much homemade taco seasoning equals one packet?
For this taco seasoning, I replace one packet of traditional store bought with 2 tablespoons homemade. Adjust to taste.
Recipes using Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Slow Cooker Taco Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Slow Cooker Verde Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Healthy Taco Casserole
The Best Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Mix all ingredients together
- Store in a dry, airtight container
- Use 2 tablespoons to replace 1 packet of store bought seasoning, adjust to taste
- be sure to store in a completely dry and clean container that is air-tight
- best to consume within 3 months, but seasoning will last as long as the expiration of the individual spices used
- use 2 tablespoons per pound of ground meat