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The Best Homemade Taco Seasoning

Is there a more multi-purpose seasoning blend than homemade taco seasoning? Making your own batch is a delicious and healthy alternative to packets from the store with added or unwanted ingredients. Gather your spices and create a savory mix that can be used in tacos, soups, casseroles, salads, dips, and oh so much more!

glass jar filled with homemade taco seasoning and a measuring spoon

Why Should You Make Your Own Taco Seasoning? 

At times, it may seem more convenient to grab a taco seasoning packet off the shelf at the grocery store, but in the long run, there are so many more benefits to making homemade taco seasoning from scratch! A few reasons why:

  • Easy – Once you gather all your ingredients, simply measure, mix, and store! If you double or triple your batches, you’ll have plenty in time for the next low-prep meal.
  • Affordable – Most taco seasoning packets range from $1-$2 each. For roughly 2 tablespoons of seasoning, that price can start to add up quickly if you love to cook Mexican-inspired meals. Buying spices individually and mixing them at home can help cut costs per meal.
  • Healthy – Leave out the added preservatives such as maltodextrin or cornstarch, and keep just the spices since they’ll be freshly mixed in your own home. Additionally, you won’t need to check labels for things like wheat flour or MSG which are common in many store-bought spice blends.
  • Customizable – Prefer a little more kick? Add a little extra spice! Or, if you happen to be short on an ingredient at home, simply customize based on your pantry provisions.

Ingredients Needed

The ingredients for this homemade taco seasoning recipe yield a mild to medium flavor which can easily be used for a wide range of meals. You may wish to experiment with some of the ratios to find the flavor that is perfect for you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chili powder – Not to be confused with chile powder or chili seasoning! Chili powder (used in this recipe) is a blend of ground chili peppers and a few other seasonings but doesn’t have the thickeners and other additives that chili seasoning does. Chile powder, on the other hand, is more pure and only consists of ground chili peppers.
  • Garlic powder – Specifically use garlic powder, which is dehydrated and ground garlic. 
  • Onion powder – Dehydrated ground onion
  • Kosher salt – Coarsely ground salt usually without additives
  • Cumin – A powder made from toasted and ground cumin seeds that adds a sweet warm flavor
  • Oregano – Dried, choose either a ground or powder variety
  • Paprika –Ground from dried red peppers
  • Pepper – Regular ground black pepper
tiny bowls of seasoning to make homemade taco seasoning

A note on your spices:

  • Before mixing, be sure your spices are not so old that the flavor has diminished (i.e. it’s been sitting on the shelf in your pantry for months or years), and also that the spices haven’t been exposed to humidity or other conditions that can compromise their quality.
  • Consider whether budget or quality is most important to you. I have made this taco seasoning with many types of spices, and it turns out well either way. Use the spices that are accessible to you.

How To Make Homemade Taco Seasoning

It is so simple to make amazingly well-seasoned foods with your own blends at home, and even easier if you already have a batch of seasoning mixed in your pantry. This recipe will take you from spices in the cabinet to restaurant-quality tacos at home in no time! 

First, gather your spices. Measure out each ingredient and mix together in a bowl.

Store the seasoning in a labeled jar or other container with an airtight lid for best results. 

As long as you have the measuring spoons and spices out, I highly suggest making a double or triple batch of this recipe to have on hand for other quick and easy meals. Use 2 tablespoons of this mix to replace 1 packet of store-bought seasoning and adjust more or less to taste.

glass jar filled with homemade taco seasoning

Tip – Be sure that all mixing and storing dishes are completely clean and dry so that you don’t compromise the spice quality.

Homemade Taco Seasoning FAQs

  • What is the best way to store homemade taco seasoning? Keep homemade taco seasoning (as well as other individual spices) in a cool, dry location where they will not be impacted by heat from appliances or other sources of moisture. It is best to store it in an airtight container or jar.
  • How long does homemade taco seasoning last? This seasoning will last as long as the individual expiration dates on the spices used for the blend. When stored correctly, you should be able to keep it for several months at least!
  • Can taco seasoning be used as a rub? Yes, taco seasoning can be used as a rub for any meat needing a Mexican or Tex-Mex flavor. 
  • How much homemade taco seasoning is equivalent to 1 store-bought packet? For this homemade mix, use 2 tablespoons of seasoning to replace one traditional store-bought packet. Adjust to taste.
black tablespoon filled with taco seasoning on blue backdrop

Best Ways To Use Homemade Taco Seasoning 

So many delicious meals utilize some variation of a taco-flavored blend of spices! A few ways to use this mix are with ground meat for tacos or taco salad. With ground meat like turkey or beef, I like to add 2 tablespoons per pound of meat.

scooping a tablespoon of taco seasoning out of a glass jar

For most recipes such as soups, casseroles, or dips, you can substitute one store-bought packet for approximately 2 tablespoons as well. For other uses such as beans, tofu, or veggies, 1-2 tablespoons will typically be enough to spice up most dishes. 

There are tons of possibilities for how you can use this tasty taco mix! Some of the best fusions of taco-inspired flavors are in recipes like Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken Tacos or Slow Cooker Taco Pasta. Also, try using this seasoning with grilled meats and veggies, or adding a sprinkle to appetizers and snacks like chips, crackers, or potatoes! 

The Best Homemade Taco Seasoning

Jennifer Draper
Is there a more multi-purpose seasoning blend than homemade taco seasoning? Making your own batch is a delicious and healthy alternative to packets from the store with added or unwanted ingredients. Gather your spices and create a savory mix that can be used in tacos, soups, casseroles, salads, dips, and oh so much more!
4.77 from 26 votes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Seasoning Blend
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 12 tablespoons
Calories 50 kcal

Equipment

  • measuring spoons
  • airtight container

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Measure and mix all ingredients together
  • Store in a dry, airtight container
  • Use 2 tablespoons of seasoning to replace 1 packet of store-bought seasoning, adjust to taste

Notes

  • If you like a more mild flavor, try leaving out some of the pepper or garlic powder. Counteract some spice in your meal by adding either an acid like lemon juice or a dairy product.
  • To make it spicier, add a bit of cayenne or crushed red pepper.
  • Use 2 tablespoons per pound of ground meat or when substituting for 1 standard packet.
  • Be sure to store in a completely dry and clean airtight container
  • Best to consume within a few months, but seasoning will last as long as the expiration of the individual spices used.

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1911mgPotassium: 286mgFiber: 5gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3239IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer

Slow Cooker Recipes Using Homemade Taco Seasoning 

35 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I know you said shelf life was a couple of months or so – but I’m posting to let you know it is years! I first made this … 2017? Used it a couple of times, loved it. Lost it in the back of the cupboard somewhere – saw it briefly while packing to move in 2021, finally found it again tonight. Might have lost a teeney touch but it is still delish!
    Awesome recipe.
    Thanks

  2. This recepie sounds good with the exception of being healthier then store bought. There is 1749 mg of sodium per serving. That is a huge amount of sodium.

      1. 5 stars
        Math is not my forte but I don’t see the salt as 1749 per serving.
        12 Tablespoon div. by 2 Tbsp per 1 lb of meat = 6 meals. Div again by approx 4 very generous servings = approx 881 mg. Almost half. For some, that is about half their daily allowance, which for a supper, I think is perfectly fine.

    1. It will depend on several variable, including when the individual spices you use expire, how dry your storage is and what temp and humidity you store it at. But in good conditions you can expect to store this for up to a couple of months.

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