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Taco Seasoning

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This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great as a seasoning on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Getting ready to make a recipe that calls for taco seasoning, but don’t have a jar on hand?

No worries — just mix up a quick batch of this homemade taco seasoning! ♡

All you need is a handful of spices that you likely already have in your pantry. Simply whisk them all together, store in a sealed spice jar, and use whenever you are ready!

This homemade taco seasoning is — of course — fantastic when used to season the meat, seafood, veggies or beans in your favorite taco recipe. But don’t forget that it can also be used a million other ways as well! I’m especially partial to using taco seasoning to flavor Mexican rice or a side of black beans. It works great as a rub for steak, chicken, fish or shrimp, especially during summertime grilling season. I also often sprinkle it in soups or add it to a vinaigrette when I’m craving a zesty salad. And if you’re feeling adventurous — trust me on this one — it’s actually surprisingly delicious when sprinkled on popcorn too!

However you use it, this homemade taco seasoning recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket. So go raid your spice drawer, and let’s make a quick batch together!

Homemade Taco Seasoning IngredientsHomemade Taco Seasoning Ingredients:

To make this homemade taco seasoning recipe, you will need the following spices:

  • Chili powder: Please note that this is American-style chili powder, which includes a mix of spices. (International readers, it is fairly mild and not cayenne. ♡)
  • Ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and dried oregano: Pretty straight-forward.
  • Paprika: I prefer to use smoked paprika, but you could also use standard or sweet paprika if you prefer.
  • Salt and black pepper: I used fine sea salt and finely-ground black pepper for this recipe.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: To add a bit of heat. If you prefer a milder taco seasoning, you can leave these out. Or if you don’t have crushed red pepper flakes on hand, you could also sub in a pinch of cayenne.


How To Make Taco Seasoning

How To Make Taco Seasoning:

To make homemade taco seasoning, simply…

  1. Combine the ingredients.  Combine everything together in a small jar, cover and shake until evenly combined.
  2. Store. A batch of homemade taco seasoning should last you about a year!

Taco Seasoning Recipe

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Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 tablespoons 1x


This homemade taco seasoning recipe can be made in minutes. And it’s also preservative-free, gluten-free and easily customizable. So much better than storebought taco seasoning mix!




  1. Combine ingredients. Add all of the ingredients to a small jar and stir (or shake) until evenly combined.
  2. Store.  Use immediately or cover and store for up to 1 year.


Chili powder: Please note that this recipe uses American-style chili powder, which is actually a blend of spices and very different than cayenne (as well as many other types of chili powders sold internationally).

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244 comments on “Taco Seasoning”

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  1. What excellent timing! I’ve planned tacos for tonight and was going to whip a batch of taco seasoning at the same time – I’m pretty sure I have all of these in my pantry too!

  2. I love the idea of making seasonings at home.

  3. Yes! I cannot wait to make this. Economical!

  4. I just organized my spice pantry and realized I never need to buy these spices again!! Clearly I need to make more Mexican food.

  5. if you were to season one pound of ground beef for tacos, would you use the whole amount of the recipe? If not how much would you use?

  6. I always make my own seasoning, too. However, I never keep it in a jar. I just grab the spices and “shake” some into my meat for tacos. :)

  7. I’m now compelled to make my own taco seasonings!

  8. I am definitely going to make this! It is so hard to find pre-packaged taco seasonings that don’t contain a bunch of preservatives and CRAP. I can’t wait to try this.

  9. Hi Ali, I tried you Taco Seasoning out tonight by adding some to my my Hamburger Mix because I was working on having burgers tonight and I saw your email and said why not. I tried a little on 2 burgers and I have to be honest, they were delicious. Probably could have use just a little Cayenne Pepper maybe but your seasoning did a number on those burgers.Thank you.

  10. Looks yummy & can’t wait to try it! How many TBSP. of taco season per lb. of meat?

  11. OMG I love your pictures! How fun! I am with you on the “make your own taco seasoning” train. I can’t wait to try yours!

  12. I just love making my own taco seasoning, thanks for this recipe :)

  13. Sounds delicious! How much of the taco seasoning per pound of meat? I don’t want to over do it.

  14. Just whipped this up as I was planning to make tacos this week and figured why not try something from scratch rather than relying on seasoning packs.

    But curious: I normally use a seasoning pack which looks like it’s about 1/3 of a cup which you add to cooked ground beef and a cup of water. Would this work in a similar fashion? Just cook up the beef, add a cup of water and a 1/3 cup of seasoning (which seems to be a double batch of the amount listed above).

    Any thoughts?

  15. Do you think one batch is equal to a packet?

  16. Was thinking of making up some crock pot meals to freeze and one of them called for taco seasoning packets, which I don’t have. Found this recipe and tried it out on some ground turkey I had stored in the fridge and OMG I can not thank you enough for this. It’s really good, quick to make and taste like the packets. I used 1/4 c water to the recipe and it came out perfect. :)

  17. Not sure how much to use per pound of meat?  Can you specify please?  Thank you

  18. Sorry… No need to reply as I have read previous comments. Should have done that to start with! Lol

  19. this seasoning was really fast to throw together!! :)

  20. I’ve been on a diet for a month & finding recipes I can use & not feel cheated is hard. This one I’ll use & can’t wait to try your taco seasoning recipe. Thanks you for sharing

  21. There should be instructions on how to use this stuff once you make it. :(

  22. How much do you use per lb. of hamburger, and how much water also per lb. of hamburger, to make regular taco meat?

  23. This is an OUTSTANDING recipe for Taco Seasoning. I used it to make a homemade hamburger helper. The longer I live, the less I buy store bought box dinners, pre-packaged seasonings etc.

    All I did was brown some ground Turkey, boil some whole wheat rigatoni, added two 1/2 inch slices of Velveeta and some milk along with this seasonings recipe (I did use the flour in mine) and BAM! My kids devoured it!! 

    One thing though, I left out the crushed red pepper because it would have been too spicy for my 5 year old, but I did sprinkle it on my serving…DELICIOUS!!!

    Sorry I don’t have a picture to share. It’s all gone!


  25. I just made this for dinner and it could not have been more on point!! Thank you for sharing, it’s a keeper!

  26. Hi!

    I made an adapted version of this recipe and posted it on my blog..thanks for sharing! :)

  27. In a pinch, made this tonight.  Recipe after adding all ingredients calls for 1 tsp for every 2 tsp of store bought mix.  Figuring aprox 3 tsp per ounce we added 3 tsp to start.  Mix seamed not quite there so we added a 4 th tsp.  While not quite like packaged mix it was a good substitute and would do again.

  28. Can you use cornstarch as a thickener for this recipe? 

    • Hey Andrea! We’re not sure, since we haven’t tried that. We’d probably advise leaving it out, and just adding cornstarch or flour to thicken a particular recipe (just depends on what it is) – you shouldn’t need the thickener if you’re just using the seasoning for meat, for example, but for a soup or stew, sure. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy! :)

  29. Have you ever experimented with adding coco powder into your taco seasoning? I noticed it listed as an ingredient in some premade taco seasoning and was intrigued. I’ve mostly just stuck to this basic recipie. I would think it would only be a little. Maybe a fourth of a teaspoon?

    • Hi Lisa! Hmmm we actually haven’t tried that, but should because it would probably be really good! We think it’s definitely worth experimenting with, and that 1/4 teaspoon is a great place to start. Let us know how it turns out!

  30. Went to the pantry…No Taco Seasoning! I had dinner guests coming in a few hours! What to do, what to do? No time to run to the store! I found this recipe and decided to try it. All I can say is… WOW – Just WOW! Delicious! We ate till we popped! Was the perfect recipe for a nice get together with a few friends. Perfect mix of flavors. There wasn’t any left and I made 5 pounds of taco meat! I did not have garlic powder but I used minced garlic instead. Fresh Salsa to top it all off. Yum Yum Yum! Yep, placed in my favorites box! Thank you SOOO Much! 

  31. My sister and I went to make tacos tonight and discovered she had no seasoning. I turned to pinterest and cane across this recipe and we are about to try it. We use a rotisserie chicken for a quick meal and I can’t wait to try it!!! 

  32. The recipe is wonderful and I plan to use it often. Sometimes I will adjust the ingredients to get a little more heat depending on the ones I’m serving. One question I have. Some recipes call for one package of premade taco seasoning. How much of this recipe would be equal to one package?

    • Thanks Jeannette, we’re so happy you like it! There are about 2 Tbs of taco seasoning in each packet. :)

  33. Thanks for sharing! How much should be used? I see where you replied 2-3 TBS per pound of meat. What about for the water portion? Thanks! 

    • Hi Anita, the liquid just depends on what recipe you’re doing. We’d still stick with the 2-3 TBS per pound of meat, use whatever liquid the recipe you’re using calls for, and you can always add more seasoning later, if you like. We hope that helps!

  34. Hi there, thanks for the recipe. I just made tacos today for lunch using your recipe (with a few changes). I also whipped up some obligatory guacamole and salsa as garnishes. They were positively scrumptious. Thanks!

  35. Made it tonight, my toddler loved this seasoning…thank you!

  36. With tbis homemade taco recipe how many pounds of ground beef is it for? If I need 3 pounds ground beef do I need to take the recipe and double or triple it?

    • Hi Erin! You need 2-3 TBS seasoning per pound of meat, so if you are cooking 3 lbs of ground beef, you’ll want to use around 6-9 TBS (we’d suggest doing 6 or 7, and you can always add more if you’d like). We hope this helps!

  37. The taco mix was easy to make and delicious! I will make my own from now on, instead of buying it from tbe store. Your mix received compliments from our family! Thank you!

    • You’re welcome Diana — we’re glad you and your family enjoyed it! :)

  38. Wow!! I am amazed!! I recently started eating Paleo. I love love tacos so when I found your recipe I made it right away. I am in love. Probs gonna eat tacos allllll week! Thank you so much, Ali!

  39. What a great recipe..thanks.

  40. Hello , I’m french and in my country I can’t found chili powder , it is a mix of different spices or just one specific spice ?
    Thanks you :)

    • Hello Anais! Chili powder is usually a blend of ground chiles and other spices. If you’re unable to find some, here is a recipe you could try: We hope this helps!

  41. How do you use this???

    • Hi Paola! You just add it to ground pork, chicken, turkey, or beef that you want to make tacos or taco salad with. You should use 2-3 TBS seasoning per pound of meat. We hope this helps!

  42. I would love to try this but it doesn’t say how much water to add to the seasoning. I have looked through the comments and didn’t see anything there either. Can you please help? Thanks

    • Hi Alexis! You use 2-3 TBS of seasoning per pound of meat and use whatever liquid the recipe you’re using calls for, and you can always add more seasoning later, if you like. We hope that helps!

    • Just add it to the meat without water. Homemade taco seasoning I never use water it’s better that way.

  43. how many pounds of beef is this recipe for? thanks

  44. Trying this tonight!!!! 

  45. I noticed asterisks in the recipe ingredients, but I couldn’t find the associated information. I’m thinking the chili powder might refer to using a combination of three as described earlier. I’m guessing the red pepper flakes may refer to adjust as needed.

    Also, I believe the use is 2-3 Tbsp per pound of meat which is repeated several times in the comments, however, the response on July 19th, 2014 @ 4:07 pm was 3-4 Tbsp. Was the latter an error, or am I misunderstanding something? Thanks for the clarification.

    • Wish I had an answer, just thanking you for pointing out the asterisks did not lead anywhere. That’s frustrating!

  46. I think most people are asking about how much water to add to use this as a replacement for a seasoning packet. I make this in bulk, storing in a canning jar. I use 2 heaping Tbss per pound of meat and add in 1/2 to 2/3 c of water, which will all cook off in the end. But it really helps in blending the spices into the meat. I also substitute 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper for the red pepper flakes because my family likes a kick.

  47. Thank you so much for sure an awesome recipe!!!…not only does it taste great, it saves a bunch of dollars cuz you don’t have to buy the packages…I believe I can make this for the price of 1/4 the price of packages…love that you give suggestions, especially adjusting the salt and the heat levels…just ate 3 tacos using this recipe and all I can say is “WOW!!!”…I made small tacos with the meat and small amount of cheese…this is a keeper…I will be making a triple batch and seal in jar using my Food Saver to have a good seal to keep it fresh…oh my, I think I hear another taco calling to me!!!

  48. I, too, make my own seasoning mixes. I haven tried using onion and garlic powders, I plan to try your recipe. 

    I use cornmeal if I want a thickener. Sometimes I find me a fine-ground cornmeal which I prefer. But the regular cornmeal works just five!

  49. Omg, very good for tacos. Used with boco. No salt added. Thank you.

  50. This has become a pantry staple for us. We mix it with a pound of grass-fed ground beef to use in tacos or on taco salad. If there is fat that cooks off, I drain that off and add less than 1/4 cup of water. It’s perfect and we know exactly what it is in it! We make a large batch (the recipe X4) and use it within a few months. We absolutely love it! And we have shared it with everyone!