Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

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Homemade Taco Seasoning! Ditch the overpriced teensy packets with all kinds of chemical nasties--whip up this simple yummy seasoning instead!

Ever have a craving for something but you don’t have the necessary ingredients on hand?  Like homemade tacos?

Just the other day, I had a craving for taco salad, but hadn’t made taco meat in years!  And on our budget (and with our food sensitivities and life-threatening food allergies), eating out is not a viable option.

It’s frustrating to find yourself excited to cook something only to find yourself missing what you need.  Sometimes you can find an easy substitute, but other times, like in the case of taco seasoning, you just need to have exactly what the recipe calls for.

So I got to work in the kitchen and tried out a few recipes and came up with one that fits the bill.

Awhile ago, I wrote a post about making your own seasoning blends.  Check it out and you will see that there are several reasons why I choose to make my own blends as much as possible.

Why Make Your Own Seasoning Blends?

  • you have control over the ingredients (no icky MSG type stuff or allergenic ingredients.  For those of you with milk allergies, did you know that many taco seasonings have lactose, milk sugar, in them?)
  • save money (individual seasonings are cheaper than blends)
  • save more money (use up individual seasonings faster so you can buy in bulk)
  • save even MORE money (have you seen the prices of those packaged “Taco Seasoning” mixes at the grocery store?  Ugh!
  • save money and time (no last minute trips to the store to get something that you can easily make yourself)
  • making seasoning blends is an easy way to involve your kids in the kitchen :-)

Convinced?  I thought so.  So now on to the recipe:

Looking for more ways to save money and have control over ingredients? How about:

Or more Homemade Seasonings like:

 How about you?  Do you have a favorite seasoning blend that you would like a recipe for?

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/crd/4632316985/

This post has affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer.
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  1. Hi, Adrienne,
    I’ve been making my own taco seasoning for a couple of years now…. so much better for you! I like the fact that I can control what spices are added, as some we like better than others. Lately we have been on a cumin kick…can’t seem to get enough of it.

  2. I love homemade taco seasoning. It is so much better. Thanks for sharing your version.

  3. Glad to see the taco recipe. I have been thinking about making my own. Thanks for linking up to the Frugal Tuesday Tip.

    http://learningthefrugallife.blogspot.com/2011/05/frugal-tuesday-tip-week-15.html

  4. Thanks! I’ve been wanting to do this, but didn’t look around to find a recipe. :-) I trust yours.

  5. I’m so glad I ran across this post because I ADORE tacos and all food remotely resembling tacos. I live on a farm which allows me the luxury to grow my own chicken,veggies and beans. I have goats too so there’s plenty of cheese to be had. It always seems such a shame to go to all that effort only to throw on a packet of store bought seasoning. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve switched to homemade taco seasoning this year. The family hasn’t missed the salt a bit!

  7. I have a similar recipe on my blog. I love my homemade taco seasoning so much more than any bought one. I add cornstarch to thicken it too!

  8. Thanks for the recipe, I have always wondered if I could make my own- we love tex-mex recipes around here and I use a lot of cumin- but wasn’t sure what other spices to use to replace taco seasonings which I love the flavor of but could do without some of the ingredients- also just read your chocolate chip recipe which I will try because I am nut allergic and most baking chips are alongside nut items. Great website- Thanks!!!

  9. This looks like a yummy version. I am going to try it when my jar runs low. I am glad I found you!

  10. Thanks for posting this recipe. I always wonder what spices people use here in the States to make their tacos. In mexico we just use salt and pepper. But I like the taste of the american tacos, too. :)

    Have a happy day! :)

  11. Thanks for the post. I happen to have all of those ingredients already on hand! I’ll have to make a batch. :D

  12. This sounds so good…now I’m hungry for tacos!

  13. Hi Adrienne! Welcome to the hearth and soul hop! I am now following you on twitter and added your blog to our hearth and soul daily twitter list! I also love to make my own chili blends. I sometimes vary it by adding in smoked paprika or smoked sea salt that my sister got me from a trip to Disneyworld (I know, go figure, spices from the mouse!) that gives it more of a chipotle feel. I also like that it doesnt have any “flow agents” or artificial coloring in it! Thanks so much for sharing this with us on the hearth and soul hop. All the best, Alex

  14. Hi Adrienne,
    I really enjoyed your post about the spice mixture. The combination of spice that you have in your Homemade Taco Seasoning is a very good mix. I am putting it together this week end in a large jar! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  15. Fantastic! I have been looking for my own taco seasoning recipe and this one looks great! I will give it a go very soon! Found you over at Simple Lives Thursday, thanks for posting!

  16. Thanks so much for adding this recipe to the World Food Thursdays bloghop! I just stocked up on spices today!

  17. Hey I host a blog hop and I’d LOVE if you came over and shared a recipe! Here’s the link :) http://thesweetdetail.blogspot.com/search/label/Savory%20Sunday

  18. YUM! Thanks so much for linking this to Friday Potluck!

  19. I’ve found the pint mason jars to be an excellent size for storing seasoning blends. Gives you plenty on hand, but not so much that you feel you’ll NEVER get through it all!

  20. This is a good idea. Would definitely try.

  21. Hi, this looks great! I’m definitely going to try it. :)

  22. Never tried making my own before, but I’m sure it’s WAY better than the little package stuff I buy! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Yum! I love homemade seasonings. Yours is a bit different from mine. I look forward to trying it! Visiting from Workshop Wednesday!

  24. I have got to go back to making my own seasonings. I received some “high quality” ones last week from a giveaway and they had dubious ingredients, too.

  25. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  26. There is an excellent balance of flavors in this spice mix – what a great thing to have on hand! Thank you for sharing it with the Gallery of Favorites.

  27. I’ve never thought to make my own taco seasoning! My family lives overseas, and one package of taco seasoning costs over $1.70! That’s a lot! I’ll definitely be using your recipe for our tacos, which will be more cost-effective, too!

    • Melissa,
      This is one of the great benefits of making your own mixes! I will be sharing another great packaged mix substitute in the near future. Hope to see you then! Where are you living? My father is from Ireland and I traveled quite a bit and lived in Japan for a year. Take care.

  28. Perfect! I’m always using this (and always running out), but I was never really sure what was in it. I can’t wait to try this.

  29. Sounds like an absolutely perfect taco seasoning blend! And your photo…gorgeous!

    Thank you so much for linking up to “A Little Birdie Told Me…” at Rook No. 17.

    I’m spotlighting your post on my Facebook page today!

    Jenn

  30. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve featured your post on my blog. Love the recipe!! And, I bet it’s a great way to save on calories and MSG. Here is the link: http://www.marvelouslymessy.com/2011/10/marvelous-mess-33-and-features.html

    Don’t forget to grab a button! :-)

  31. So genius! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper! Have a great week!

    Everyday Mom’s Meals

  32. Wow. This totally just made my mouth water. I love homemade taco seasoning! Thanks so much for linking up to Homemaker Monday! :)

  33. Thank you so much for the taco seasoning recipe. I can almost taste it. I found and am following you from Bloggeritaville and hope to visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you could follow me also. I would love that. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  34. Thanks, it was tasty for seasoning my nacho meat! I added 1/4 t cayenne and 1 T cornstarch to the recipe (for those who want it to have a little kick).

  35. Love this idea! We try to steer clear of too much sodium and chemicals and my husband LOVES tacos. Now, I can make a big jar and have it on hand:) If you have a chance, I would love for you to link this up at my party today!

    http://kim-toomuchtimeonmyhands.blogspot.com/2011/12/get-schooled-saturday-4.html

    • Hello Kim – I hope you like it! I hope to have another version soon – just trying to keep up with everything! If I get the chance I will stop by your blog. I’m not feeling great and I took a nap so I am really behind now :-).

  36. You know it just never occurred to me to make my own taco seasoning! Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  37. I was just thinking that when I run out of taco seasoning that I should make my own. Thanks for posting this!

  38. I just fixed up a batch for me and my husbands first taco night tonight. Were on a little bit of a health kick right now (emphasis on the little) but we wanted tacos and one without all the msg from the packets. Plus were on a budget so this is perfect. I cant wait to use it. We are in love with cumin. Thanks so much for sharing. Cant wait to tell you how it turned out.

    • You’re welcome, Heather! I can’t wait to hear what you think! As I said in the post, I hope to share another version, but this one is great too :-).

  39. When it’s this easy, why buy it! Great recipe Adrienne. I love all the varietions you always offer, not just for ground beef:)
    Joshua and I would love for you to stop by Whole Food Wednesdays. Your recipes and tips are lovely.
    Have a great day.

  40. I make my own taco seasoning as well. It’s so much better than the packaged kind and you really can control the ingredients, which I love.

  41. Thank you for posting this recipe! We have tacos a lot..it is a fave in our house. While the packets aren’t expensive, it does add up. This will be so much cheaper!

    Thanks again!

  42. Thanks for sharing! I am trying to remove the packets from my family’s life!

  43. Thanks for the post. I’ll give it a try. I’ve used the Tightwad Gazette recipes in the past.

  44. I saw a recipe in food network mag awhile ago- my 12 year old daughter made it, and we loved it… and I think the recipe got lost somewhere along the line. Just saw you at Sugar and Dots, and so glad you posted it! We’ll be making tacos with your seasoning in the near future.

  45. I love making my own seasoning blends and your homemade taco seasoning sounds delish! It’s such a nice balance of flavours. Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  46. I agree with you 100%. I haven’t used a seasoning packet in years, they are full of stuff I don’t need. Your recipe looks great. I love to make taco soup, I use 1/2 can El Pato (hot mexican tomato sauce) in place of the seasoning packet. It’s delicious!

  47. I also make my own taco seasoning and I love it way better than the packaged stuff. I usually double or triple the recipe so I can store it for quick use. I love that it doesn’t have unnecessary added sugar and other additives.

    • I double or triple almost everything. I just, in fact.made a quadruple batch (4.5 to be exact) of my Focaccia Flax Bread at lunchtime! Now I don’t have to bake for awhile. :).

      • Adrienne, that bread looks like it would be perfect for my little ones. Do kids like it too?

        • Hi Rita – which bread do you mean?

          • The Focaccia Flax Bread, you mentioned it in your reply to me. ;)

            • Hi again, Rita. I can’t find the comment now – so I’m confused, but in any case, my kids beg me for it. I made 4.5 batches three days ago (you can see why in the recipe info) and it is gone as of this morning. And I can truthfully tell you that my husband and I had very little of it. That being said, I really try to keep processed foods away from my kids. They’ve eaten it with hummus, eggs, and even almond butter and sweetener. And plain :-). Let me know how it goes! I reader just told me that she made it for her allergic daughter and other non gluten free folks and they all loved it.

  48. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  49. That picture is fantastic!

    I make a lot of my own seasonings, too. Great recipe!

  50. Cheeryshirley says:

    I am soooo excited to discover your 10 top DIY’s from Penniless Parenting’s Hearth & Soul Hop!!! I’ve been reading them to my husband, Glen and we are both amazed at what you’ve accomplished!!! However, why do you recommend Real Salt? What is the difference between that and the sea salt we buy bulk from our health food store? BTW, we have 2 Vita-Mixes and could not function without them…we are vegan and make EVERYTHING we can from scratch! We have moved in this direction due to my husband’s Multiple Sclerosis and he has so improved! I will join in your recommendation in getting a Vita-Mix, if you can! Such a difference! Anyway, why Real Salt? Is there something I should know? Thanks so much! Love your blog! Cheeryshirley

    • Hello Shirley! Thanks for your kind words! I use Real Salt b/c it isn’t bleached or treated w/ chemicals and has minerals intact. I know that there are plenty of other natural salts on the market, but my experience has been that this is a very reasonable product, especially when purchased in bulk (and I mean bulk – I purchase 25 pound bags). I am interested in the MS situation. I am working w/ a practitioner on my adrenal burnout and she said that those who have MS are almost always (or always) loaded with heavy metals. I personally am dumping a bunch. You could see more by following the link to Theresa Vernon in my adrenal fatigue post. Hope to see you around again!

  51. This is great! I can’t wait to try it out for our next taco night!

    I’d love for you to link up and share: http://tutusandteaparties.blogspot.com/2012/01/pinteresting-party-week-twenty-two.html

  52. This is fantastic! Like many others who’ve commented, I had always used commercial taco seasoning. This is WAAAAAY better, although I did cut back on the hot spices (we have a 7 year-old daughter!) and left out the salt altogether. Thanks!

  53. I ran out of packaged taco seasoning and hustled to the computer to get a simple recipe. Thank you so much for sharing and I won’t be using packaged taco seasoning anymore!! I will be sharing your page on my blog http://www.whatsupyournose.wordpress.com

  54. Love homemade taco seasoning. I make it in bulk. Thanks so much for linking to allergy-free Wednesday. Hope to see you again next week!

  55. I have made several batches of this seasoning. It’s great. Thanks for the recipe!

  56. I too have switched entirely to this recipe instead of store bought packets. Like a couple other said, I’ve cut it back to just a pinch of salt. This works amazing for beef and ground soy crumble alike, thanks a lot!

  57. Laura Bickmore says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipes and ideas. I have been making my own taco seasoning for awhile, but I just eyeball the ingredients depending on how much I am making and how spicy I feel like. I am looking forward to trying your recipe and then having the seasoning on hand so I don’t have to get out 8 bottles of spices every time I make it! Oh, I also add a dash of white flour (not good for you, I know) to thicken the taco sauce when necessary. Is there another thickener you would recommend?
    Thanks again!

  58. Laura Bickmore says:

    One more question for you, and I promise I am done for awhile! (maybe) Do you use plain chili-pepper chili powder, or do you use “chili Powder” meaning a chili powder blend?

  59. Thanks for sharing! I do a lot of freezer cooking and will use this in my recipes!

  60. Natalie says:

    Thanks for posting this! I made it tonight and it was great!

  61. What does ‘t’ stand for in your recipe?

  62. Thank you for the great recipe!! It just rescued me from taco night disaster, when I realized I was out of the taco packets I USED to keep on hand!! I already had all the ingredients but oregano. Will leaving it out make much difference in the flavor?

    • You’re welcome!!! I think it will be a slight difference but not a big deal…do you have marjoram? That’s a pretty good sub for oregano.

  63. Used this with morning star grillers crumbles and it made for flavorful, healthier vegetarian tacos!! It was also nice that they were spices I already had on hand! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  64. CherylAnne says:

    I’m very excited to have found this site with all these great food ideas & information. Thank you for all the research & taste testing. Believe me when I say I have pitch more food trials because of not knowing how or what spices to use. I’m looking forward to going through the rest of the recipes .
    Do you have or know of a recipe for ranch salad dressing?
    CherylAnne

    • Hi. I was working on a ranch dressing / dip mix. I think I had one that worked and others that weren’t as good. I’ll have to go dig them up. There are some on the internet but I was working on a taste test of about 4 to see which one was the best.

  65. I always make my own as well – I like to know what’s going in, BUT it’s not really valid to state that it’s a cost issue. You can buy a packet of taco seasoning at Kroger for $.30 (and maybe even cheaper at Walmart or with coupons).

    • Thanks, Carrie – well, the only thing I would say about the cost is….have you checked the weight on those packages? Of course, with coupons….and if you get a freebie…but then health trumps that for sure. Take care :-).

  66. Looks like you and Bill Echols were thinking the same thing! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Taco-Seasoning-I/Detail.aspx I had used his recipe in the past (which is basically the same as yours) but just saw this up on my FB newsfeed. Always good to remind people that certain spice blends, although they appear that they only come packaged because they are just sooo intricate and mystical, are actually WAY easy to make at home. My boyfriend totally appreciates this recipe – we searched for one after I kept complaining that he was using Taco Bell packets of seasoning in his beans….gross! Did not want to be eating Taco Bell stuff, even if it was only seasoning. I agree with your comment to Carrie – when you make things on your own using local spices, you know that you are taking care of your health plus the health of the environment (less packaging). Again, love your blog!

  67. I made the taco seasoning last night and we had healthy taco salad that worked for the anti-candida diet I’m on right now. My hubby said, “Wow. That taco seasoning is better than store bought! I like it!”
    We liked it so much that I sprinkled it on our eggs this morning to give them a little zing.
    By the way… it was your site that opened my eyes to my candida problem and I’m so thankful that God led me to your site. My body is slowly starting to heal after 10 years of unexplained pain.
    Thanks Adrienne!

  68. I found this through sugarbeecrafts’ linky party and I love the sounds of this recipe. Recently, I was making a double batch of taco meat but only had enough bought seasoning for half the batch, so I searched for a recipe and wasn’t thrilled with it. I will be pinning this recipe and using it next time I cook tacos or enchilladas! Speaking of which, you are welcome to try my enchillada recipe here: http://thedomesticatedprincess.blogspot.com/2012/05/beef-and-cheese-enchiladas.html. You could use your taco seasoning with it.

  69. Thanks for sharing! I have been looking for a recipe for taco seasoning. I am your newest follower. I’d love for you to come by Posed Perfection for a visit and maybe even a follow back. Hope you have a great week!
    Blessings,
    Nici

    • Welcome!!! Hope to see you around again. Seriously, I checked out your site. I love the wrapping paper idea. Your paper bag was much prettier than the one I just wrapped a wedding gift in – seriously. I did put a lovely gold bow on so hopefully it wasn’t too tacky :) but that is my style. I mean eco friendly – not tacky :). I am going to share your wrapping tip on my facebook page. If you live anywhere near me you need to come and help me decorate :). Take care.

    • I am following you! Just pinned your Botanical print. :)

  70. I use a lot of taco seasoning because we love tacos and I make a taco soup and other tex mex food, but I hate having to buy the store bought kind because of the hgh sodium, so I usually just add a little this and that to make up my own. Your recipe calls for ingredients that I haven’t even thought of using. I will definitely try this. Thanks.

  71. I love the idea of making my own taco seasoning! THanks for sharing it!

  72. you seasoning looks fantastic!

  73. Thank You so much for this! I have been searching for a homemade recipe after hearing how horrible the packets are! I came across yours on pinterest. I have a blog http://www.notyourordinarymuffintop.blogspot.com and I am going to spread the word about your blog if you dont mind, so everyone can use your homemade taco seasoning.

  74. Thank you for this! It’s really good! I was actually a little surprised at HOW good. I’ll not be buying any more of the packets now.

  75. I really want to try this, but I’m not sure how much of it to use in one recipe with say 1 pound of meat. Do you use all of it or is this a multi-dinner portion?

  76. A couple of my recipes (for example, taco soup) say to put in 1 PACKET of taco seasoning. How many tbs of your mix wuld I put in? Thanks

  77. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Pinned it.

    We may have met by chance…but we become friends by choice.
    http://simpleesue.com/frivolous-friday-making-christmas-memories-scrapbook

  78. I love make it yourself spice mixes! Thanks for sharing!

    I would love to have you share this on Wildcrafting Wednesday next week! In the meantime, we’d love to have you stop by and vote for your favorite post on our People’s Choice Awards!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2012/12/peoples-choice-award-for-wildcrafting-wednesday.html

  79. Grate recipe. I wil try to make this for a fathersgift for my husband before bbq season, together with some glaze.
    Pinned this :)

  80. Great idea and so healthy compared to store bought mixes, I would love to have you come link to my Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s each week! http://www.pandpkitchen.com/2012/12/30/show-me-your-plaid-mondays-4/

  81. Yum please share! I would love for you to visit my linky party going on now at http://wallisfarmsdailywalk.blogspot.com/2013/01/blog-post.html

    Have a great day!

  82. Paula-Riverton Housewives says:

    Homemade Taco Seasoning…heck yeah! We’d love for you to share this at our party!

  83. This is a great spice mix and I would love to have you share this on Thursdays at Tasty Traditions: http://myculturedpalate.com/

  84. My kids and I love this recipe and use it all the time for tacos, burritos, etc. Thank-you!

  85. Finally got around to making this seasoning. Been on my to do list forever. And I miss tacos. Plan on making the soft wraps with chickpea flour. :) haven’t had tacos for a loooong time.

  86. Been doing this recipe now for several months and am just thrilled with it! (well, we leave out the red pepper flakes because of our wee tots, but look forward to adding that in the future) Thanks!

  87. This sounds like a great taco mix! I don’t like reading the back of a seasoning packet and there are more ingredients I have never heard of than there are spices! If you are interested in sharing this further, I have a link-up party that just started.

  88. Chili powder is made of paprika, oregano, powdered red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. This taco seasoning recipe just adds more of the same! The only difference is the black pepper. So, to translate, taco seasoning would be chili powder and black pepper, no?