Once you make this easy Homemade Taco Seasoning, you'll never go back to buying those overprice packets again! It's healthier and cheaper, plus it has none of the fillers. It's also great for more than just tacos, it tastes great on veggies, meats, and more.
This Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe fits in perfectly with how I run my life--and my kitchen.
I just love making my own pantry staples, from non-dairy milks (like Easiest Almond Milk and this Easiest Coconut Milk) to Powdered Egg Replacer, Easy Homemade Ketchup, Homemade Salad Dressings, and more.
But one thing that I really get a kick out of (yes, I really get into this) is making my own homemade seasonings. Over the years, we've found or developed quite a few of them including chili powder, celery salt, this all-purpose seasoning and this Dorito® seasoning, but today I'm sharing a new one with you -- a Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe.
Making your own homemade seasonings (like this DIY Taco Seasoning) insures you will almost never be out of a seasoning you need for something you're cooking, and that means time and money saving.
For example, just the other day, I had a craving for taco salad, but hadn't made taco meat in years. So I had no taco seasoning in the house -- and on our budget (and with our food sensitivities and life-threatening food allergies), eating out is not a pleasurable or viable option so heading out for tacos wasn't going to happen.
Basically it's not my idea of a fun time to pay about $15 for my son to get a plain chicken breast and a side of steamed veggies.
Just have a few meals like that and pretty soon eating out loses its appeal.
Anyhow, 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 a DIY Taco Seasoning that fits the bill.
And it's very easy to recreate in a flash.
Why Make Your Own Seasoning Blends?
Why indeed? Isn't it easier to just buy those pre-made blends at the store?
It can be, but here is why I love making my own spice blends.
- 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)
- Have Fun with Kids - making seasoning blends is an easy way to involve your kids in the kitchen 🙂
- 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)
- Freshness - making your own seasoning blends ensures you use up your spices more quickly so spices will get old less frequently
More Pantry Basics / Homemade Recipes
I have a lot of DIY recipes / pantry basics here that are in the same spirit of this post. For example:
- Homemade Coconut Milk
- Homemade Protein Bars
- Powdered Sugar (or powdered sugar alternative)
- Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade (a healthy version :-)!)
How to Use this Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe:
There are so many ways to use taco seasoning, including:
Tacos (of course) - you will LOVE these Grain-Free Taco Shells (AIP)
Tortillas (here's a great recipe for Paleo Tortillas)
Sides (like rice, potatoes, etc.)
Soups (like this Creamy Root Vegetable Soup)
even Ice Cream!
Convinced? I thought so.
Oh, and if you have a loved one or friend on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol or Autoimmune Paleo) Diet who still loves taco seasoning, here is my tasty AIP version. You will love it whether or not you are on a special diet. Oh, and if you aren't familiar with the AIP Diet, this Simple Guide to the AIP Diet is a great introduction!)
So now on to the homemade taco seasoning recipe that tastes great on so many things.....
More On this Taco Seasoning
I would strongly recommending purchasing organic spices. Many non-organic spices are irradiated and so aren't the best choice.
Taco Seasoning, like any seasoning that is, or is made up of peppers, should be stored in the fridge to prevent oxidation.
I also recommend storing your spices in glass spice jars instead of in plastic. I love some of the following for their compact shape as well as appearance (it's nice to have nice-looking things in your kitchen :)!)
Really the possibilities are endless.
Substitutions for Special Diets
- Spice Brands: For my spice shopping, I really like Frontier Brand. I've done taste tests and the Frontier Brands have won out every time and boy, are they reasonable! Starwest Botanicals, has good options too.
- Homemade Chili Powder: If you would like to make your own chili powder, here's my recipe for The "Best" Basic Chili Powder.
- Use approximately 2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat (or to taste, of course. Some people may prefer 1 Tbsp, others up to 4 Tbsp).
As with other taco seasonings, either use the mixture as is, or add approx. ¾ cup water to the beef and seasoning mixture to make a more "saucy" beef.
- You can also flavor beans, like lentils, with this mixture. About 2 cups of cooked beans will be the equivalent of one pound of ground beef.
- Multiple Batches: And as I said in my "Saving Time in the Kitchen by Baking in Bulk" post, I recommend making more of this in homemade taco seasoning in advance so that you have it on hand when you need it. Cook once, use two three four times or more :-)!
- Standby Seasoning: We use this DIY Taco Seasoning even as a standby seasoning on our table. It tastes great on veggies and loads of dishes!
- Aleppo Peppers: For red pepper flakes, aleppo peppers would add a wonderful depth of flavor but red chilis are fine.
- Add More "Heft": For a DIY Taco Seasoning with a bit more "heft" to it, add about 1 tsp flour or starch of choice to the mix. Of course, if you use a whole grain flour, you will want to store the resulting mixture in the refrigerator 'cause whole grains will spoil at room temp.
- Salt: We love salt. The amount in this recipe is perfect for us and for many of my readers. However, some readers have said that it's way too much. I suspect some are adding it to a dish that already has salt, which we are not. Regardless, please adjust the recipe to your taste.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mix well.
- Store in a tightly closed container.
- 2 Tbsp is the standard amount to use for 1 pound of meat, but you can of course use this seasoning to taste.
I'd love to hear what you think about this recipe (or if there's another spice blend you'd like me to try to make a homemade version of.)
Let me know in the comments!