Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe--Better Than the Packets!

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.

homemade taco seasoning

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) ensures you will almost never be out of the 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.

taco seasoning ingredients

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 taco seasoning

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)
Taco Salad
Veggies
Salad
Popcorn
Chicken
Beef
Fish
Sides (like rice, potatoes, etc.)
Veggies
Soups
(like this Creamy Root Vegetable Soup)
even Ice Cream!  

Seriously, try this homemade taco seasoning on this Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream or this Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream. It's amazing!

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 recommend 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 :)!)

Traditional Spice Jars
Small Glass Mason Jars
Simply Organic Spice Jars
Hexagon Spice Jars
Glass Jars with Hinged Lids

Really the possibilities are endless.

homemade taco seasoning

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 tablespoons taco seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat (or to taste, of course. Some people may prefer 1 tablespoon, others up to 4 tablespoons).
    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!

Recipe Notes

  • 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 teaspoon 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.
taco seasoning with text overlay
taco seasoning in a glass jar with lid

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

This Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning is so much healthier and cheaper than the store-bought packets and tastes great on veggies, meats, and even popcorn!
4.89 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, THM:S, Vegan, whole30
Keyword: Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 32kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Store in a tightly closed container.
  • 2 tablespoons is the standard amount to use for 1 pound of meat, but you can of course use this seasoning to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2036mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2047IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg | Net Carbs: 3g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

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!

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268 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was great! I have used it several times and always good. I saw that there are Adrenal issues in your family. My daughter suffers from Addisons and it is so rare I was wondering if that may be the Adrenal issue. Just like to make a connection when we see someone with an Adrenal issue.
    Thanks for sharing the great recipe.
    Lisa Riner

    1. Awww thanks! No, that's not the situation. I was told it was adrenal fatigue--hard to know what to make of that b/c some say it doesn't exist and others say that it does. I think so many things are connected that it's hard to know what is what---nice to connect and thanks for the kind words! How is your daughter doing?

  2. 5 stars
    Can't give it enough stars!!! This is the best seasoning I've ever had. I might tweek it bit with the flavors, but you can't go wrong with it. I add some flour to the mix and shake everything up. Easy to use.

  3. 5 stars
    Very good. Followed the instructions as listed. Wrote the recipe down and taped it to the inside of my cabinet door. Thank you for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Could you please tell me if the nutrition info for the entire recipe or 2 tbsp of it? It's a great recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Really like this taco seasoning. Since finding it, I've stopped buying taco seasoning and always use this recipe instead. I keep some already made in my pantry. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hi Sue - I'm so sorry that that happened to you. Seems that there is a wide span of salt tastes here since this recipe gets rave reviews and then those who say it's too salty! Maybe try 1/4 of the amount next time? Did your dish have salt in it already?

  6. 5 stars
    Amazing! You don’t need any taco sauce on top of your tacos. Great favor with just the right kick! Never going back to the store bought packets.

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious and packed a little bit of a kick with the red pepper flakes. I made it 2 Tbsp per 1 pound of meat and added about a cup of water. My only complaint is it was very salty! I will be cutting back the salt substantially next time I make it. Overall, it is a great recipe and I will no longer be using the packets!

    1. Thanks and so glad you liked it! Salt is such a personal thing. I used to not eat as much salt but once we started using all natural salt and also since I learned about the benefits....however, I recognize that some people like less. So I clarified in the recipe now--it's to taste. Enjoy and thanks again!

  8. Our family loves this recipe. The kids won’t eat store bought taco seasoning anymore! And the ingredients are pretty inexpensive.

    Although it calls for 2 tbsp per pound of meat, we do t use quite that much. Maybe 1 1/2 tbsp at most.

    1. Hi there -- it's in the post but perhaps you missed it. 2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat. Enjoy!

  9. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. Though I had no "organic" ingredients it was still very tasty! I think I will make up a double batch as it's WAY BETTER than store bought!

        1. Yes, it will. I hope that isn't a confusing point for others. It's merely to limit pesticide exposure but also typically organic tastes better. Hope you like it!

  10. 5 stars
    This was very good, I made it today and everyone loved it. I will be making tacos with this recipe again. Thank you so much.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Sorry I didn't respond sooner--comments vanished off my blog for awhile and I just got them back recently. Trying to catch up!

  11. So have made plenty of make a head seasoning and they get HARD over time. What do you do to prevent that???????

    1. It depends on the seasoning ingredients. I find that a lot of garlic powder and sometimes onion powder will do that--could that be the problem? You could put a desiccant pack in there or a few grains of dry rice should help. I haven't had it happen with this seasoning.

      1. 5 stars
        Love this recipe! I quadruple it and save it for later in an air tight container. I cut down on the salt significantly (1 T. For a quadruple recipe) as well as the red peppers (1/4-1/2 t. Per quadruple recipe). I am vegetarian, so add 1/4 c. To a full bag of Gardein grounds, and the same amount for my taco soup. Perfect!