Taco Seasoning Recipe

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A good, homemade taco seasoning recipe is always a good recipe to have on hand. It’s made with simple, easy-to-find ingredients, it’s made quickly and easily and gives any dish amazing flavor.

A full jar of Taco Seasoning.

Why Make Taco Seasoning Homemade?

The sad fact is,  most of the packaged stuff you can buy has either sugar, maltodextrin or MSG in it. (Or a combination of all of those!) Not exactly what I want to put in my body, thank you.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder

How To Make Taco Seasoning

All the spices for this taco seasoning in a bowl.

Blend all spices in a bowl and use to season any taco meat you are cooking. Use approximately 1 tablespoon per pound of meat.

The spices all mixed together.

Note: This mix has a small amount of “kick” to it. Nothing that will set your mouth on fire, but definitely noticeable. If you want something without the kick, leave out the cayenne and add an extra ½ teaspoon of paprika.

The optional teaspoon of cayenne to make this taco seasoning spicey.

How Much Homemade Taco Seasoning To Use?

1 lb. ground meat – 2 tbsp. taco seasoning

1 cup dry rice (or other grains) – 1 tbsp. taco seasoning

Taco Seasoning jar full of spices, tipped over and spilling out.

Ideas For Using This Seasoning

  • Tacos – Mix this into the meat during cooking
  • Burritos – Mix this into the meat during cooking
  • Cheese Taco Pasta – Mix this into the meat and pasta combo during cooking
  • Salsa – Blend this into fresh salsa for an extra kick
  • Mexican dip – Blend this into the meat or beans or both
  • Mexican soups and stews – Use this as seasoning in soups and stews. Simply drop it into the broth
  • Enchiladas – Give the sauce a little something extra with 1 to 2 tbsp. of this seasoning.
  • Quesadillas – Sprinkle this over the cheese before cooking. Let the spices melt into the cheese

More Seasoning Mix Recipes

Need A Jar?

Copyright button.
A full jar of Taco Seasoning.

Taco Seasoning

Why buy packets of seasoning at the store that are filled with junk when you can so easily make your own at home in minutes?! Use approximately 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of meat.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 77kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry



  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder


  • Put all the measured spices into a mixing bowl.
    All the spices for this taco seasoning in a bowl.
  • Whisk them together.
    The spices all mixed together.
  • Note: This mix has a small amount of “kick” to it. Nothing that will set your mouth on fire, but definitely noticeable. If you want something without the kick, leave out the cayenne and add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
    The optional teaspoon of cayenne to make this taco seasoning spicey.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 2tbsp. | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 2095IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 10.5mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 8/19/10.

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  1. JenniferLeah says:

    will give this one a whirl~I have made one before using a chipotle pepper spice from Penzy’s and it was awesome. Nice and hot 🙂

  2. Thank you thank you thank you! I am on the beginning journey of clean eating and like that my family can have the good ole’ favorites with out all the chemicals. I haven’t even told my husband that we are changing. hehe Hasn’t even noticed! Let’s see if in a month or so we aren’t all feeling a little better.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Angie – That’s a great way to do it! I find men are much more accepting of healthier dishes if they don’t know you’re cooking healthier! Go girl!

  3. Can’t wait to try this. I have been on a the hunt for a good sodium free taco seasoning. My kids love tacos! I found a good one at my farmers market, but it is way too expensive to continue using. This is perfect! Thanks!

  4. will have to try..I always thought the taco salda recipe would make good tacos! We just eat tacos with no seasoning because I don’t like the flavor of the packaged stuff and I grew up on it!

  5. What do you put your tacos in? I can’t find any corn based taco shells that aren’t full of rubbish and i am wheat free so can’t have flour tortillas?
    By the way – buffalo worked great in the Bison stew 🙂 Kangaroo, not so much (it was AWFUL) Definately stick to the “tougher’ cuts.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jo – You may have to search a bit, but there are corn tortillas on the market that are made of corn, lime and water. They are the soft taco version, but just as good and definitely clean.

  6. Thank you, Tiffany, for adding this one. I used to buy the 30% Reduced Sodium taco seasoning packets whenever I could find them, but didn’t care for all the “extra” ingredients — and still too much sodium!

    I’ve been reducing my meat consumption, and using TVP and un-fried “refried” beans for my taco filling. Unfortunately, TVP (short for “texturized vegetable protein”) is still very much a “processed” food.

    Have you come across any less processed alternatives for meat-less tacos, lasagnes, etc.?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – I’ve found the combination of tofu and brown rice is a good substitute in both texture and protein. Outside of that, you could just scramble some firm tofu with the taco seasoning.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Can’t’s wait to try it. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathy – Great! Let me know how you like it!

  8. This is so good! Thanks for posting all these wonderful recipes!! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill – Fabulous! Have a great holiday! And thanks for trying my recipes!

  9. Thank you for your so easy to make Clean Eating Taco Seasoning. My family loves tacos. We enjoy them at least twice a week (once with beef and once with chicken) I’ve always wanted to make my own seasoning cause all those packets are full of sodium and other “extra” ingredients I don’t want in our food.
    How do I store the this and for how long? Like all other spices?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      WWCook – Yep! Like all other spices. Just put it in an air tight container and it’ll keep for quite a while. Enjoy!

  10. Trudefaith says:

    thanks for this recipe Tiffany! I used red pepper flakes (cause I really like the taste) and have used this seasoning a lot. my family really likes it. if your looking for a good meat alt try this with cooked lentils they are winderful in tacos (I leave out the refried beans on a lentil taco) very nice and also great on a taco salad!

    1. Anonymous says:

      TF – Yes! I’ve tried it with lentils. Really very yummy! I even mixed quinoa in to get a little extra complete protein. Yum!

  11. I used this instead of the taco seasoning in my chicken fiesta soup, and it made it even better. I will never use the little packets again, thanks so much for the recipe. Just one question, when you make taco meat with the packet seasonings, you usually add water and cook. Will I need to do this when adding to ground beef for tacos?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Ashley – Use this the same way you would use the packet seasoning. I’ve never added water of any kind. But if that’s what you usually do, then you should. Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Smitty – You can find them on the internet. Mine were left over from a bath and body business I used to own. But you can still get them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    NitNat – No I haven’t, but I will! They sound delish!

  14. graciouspantry says:

    Julie – If it has any, it’s not much. You could try entering it in an online calculator.

  15. graciouspantry says:

    Mandasue – Fabulous!

  16. Linda Stine Flint says:

    Same ingredients but: 1 tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp each ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, black pepper, crushed red pepper. the seasonings you put in more or less to your tastes. I have a sealed jar that I put this in…this is for one use, so I’ll usually make this in batches in the jar (6-8 and more) and seal it. Usually I add in little extra red pepper and garlic and chili powder. When you use it to make taco mix, then you put 2-3 tbsp over the meat, with 1 tsp corn starch (thickening) and 1/2 cup water. I don’t like a lot of juice in the taco so I use little less water. can leave out corn starch which I do many times since i use less water. It is nice and easy to just sprinkle it in even when not making tacos but want the same flavoring. already made, in airtight jar.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Linda – Sounds wonderful! Thanks!

  17. This looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it! I have to ask….where did you get the jars in your picture – it’s so cute!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Liz – They are left over from a bath and body business I used to own. But you can find them pretty easily on the web.

  18. graciouspantry says:

    It’s always best to be prepared!

  19. graciouspantry says:

    Awesome! I’m so glad you like it!

  20. graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! I’m happy you’re finding it useful!

  21. smells and tastes exactly like el paso pre packaged taco seasoning…yummy…thank you, just made 12 oz jar…should last a while!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      My pleasure!

  22. If you are looking for lots of flavor with less heat I think you may be able to substitute the Cayenne Pepper with Ancho Pepper. It has a really nice deep flavor with much less heat from my experience. 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – Interesting! Thanks for the tip!

  23. Just made this mix. I need to buy paprika and garlic powder and then it will be completed. Can’t wait to try it with shrimps!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  24. Just made this seasoning and used on some ground turkey meat…YUM! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sara – My pleasure!

  25. just made a double batch of this, and it smells AMAZING!!! cant wait to have tacos this week!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jamie – Enjoy!

  26. Hi Tiffany,
    I have been enjoying your website for a couple of years now, I found it from a friend’s posting on Facebook. Your recipes are great for me, as I am diabetic, and am always looking for healthy, yet flavorful recipes. My husband and I love tacos, but as you know, the taco seasoning packs are LOADED with sodium. I’ve tried creating my own combinations in the past, but just couldn’t get the flavors quite right. I am so glad I ran across this recipe not too long ago and tried it. It was so good! My husband even commented that it was “better than those packets”. As always, thanks for your amazing creative talent in developing and sharing these recipes. It’s been fun following you on your journey and watching your website develop and expand.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Paula – Thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  27. OMG! Tried this the other day and my family inhaled it! Literally we had NO leftovers! I had NO lunch for the next day, my husband had 6 tacos and my kids (2) each had 4 I had a portion of the meat on top of some spring mix! Totally will be making this again and again!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melissa – Fantastic! 🙂

  28. I’m making this tonight! I’ve always wanted to make my own taco seasoning! Thanks

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      LouAnn – My pleasure! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  29. These are all the same spices I use when I make Mexican food anyway (a specialty of mine). I hate the taste of the premade taco seasoning from the store. I am so glad you have it down to a science. Last night I tripled it and put it in a 1/2 pint Bell jar…thanks so much for the idea!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amanda C – My pleasure! 🙂

  30. Do you have a recipe for a no sodium Chili Seasoning? Can’t wait to try your Taco Seasoning!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sharon – Not yet, but it’s on my list.

  31. Tiffany W says:

    I just whipped this up, and it smells wonderful! Cannot wait to try this on tacos! Just a question for you though, how much do you actually put on the tacos? For example, if I have a pound of hamburger, should I use all of it (going off of your measurements), or half of it?


    – Tiffany W.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tiffany W – For a pound, 1 tbsp. would be plenty. At least in my opinion. You might want to start with a little less and add more as needed. It’s okay to stir in more after it’s cooked. You just have to give it a few extra minutes to absorb the spices.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tiffany W – My pleasure!

  32. Awesome Clean recipe! Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kim T. – My pleasure! 🙂

  33. I love it! I have been dying for a clean eating taco recipe, as both my husband and I love them. Would you prepare the tacos the same way as with traditional taco seasoning? That is, add the 2/3 cups water, the seasoning and then simmer with meat until water is absorbed?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Allyson – I never add water to mine. Just 1 tbp. of oil or so, and cook the meat mixed with the spices. I usually add them after they have browned.

  34. Where did you find the awesome little jar for it?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sondra – The link is at the very bottom of this blog post under the directions. Enjoy! 🙂

  35. Nicholas Miller says:

    I didn’t think this added enough taco/Mexican flavor. I would add more than a tablespoon per pound and this really does need some salt.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicholas – Most taco seasoning packets have a TON of salt and msg added. So without that addition, yes. You would definitely have to add salt. But I try not to dictate how much salt to add to a recipe because everyone has such different tastes in that department. But by all means, use as much as you need!

  36. Is this recipe for 1 pound of meat?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Erin – No. Not the entire recipe. For 1 pound of meat I suggest 1 to 2 tablespoons of the seasoning, depending on how strong you want the flavors.

  37. looking for new way of cooking my mom.. She is.on Dialysis and she has to be on low low salt. I’m.a great cook and nowIm .having too change up of how too cook healthier.. thank you for your help.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Angela – My pleasure! I hope you both enjoy the seasoning!

  38. I’ve been eating mostly clean for almost 2 years. My husband has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure recently and now I’ve got to remove salt from his diet. Sound easy, right? WRONG! Good lord there’s some kind of sodium in EVERYTHING. I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work to make our lives easier! Keep up the good work. Love your blog and recipes.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kim – Thanks so much! That does sound difficult. I wish you much success!!

  39. 5 stars
    This is my go to taco seasoning now. I’ve used this many times and the whole family loves it. I make a big batch and jar it for a quick meal. I throw some chicken, about a half cup of bone broth or water in the slow cooker and sprinkle liberally with this mix.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Noe – I’m so happy you’re enjoying it! It’s definitely great to keep on hand. I use it all the time!

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