Taco Seasoning Recipe

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

This taco seasoning recipe only has real spices. It does not contain preservatives or any of the junk you’ll find in the store-bought varieties, so you can feel good about seasoning your food with this delicious spice mix.

A full jar of this homemade Taco Seasoning recipe.

What Is Taco Seasoning? 

Taco seasoning is exactly what it sounds like. It’s seasoning you can add to meat to make taco meat for tacos. That said, it’s a very popular combination of spices that can be added to many different Latin dishes.

What’s In Taco Seasoning?

The overall predominant flavors are cumin and chili powder with some garlic and onion mixed in. However, a store-bought packet of taco seasoning is a whole different animal. Homemade seasoning is a much better choice.

Store-Bought Vs. Homemade Taco Seasoning 

The sad fact is that most of the store-bought taco seasoning you can buy has either sugar, maltodextrin, or MSG in it. (Or a combination of all of those!) That’s not exactly what I want to put in my body, thank you. Making your own taco seasoning recipe at home takes a minute or two, and you can feel good about what you are eating. Plus, you can make a big batch and keep it in your pantry for many meals to come. No more small packets for single dinners!

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Taco Seasoning?

Well, that’s what this recipe is for! But seriously, if you are low on spices, you can usually get away with using ground cumin and chili powder in a pinch. It won’t be quite the same, but it’ll be close.

What’s The Difference Between Mexican Seasoning And Taco Seasoning?

Taco seasoning is a milder seasoning compared to Mexican seasoning. Mexican seasoning has some spicier things added, such as chipotle chile pepper and ancho powder. It’s a spicier mix, even if the overall combination of spices is roughly the same.

Dietary Concerns

This homemade taco seasoning recipe is a great option for anyone who wants to use taco seasoning. It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, etc. It fits almost any eating plan.

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

How Much Taco Seasoning Per Pound?

You can use these ratios with ground turkey, ground beef, or ground pork. It will also work with TVP or tofu.

1 lb. ground meat – 2 tbsp. homemade taco seasoning

1 lb. non-ground meat (like chicken breasts) – 1 tbsp. homemade taco seasoning

How Much Homemade Taco Seasoning To Use For Other Dishes?

1 cup dry rice (or other grains) – 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
2 cups popped popcorn – 1 or 2 tsp. taco seasoning (adjust to taste)

What Else Can I Add To This DIY Taco Seasoning Recipe?

  • Try using a smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes for extra spice
  • Dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper

What Can I Put Taco Seasoning Mix In?

  • Any meat mixture for tacos or burritos that use beef, chicken, pork, tofu or tvp
  • Taco salads
  • Mix with sour cream for taco dip
  • Mix with ground meat for stuffed peppers
  • Sprinkle on roasted vegetables
  • Mix into bean dip for extra flavor
  • Use as a dry rub for grilling meats
  • Mix with olive oil for a marinade
  • Season roasted potatoes
  • Mix into scrambled eggs for breakfast tacos
  • Use as a seasoning for chili
  • Mix into rice
  • Sprinkle on roasted nuts

What Is Taco Seasoning Mix Made Of?

Ground cumin

Paprika – Regular, not smoked.

Cayenne pepper – Optional.

Onion granules – Or onion powder.

Garlic granules – Or garlic powder. (Not garlic salt)

Ground black pepper

Chili powder

Salt – Optional. Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt are both good choices. If you use it, add a quarter teaspoon to start. You can always add more later or during cooking.

How To Make Taco Seasoning

All the spices for this taco seasoning in a bowl.

Blend all the spices this taco seasoning recipe 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 recipe spicy.

Ideas For Using This Taco Seasoning Recipe

  • 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.
  • Taco 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.
  • Black beans – Sprinkle it on while you warm them up.
  • Casseroles – Any Mexican-style casserole dish will benefit from taco seasoning.
  • Chicken tacos
  • Taco soup

More Seasoning Mix Recipes


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A full jar of Taco Seasoning.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

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.
3.60 from 5 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 77kcal



  • 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 ½ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    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!