Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe (Secret Family Favorite)

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I can get my kids to eat almost anything with ketchup or homemade ranch dressing on top… or if I season it with taco seasoning! I know many moms who keep taco seasoning packets on hand to use in the thousands of kid-friendly ways suggested by Pinterest.

I lived in Texas for much of my life and fell in love with the flavors of both Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican cuisine. This taco seasoning mix is a family favorite recipe we’ve carefully perfected over many years.

Ground beef, chicken, eggs, or even a veggie scramble… it’s all better with this taco seasoning blend on top!

Why Make Homemade Taco Seasoning?

Why go through the trouble of making your own seasoning mix when you can buy a packet of taco seasoning at the store? Here are a few reasons I like doing it:

  • Perk #1: You get more for your money. If you’ve ever bought store-bought packets, this is a simple and cost-effective switch you can make right away. Store-bought taco seasoning is crazy overpriced for the two tablespoons of actual spices it contains. It also often contains things like MSG, anti-caking agents, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavors. For those with food sensitivities or allergies, you can also avoid the added cornstarch and it’s gluten-free. Buying spices in bulk saves money and skips the cheap fillers and harmful additives.
  • Perk #2: It’s easy. This homemade version is so easy to make with almost no prep time! The total time to make up a big batch is about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container (I love my mason jars for this) and store away from heat and light to have it on hand for months to come. No more running to the store because you’re out of taco seasoning!
  • Perk #3: You can control the spice level. Add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for heat. Double down on the cumin for a more smoky and savory approach. The gentle blend of flavors is great with much more than just tacos though. Add it to scrambled eggs, mayo, stir-fries, soups, and even salad dressings! Since kids usually don’t love spicy foods, I make this a mild taco seasoning and give the adults a grinder with red pepper flakes or a bottle of hot sauce at the table.

How to Make Your Own Taco Seasoning Recipe

When you make taco mix yourself, you’ll find it’s incredibly easy! You only need a few basic spices:

  • chili powder (here’s how to make your own)
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder (here’s how to make your own)
  • dried oregano
  • paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • Himalayan salt or sea salt (optional)
  • black pepper

Measure in the ratios below, mix in a small bowl or mason jar, and store for use! It’s that easy. This recipe should give you a starting point but feel free to adapt it to your family’s tastes and make your own “secret” recipe.

Taco-Inspired Recipes to Try

I use the spices above in many other recipes, so it’s great to have the option of using them on their own or combining them into various homemade seasonings. See the whole list of my favorite spice mixes below.

We use our DIY taco seasoning the most in:

There are so many options (not all of them are good… I’ve seen some of the kitchen experiments my kids come up with!). So try some of this seasoning for your next taco Tuesday.

How to Substitute Homemade Taco Seasoning for Packets

Use 2-3 tablespoons of this spice + ¼ cup of water per pound of ground meat. Add the spice and water while the meat is browning and cook on medium-high heat until the water has evaporated and the meat is fully cooked. You can use a pound of ground beef, turkey, or even shredded chicken.


Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Homemade taco seasoning is simple and cost effective to make and easily takes the place of store bought seasoning packets for quick meals.

Nutrition Facts

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Amount Per Serving (1 tsp)

Calories 4
Calories from Fat 2

% Daily Value*

Fat 0.2g0%

Saturated Fat 0.02g0%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g

Sodium 67mg3%

Potassium 21mg1%

Carbohydrates 1g0%

Fiber 0.3g1%

Sugar 0.1g0%

Protein 0.2g0%

Vitamin A 161IU3%

Vitamin C 0.1mg0%

Calcium 7mg1%

Iron 0.4mg2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

  • Use 2-3 tablespoons of this spice + ¼ cup of water per pound of meat. Add the spice and water while the meat is browning and cook on medium high heat until the water has evaporated and the meat is fully cooked.
  • This recipe yields about 3 cups total. 

Want To Make Other Spices Too?

Check out my full list of spices you can make at home with basic ingredients to overhaul your spice cabinet. The flavor of fresh, homemade spice blends is incredible and you’ll save money too!

What are your favorite ways to use taco seasoning? Drop a comment and let us know!

credit: wellnessmama

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