Homemade Taco Seasoning

It seems entirely fitting (even if actually coincidental) that I share this homemade taco seasoning after the poll and giveaway I posted last week asking what meals you enjoy enough to have weekly.  No formal analysis of the results was necessary to determine that the overwhelming winner was tacos.  Tacos seem by far the most popular item on many readers’ weekly menus, and this comes as no surprise.  Taco night is fun, easy, quick and healthy (well, depending on how you make them.)  And now it can be even healthier with homemade taco seasoning.  You can throw this together in minutes using ingredients you probably already have in the pantry.  The result has the same flavor as the stuff from the packet, but without all that nasty sodium.  No need to buy the packets ever again!

It was so fun reading all the responses of what foods people like enough to eat weekly.  As I said, tacos were by far the winner, followed closely by pizza.  Pasta was also a popular choice.  All favorite foods of mine, and I see why they make weekly menus!

And without further ado, the winner of the giveaway from last week was Jillian who said,  “Anything mexican! I LOVE mexican food….usually we have tacos about once a week…or burrito casserole…
I could definitely make mexican food almost daily.”  Well said and I couldn’t agree more.  Congrats, Jillian!

Homemade Taco Seasoning
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4 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. paprika
3 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well to blend.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

To prepare taco meat, use 2 heaping tablespoons in place of a package of taco seasoning (cook approximately 1 lb. of beef or chicken, add 1 cup of water with the seasoning, and simmer until the liquid is almost completely gone.)

Source: Use Real Butter, originally from Mex Recipes

44 Responses

  1. We are having burrito’s tonight. Thanks for the recipe, i’ll whip it up this afternoon!

    • I know it’s late in the season, but could you post a chili seasoning recipe? I am always running out of chili seasoning packet when I want to make chili and I can’t seem to get the right blend. Thanks : )

      • Hi Nicole,
        I’ve actually never heard of chili seasoning packets, I always just use a mixture of spices in my pantry since that’s what my recipes call for. I’m sure you could find a substitute via Google.

  2. Woohoo, I’m so glad you posted this because I’ve been looking for a homemade seasoning “recipe” to keep on hand. How many “servings” (of the 2 TB) does this recipe make?

    • Kelly,
      I haven’t done the math. You could add up the tablespoons in the recipe (and 3 tsp. = 1 tbsp.) and figure it out if you are interested.

    • Hi Kelly, I just made this earlier in the week and posted it to my blog today. I measured out the seasoning mix and found that you would get about 7 servings out of the mix (meaning you could season about 7 lbs of meat with it). Hope that helps!

  3. Wow, thanks for this…I may throw out the packet I have in the pantry and use this instead! I could always use less salt in my diet! 🙂

  4. I’m so glad to see a good taco seasoning recipe! While the stuff in the packet can be tasty, I just can’t deal with all the salt.

  5. Great idea!
    I just used part of a Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning packet and found it was way too spicy for my little one. 😦 Next time I will definitely make my own!

  6. This is great! I haven’t made tacos in forever mostly because I’m trying to move away from processed stuff and I have been too lazy to try to figure out what I need to recreate the spice flavor. Thanks!

  7. love it thanks for the mix!

  8. Splendid. I will have to give this a try. I love tacos but have never been a huge fan of the packet seasoning, they always seem to have an odd taste to me.

  9. Awesome! I always want to use the packet but its so high it sodium it freaks me out!

  10. Thank-you so much! I had to make my own this week, and was wishing I had a recipe with the right proportions! I’ll be using this regularly!

  11. I’ve seen this recipe, too! Your taco seasoning looks beautiful. It would go well with my adobo sauce. I’ll have to make something with this. Thanks!

  12. I’ve been making my own taco seasoning for a few years now and the difference in the flavor (from the packets in the store) is amazing . . . plus homemade is all spcies none of that filler! I recently had friends over for a birthday potluck and I put up a make-your-own taco bar — I cooked both chicken and beef (and next time will add tiapia to the selections) and used my homemade seasoning . . . everyone raved about the flavor! This is also good to make flavored oyster crackers for a snack (1 pkg (about 4 or 5 cups) of oyster crackers, 1/4 cup canola oil, about 2 or 3 TBL seasoning — toss to coat then spread on cookie sheet and bake in 250 oven for about 10 minutes.)

    Now I need a recipe for homemade Bay Seasoning! 😉

  13. That’s really easy and I do have the ingredients. That’s great!

  14. I just “stumbled upon” your site… I love it! Great work- hmmm…. I will try and find a bay seasoning, too!

  15. This is great! Tacos and/or taco soup is always a go-to meal for me, and I hate it when the only ingredient I don’t have is taco seasoning. Now I can just make my own!

  16. Oh thank you so much for this post! I’ve been wanting to make homemade taco seasoning. I don’t think I knew there was cumin in it…. that makes sense! So good!!

  17. Thanks a lot, I have been looking for a good replacement for the nasty packet kind and you’re right, I do have all of those ingrediants already in my pantry! SWEET!

  18. How great! Never thought of making my own taco seasoning. I bet this better than anything from a package! Thanks

  19. Homemade taco seasoning is so much better than store-bought! I’ll have to give this recipe a try :).

  20. Yay!! I’m SO happy you posted this! I’m moving into a new place and am on a quest to make as much from scratch as possible, including seasonings. This will be splendid. 🙂

  21. I always have these items on hand anyways = yay!

  22. love the taco seasoning recipe!
    i’ll be testing it out asap….wish i had it last night, i made enchiladas with sodium packed mix 😉

  23. I love that this doesn’t call for salt! 🙂 It’s a lot like what I use when making taco seasoning, almost identical actually!


  24. will make this, thanks a lot

  25. I was just thinking yesterday while making tacos that it would probably be a lot cheaper to make my own seasoning instead of buying those little packets every time. I was going to look for a recipe today, but then I saw yours! I already have most of those ingredients. Next time I’m at the store I’ll pick up the rest and make a big batch to keep in the pantry. My husband and I love tacos. 🙂

  26. I made a half batch last night (just in case I didn’t like it. Spices are expensive!), but I should have just made it all. It was wonderful! It’s also so nice to know all the ingredients that are in the seasoning vs. a package of seasoning with sodium and other unpronounceable ingredients. Thanks again Annie!

  27. I agree, homemade taco seasoning is a must! It’s so simple that I would never bypass it in favor of store bought mixes which often include MSG and other artificial ingredients – not to mention WAY too much sodium.

  28. Awesome. I’ve been looking for a good taco seasoning recipe.

  29. When I was a kid tacos were by far my favorite meal. I don’t make them as much anymore, but this makes me crave them! Will love having homemade seasoning.

  30. Wow. Now that is what I am talking about. I have made many types of Egg Rolls. I have made Pulled Pork Egg Rolls and Cheesesteak Egg Rolls. We love them…..I never thought of a Southwest.

    We had a Chicken Southwest Egg Roll at a local place we love…It rocked.

    Very well done

  31. Hey, your friend Amanda, told me about you in December and you inspired me! Your blog is amazing! I’m super stoked about this particular recipe because I have a child with a dairy allergy and I just found out the taco seasoning I use has whey. We eat mexican way to much to go without taco seasoning.

  32. Annie,

    This recipe was fantastic. We used chili powder we made from this Alton Brown recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/abs-chili-powder-recipe/index.html. And made it tonight subbing tomato juice for the water. Made amazing taco meat for our nachos. Love the lack of salt in the seasoning. Thanks!

  33. Thank you so much for this recipe! Taco Salad is one of our favorite quick dinners and we have been saved from eating those ingredients we never heard of in those ready made packets! lol I posted this recipe on my blog and linked back to you. Thanks again!

  34. We used this twice now. Delicious! I feel much better making tacos now that I’m not using those crazy chemical filled packets.

  35. Annie,
    Thanks for making such basic recipes for us novices, even though I know you can do much more complicated things! I have been reading your blog for a while, and slowly, I have gotten enough confidence to try some things. I made tacos tonight, and hummus earlier this week, and I got my first 10’s (yes, my husband rates my dinners) in 5 years of marriage!!! Thank you!!

  36. I’ve read your blog for quite some time (I’m in love with your pictures and fantastic recipes!). I have never quite liked packet taco seasoning, and I finally tried this recipe tonight. It is so fantastic! Thanks for posting it. It tastes so much better!

  37. I just used this again for tacos tonight and it is so delicious! Thank you for a yummy taco seasoning without all the salt!

  38. First time here…I will be trying this recipe tonight. I am trying to re-buy all my spices etc…in a organic form…not quite there yet….but this is great and we know what is in it..
    Thank you


  39. Annie, I tried this seasoning the other night. It’s excellent, and I love that it doesn’t contain sodium and other mystery fillers like the taco seasonings at the grocery store. Thank you!

  40. Made your taco seasoning and have used it twice – excellent! When I put a turkey taco recipe on my blog today I linked back to the seasoning recipe on your site. Thanks for the yumminess!

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