Made with an aromatic blend of spices and herbs that you already have on hand, Homemade Taco Seasoning is an easy recipe that will bring a kick to your favorite taco filling. It’s simple to make and keeps well so that you can enjoy perfectly spicy and flavorful tacos for months without the extra prep.
Making fajitas? Try this Homemade Fajitas Seasoning Mix!
The Best Homemade Taco Seasoning
Make taco night a breeze with this quick and easy DIY taco seasoning mix! Packed with flavor and easily customizable to fit your preferences, this spice mix will leave you waving goodbye to store-bought seasoning packets. The fresher flavors and higher-quality ingredients will make your house the hottest on the block every Taco Tuesday.
Packed with bold, warm flavors and spiced up to your liking, this homemade taco seasoning is preservative-free, gluten-free, Keto, low-carb, and all-natural. It’s also vegan and definitely dairy-free, so dietary restrictions won’t stop you from enjoying it. Put it on any taco filling of your choice and kick your meal up to the next level.
Why Make Taco Seasoning From Scratch?
The better question is, why not make taco seasoning from scratch? When it takes 30 seconds to whip together and uses things you can easily find in your spice drawer, there’s no reason not to go DIY. Plus, if you’re making it yourself, you control the spice level and the ingredient ratios. Just adjust the recipe until it’s perfect for you!
What You’ll Need
Crack open your spice drawer to find everything you need for a beautifully balanced taco seasoning. You can see the exact amounts for each ingredient by scrolling down to the recipe card.
- Chili Powder
- Ground Cumin
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Oregano: Buy it crushed or chop the whole dried leaves very finely.
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt and Pepper: Fresh ground pepper tastes best with your choice of fine-grained salt.
How to Make Your Own Taco Seasoning
Recipes don’t get much easier than this. Follow these steps for several meals’ worth of ready-to-go taco seasoning in 3 minutes or less.
- Mix It Up: Combine all your spices and herbs in a mixing bowl. Mix them until they are thoroughly combined.
- Seal: Transfer your taco seasoning into an airtight container or a jar with a lid.
- Store: Keep your seasoning in a dark, dry place. Use it within 3 months for the best freshness.
Tips for Success
This spice mix is so simple, there’s no way to mess it up! Follow these tips to make your taco seasoning really pop.
- Keep It Fresh: While using truly fresh herbs obviously isn’t an option, using whole dried herbs and chopping them finely for the seasoning will keep them tasting a lot fresher. This is why we recommend freshly ground pepper. Using whole dried oregano leaves and chopping them yourself can also make your seasoning more flavorful.
- Consider Color: Make sure you inspect your spices before you buy them at the store. Sometimes spices on supermarket shelves have been sitting there for a while. Skip duller, muted colors and go for the brighter and more vibrant hues, which tend to be freshest.
- Double It Up: If you’re planning to serve tacos at a party, make black bean dip for a potluck, or you just have a large group of family and friends, you can take this recipe and double or triple it. With such a flavorful mix, you might find it disappearing a lot faster than you expected!
The best part about preparing taco seasoning from scratch is that you can shake things up to make it just right for you. Here are some small changes that can make a big difference.
- Crank Up the Heat: The pepper flakes are enough for us, but if you like a little more heat, try stirring in a bit of cayenne pepper. Start by mixing about 1/8 of a teaspoon into your taco seasoning, then taste it and decide if you want more. Once you’ve got the balance that’s right for you, stir to combine all the ingredients and pop it in the spice drawer.
- Go Low-Sodium: You can cut the amount of salt you add, or even go salt-free! Just taste your taco seasoning to see what works for you.
- Go for a Smokier Flavor: If you want to add another element to your spice mix’s flavor profile, try using smoked paprika instead of plain. This is especially good on chicken to give it that smoky, fresh-off-the-grill flavor with no actual grilling needed.
Bring on the Flavor!
One of the best things about this taco seasoning is how versatile it is. You can go classic and use it on tacos, like these Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos. It also brightens up the savory meat in Skillet Burritos and Baked Salsa Chicken. Use it to add a kick to your vegetarian taco fillings like classic black beans, this lively and filling Fiesta Rice, and whatever else needs a dash of Mexican flair.
Although it’s best if used within 3 months, this taco seasoning will last for up to 6 months when it’s kept in a cool, dry place. Make sure it’s stored in a container that seals tightly. Small mason jars work great, or even used glass spice containers with screw-on tops—just make sure you change the labels so you remember what’s inside.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer prepared Taco Seasoning to an airtight container or a jar with a lid; store in a dark dry place.
- Keep for up to 3 months.
- Mixing Bowl
- Equivalency: One batch of this Homemade Taco Seasoning is equal to about two store-bought packets.
- To Store: Lasts up to 6 months when stored in a tightly-sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.