Hands down, this easy homemade DIY taco seasoning recipe is THE BEST. It’s not too spicy, not too mild, WAY better than the packet. We use it for ground beef taco meat and my kids always clean their plates. It’s a great replacement for all the other brands and will save money on your meal plan budget!
We are a taco family. Whether they’re in corn tortillas, flour tortillas or over a bed of Instant Pot brown rice or coconut rice or on a bed of cilantro lime coleslaw – we.love.tacos.
What we don’t love, is store-bought taco seasoning.
So I use this homemade taco seasoning recipe instead and it hits tacos out of the ballpark, every single time!
I confess that I haven’t always made my own homemade taco seasoning. I mean, I used to all the time…
but then we moved, and moved again, and then I created a grocery shopping course and in the midst of all this, homemade taco seasoning fell to the very bottom of the priority list.
And then we did the Whole30. For those who don’t know, the Whole30 is an elimination diet which doesn’t allow any sugar, soy, dairy, legumes, gluten or grains.
For those who do know, the Whole30 will put your label reading skills to the ultimate test! Even the best label readers should be on their toes, because there are hidden sugars (among other unhealthy things I’m sure) in the most unlikely of places…
- Liquid smoke
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fish sauce
- Oyster sauce
- “Healthy” brands of lunchmeat
And there’s sugar in many dried spices too, including store-bought poultry seasoning and taco seasoning.
I overcame poultry seasoning easy enough with this delicious homemade poultry seasoning blend. It’s made up of spices I tend to have on hand anyway, and since we use it as a general all-purpose spice on potatoes, vegetables and nearly all meats (except beef), I can make as much as I need to.
Since tacos aren’t nearly as delicious without taco seasoning, it was high time I perfected my own homemade taco seasoning recipe!
How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
There are several pros to making your own spice blends:
You can adjust homemade spice blends to suit your tastes.
We like it flavorful and medium. You might like it straight up hot. Or maybe you have little ones who need it mild for their young taste buds, but you want it to still have enough pizzazz for you too.
When you make your own spice blends, smell and taste each spice as you add it to the blend. Becoming familiar with what each individual spice tastes like will help you create the perfect blend for you and your family.
Cumin and chili powder are both in this homemade taco seasoning recipe, but they each have different flavor profiles. You may want more cumin and less chili powder – taste them and experiment!
It’s a whole lot cheaper to make your own spice blends.
One packet of taco seasoning costs 98¢ for one ounce (that’s just 2 Tbsp) on Amazon. I know for a fact I can make the same amount of taco seasoning for mere pennies – especially when I buy my spices at either ALDI or Walmart. (If you’re curious which is cheaper, ALDI or Walmart, read this article.)
Plus buying single spices means I can re-use them as needed for other recipes. Cumin is one of the key spices in my best ever slow cooker refried beans, but I would never recommend substituting taco seasoning in its place. It’s just not the same!
Making your own spice blends is generally healthier.
I say generally here because you could probably go to your local health food store and buy taco seasoning that doesn’t have too much junk in it… but you’re also going to pay an arm and a leg.
Instead, make your own! You can control exactly what goes into your blend and make sure it meets whatever standard of healthy you’re looking for.
- If you don’t want salt, then skip it!
- If you don’t want sugar, this recipe doesn’t have it!
Psst! If you’re going to use salt, and you want to keep your food as clean and delicious as possible, try the salt from Ava Jane’s Kitchen! Why? Because it doesn’t have microplastics (gross, right?) AND it’s SO GOOD! Plus, you can get a bag for just 1¢!! (Get your penny bag of salt on this page. link)
Obviously I use this seasoning in my ground beef taco meat recipe, but homemade taco seasoning isn’t just for the meat!
- I’ve added this to season cauliflower rice and it was SO GOOD.
- I’ve also added it to crispy potato wedges and to homemade breakfast sausage, to flavor almond crusted baked chicken and in a pinch to make homemade guacamole.
- This homemade taco seasoning recipe is also a staple in my easy tortilla soup and if I have a Mexican-food theme on my meal plan, then I’ll use it to flavor my Instant Pot whole chicken too!
- You could even add it to the easiest scrambled eggs and to spice up homemade chicken nuggets.
I’m thinking you really can’t go wrong with shaking a bit of homemade taco seasoning on everything, right?
Storing Homemade Taco Seasoning
Anytime I buy spices at ALDI (where they’re only 99¢), I keep the glass jars. They’re very similar to this kind, and they line up so nicely in my spice cabinet. Here’s how I remove the labels, and then I use a sharpie to write what blend is inside (sharpie doesn’t wipe off easily, but you can wash it off with soap and water).
These small 4 oz mason jars are another good option too. The neat thing about those, is that they’re the perfect size for avocado chocolate mousse or DIY magnesium lotion!
Homemade taco seasoning is THE BOMB.
- It’s SUPER easy, SUPER delicious, and SUPER healthy!
- Taco seasoning doesn’t just go on taco meat, add it to cauliflower rice, Instant Pot brown rice, tortilla soup, roasted potato wedges (or any veggies really), even scrambled eggs! Yum!
- Save your jars from other spices and remove the labels. Or use these spice jars, or multipurpose 4oz mason jars.
- Making your own spice blends is one little step to saving more money and eating healthier. (It’s cheaper and there’s no crazy ingredients!)
Try out any of these AMAZING homemade spice blends:
Montreal Steak Seasoning // Poultry Seasoning // Homemade Ranch Seasoning // All Purpose Seasoned Salt
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
Hands down, this easy homemade taco seasoning recipe is THE BEST. It’s not too spicy, not too mild, WAY better than the packet. Use it on ground beef tacos!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 1/3 cup 1x
- Category: Sauces/Condiments
- Method: Bowl
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Combine all ingredients in a glass jar.
- Shake well and use as desired.
Keywords: homemade taco seasoning recipe
I have tried so many ways to season my taco meat without using the premade packets. This is THE BEST!! I added a little nutritional yeast, about 1 tsp and it just adds a little extra. Can’t wait to try the Montreal Steak seasoning! Thanks Tiffany!
In your comments you mention “If you can’t have corn, you can avoid the cornstarch!”, but I don’t see it in the recipe. How much and do you add it to the mix or put it in water first and use it like thickening gravy? My taco seasoning recipe is very similar to yours and doesn’t have cornstarch. I add water to the meat with the seasoning, just like the packets, but sometimes it seems a little too “juicy”.
Karen @ Team Crumbs
Thanks so much for touching in! Tiffany actually doesn’t use cornstarch either, so it’s just a mistake in the post. Thanks for making mention of it. I will fix the post right away. 🙂
Been using this for all taco meats AND to season my chili!! Never could get my chili to taste right until now 😀 thanks you so much for the recipe. I’m loving it so much I’m debating about batching it for cheap Christmas gifts to people I know love tacos. I mean Id love a jar of sugar free/additive free taco seasoning for Christmas!
I absolutely looooooooooooooove your taco seasoning! I’ve been enjoying it since November of 2017, and I’m actually going to teach some students at a cooking class how to make it this coming Friday. The cooking class is usually hosted by my mother, but she’s going to let me teach this Friday. The main course is taco salad, which I’m sure will go really good with this made-from-scratch taco seasoning!
Thanks for these recipes. Just made a double batch of this tonight and used some to for taco meat–nice flavor!
You’re very welcome Heidi!
When you say chili, do you mean chili powder? Thanks for the recipe!
How much seasoning goes in a lb of ground meat?
I usually add 1 Tbsp, but you can add as little or as much as you’d like!
Mary Alice Brown
When you say “onion” and “garlic” do you mean onion powder and garlic powder? Thanks.
Definitely trying this soon! I bought a cheap brand of cumin on Amazon, and to me it just doesn’t taste right. Do you have a particular brand of spices you use/recommend?
Hi Mary! I’m not partial to brands when it comes to spices – use what you can afford!
Agree completely ! Home made is the best ! Thank you !
Great minds DO think alike, because great minds love tacos. 😉
Thanks for the recipe! I usually just dump a combo of chili powder and cumin and salt into the meat but it’s a good idea to have a consistent recipe made up ahead. Question: do you have any info on why avoiding sugar in things like condiments and cooking sauces is important outside of a special diet? We lived in Asia for 5 years and the traditional Asian diet is very healthy (for them anyway) but they use sugar to cook savory dishes. However the traditional diet has almost no sweets/desserts in it other than fruit. What’s the big deal with avoiding small amounts of sugar in cooking? Is it just for the Whole 30reset diet or am I missing something?
Hi Beth! The Whole30 doesn’t allow any sugar at all, so that was the catalyst for us looking for the little sugars on labels. During that month though, I learned three things:
1) There are a lot of little sugars… which add up and in the end, doesn’t make them so little anymore.
2) Consuming sugar makes our bodies want more sugar. It’s INCREDIBLY addictive, and it’s so easy to fall back in the habit. Processed sugars are especially harmful for the body.
3) As a family, we feel SO MUCH BETTER being sugar-free!
If you intentionally sweeten your dinner, like adding honey in an Asian dish (which I’ve done), then I don’t see anything wrong with that because YOU are INTENTIONALLY adding the sweetener. The problem (in my opinion) is when you’re avoiding sugars – for whatever reason – and they’re hidden in foods you wouldn’t think they’d be in. Then all the work you’re doing to avoid is for naught. 🙁