Homemade Taco Seasoning

By Polly Conner
May 12, 2022

Once you make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning, you won’t go back. DIY Taco Seasoning is not only is it cheaper AND healthier (no artificial ingredients or preservatives), but it also tastes better!

This mix makes 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup), but I almost always double it and store my mix in a mason jar in my pantry.

Taco seasoning mix in a jar

This house LOVES Mexican food. Even my 2-year-old will scarf down a whole bowl of spicy Mexican Soup without any protest. It seems like we are making a Taco Bar at least once every few weeks.

Why Make Your Own Taco Seasoning Mix

Up until this point, I simply bought the expensive little packets of taco seasoning without batting an eye. However, as I am growing increasingly aware of what is actually in pre-packaged foods, I realized that my little bundles of taco-joy were filled with some questionable ingredients.

Check out the ingredients in the packet that I usually buy:

  • Maltodextrin
  • salt
  • chili pepper
  • onion powder
  • spice
  • monosodium glutamate
  • corn starch
  • yellow corn flour
  • partially hydrogenated soybean oil
  • silicon dioxide (anticaking agent)
  • natural flavor
  • ethoxyquin (preservative)

I also hated that I was paying $1-$2 for a single serving. I used taco seasoning so much that I finally realized it’d be worth it to make my own batch and triple it for future use. Turns out I had every ingredient I needed in order to make a big batch of this yummy taco seasoning mix! Isn’t it pretty?!

What Ingredients Do I Need?

You’ll need the following ingredients in order to make your own taco seasoning:

  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Dried oregano
  • Paprika
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt & pepper
Ingredients for Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe

How to Make Taco Seasoning

Skip the store-bought packets, because making your own seasoning is much cheaper and easier. All you do is place the pantry spices in the recipe below in a mason jar or container with lid. Then, store it in your pantry until ready to use. That’s it!

How Much Taco Seasoning Do I Use Per Pound of Meat?

We typically use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground beef. Add more if you like the flavor, less if you have sensitive palates. You can always season the meat with more salt at the end, if you’d like, as well.

Here’s how I use the seasoning to make ground beef for tacos.

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute 1 cup diced onion, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in 3-4 cloves of garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds more.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add 2 pounds lean ground beef and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns. Drain off excess grease.
  3. Sprinkle 4-6 tablespoons of taco spice mixture over the meat and stir until coated. Add in 1 cup of chicken/beef/vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced some, about 5 minutes.

How Many Tablespoons Are in a Packet of Taco Seasoning?

If you’re used to using a packet of taco seasoning per 1 pound of meat, then you might have this question. There’s typically 3 tablespoons (sometimes 4 tablespoons depending in the brand) in a store-bought packet of taco seasoning. So that means, you’ll want to use about 3 tablespoons of our homemade taco seasoning in place of a packet.

Recipes that Use Homemade Taco Seasoning

This homemade taco seasoning mix can be used in so many other recipes.

A hand holding a jar of taco seasoning mix

Or, use this seasoning to make taco meat for our Totally Tasty Taco Bar! It’s a great option for serving large groups, a family, or even to freeze and take on vacation…seriously.


Taco Seasoning Mix

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 tablespoons 1x
  • Category: Seasoning
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Homemade taco seasoning mix. Skip the additives and artificial ingredients and whip up a big batch of this FABULOUS natural taco seasoning mix. I’ll never go back to buying those expensive little packets again!


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. We use about 2-3 tablespoons of the mix per pound of meat, but feel free to add more or less depending on your preference.
  2. Double or even triple this recipe to have on hand for all of your favorite Mexican meals!

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31 replies
  1. Edna says:

    Simply the best. It’s been over two years since I first tried this seasoning mix. No more store bought taco seasoning for me๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

  2. Lois Hogan says:

    I’ve made this recipe as written for at least the past 8 years. This stuff is like pure ambrosia. We have a large family with 5 teenage boys and it never fails to get raves. I usually quadruple it so I can used it another couple of times before having to mix up a new batch.

  3. Marianne says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been making my own for awhile. The recipe i use doesn’t call for salt and it definitely needs salt so i started adding it to the mix. BUT…i can not find my book i had it written in ๐Ÿ˜ญ (don’t have it saved anywhere else) so I’ve been back to buying taco seasoning packets. Not anymore!! Thank you ๐Ÿฅฐ

  4. Chris says:

    the flavor of this seasoning is amazing. but i’ve always ued water. 3/4 c broth with the 2T of mix? and is it beef or chicken broth? assume beef, but didn’t want to assume. Thanks.

  5. Taco Dad says:

    I never thought about making my own Taco seasoning mix. I love this idea as I can kick the spice up to my liking or tone it down for the kids.

  6. pam says:

    Can you please clarify me the exact measurement of the chili powder. Is it 1 1/2 tsp or 1/2 tsp as both are mentioned in the recipe. Please do reply as I am new to cooking, I always follow the exact measurements. Thank you

  7. Wanda says:

    I do like how the cornstarch makes the seasoning stick to the meat so I have started using tapioca flour, there’s also another alternative and I can’t think of the name right off the top of my head but it has the same results without adding any grain or corn to the seasoning mix. I usually add just a couple of tablespoons to an entire batch and I usually make an 8 oz mason jar of taco seasoning.

  8. Sarah says:

    This recipe was great! I omitted the cumin as I’ve never been a fan of it, but it was so great to be able to enjoy tacos with my loved ones without having to set the protein aside so that I could have some. Thank you for this!

  9. Becca says:

    Just made another triple batch of this!! I split the chili powder amount with chipotle seasoning, and do the same with the paprika/smoked paprika. I typically use 1-1 1/2 Tbsp per pound of meat, with some water (depending on the fat content of the meat, usually ground turkey)

    I even made a HUGE batch to send to our family serving as missionaries in Cambodia (we grew up in Texas with Tex-Mex)

  10. Thea says:

    Hi ! This recipe looks awesome… I was just wondering if you needed to use a liquid along with the seasoning. Most of the packets also call to use water as well. Thanks! I am looking forward to trying this. The packet ingredients look really scary

    • Rachel says:

      That’s a great question. Oftentimes the packets require water because they include cornstarch as a thickener. I usually play it by ear with this recipe and if my meat looks a bit try, I add a little water. It’s not a fine science and requires a little eye-balling and taste-testing. Good luck and thanks for stopping by our blog!

  11. Nancy says:

    Hi. I am excited to try this taco seasoning because the packets always give me a stomach ache, but I can’t not eat it because I love tacos. My question is how many teaspoons or tablespoons of the above mix would you add to a pound of ground meat? Thanks.

    • Rachel says:

      Since the meat is fully cooked when you add it in, I usually go by taste. My husband and I can use the entire recipe on 1 lb of meat, but that’s too spicy for my kids. So, I think your best bet is to taste as you go.

  12. Jeanne Kupsh says:

    Thank you!!! Went to make taco salads for dinner tonight…only to find I didn’t have any taco packets!!!! I mean, I always have them, so didn’t bother to check. Ugh! You’ve saved dinner!!!!! And if this tastes as good as I think it will, I won’t bother buying those dumb packets anymore!!!

    • Rachel says:

      This is a great question. I’ve found that using this entire recipe is very close to an entire packet, but not quite. So I always double the recipe and season according to taste.

  13. Cayla says:

    Hi! I’ve got another question. My husband likes the store bought taco seasoning with the cheesy flavor. Do you know of anything that can be added to this to add a cheesy flavor? I mean something powdered that can be stored in the pantry mixed right in with the seasonings? Not just adding cheese to what I’m cooking.

  14. Cayla says:

    Would you have any suggestions for something to use instead if cumin? My husband hates that, says it smells like sweaty armpit. Nice, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel says:

      That’s hilarious. My husband feels that way about cilantro. Cumin adds a smoky flavor to the seasoning. Maybe in it’s place try adding a bit more chili powder, since it’s a mix of spices. It will add a little more heat and smokiness to the mix.