Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Last updated 12/13/2021 |

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This healthy homemade taco seasoning mix is super easy to make and full of flavor. Skip all the fillers, MSG, and weird preservatives. This recipe uses the perfect combination of spices for that classic taco flavor – and you can make it as mild or spicy as you want!

wooden spoon with taco seasoning

Making Your Taco Seasoning Mix Mild or Extra Spicy

I left it up to you to decide how much cayenne pepper (or dried jalapenos) to add to this recipe, since everyone has a different preference when it comes to spicy foods. Here are some tips for getting the heat just right:

  • Start with ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a mild level of heat. Then taste test a little bit of the seasoning mix and adjust as needed.
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper will give you a medium level of heat and ¾ teaspoon will amp it up to extra spicy.
  • For a very mild taco seasoning mix, replace the cayenne pepper with paprika.
  • If you like your tacos extra, extra spicy, replace the cayenne with dried habanero pepper instead. Be careful – a little goes a long way!

spoons full of homemade taco seasoning

FAQs for this Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe

Here are some common questions I get about this DIY taco seasoning mix:

Do you add taco seasoning before or after cooking ground beef?

Add your homemade taco seasoning mix after fully cooking your ground meat. If you add it before, you risk burning some of the spices as you brown the meat. You’ll also lose a lot of the flavoring when you drain the meat.

Do you drain ground beef before adding homemade taco seasoning?

Yes. For the best flavor, completely drain your ground beef, return it to the pan, and then add your seasoning. This prevents your taco meat from having a greasy texture and will also ensure you have the perfect water to taco seasoning ratio (2:1).

Do you need to add water to taco seasoning mix?

Yes, the water combines with the taco seasoning to form a sauce that evenly coats all of the ground meat. As you simmer the sauce, it will thicken to create that perfect taco meat texture.

How much water do you add to the taco seasoning?

Add about ½ cup of plain water per ¼ cup of homemade taco seasoning mix. This will season one pound of ground beef. You can easily double the water and seasoning mix to prepare two pounds of taco meat.

How long can you keep taco seasoning?

With proper storage, your taco seasoning mix can last for 2-3 years. Store in an airtight container (I like these wide mouth canning jars) in a dry, dark location for maximum shelf life.

Can I make a big batch of this taco seasoning mix?

Yes! I have instructions for making a giant batch below the main recipe.

wooden spoon full of homemade taco seasoning

More Ways to Use This Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Taco seasoning isn’t just for tacos! Here are a few fun ways you can use your taco seasoning in other dishes:

  • Use on any ground or shredded beef, turkey, or chicken for that delicious taco flavoring. (It’s a great way to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!)
  • Sprinkle on scrambled eggs or omelets to spice up breakfast.
  • Add 1/4 cup to flavor a batch of crockpot refried beans.
  • Mix with softened butter and spread on corn on the cob.
  • Add to grilled chicken or steak for fajitas.
  • Sprinkle on french fries or tater tots (if you like flavored fries, check out my homemade french fry seasoning).
  • Spice up your baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Toss with roasted cauliflower or sauteed veggies.

cauliflower steaks with homemade taco seasoning

How to Make Your Own Taco Seasoning Mix

This easy homemade taco seasoning recipe is simple to prepare and adds the perfect flavor to your ground beef. This recipe is the equivalent of one taco seasoning packet (or just the right amount to season one pound of ground beef).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Cayenne pepper or dried jalapenos to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in a canning jar or other airtight container.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of mix and 1/2 cup water for every pound of cooked ground beef or turkey.
  3. Simmer until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture has thickened into a sauce.

How to Make a Giant Batch of Taco Seasoning Mix

This makes about 3 cups of taco seasoning mix and can be stored long-term in wide mouth canning jars.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chili powder (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup cumin
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • scant 1/4 cup garlic salt
  • 3 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • Cayenne pepper or dried jalapenos to taste (start with 1 Tablespoon)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in a canning jar or other airtight container.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of mix and 1/2 cup water for every pound of cooked ground beef or turkey.
  3. Simmer until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture has thickened into a sauce.
wooden spoon with taco seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Yield: This makes enough seasoning mix for 1 pound of meat.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This healthy homemade taco seasoning mix is super easy to make and full of flavor. Skip out on all the fillers, MSG, and weird preservatives. This recipe uses the perfect combination of spices for that classic taco flavor – and you can make it as mild or spicy as you want!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper or dried jalapenos, to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in a canning jar or other airtight container.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of mix and 1/2 cup water for every pound of cooked ground beef or turkey.
  3. Simmer until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture has thickened into a sauce.

Notes

Because everything is better when it’s taco-flavored:

  • Add 1/4 cup to flavor a batch of Crockpot Refried Beans
  • Mix with softened butter and spread on corn on the cob
  • Add to grilled chicken or steak for fajitas
  • Sprinkle on french fries or tater tots (if you like flavored fries, check out my favorite french fry seasoning)
  • Toss with roasted cauliflower
  • Spice up your baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
You'll love making your own healthy, homemade taco seasoning mix. No fillers, MSG, or weird chemicals--and you can make it as hot or mild as you like!

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Pam

Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

16 Comments

  1. 8thsinner on January 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I add similar ingredients plus a pinch of mustard powder, tumeric and paprika to 50/50 cream cheese and creme fresh, blended, then add equal to total volume, your favourite cheese. then microwave it for about 30 seconds to make an amazing cheesy taco dip, perfect in wraps, for wedges etc..

  2. Christine Schmidt on January 2, 2014 at 7:36 am

    How do you make your own chili seasoning? I’m on a sugar-restricted diet and have a hard time finding sugar-free chili mix.

  3. Cassy on August 9, 2013 at 12:44 am

    We use a very similar recipe, only add paprika. 🙂

  4. Iris Vermillion on August 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    This is awesome! My son has celiac & a lot of taco seasonings have wheat in it. This will make all of our lives easier!

  5. Natalie on February 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you! I have been trying to replace as many store-bought items as possible and have been looking for a recipe for this. I will try it this week.
    Thanks for sharing

  6. Anonymous on July 7, 2012 at 2:15 am

    For the best ever bean dip, add three tablespoons of the taco mix to a 15 ounce can of refried beans, 1/4 cup sour cream and 8 ounces of jack cheese. Mix well, bake in a oven proof container for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Enjoy! Gail.

  7. Anonymous on July 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    You could also dry your own garlic from fresh garlic minced, and use sea salt.

  8. Anonymous on May 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I would think you could use garlic powder instead of garlic salt. (thats what I use)

  9. me on April 11, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Excellent! Exactly the recipe I’ve been wishing for. ~Mrs. Quirk

  10. Melissa on April 8, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Looks good!

    Here from Ultimate Recipe Swap.

  11. Ellen on April 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for this – if salt is an issue here, what would you recommend to keep the flavoring? I’ve been wanting to make our own batches of taco seasoning since we use this about once a week.

  12. Melissa on March 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

    This is the best taco seasoning! We don’t use anything else. Remember when you made those amazing tacos for the girls’ night. I couldn’t sto talking about how delish they were. And it was all in the seasoning. 😉

  13. Bill Bird on February 21, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Yep — that’s good stuff Mama. Wifey and I do the same here — although I’m a tad more partial to the garlic salt. Mom always used to buy those packaged mixes? Blech!

    • Helen BC on November 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Next time you use your Owen, after is cooling down (Empty) …… AD on the sliced Garlic (low temperature)… when Garlic slices dried – in a spice blender, blend them with your choice of Salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt) and voila you have Home-made GARLIC SALT with no MSG & preservatives that’s cost pennies :o) …..
      This can be also done with Ginger for GINGER SALT (for meat) or GINGER SUGAR (for Cookies)

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Pam

Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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