Learn how to make your own authentic taco seasoning in this easy 5 ingredient spice mix recipe.
Making your own taco seasoning lets you control the ingredients, and it’s more affordable than store-bought packets.
If you have family members who don’t like spicy foods, no worries, my recipe is mild so it’s perfect for celebrating Taco Tuesday with the family.
- By the Numbers: How to Make Taco Seasoning
- Tips for Making & Using Taco Seasoning
- 1. How Much for 1 Pound of Meat?
- 2. How to Use Taco Seasoning with Chicken?
- 3. I Want Spicy Tacos!
- 4. Other Ways to Use this Seasoning Blend?
- 5. Sweet Paprika vs Smoked Paprika?
- 6. Does This Taste Better Than Store Bought Taco Seasoning Packets?
- 7. How to Store It?
- 8. Is this a Low Sodium Recipe?
- 9. Best place to buy bulk spices?
- Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 1 ⅛ cups ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 6 teaspoons sea salt
- 5 teaspoons dried oregano
- 5 tablespoons garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper – to taste (optional)
- Small mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 16 ounce glass jar
By the Numbers: How to Make Taco Seasoning
Step 1: Measure Out Your Ingredients.
The first thing you want to do is measure out your taco seasoning ingredients, including 1 ⅛ cups of ground cumin; 2 tablespoons of paprika; 6 teaspoons of sea salt; 5 teaspoons of dried oregano and 5 tablespoons of garlic powder. I like to do this first to make sure I have enough of everything.
Step 2: Mix to Combine.
Next, you’ll want to add all of your ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until really well combined. Make sure you break up any clumps in the cumin.
Step 3: Transfer to Mason Jar for Storage.
Once everything is good and mixed up, transfer the mild taco seasoning from the mixing bowl to an airtight container like a glass jar. It’s now ready to use.
Tips for Making & Using Taco Seasoning
1. How Much for 1 Pound of Meat?
Add 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground beef, ground turkey or other meat for tacos. Start with less, taste and adjust to the flavor level your family loves.
Many of my Mexican food recipes use this taco seasoning and I give you specific amounts in those recipes.
2. How to Use Taco Seasoning with Chicken?
If you want to make chicken tacos, this homemade taco seasoning mix works great! Since chicken has a lighter flavor than beef, I typically reduce the amount of taco seasoning I use down to 1-2 tablespoons per pound of chicken meat.
This great seasoning blend is what I use in my Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls if you want something new to try for taco night.
3. I Want Spicy Tacos!
To make your taco seasoning spicy, add cayenne pepper. Start with a teaspoon and add more until you get the heat level you’re after. For a mellower spice level than cayenne, try crushed red pepper flakes.
4. Other Ways to Use this Seasoning Blend?
This versatile seasoning blend is great on taco meat and so many other recipes! We make a large batch of our spice mixes because they all have so many uses.
Besides spicing up any meat, you can add it to Ranch Dressing for tasty taco salads.
Here are some different ways to use taco seasoning!
5. Sweet Paprika vs Smoked Paprika?
While I typically use regular paprika, you can also use smoked paprika for a smoky flavor that goes well with chipotle recipes. Either way, it tastes amazing.
6. Does This Taste Better Than Store Bought Taco Seasoning Packets?
I personally think it tastes better than the little packets from the grocery store! If you’re looking for an exact copycat McCormick taco seasoning mix recipe, just add 1 tablespoon each of chili powder and onion powder and 1 teaspoon corn starch to this recipe.
I typically cook with fresh onion and chili pepper when I make Mexican food, so I don’t normally add the dried versions into my homemade seasoning. Even if you don’t add fresh, I find those ingredients aren’t necessary to achieve an awesome flavor.
There are about 2 tablespoons of seasoning in taco packets. So, to get the equivalent of 1 packet of taco seasoning, use 2 tablespoons of your own seasoning blend.
7. How to Store It?
Be sure to keep your DIY taco seasoning in an airtight container like a glass mason jar. Store it in a cool dry place like the spice cabinet or pantry to keep it fresh.
8. Is this a Low Sodium Recipe?
As written, it’s not. However, feel free to omit the sea salt and it’s automatically low sodium (as well as already being naturally gluten free and dairy free)!
9. Best place to buy bulk spices?
I buy all of my spices in bulk because I make all of our seasoning blends from scratch in big batches. Starwest Botanicals has great prices on bulk spices, so that’s who I source most of my spices and seasonings from to make my own mixes.
If you enjoyed making your own homemade seasoning for tacos and want to make some of my other homemade spice blends to stock your spice cupboard, these are popular choices:
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- Measure out ingredients.
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until well combined.
- Transfer to a pint-sized mason jar for storage.