Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

DIY: Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix | browneyedbakerk.com #recipe

When  I was a kid, McDonald’s never fazed me. I could take or leave a Happy Meal, no big deal. What I really craved was tacos. Point me in the direction of a Taco Bell and I was the happiest of campers. Looking back on it, I don’t really understand it. No one in my immediate family has ever been a big fan of Mexican food, and kids can be tremendously picky (I, for one, was notorious for never eating a morsel of anything green and clung to my peanut butter and jelly like there was no tomorrow). So where I picked up this love for tacos is beyond me. But if I found myself at the mall with my mom and the food court presented itself, I marched straight to Taco Bell. If I was given the opportunity to choose what my mom cooked for dinner on any given night, you guessed it. Tacos.

DIY: Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix | browneyedbakerk.com #recipe

Needless to say, back in the day taco kits were certainly the way to go for homemade tacos – shells, seasoning mix and sometimes sauce all in one box. Easy peasy. Heck, even up until a few years ago I wouldn’t have thought to make tacos any other way. But then I entered into the world of food obsession, and have become infinitely more aware of the things that I eat and where they come from. Prepackaged seasoning mixes are full of salt and preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. For example, look at this ingredient list from a popular brand of taco seasoning:

Taco Seasoning Mix Ingredients

Um, no thank you. Making my own seasoning and knowing exactly what’s in it makes me feel much better. Whipping up your own taco seasoning mix takes less than 5 minutes and you can keep it in your pantry for anytime a Mexican craving creeps up on you.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

DIY: Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix | browneyedbakerk.com #recipe

One year ago: Coffee-and-Espresso Layered Cheesecake[/donotprint]

DIY: Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Yield: About ½ cup (Enough to season approximately 8 pounds of meat)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

An easy taco seasoning mix to make from scratch at home - no preservatives!


¼ cup + 3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon ground paprika
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1¾ teaspoon onion powder
1¾ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Stir together all of the ingredients in an airtight container or glass jar. Store at room temperature.

To Use with Taco Meat: Brown the meat (ground beef or chicken) over medium heat until cooked through. Drain. Return to the stove over medium-high heat and add ⅔ cup of water and 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix. Simmer, stirring frequently, until all of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes; originally seen on The Little Kitchen)

[Recipe and photos updated September 2014]


85 Responses to “Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix”

  1. Mrs.Buck on May 5, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I agree – the pre-packaged stuff is WAY too salty!


    • Dave on July 16th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      This is a great basic recipe, the only 2 things missing from it that I like to add to mine is cocoa powder and corn starch. I also add the salt to my mix and like touse a beer in place of the water.


  2. Amy on May 5, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Indeed!!! I’ve been making my own seasoning (the same recipe as yours) for a few months now.
    Happy Cinco de Mayo to you!


  3. Steph on May 5, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I never had taco bell until I was way older, it must have been the commercials, which were never as enticing as the ones from MacDonald’s..haha. I find the prepackaged stuff has a weird aftertaste. Homemade is way better.


  4. Katrina on May 5, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Aww yeah. I LOVED tacos as a kid as well, and still do!


  5. shelly (cookies and cups) on May 5, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Great idea! I should make a big batch of this and keep it in the pantry to have on-hand…we make tacos A LOT! Thanks for doing the leg work 😉


  6. Meghan on May 5, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I’ve wanted to try this ever since Annie posted it, but your including the label of the premade taco seasoning has convinced me! I have no excuse not to make up a batch of this now! 🙂


  7. Ally on May 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I made my own Mexican spice blend a few months ago for the same reason! (http://arteats.blogspot.com/2010/02/mexican-spice-blend.html) It kind of creeped me out to read the label of the packets you could buy at the store. Your version looks fun – I may have to try that next. 🙂


  8. Maria on May 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

    So easy to make at home. Love it!


  9. mere... on May 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

    thanks for posting this! my fella & i LOVE our nacho/taco nights, but have always sighed a little when we use the store bought more chemical/less food taco seasoning. i’m so excited to try this!


  10. jane on May 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Thanks, I look forward to trying this. One of the first things we ever made in 6th grade home ec (cooking – 7th was sewing) was tacos and the seasoning was not from a packet. I kept and used the recipe for years until it became tattered. Somewhere between undergrad and grad school, the recipe became lost (you’d think I’d have memorize it by then, no?) and I have been trying unsuccessfully ever since to find a recipe I like as well. Looking forward to trying yours!


  11. kristan roland on May 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

    My son also loves tacos and will always choose them if I ask him what I should cook for dinner. That being said, he will never ever turn down a Happy Meal!! I’m excited to try this seasoning, it sounds so good and so easy!!


  12. Jenny Flake on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Great idea Michelle! Much better than the store bought pack with who knows what inside!!


  13. LilSis on May 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I’m with ya on this one for sure! The store bought taco seasoning has way too much sodium for me. I either make my own or I buy Penzey’s, which is much lower in sodium and is a fabulous seasoning. I’ll try your recipe next time I make my own!!

    And, I think I ate at Taco Bell almost every day for lunch when I was in high school…and now my son loves it as much as I did!


  14. Veronica Miller on May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Do you add any salt? I must have salt but was wondering how much to put into the mix. Thank you for sharing this recipe–this will save a lot of money in the long run–I use a lot of taco seasoning mixes!


  15. A Bowl Of Mush on May 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Great taco seasoning mix! Must make this! So much better than buying the packet kind!


  16. Heather (Heather's Dish) on May 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

    i’m so excited you posted this…I’m going to make a huge batch and use it up in, oh i don’t know, a WEEK!


  17. Tracy on May 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I love making my own taco seasoning! Yours looks yummy!


  18. Kim on May 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Super!! You post just one great thing after another. Muchas gracias.


  19. Cookin' Canuck on May 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Love it! This mixture would be a breeze to put together and SO much better for you (and I’d imagine better tasting) than the packaged stuff.


  20. Jamie on May 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Gotta love MSG added to packaged stuff – gross! It’s in so many things we don’t think about! Thanks for this recipe, can’t wait to try it!


  21. Fuji Mama on May 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    THANK YOU! Those ingredient lists scare me! This mix looks fabulous!


  22. Brad on May 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Sounds great and much healthier for sure


  23. Jena on May 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you! After I took a look at the ingredients on that package a year ago, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my own and nothing I’ve tried has turned out quite right yet.


  24. jen @ project cookie 365 on May 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    I’ve also been wanting to try this since I saw it on annies eats. But, to be honest, we haven’t had tacos in the meantime! Sheesh! And I looove tacos – and it is terribly entertaining to watch my 3 (almost 4) year old try to eat them. But he does, and with a vengeance – I really don’t think I’ve seen him eat anything with such delight 🙂 Okay, so tacos and homemade chicken fingers are a tie on that one.
    Thanks for reminding me to give this a try! (especially after you go and slap me in the face with a picture of the “ingredients”! Hah!)


  25. Melissa on May 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    :O! Thanks for this recipe. I’ll never have to buy pre-packaged taco seasoning ever again!


  26. jen @ project cookie 365 on May 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    BTW, I love your 100 list, and it inspired me a few months ago to have my own hand-written list. It has really motivated me – it got over my fear of yeast breads, and now I make sandwich bread all the time – we don’t buy any bread anymore! It’s so satisfying to check one off the list 🙂 Thanks for that!


  27. alison Lewis on May 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I love this idea! I can’t wait to try it! Alison


  28. Heidi on May 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I’m so grateful for this recipe. I recently became obsessed with making my own salad dressings and now I’m ready to move onto seasoning packets. Going to try to recreate Ranch this weekend.


  29. Maggy @ Three Many Cooks on May 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Ugh, no thanks is right! Thanks for this healthy and unpronounceable-free ingredient taco seasoning!


  30. Michele @ dizzygirlbakes on May 6, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I make a lot of Mexican food and I always seem to be out of taco seasoning.


  31. Belinda @zomppa on May 6, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Oh, perfect! I am so with you about buying taco seasoning with ingredients I cannot pronounce – looks wonderful!


  32. Melina on May 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this! I love love love tacos, but salt, especially in the warmer months, is my enemy.


  33. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on May 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I love making my own seasonings – and heaven knows we eat enough tacos around our house. It’s just such an easy meal to throw together!


  34. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on May 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Love this! I, too, have become more and more aware of what is in my food and have started making my own homemade versions of many of the convenience items that I used to purchase and cook with when I was first married. Love your version of taco seasoning. I will definitely be giving it a try! I am a taco fanatic!


  35. Cinda on May 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to trying this out


  36. Brie on May 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

    great post and great points! there’s no need for those processed bags of chemicals when so many fabulous spices are available.


  37. Hazel on May 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I am so excited to use this! I HATE buying storebought products with ingredients I can’t pronnounce – always better when you make it yourself anyway 🙂 Can’t wait to test it out!


  38. Danielle on May 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I am making this tonight! Can’t wait!


  39. Jen @ How To: Simplify on May 13, 2010 at 11:48 am

    We just had tacos the other night. What a great mix recipe. I’ll have to use it the next time we have Taco Tuesday!


  40. Shamrocks and Shenanigans on May 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I do the same thing! It is so easy to make it homemade!
    Shamrocks and Shenanigans


  41. Crystal on May 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for an alternative to the packaged junk. I plan on making a huge batch of this ASAP.


  42. Joan on May 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Excellent recipe and a keeper!!!! I will never buy taco seasoning at the store again. Thanks for sharing.


  43. Danielle on June 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I finally made it! It was delicious! Thank you.

    I also shared it with my mom who is Gluten Free! Since most store bought seasonings have Gluten in them!


  44. Pingback: Taco Salad Bowls | Cocktails With Mom

  45. Pingback: Shredded Salsa Chicken | Cooking Out Loud

  46. Pingback: Southwestern Casserole | Cooking Out Loud

  47. Gracesmom on October 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you so much! I never buy packaged taco mix anymore. This is great on its own but sometimes I add chipotle powder to it for an extra kick. Thanks again!


    • Michelle on October 28th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      Love the addition of chipotle powder!


  48. Pingback: Homemade Taco Seasoning | My Kitchen Rx

  49. Pingback: Cinco de Mayo Recipes | Brown Eyed Baker

  50. Jennifer on May 2, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I, too, am obsessed with Mexican food…my mother swears I must have been Mexican in a former life! Tacos, taco salad, burritos, etc. are all quick & easy dinner options at our house, and I’m glad to have come across your recipe, even if I am a year late seeing it. Thanks for re-posting!


  51. Deborah Underwood on May 17, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I using better taste homemade taco seasoning mix better then buy from store it taste different it add too much gulten , sugar, salt , other . not good
    it better made it my own spices free gulten, sugar, salt and other
    than ks


  52. Pingback: Taco Dip | Brown Eyed Baker

  53. Pingback: 2011 Blogger Love « Make It Naked

  54. michael george on January 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I just tried your taco seasoning mix….it is terrible! You might be able to open a bakery, your mocha cupcakes were great….but if I would you I wouldn’t open a “Taco Truck”.


  55. Pingback: DIY Ingredients | CulinaryChat

  56. Kelly on January 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I was the same way as a kid. I always wanted tacos, and it was “my turn” to cook once a week and of course, it was always tacos! I like this version better than the one I currently follow, which has arrowroot powder in it..I of course don’t have that on hand! But I make it with a touch of brown sugar…you should try it, its delicious!


  57. Pingback: DIY (Homemade) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix | Brown Eyed Baker

  58. Pingback: 20 Festive Cinco de Mayo Recipes | Brown Eyed Baker

  59. Pingback: 20 Festive Cinco de Mayo Recipes | Biz Chicks

  60. Pingback: Mint Julep Jell-O Shots Recipe | Brown Eyed Baker

  61. Jennifer on May 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I very anxious to try this recipe, but I have a question first. How much of this seasoning mix would I use per pound of meat? Thanks for the great recipes!


  62. Jennifer on May 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Sorry, please disregard my last comment. Next time I’ll read the entire recipe before asking a question! 🙂


  63. Pingback: Pregnant Goldfish and Taco Seasoning | Beautiful Disasters

  64. Pingback: 2011 Blogger Love | Make it Naked

  65. Pingback: What's for dinner? - Page 164 - CurlTalk

  66. Felicia on November 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    This is great, just because taco seasoning usually has ridiculous amounts of sodium. and this cuts that out completely! Thanks for the healthy alternative!


  67. Pingback: Lauren's Latest » My Favorite Turkey Taco Meat {Healthy!}

  68. Elizabeth on January 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I love to make taco salad, with taco meat served over shredded lettuce, with chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream, and chips on the side. For the taco meat, I use tomato sauce instead of water to make it more moist, and your homemade seasoning mix will make it even better!


  69. Pingback: Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 19 | Okay, Kaye?

  70. Pingback: weekly meals #13 | a bend in the road

  71. Danielle on December 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Trying to make healthier choices for myself and family which include less salt and processed junk. No complaints crom the family for dinner and NO ONE asked for extra salt!! This recipe rrockkkss!


  72. Pingback: 34 Cinco de Mayo Recipes | Kitchen Gadgets for Cooking

  73. Larissa on June 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Just the right blend of spices, but next time I’ll add some salt when cooking the meat.


  74. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Queso Dip

  75. Ryan W on September 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Daily subscriber for a couple years now and saw the 09/04/14 entry for the Spicy Beef Queso Dip where you hyper-linked to this recipe here. THANK YOU!! This is soooo delicious and has just the right amount of kick to it!


  76. Shannon on September 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I mixed this up tonight because I was out (have been making it for about a year now so one might think I would have it committed to memory!) & it sure seems salty. I have been adding 1 tbsp salt to my mix all along though. Are the other ingredients in the same quantity as before? Looks like the updated version added salt, cornstarch, & oregano. But did anything else change? Maybe I normally really double or triple the mix & use 1 tbsp salt to that?! Although I didn’t make any notes on my pin to that nature! I don’t know! The whole updated pictures & recipe has just thrown me! I would greatly appreciate the original recipe! Love it! Obviously if I’ve been making it for this long! Thanks!


    • Michelle on September 10th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Shannon, I’m so sorry, but yes, I completely updated the recipe. Occasionally I do this with old recipes when I develop a revised version that I believe is significantly better than the original. That was definitely the case here. The quantities have definitely changed and there was never salt in it before, which was part of the reason for needing an update. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but I think this is definitely a better version of a homemade taco mix!


  77. Kelly Switala on November 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Hi, I’ve also been making the original recipe for quite a while and was disappointed to see that it’s not longer available. I liked the flavor and the simplicity of the ingredients. Do you still have the recipe? I wish I had written it down!


  78. Minnie on January 12, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Question: can I use all purpose flour instead of corn starch? And why did you need the corn starch in there to begin with?


    • Michelle on January 13th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Minnie, I would not recommend using flour. The cornstarch acts as a thickener when combined with the water.


  79. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – Taco Dip

  80. Pingback: Taco Salad {for one or a crowd} | Christine's Taste of Heaven

  81. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – Ground Beef Tacos

Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)