Homemade Taco Seasoning
This easy homemade taco seasoning mix can be made in just five minutes. Keep it in the pantry for quick taco nights!
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.
Needless to say, back in the day taco kits were certainly the way to go for taco nights at home – shells, seasoning mix and sometimes sauce all in one box. Super easy. Heck, even up until a few years ago I wouldn’t have thought to make tacos any other way, and surely wouldn’t have thought to make my own taco seasoning! However, over time, I’ve become keenly 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:
Um, no thank you. Making my own homemade taco 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 the next time a taco craving hits. Use it in place of the packet to make taco beef or chicken, and easily substitute it in any recipe that calls for a taco seasoning mix (like my mom’s famous taco dip!).
So there you have it – an incredibly easy and super flavorful homemade taco seasoning that you can feel good about!
One year ago: Copycat Chipotle Chicken Recipe
Two years ago: My Favorite Guacamole Recipe
Five years ago: Mint Julep Jello Shots
Seven years ago: Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread
Eight years ago: Three Cheese Beer Bread
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- ¼ cup (0.03 g) + 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 (1.75 teaspoon) garlic powder
- 1¾ teaspoon (1.75 teaspoon) onion powder
- 1¾ teaspoon (1.75 teaspoon) dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container or glass jar at room temperature for up to 1 year.
- To Make Taco Meat: Brown 1 pound of 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.
- This amount of seasoning mix will be enough for about 8 pounds of meat.
This recipe was originally published on May 5, 2010.