Magic in a pan. <– That’s what my husband calls this super easy homemade taco seasoning. On busy nights I saute it with beef or turkey for tacos, mix it with a little tomato paste to season Mexican rice, or saute it with chicken, bell peppers and onions for easy fajita bowls. Like a few of my other go-to staples – this chipotle mayo, for example – it’s a quick way to add major yum factor.
Of course, you can buy taco seasoning packets at the store, so you might be wondering . . .
Why Make Your Own Taco Seasoning?
1. Because You Want To Save Money
Making a big batch of different spice mixes is both easy and more cost effective than buying them pre-made. I keep a jar of taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, and Cajun seasoning on hand for quick, flavorful meals.
2. You Control The Heat & Flavors
This taco seasoning is on the mild (but still SUPER FLAVORFUL) side because I created it with three littles in mind, but it’s totally customizable. If you prefer more heat, dial things up by adding more chili powder (in 1 tsp increments) or cayenne pepper (in 1/8 tsp increments) to the batch until it reaches the level you prefer.
One thing to keep in mind is that chili powder can vary greatly in heat intensity. If your chili powder is on the hot side you may want to use less than is called for.
3. No Weird Ingredients
Unlike some store-bought options that include flour, this recipe is naturally gluten-free and doesn’t contain any weird anti-caking agents or preservatives.
4. No Last Minute Trips To The Store
Running low? Instead of shlepping to the store, use the extra spice jars taking up space in your cabinet to whip up a batch. (I’m not the only one who accidentally buys spices I already have, right?)
5. You’re A Good Friend
. . . and it makes a great housewarming gift if you pair it with another seasoning mix or two.
3 Delicious Ways To Use Homemade Taco Seasoning
Easy Chicken Fajitas (Recipe coming soon)
Taco Meat – Here’s how to quickly make it in the Instant Pot without even taking the time to thaw frozen ground beef.
Tip: Make an extra batch and freeze the rest for easy meals later on. (Find more time saving meal planning and prep tips here.)
Mexican Rice – Add to taste along with extra salt to cooked rice or quinoa. I sometimes add in a little tomato sauce (or tomato paste mixed with a little water) for added moisture and flavor.
If you have uncooked rice, try adding 1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning and 2 tablespoons tomato paste to 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water. Cook for the recommended amount of time recommended on the rice container (usually 20 minutes). Salt to taste before serving.
Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika if you prefer a more smokey flavor)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional – can also use red pepper flakes or chipotle chili powder)
- Place the spices in a small bowl and stir until well-combined. Taste and add additional cayenne (or another spice you prefer) if needed.
- Place taco seasoning mix in an airtight container. (I use a mason jar.)
Want more recipes?
Here are a few of my favorites . . .
Chicken Tortilla Soup – Fresh cilantro and a hint of lime meld with the subtle heat of poblano and jalapeno peppers in this belly warming soup. I’ve also linked to my favorite grain-free tortilla chips in the post.
Mexican-Style Chopped Salad – My kids devour this salad like a pack of adorable wolves . . . maybe yours will like it, too! And if not, I promise you’ll have no trouble finishing it off all by yourself. That might be preferable, actually.
Dairy-Free Nacho “Cheese” Sauce – I made this recipe from Danielle of Against All Grain for a dairy-free family member and it’s ridiculously good.
Read My Comment Policy
I thought that chili powder is also a blend of seasonings… Do you have a good go-to recipe for that as well?
Thank you for sharing you recipes. I love that they use all natural ingredients and are really easy to make.
Made your taco seasoning it was perfect for me. I’m allergic to spicy foods but was able to adjust the ingredients to what I can have and didn’t have a problem with it. You said that you make yours with your little ones in mind so I tried it, so glad I did.I finally have a taco seasoning mix I can have
Chili powder is a blend, do you have the recipe for it? or do you mean Cayenne pepper? Or another pepper, dried and ground?
I am a fair cook, but usually have the exact same flavor profile for all I eat…I’m trying to vary the flavor profile of my dishes, and this is a start!
Thank you. This looks really good.
She means chili powder, as written. I believe most people use store bought chili powder. It only contains spices, no additives, contrary to taco/burrito/fajita seasoning, which do contain additives. Imagine how HOT it would be with that much cayenne (cayenne is also an ingredient in this recipe, but a MUCH smaller amount), or other chili. IMO, it would be inedible.
Try this recipe as written. I’ve used it before and it is very good. I use it for most Mexican cooking, unless I’m following a recipe.
Lol! I just made a double batch and mistakenly added tbsps of paprika, rather than tsps (that would be 3x as much!). Suprisingly, it still tastes fine. I’ll have to pay more attention in future!