This is the BEST zesty Homemade Taco Seasoning. It can be made in minutes, and it’s preservative-free, gluten free, and easily customizable. Make it with ingredients you probably already have on hand!
Use it for traditional ground beef tacos, or on chicken, pork, casseroles, and more! So much better than store-bought taco seasoning mix!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Tacos! My kids are pretty good eaters but on taco nights, they are ravenous. I can’t say I disagree with them, though, because this Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe is fantastic!
Homemade Taco Seasoning is quick and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Not only does it taste amazing, but since you’re making it at home, you get to control exactly what’s in it. No weird ingredients. And making it yourself will probably even save you a little money!
What’s in Taco Seasoning?
So, you might be thinking, what exactly is IN taco seasoning?
You might be surprised to find that all of the ingredients are simple pantry staples. Since it’s just made of spices, it is naturally gluten free.
The biggest portion is chili powder. This spice has a southwestern flavor, and is used in lots of classic dishes (like chili!).
One of the other most prominent spices is cumin. Cumin has an earthy, nutty flavor. When you think about the way taco seasoning smells, you’re probably thinking of cumin.
Homemade taco seasoning also includes other spices like salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and oregano. These all give the seasoning a little bolder flavor.
The cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes make the seasoning spicy (or not!). Since you’re making it at home, you can choose to add more, less, or none at all! (The same goes for any of the other ingredients!)
What Can You Make with Taco Seasoning Mix?
Taco seasoning is an extremely versatile spice mix. It can be used to season beef, pork, chicken, or even seafood for baking, grilling, or even the slow cooker like for these Crockpot Chicken Tacos.
It can be added to almost anything. Try it in soups, pasta (Hello, Taco Stuffed Shells!), casseroles, and so much more.
Our family favorites to make with this taco seasoning are my Taco Bake Casserole and Taco Dip. You can even sprinkle some on popcorn or crackers, or add some to your ranch dressing for an extra yummy snack!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Store in an air tight container.
TO USE in ground beef tacos:
- After browning and draining ground beef, add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix (per pound of uncooked meat) and 1/2 cup water. Stir and simmer until water has evaporated.
- Use about 2 tablespoons per pound of meat. This recipe will make about 4 (2 tablespoon) servings.
- I store my taco seasoning in cute little spice jars like these. You can also store it in zip baggies or any container with a lid (like an empty jelly jar!)
- This recipe is MILD. If you like your tacos a little spicier add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon more cayenne pepper to your desired hotness.
- This recipe calls for onion and garlic powder. I will often omit these and use 1/2 medium onion (chopped) and 2-3 garlic cloves (minced) per pound of ground beef, or other meat, instead.
- The oregano in this recipe is optional. Many homemade seasoning recipes call for it, but I find I don’t notice or miss it if it’s gone.
- TO USE in ground beef tacos, after browning and draining ground beef, add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix (per pound of uncooked meat) and 1/2 cup water. Stir and simmer until water has evaporated.
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