Homemade Taco Seasoning

What I’ve learned since I’ve had this blog is that are a couple of things that are considered taboo amongst the serious foodies: condensed cream of anything soups, food colorings, and taco seasoning packets. These things also tend to bring on a slew of strongly worded emails and comments. I never knew that food could bring out such anger.

I totally get the condensed soup thing. They’re not healthy and full of sodium – but sometimes throwing some chicken in a crockpot with a can of something is what I have to do to have dinner done when I’ll be gone all day. The couple of recipes I have on this blog with condensed soups in them are actually some of the most popular.

The food coloring I think should be taken in stride. I don’t think Rainbow Cupcakes once a year will kill you. I just don’t.

And everytime I post a recipe with taco seasoning in it I get a lot of comments like “ew“, “yuck“, and “so much unnecessary sodium“.

Phew. This food blogging thing isn’t for the thin skinned.

So what I’m saying is that I hear ya; I get it. Every one is entitled to an opinion and I appreciate all of your comments (but the nice ones I appreciate more).

Does that mean that I won’t ever post a recipe with the above contraband in it ever again? Ummm, no. The reason I have this blog is because I love food. And food comes in all shapes, tastes, and sizes. And hello, my name is The Girl Who Ate Everything so it’s my duty to not exclude anything.

But I thought I’d give homemade taco seasoning a try. Sometimes I don’t have a seasoning packet and who knew I could make my own with seasonings I have on hand. Remember I’m all about more convenient so making my own is WAY more convenient than running to the store with four kids.

Here’s the array of seasonings. This way you can control the sodium and control the spiciness by adding more or less red pepper.
We loved this. It has a rich flavor that you can’t get with a packet. You can make it in bulk and use it whenever you want. Check back tomorrow because I’ll have a tasty recipe you can use this in.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Prep Time
22 hrs
Cook Time
22 hrs
Servings: 1 ounce
Author: Christy Denney
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container. Yields about 2 3/4 tablespoons.
  2. To use: Use about 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning for every 1 pound of meat. Use more or less depending on your preference. Brown meat and drain the fat. Add your taco seasoning along with about 1/2 cup of water. Simmer and stir until water is absorbed. If you want more of a sauce throw in about 2 tablespoons of flour with the water.
Recipe Notes

Source: Allrecipes

Speak Your Mind



  1. We add a teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 t. cocoa powder to our homemade taco seasoning (the rest is very similar to the ingredients in your recipe). It’s yum-o.

  2. I don’t get why people feel the need to make negative comments or even to say ewww. If you don’t like it don’t make it. I usually make my own taco seasoning because I try to keep sodium intake down. But I could still use your recipe even if it uses a packet of taco seasoning. Thanks for sharing your recipe so hopefully other people will realize how easy and more flavorful making your own is. I also started making my own sloppy joes (instead of a can) and my family loves it. Keep doing what you do and thanks for sharing with us. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m with Beth–either don’t make the recipe, or substitute your own ingredients, but judgmental negative comments on an ingredient are rude and, IMO, only done to try to appear superior. I buy the low-sodium, low-fat versions of cream soups, because they add quick flavor and liquid without so much of the “bad stuff.” I’m going to have to try this taco seasoning, because I confess that I buy the pre-mixed stuff, and being able to cut the salt would be good for me. Thanks!

  4. some people just don’t feel like they have fulfilled their purpose in life until they have ruined everyone’s day. Water offa duck’s back! Thanks for the recipe!!

  5. This blog has been a VERY favorite food blog of mine for quite some time. I hope you will always keep up with this blog as it is a favorite and some of my husband and I’s favorite recipes were found here!

  6. OOh thanks for this, I am one of the (hopefully) many that appreciate this as I know exactly what’s in it. I love your blog so keep up the good work!

  7. I love your recipes! I love that you don’t make me feel guilty if I can’t make my own bread by grounding my own flour every night. (I’m exaggerating a bit).

    I second the air tight container too. I made some homemade taco seasoning a couple months ago from a similar recipe, (because like you it seemed easier than waking up the baby and running to the store for one thing) but I stored it in a zip lock baggy. It may seem obvious to others, but I’m a little new at this. Every time I opened the cupboard it made my nose run it was such a strong smell. Now I store it in a glass jar, and have no problems.

    I’ll definitely be trying your recipe next time, thanks!

  8. πŸ™‚ I love your food blog – keep sharing your favs!!!!! And it is fun making your own seasonings!

  9. For Gluten Free you can substitute corn starch or potato starch for the flour as a thickener. Thank you for the recipe.

  10. Thank you for this! I have been wanting to make my own taco seasoning for awhile, make my own pumpkin pie spice, but thats about it. as for the nay sayers, then shame on them. a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. if that is using the conveinence of store bought soup and taco seasoning then let it be. Love your blog!

  11. Isn’t it funny that the rule most of us learn in preschool or from Thumper…if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all…people just forget or completely ignore? There is room and a place for ALL ingredients in this food world πŸ™‚

  12. This is my favorite Taco Seasoning by Bill Echols. If you buy spices at the health food store they are usually cheaper. I like to quadruple this recipe.


  13. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll definately give it a try, because we go through taco seasoning like crazy around here. Don’t let the haters make you feel bad. I’ve been weaning us off the cream of soups for the last year or so (mostly in an effort to “make-do” without running to the store for every little thing). But, if I’m cooking a chuck roast in the crock pot, you’d better believe a giant can of cream of mushroom soup is going in there with it to make gravy! Of course, I’m Southern, and potato chips as casserole topping is considered acceptable, so maybe I’m not the best one to be defending you…

  14. I consider myself a foodie and I have been known to use taco seasoning. I also make my own taco seasoning – but it’s the same stuff in the packet and I just don’t stress about it. We put a little bit of Masa Harina in the taco mix instead of flour (makes it taste just like the packet) – you could also just blend up some corn tortillas or corn chips.

  15. Oh, I’ve made this recipe before! It’s delicious. The same day I found the seasoning recipe I also discovered a taco sauce one. That one is even easier! I refuse to buy taco sauce now. I still cheat every now and again with taco seasoning packets though. πŸ™‚

  16. I’m with you on the convenience of canned soup! Taco seasoning, pumpkin pie spice and ranch dressing packets are ones I often look up and make my own version of. Found a website somewhere with them all listed. Sorry you are getting mean omments, too bad people can’t offer them in helpful ways!

  17. Oh how I hate the food police.
    For heaven’s sake adapt the recipe and quit your bitchin’ is my theory. I have to do that all the time for my gluten issues and I still use your recipes just so you know.

    Also since discovery Penzeys spices ….the catalog is crack to me…..you will never need to use those packets again so take that food police.

    Love your site!! nothing but positive frome me. And my hubby thanks you because that apple pizza was the bomb to him!

  18. I just don’t see what the big deal is about these people who complain about the taco seasoning packets. I’ve been making my own taco seasoning for years that is very similar to yours. Whenever I see a recipe that strikes my fancy, I just add my mix instead of the packet stuff.

    It’s like complaining that someone likes Coke when you like Pepsi. So what!

    Don’t let those crabby crabs get you down.

  19. How dare you use pre-packaged anything?! Don’t you know you’re the messiah of dinners? My sarcasm cup overfloweth this morning haha…My mom and I were just talking about how growing up she always had a good mix (85/15 ish) of ‘from scratch’ dinners and then those days where stouffer’s salisbury steaks with some frozen green beans was all she had time to make. Don’t feel pressure or guilt, if people don’t like it, they don’t have to make it- or better yet they can adapt it to their own preferences!

  20. Personally, I appreciate the easy peasy recipes. I love to cook from scratch too, but there are days when a homemade meal wouldn’t hit the table if I didn’t use some convenience foods. Thanks!!

  21. I often find myself taco seasoning-less, so this is a great idea!

  22. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us! I am fairly new follower and I must say, your recipes sound delicious! They inspire me to cook more! I just started trying to make my own seasonings, to try to save some money and to cut some sodium from my family’s diet. Have you made your own fajita seasoning? That is delicious!

  23. Saving this. Thanks!

  24. Totally had to laugh – “This food blogging thing isn’t for the thin skinned.” SO TRUE!!

    I have made my own taco seasoning before – and probably prefer it – but I have definitely used the packet before, too!

  25. You always make me laugh, Christy – and especially with this post! I agree, food blogging is not for the faint of heart. I actually welcome the criticism, good and bad, because it helps the reviews of the recipes but I kind of draw the line when people think they need to make anyone feel bad for ingredients they do or do not use. Dude – to each his own! I say if cream of whatever floats your boat, then by all means use it. If you gag at the thought, then take on the challenge of NOT using it. But either way, just own it…and don’t make anyone else feel they are less of a human being for using it or not.

    Phew. I’m glad we had this talk.

    You are awesome as always.

  26. Life would be so sad if everything was healthy and blablabla …
    A sentence I love : “everything that I love is forgiven, illegal or make us become fat !”
    I love to use time to time industrial food. And I like your blog πŸ˜‰

  27. Hi, we don’t seem to have crushed pepper flakes here in Englad but we do get crushed chilli flakes. Would this overpower the recipe???

  28. I’m enjoying reading everyone’s comments. Here are my thoughts: When I click on your, or anyone’s food blog link, I treat that as if I’ve been invited into your kitchen. Your house. You can use 50 cans of cream of mushroom soup a day if you want. It doesn’t matter what I think. I once read a food blog where the opening comment apologized for using a can of cream of mushroom soup. As Julia Child tells us, “Neve apologize for your food”. (that paraphrasing, I’d have to look up the exact quote.

    I don’t think most negative comments come from “Serious Foodies” but rather from “food snobs”. And probably most of them are really uneducated food snob wannabes.

    The best thing about making your own taco mix, or cream of soup mix is that it’s more flavorful and contains less preservatives. And you’re supporting your local spice shop or market rather than the big food giant corporations that dominate the processed food isles.

  29. You rock! Don’t stress or spend one minute of time on people who comment or email with the angry and negative stuff. They are welcome to move on! Keep up the great job. Love your blog!

  30. You rock! Don’t stress or spend one minute of time on people who comment or email with the angry and negative stuff. They are welcome to move on! Keep up the great job. Love your blog!

  31. I love the tip on the make your own taco seasoning, because I typically have those ingredients on hand more than I have taco seasoning. But, I am not above using a convenience food every once in awhile if I need to get dinner on the table. As a mom, there are no judgments here! Only solutions!!

  32. what a great idea. i use the occasional can or packet too, when you’re in a hurry, you just have to.

  33. I had never imagined that there would even BE negative feedback on this blog?? Who posts negative feedback on a food blog? People with much deeper issues than sodium, food dye and canned creams. Good grief…
    I LOVE your blog and I recommend it all the time. Thanks for what you do Christy, we love you and your recipes!!

  34. Well boo..to all those negative people. I happen to LOVE your blog and ALL that goes with it. Don’t let those peeps bring you down πŸ™‚

  35. Lelly Jelly,
    I’m not familiar with crushed chili flakes but it’s probably wise to start with a little and add more if you need it later.

  36. I also add about a 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked Paprika. So good!

  37. I agree Christy! All things in moderation especially when it comes to food! Yeah I would love to eat cupcakes every day but my thighs have different feelings about that! I make homemade seasoning blends all the time because I can control what goes in it and it has a lot lower sodium than packaged stuff. And I know other people that are die hards about making homemade bread for their family and won’t buy bread, but since I don’t have the time nor the patience for that I happily buy my bread. To each their own! If you see a recipe that you don’t like or is semi-homemade and that’s not your thang then don’t make it or change it up!

  38. Your blog is amazing, I am trying to get my friends to make your caramel apple cheesecake with me. It looks delicious.

  39. sorry people are rude, guess it is because they feel sitting behind a computer gives them the right, thank you taking the time to post these I know it is time comsuming and I have tried many of your recipes keep them coming The walking tacos were a HUGE hit and loved the homemade seasonings

  40. I was on track to make my go to work night dinner rice and beans when I discovered that we had run out of taco seasoning mix (old el paso) that provided the essential sauce ingredient. I would have sent my dear hubby out to get some ( only 2 blocks to the nearest store), but the old fashioneds were ready and I hate to drink alone. I followed your recipe (sans garlic powder and onion powder) and I do believe my rice and beans were the best ever. I may have bought my last packet of taco seasoning mix.
    Thank you!

  41. Love this and will give it a try. Love sodium too πŸ˜‰

  42. This recipe is so spicy and delicious! I have mixed it up twice now while the BF browns the beef for some tacos/tacos salad. Once I have found the perfect balance of heat (a little less than the recipe as written) I plan to make this in a bigger batch so I can just scoop some out when we want tacos.

  43. I use cornstarch in mine. I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even measure anymore. It’s so easy to do your own!!! I’ve never put in the oregano…gonna have to try it.

  44. I use cornstarch in mine. I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even measure anymore. It’s so easy to do your own!!! I’ve never put in the oregano…gonna have to try it.

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  47. You just saved me a trip to the grocery store!! Thank you!

  48. Thank you so much for your taco seasoning help! I have moved to Basel, Switzerland and there’s something in the pack that just tastes wrong here! So thanks for you wonderful posting! And … yes, I agree … Rainbow Cupcakes once a year certainly won’t kill me!

  49. Mine is similar, but add a little cornstarch. It absorbs extra liquid and helps thicken.

  50. I have made Taco Seasoning and sold it in my store for years. The recipe is very nearly the same as yours, I leave the salt out completely and add some tomato powder. If any one wants to add this 1Tablespoon Tomato powder would be the correct amount for this size recipe.

    This is the first time I have viewed your blog, I like what I see and look forward to more.

  51. MM yumm! thanks heaps this is just what i was looking for!

  52. I used this as a base and I changed 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to 1/4 tsp of smoked hungarian paprika and 1/4 tsp of smoked chipotle. Added a wonderful smokey flavor to my tacos

    • Thank you foryour taco seasoning. I didn’t have any in the packet and was starving for tacos….I looked you upend there it was. And its way better.

  53. You go girl!

  54. I just used this on my pulled pork ancho n choc mole tacos should of crisped the pulled pork a little more but it was dilicious thank you

  55. Thanks for saving our keasters for dinner tonight! We had some sausage left over, pealed them out of the casing and was going to put it over nachos and cheese. We had no taco seasoning! I hustled to the Net and found you and your blog. What a hit! Thanks so much. I’m now a new subscriber! LOVD tidings, Lilly

  56. I agree with Beth…it’s a “you have the choice to change the channel” kind of thinking for me…I have come to the understanding that some people just need something to complain about…I appreciate your taco seasoning recipe…I found myself without a packet (in the middle of preparing dinner), but I was able to make mine own based on this and it saved the day! Thanks!!!

  57. hi

  58. I was skeptical of makin this but I didn’t have anything else to use. Soon as I mixed the ingredients and smelled it, I was caught πŸ˜‰ Amazing recipe, will never use those packets of seasoning again……..Thumbs up

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  68. I made this tonight, but halved the salt, and it is great. I used it in homemade spinach and black bean quesadillas. I’ve always wanted to make my own taco seasoning because I can’t handle the amount of sodium on the packaged stuff. This is a great and simple recipe. Thank you!

  69. Hello!! I like your blog, Im sorry you have had negative comments. I think the best thing you can do is stay true to what you like. your readers like you because your you.. why else would they read? So ignore the negative comments, your doing great.

  70. Geez- I know for certain Amy’s Organic makes condensed cream of… soups. There are probably other brands as well. The Food Nazis really can’t complain about that, can they? You’d think all the gourmands and fickle foodies out there would be aware of this and substitute as desired instead of complaining.

  71. The recipe I had for taco seasoning was a bit too basic:
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 teaspoon chili powder
    It was fine for nachos but for taco night I wanted something with a richer taste. Other recipes called for ingredients I didn’t have. I am using your recipe right this minute. I omitted the red pepper flakes though for my family. They think medium is too spicy. I’m looking forward to tasting the results!

  72. I’m alway on the search for a new recipe,
    I try to eliminate salt from my diet (makes my mind and body feel better doing that).
    That said, I just use the recipe and don’t add the salt. Simple.

    Make up for it with by adding more garlic (yum) or pepper or oregano or whatever I like better at the moment.
    My 2 bits: If it needs salt (or extra sugar) to make it tasty, it’s not a very good recipe in the first place.
    Stay fat, or eat tasty the smart way.

  73. This recipe is my go-to for tacos, ever since I found it a year ago. Just thought I’d say that, because we love it waaaay more than the packets! Thank you!

  74. I’m not a foodie nor a good cook and I’m thrilled that you posted this homemade taco seasoning WITH the directions on how much to add and other essentials to make the taco meat πŸ™‚ Yep, I’m that bad of a cook and love all the extra details!!! Thanks so much!!!!

  75. Thanks for the recipe. Used it for dinner a while back and I’ve come back to use it again. πŸ™‚ Followed the recipe exactly as written (and opted to use flour). I’m writing it down this time.

  76. nickklapperich says:

    I am not much of a cook, well i really never cook. But today for lunch i wanted to make my girlfriend and I a nice, quick meal. I had the ground beef and the rest of what we needed except taco seasoning. Now, i would normally just buy a packet but I wanted to do something a little better this time around. So i checked all my spices and saw that i could make this. I must say a big thank you for this, it turned out pretty good and my girlfriend thought i did a bang up job.

  77. Thanks so much for this recipe! I don’t mind taco seasoning packets but I think this recipe is even tastier!

  78. You stole this recipe from the following website: http://www.rachelcooks.com/2011/10/28/homemade-taco-seasoning/ dated Oct. 28th, 2011.

    Please do not try to take credit for work that is not yours- such as this recipe. A more authentic title for your blog would read: The Girl Who Ate Everyone Else’s Food.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I absolutely did not steal this from her site. I clearly source allrecipes as the source in my post. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Taco-Seasoning-I/
      I always give credit where credit is due and if you checked your sources you would see that Rachel got her recipe from allrecipes as well. Please no name calling here. It’s just not nice. -Christy

  79. Using this recipe tonight. Thanks for sharing it πŸ™‚ Happy Friday!

  80. It’s so convenient to buy taco & chilli seasoning in a packet, I’ve never thought about making my own before. Looking forward to trying this & experimenting with the combination of spices. Thanks for sharing.

  81. This was sooo good. Very flavorful and perfect balance of spices.

  82. This is great. I have been trying different taco seasoning ‘recipes’ looking for the perfect combo to replace the store-bought packets. So far, they haven’t been quite right so I end up adding stuff until it tastes right but I never write down what I add….but THIS is just right. I added a pinch of smoked chipotle powder but other than that, this is perfect. I mixed up a 1/2 cup batch so I have it ready to go anytime. THANKS!!

  83. Is Chili powder used in this recipe hot? In Australia chili powder is 100% ground chili and very hot!

  84. I love this recipe. I make it in bulk and use 2tbs at a time to make tacos. I store in a large mason jar type glass jar with a rubber seal. Keeps nice and fresh for months.
    I leave out the salt though. My husband complains but I don’t miss it and we’re better off without it. Very flavorful with 2TBS per 1lb of meat whether I use ground beef of turkey or chicken for fajitas πŸ™‚
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  85. Jennifer Boehme says:

    I just googled for a recipe for this, just want you to know, you were the first blogger after the couple cooking sites. I googled, homemade taco seasoning and you are #8 on first page. I am trying this now!

  86. This recipe is really aromatic and flavorful. I substitute beef for a sweet potato/black bean mixture…delish! Thanks of this ‘go-to’ Pin!

  87. Thanks for the recipe. I am using it (more or less) to slow cook a pork shoulder right now. I doubled or tripled the proportions of everything but the salt, which I halved. I also tossed in a couple of pinches of ground sage and a teaspoon or two or liquid smoke (hikory flavour), because I like that with pork.

    Regarding thickener, you might try masa harina (corn flour). It’s gluten free (although I personally do not care about that), and it has a good flavour. I won’t use it with the pork shoulder, but I do use it when I make chili.

  88. I like the Taco Seasoning, to be honest, it’s not a big thing in Britain as Mexican food isn’t (Taco Bell has only just arrived in larger English cities), onion & garlic powders are not normally used in cooking – the fresh stuff is. I have researched & found both onion & garlic powders on Whole Foods in the UK in 1 Kg quantities – over 2lb weight – perhaps it’s caterers? Anyway, I’ll try smaller for the ‘Taco’ Seasoning. Lots of us in the UK don’t use salt, but in this case I recommend it as a preservative (I experimented with homemade PlayDough when my children were small – dough WITH salt lasted a few days in the fridge, dough without visibly deteriorated in 2 days!).
    This is my first visit, your site came up when I googled buy Taco Seasoning UK, I wanted to know if supermarkets sold it. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said (I hope I spelt it right!), I’ll be back!! (and don’t worry about those ‘sodium’ haters, I don’t use salt when recipes suggest it (unless needed to preserve), I just omit it! Thanks for a great suggestion!