Homemade Taco Seasoning

By Ann Fulton

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Homemade Taco Seasoning is a great way to add fresher flavor and control the ingredients with spices you likely have on hand.

Early in our marriage, I discovered my husband’s fondness for taco salad.  When I first served tacos, he piled all the filling ingredients on his plate and crumbled the shell over top. From then on, I simply made taco salad!  Eventually, the hard shells were replaced with “Hint of Lime” tortilla chips.  I have my husband to thank for that discovery, too.  There is something about them that tastes so good!

For a long time, I bought the little packets of taco seasoning to flavor the ground beef.  Years ago, I stopped buying them to avoid several ingredients those packets contained.  The following spice mixture is blend I now keep on hand to use anytime I want that classic flavor combination.  In addition to tacos and salads, it is delicious as a flavoring in tortilla soup, enchiladas, and any slow cooker meal where you want a hint of Mexican flavor.  While I typically pair it with beef, the spice blend is delicious with chicken and ground turkey, too.

Delicious and easy recipes using Homemade Taco Seasoning:

Taco salad or “Walking Tacos”

So-easy Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

Homemade Taco Seasoning
This spice mixture is a family favorite for taco salads and will work in any recipe where you would typically use one of those small, store-bought packets of taco seasoning. The recipe below is the perfect amount for one pound of ground beef and can easily be doubled or tripled. You may also mix in advance and store in individual containers for quick dinners whenever needed.
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (see notes)
  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Store in a small jar or other airtight container.
  3. When ready to use, brown one pound of ground beef; drain if necessary. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the browned meat, pour in 2/3 cup water and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Use in tacos or your choice of recipe.
  • If you prepare a big batch to use over time, use approximately 2 1/2 tablespoons per pound of meat to equal one store-bought packet.
  • If you plan to use this spice blend in a recipe where no thickening is desired, you may omit the cornstarch.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

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  1. Pingback: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Walking Tacos

  2. Tom

    I am the seasoning guy in our house so this is up my alley. If I make a large batch how long will it keep? Great site.

    1. Ann

      Hi Tom! If you start with fresh spices, the seasoning mix will easily keep for six months. The fresher the spices, however, the more pronounced the flavor will be.

  3. LaurenDG

    I’m on your site to plan my meals for the week and I’m so excited about this one. I can’t stand the store bought packets… they don’t make us feel good. I’m using this for Taco Tuesday!

  4. Pingback: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

  5. Jean

    Looks like a yummy combination. I look forward to trying it. You are so right about the store bought packets that have way too much salt.

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  8. Pete

    I add to the above 1 tsp ground mexican oregano. And 1/2 tsp ground epazote if beans are in the recipe.
    I also like more(about double) garlic,onion pwd. and black pepper.

    1. Jack

      We are still tinkering with our recipe but here it is so far, for 1 pound of ground chicken:
      3 tsp paprika
      2 tsp chili PEPPER powder (referring to the hot stuff, not chili powder)
      2 tsp onion powder
      1.5 tsp ground cumin
      1 tsp garlic powder
      1/2 tsp pink salt
      1/4 tsp black pepper
      1/8 tsp kelp powder

      Last night I tried substituting the 2 tsp of chili pepper powder with 1 tsp of cayenne. It was a bit too much heat, maybe 1/2 tsp would be a better bet LOL

      1. Ann Post author

        Thanks for sharing your work in progress, Jack. I bet the teaspoon of cayenne on top of the hot chili powder gave it some serious kick!