Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade taco seasoning. Is there any reason NOT to make it? Not only are the spices included in the mix fairly common so you can use them in other recipes, but this takes literally seconds to throw together and the flavor is spot-on and a lot less processed than the mixes you buy at the store.

With over 2,000 five-star reviews on Allrecipes, you know this taco seasoning is going to be great. And it is. I always have a little jar of it on hand in my pantry for recipes that call for the prepackaged taco seasoning mix. And just wait until you see the recipe (coming Monday!) that features this mix. It’ll knock your socks off.

Happy weekend!

*If you haven’t entered the Blendtec giveaway and would like to, click HERE. Winner will be announced Monday!*

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Note: I quadruple the recipe and store it in an airtight container in my spice cabinet so I don't have to assemble the mix each time I need taco seasoning. I also frequently sub in smoked paprika for the regular paprika to give it a different, well, smoky flavor.


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Mix all spices together until well combined. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in your spice cabinet and use as needed.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from allrecipes.com

59 Responses to Homemade Taco Seasoning

  1. Brooke says:

    Hi Mel,

    I have been buying the taco seasoning from Penzey’s which I love. It can be a little pricey, so I would love to make my own. Does this have a similar taste?

  2. Michelle says:

    How much do you put per lb of meat? just out of curiosity..everyone is different. I realize that..

    • Mel says:

      Anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons for 1-2 pounds of meat. It will really depend on how you like your meat seasoned. I hope that helps!

  3. Danica says:

    Quick question-

    I have been making your recipe for “the best ground beef tacos” for a year or two now and LOVE them. I came across this and I’m wondering which you prefer? Do you use both still or use one more than the other?

    • Mel says:

      Danica – I like to keep this on hand for recipes that call for taco seasoning (or when I just need the super fastest dinner in the world) but the majority of the time when I make tacos, I go for the Best Ground Beef Taco recipe.

  4. I will never go back to the packets. Thanks!!

  5. kayg says:

    Russell, I like to use 3 TBLS of seasoning with a pound of ground beef, so as Mel said above, just experiment and see what tastes best to you!

  6. Russell says:

    how munch water and how munch seasoning mix Lb of meat

    • Mel says:

      Russell – you’ll have to experiment with that (and read through the comments) but I’d suggest a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water for about a pound of meat. Again, experiment and see what works for you!

  7. […] Recipe source for taco seasoning: adapted slightly from melskitchencafe.com […]

  8. […] Taco Seasoning source:Β  Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  9. Carrie says:

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe. The packaged taco seasoning mix and I don’t agree, so I came across this recipe and decided to try it. This made great tacos with ingredients I always have in my pantry.

  10. AnotherMel says:

    I pinned this recipe and just tried it tonight. Used a pinch of chipotle and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes instead of cayenne (because that was what I had on hand). 2/3 of the seasoning and 1/4 c. of water for a lb of ground turkey was perfection. My husband fancies himself a taco connoisseur and he was in heaven! This is my permanent go-to. I told my mom how good it was and simply got the response “Send it”. Thanks for sharing!

  11. amber says:

    Just FYI – if you make this in bulk, it is best to use onion/garlic GRANULES rather than powder. The powder will cause the mixture to harden into chunks but the granules will not. I make homemade taco seasoning all the time with a similar recipe.

  12. Barbara says:

    This is excellent. We have to watch the sodium, so I make this with salt substitute and put it up in little containers with snap-on lids. Each one holds 2 tablespoons, which is just the right amount for the amount of meat I make. I make 10 at a time so that I always have my own “packet” handy. I also do that with my chili gravy seasoning so I can make either in a jiffy!

  13. Lisa says:

    Made and used this last night and it is really good….Thanks, no more prepackaged stuff for me!

  14. david says:


  15. […] Source: This is another great one from melskitchencafe, here. She adapted it slightly from […]

  16. […] Taco Seasoning – who ever has it when they need it? […]

  17. […] all the same spices in my spice cabinet. Β There are a lot of recipes out there, but I went with this one from a popular food blogger. Β My husband said that it was really tasty, and he liked how it […]

  18. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I have been looking for something to replace the packaged variety and this was just perfect!

  19. […] 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning […]

  20. […] Taco Seasoning [i make homemade based on this recipe] […]

  21. […] melskitchencafe.com via Rachel on […]

  22. […] Tablespoons taco seasoning ( if it’s store bought, make sure it doesn’t have […]

  23. […] comfort food, for sure. I didn’t make a lot of changes to the original recipe, but did use homemade taco seasoning and homemade Alfredo sauce, both of which I highly recommend if you have time. If not–no […]

  24. Tanya says:

    I stumbled across your blog due to Pinterest. So glad I did! We have tacos once a week…one of my son’s fav meals. I have tried all of the packaged taco seasonings, only found a couple that were acceptable. I am SO making this up and trying it out tonight! Can’t wait to explore the rest of your blog.

  25. Vanessa says:

    Mel – This recipe was great! I made it last night, and it will now be a staple for all of my mexican recipes. Thanks!

  26. Nevine @ Tableya says:

    I’ve been looking all over for this. I live in Egypt where ready made spice mixes aren’t really available. Thank you:)

  27. Emily says:

    Thank you so much, Mel! Every time time I make tacos with packaged taco seasoning I think it makes a weird consistency and think how nice it would be to just season the meat myself with spices from my cupboard. This sounds perfect. Thanks!

  28. kyleen says:

    Ever since a nauseous two-hour bus ride experience, (induced by all four of the tacos I ate prior to boarding the bus), I’ve been steering clear of tacos. This spice mix looks and sounds so flavourful that I think I might be ready to give tacos another chance.

  29. mia clarke says:

    I have been using this recipe ever since I first saw it on here!! It is a ‘must have on hand’ in my house! Thanks Mel πŸ™‚ I know I used to be a ‘star reviewer’ and I’m not so great anymore…but I promise I’m still always creeping…I just have less time to be so ‘star-like!’ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  30. Windy says:

    Thanks so much! We go through taco seasoning like mad at our house, but making my own never occurred to me, duh!!

  31. Rachel says:

    You are brilliant! Why haven’t I thought of this before I tell myself?! I use taco seasoning a lot! So I’m super excited to use this, thanks!

  32. Kori says:

    Your website is a blessing, thank you so much. I am grateful!

  33. You are awesome. I just ran out of mine and was thinking I needed to search for a recipe. Thanks!

  34. Kristina says:

    I use this exact recipe (sans garlic) every time I make tacos for dinner! The flavors are great and I always quadruple the recipe and store the extra in my spice drawer for another day! I can’t wait to see what recipe you have in store for us on Monday!

  35. elizabeth says:

    I love how this comes as my jumbo jar of sams club seasoning is reaching the bare bottom. Totally unrelated, I have to tell you how excited I am about you owning a blendtec blender!! I got one for christmas last year and have loved it ever since. Now I can’t wait to combine that machine awesomeness with your cooking genius. Seriously, match made in heaven!! I can’t wait to see what fun recipes you post!! elizabeth

  36. Samantha says:

    Yes!!! I love recipes for things like this, especially when you have the ingredients on hand. I’m famous for forgetting things like syrup, bbq sauce, and taco seasoning at the store. Now I can just make my own! Thanks!

  37. Mel says:

    Melanie C – I think Nancy M.’s advice is good. From what I read on the reviews of this original recipe, anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons were used for 1-2 pounds of meat, so it will really depend on how you like your meat seasoned. In the past using other various homemade taco seasonings (and this one), I just add a bit of water, probably about 1/4 cup for a pound of meat with the seasoning and let it simmer until it is thickened.

    Thanks for everyone’s comments! I had a feeling this was a widely used recipe. I’ve made it with red pepper flakes and sea salt/kosher salt, too. Works great but I prefer the smaller granules of the table salt and cayenne – to help evenly distribute the spices when I dig in my jar with a tablespoon.

  38. Kat says:

    This is very similar to a recipe I’ve been using for years (my recipe has the addition of cornstarch and crushed red pepper instead of paprika/cayenne). It tastes far and away superior to store bought and is so simple. Love it!

  39. Mel says:

    Robyn – I use the dried oregano leaves, not the ground oregano powder.

  40. Trish says:

    This is a fantastic recipe! I found it a few years ago, and haven’t really bought taco mix since!

  41. Doretta says:

    I use this recipe too. I can hardly make myself buy prepackaged since I started using this one even if it is way more convenient!

  42. Marilyn says:

    HelloMel: Idon’t know you, but I sure do love you! Penne pasta w/asparagus (great). Your cafe is my go to blog. God truly allowed me to find you – a divine connection. Thank you soooooooooo much. Blessings to you and your family! And did I mention the salsa? (great) Never used fresh cilantro before your recipes; again thanks.

  43. Tiffany T says:

    I totally love using this seasoning for lentil tacos on lettuce shells!

  44. I started making my own taco seasoning a while back. Since then I have been on a quest to make my own homemade seasoning blends (from Greek seasoning, to pumpkin pie spice, to poultry seasoning and Old Bay seasoning….). I love that these homemade blends don’t have any ‘hidden ingredents’ and use dried herbs and spices found in most spice cabinets or prefilled spice racks. Making my own seasonings have saved me more than once when I go to make a recipe and I don’t have the premade seasonings on hand or just need a small amount of a seasoning, and it is not something I use regularly enough to justify the cost of buying a bottle of said seasoning. Anyways, just my two cents! Look forward to seeing your recipe on Monday!

  45. love it, such a good idea. no chemicals here πŸ™‚

  46. Nancy M says:

    I use this recipe, too! Like Kim in MD, I use red pepper flakes instead of the cayenne and usually end up grinding in some sea salt instead of the table salt. When I found the recipe on Allrecipes, I believe that most cooks were recommending about a tablespoon per pound of ground beef. I measured the first time or two but now I just shake a bunch on to taste (probably a tad over a tbsp). After I add the seasoning to my browned beef, I add in water (maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup) and let it cook down. I don’t add any flour or cornstarch to thicken mine.

  47. Robyn says:

    Hi Mel! Just wondering when the recipe says dried oregano, is that the dried leaves or the ground up powder stuff?

  48. Lana says:

    I remember when you mentioned that you make your own, and I’m glad you posted this. As soon as we’re out of the store bought stuff, I’m making this one!

  49. Melanie C. says:

    Hi Mel!! I’ve made a homemade taco seasoning before to use in soups, etc, but never used it to make just taco meat. I was wondering, do you ever have a problem with your taco meat being too soupy?? I know the packaged mixes have flour or cornstarch or something in them to thicken, is why I’m asking. Also, how much of the seasoning do you use for 1 pound of ground meat???
    thanks again!!!!

  50. Tara says:

    Can’t wait to try this! I always make the copycat Taco Bell recipe I first found on the net about 10 years ago, but I deffo have to try this for a change! Thank you! I can’t keep up with you Mel cuz you have so many recipes I want to try!

  51. Christie N. says:

    I’ve been making taco seasoning for the last 2 years. I love it and will never buy the store stuff again!!

  52. Kim in MD says:

    This is a great recipe, and I am not surprised that you make your own taco seasoning, Mel! I have been making my own taco seasoning for years because I don’t like MSG and all of that artificial stuff that’s in pre-packaged taco seasoning. What’s great is that you control the ingredients, so you can add what you want to it! I double the garlic and onion powder and use red pepper flakes instead of cayenne. I also use kosher salt instead of table salt, and sometimes I use smoked paprika in place of the paprika. My children love this taco seasoning and they can tell when they eat tacos (like at a friend’s house) that are made with the packaged seasoning…they don’t like them nearly as much! πŸ™‚

  53. melissa says:

    Lovely! What do you feel is the correct amount to use to replace the typical packets you find in the store? Say to season two pounds of ground beef??

  54. Stephanie says:

    My husband strongly dislikes the taste and smell of cumin. Which means no taco seasoning in this house. But maybe with this simple recipe, I can keep some on hand for me to eat at lunch when he isn’t home. Now to buy cumin and hide it from him. πŸ™‚

  55. Jackie says:

    Thank you for this – I’ve wanted to look up a recipe for taco seasoning and just always forget and buy a package instead. I’d prefer to have this on hand πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *