With a mild heat and addictively savoury flavour, this homemade taco seasoning is so easy to make. It’s more cost effective than buying packaged varieties and tastes fantastic.

Want more Mexican inspired dishes? Try these chicken fajita nachos and this Spanish red rice.

A small jar filled with taco seasoning.

Why you’ll love it

I say this seasoning tastes better than store-bought and I genuinely mean it, but don’t get me wrong – the minute you taste it you’ll notice the unmistakable flavour of taco seasoning but it’s richer, bolder, way better.

Once you try this taco seasoning from scratch, you’ll never go back the packet stuff. It’s the perfect combination of spices that will take your tacos to a whole new level.

One batch will take you roughly 2 minutes to make and you can store it for up to 6 months in an airtight jar. I always have a batch of this on hand now, ready for tacos at a moments notice.

But don’t just stop at tacos, try it on grilled meats and mixed through rice too. I even use it on my baked salsa chicken, the recipe for which I’ll share in the not too distant future.

The great thing about making taco seasoning from scratch is the ability to customise. Like more of one spice, add a bit more, don’t like another, adjust to suit. I suggest making a batch just like the recipe first time round, then you can adjust from there depending on what you’d like more or less of.

See this seasoning in action in these baked chicken tacos.

Tools you’ll need

  • Small bowl and spoon
  • Air-tight jar for storing

Ingredients for homemade taco seasoning

All you need are 7 simple spices. If you eat tacos on a regular basis, mix up a big batch, but if not, don’t worry these are everyday spices so leftover spices can be used up too.

Ingredients for taco seasoning on a round plate.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

You’ll need;

  • Ground cumin
  • Paprika: smoky paprika is classic but I like sweet paprika
  • Salt: table salt, kosher salt or ground sea salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder: Not cayenne pepper. Choose a chilli powder with the heat intensity that you like too. You can use a pure chili powder or a chilli blend as they vary from country to country.
  • Dried oregano

How to make taco seasoning

Detailed instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Measure out your spices: Measure the spices into a bowl. If you want to double or even triple the recipe, you can easily do that now.
  2. Mix and store: Mix the spices together and store in an airtight container. Mason jars work great.

Now you have your own taco seasoning ready to use.

How long do spices last?

While spices rarely seem to spoil or go off, they do lose flavour and potency over time.

Once you get them home, ground spices like the ones used in this taco seasoning will hold their fresh flavour for around 6 months, after that they’ll start to get more and more stale.

  • Start with fresh spices: Spices in the supermarket have already been either in transport or on the shelf for months. For the freshest spices, choose a store that will have larger turnover of products and look for spices with vibrant colour.
  • Storing spices: Store your spices in air tight containers in a cool, dark place like the pantry – not next to the stove where they will be affected by fluctuating heat and humidity.
A small jar filled with taco seasoning. Tacos in the background.

How much taco seasoning to use

One taco seasoning packet is around 2 tablespoons. For this homemade taco seasoning, I’ve found the sweet spot to be at about 2 ½ tablespoons per ½ kilo of meat (500g / 1.1lb) or up to 3 cups of already cooked meats.

  • Note, I’m in Australia, so my tablespoon is equal to 4 teaspoons, hence you’ll want to use 10 teaspoons per ½ kilo / 1.1 pounds of meat.

When you cook the meat, add around ½ a cup of water. If you want more of a sauce as opposed to a thick coating on the meat, add water or stock as needed but you may need to add some cornflour / cornstarch to thicken it.

How to use taco seasoning

  • Use it as a fajita seasoning instead. Coat sliced chicken, then saute it with lots of onion and capsicum (bell pepper).
  • Toss potatoes with seasoning right before roasting.
  • Coat chicken fillets in taco seasoning and grill. This is how my salsa chicken starts (recipe coming soon).
  • Sprinkle over steak before grilling.
  • Toss raw prawn / shrimp with seasoning, then add them to pizza.
  • Toss with drained tinned chickpeas and roast for a delicious snack.
  • Stir through rice before cooking in a rice cooker (or use the absorption method). You could use this Spanish red rice recipe but swap out the spices for taco seasoning.

Got some inspiration? Share in the comments section how you used it.

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A small jar filled with taco seasoning with a spoon sticking out.

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A small jar filled with taco seasoning with a spoon sticking out.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

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Truly better than store-bought, homemade taco seasoningtakes all of 2 minutes to whip up and can be stored for up to 6 months. It’sperfect for flavouring everything from tacos to grilled meats and rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin (notes 1)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika, sweet or smoky (notes 1)
  • 1 tablespoon table salt (or kosher or ground sea salt) (notes 1)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chilli powder, or more if you like it spicier (notes 4)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions
 

  • Add all spices to a bowl and mix well to combine.
  • Store in an air tight jar for up to 6 months (notes).

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon – equal to 4 teaspoons.
  2. Use roughly 2 ½ tablespoons per 500g (1.1lb) of meat and up to half a cup of water. If using more water to make it more saucy, you may need to add a little cornflour (cornstarch) as well.
  3. While spices rarely, if ever, technically go bad, they do stale and lose flavour as they age – this is why I suggest it will last up to 6 months, so that it has the freshest flavour.
  4. There are various types of chilli powder. Don’t use cayenne. I use a Mexican or a mild chilli powder but choose one with an intensity you’re happy with.
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