This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great as a seasoning on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more. Smoky and savory, with a satisfying mild heat, our homemade taco seasoning is an adaptable, simple way to turn a boring meal into a gourmet feast.
It’s so easy to go to a store and buy a premixed bit of spice to create tacos at home. But there’s not much variety, and though they seem cheap, if you eat tacos with any regularity, the money really does add up over time. Most of the spices you probably already have at home, so it makes sense to create your own spice blend that you can change to suit your own tastes for the very best results each and every time.
This recipe creates a great base for your tacos, and you can easily leave out any spices you dislike and add more or less of something depending on your tastes.
A few things to note before you start.
Use Fresh Spices.
For the best results, you should start with the freshest spices you can. Spices lose potency the longer they are open, so if you start with old spices, the taco mix won’t be as good as it can be.
Figure out how much you need.
This recipe makes around 1/3 Cup of taco seasoning, but this may be too much or too little for your needs. If you make tacos often, you may consider doubling or tripling the recipe. If this is a one-off recipe, perhaps halve the recipe.
Measure your spices into a bowl, then whisk them together so that they combine. Some spices tend to pick up moisture and will clump together, so it’s important that they get a good mix. Another easy way to do it is to place them all into a small jar and give it a good shake with the lid on. This helps to distribute them evenly while making sure any lumps are worked out.
Store In Airtight Containers.
A small jar with a secure lid is a great way to store taco seasoning. Keep it in your cupboard with the rest of the spices. Just make sure to label it. You can also use a Ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible. Other plastic or glass storage containers with tight lids will work, too.
Tips on Buying Spices
The spices you use will determine how well this spice blend works. That goes for any spice you use for any reason. If flavor is important to you (and it really should be, or else what is the point?), buy the best quality version of each spice that you can, and make sure you know how old it is. In grocery stores, spices quite often sit on the shelves for months before you buy them. Just because they are sealed doesn’t mean they stay fresh.
Look at the colors of the spices you buy. Colors are often a good indication of the age of the spices you are buying. Bright, vibrant colors usually mean fresher spices. Duller colors generally mean the spices are older and have lost some of their flavors.
Note the date you buy.
If you do buy from a supermarket, try to make note of the date you buy them. Since many spices will sit on grocery shelves for up to seven months before they are bought, the shelf life of your store-bought spices are limited. If you have spices more than six months old, it’s time to throw them away and get new ones.
Believe it or not, buying spices online can save you money and give you more bang for your buck. There are a great many stores that offer quality spices at affordable prices, and you will want to find your favorites. Try The Spice House, La Boite, or Penzeys for some great options.
How to Use Taco Seasoning
Brown some ground beef in a skillet, and drain off any fat. Add a generous sprinkling of taco seasoning to the meat, stirring until the meat is well coated. Add in a small amount of water and simmer gently. When the water has been absorbed, add in a small can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles. Simmer a few more minutes until thickened. Serve with tortillas, cheese, sour cream, onions, lettuce and salsa.
Grab some of your favorite veggies – carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, shallots – and give them a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and homemade taco seasoning. Roast in an oven until caramelized and tender, then serve as a delicious side dish. It can also be place atop some chopped lettuce with some grilled chicken for a lovely salad.
Dice some potatoes, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and taco seasoning. Bake in an oven until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Sprinkle with some sharp cheddar cheese and broil for two minutes to melt. Serve in a bowl topped with sour cream and a sprinkle of green onion. This is a perfect side for Mexican night!
Add taco seasoning to beans for an extra kick. You can help spice up a simple beans and rice or make your homemade chili that much better. The options are endless.
How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
It really couldn’t be simpler.
Add all ingredients to a jar and give it a good shake. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Be sure to label seasoning.
This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more. Smoky and savory, with a satisfying mild heat, our homemade taco seasoning is an adaptable, simple way to turn a boring meal into a gourmet feast.
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 3 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Add all ingredients to a jar and give it a good shake.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
- Be sure to label seasoning
Use the freshest spices you can buy for optimal flavor.