Rachel Cooks

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning with no MSG or additives. 100% natural and delicious. Make extra to keep on hand!

All-Natural Homemade Taco Seasoning -- Takes only MINUTES to make! | RachelCooks.com

I’ve written about this before, but it was buried in the middle of another post with ugly photos. My photography skills have a long way to go…but man oh man…they’ve come a long way since then! I do love the picture of my bald-headed baby at the end of that post–she has grown so fast (wish I could say the same for her hair!).

This seasoning deserves a post of its own. I’ve made about a bazillion batches of this stuff. It includes great stuff like chili powder, cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika.

It is 10,000 times better than the seasoning that comes in a packet labeled “taco seasoning.” And if you’re watching your sodium intake, this is the only way to go.

I quickly searched for a popular brand of taco seasoning and found that it contains these ingredients: Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color (sulfites).

Spices? Is it some big secret or something?

Natural flavor? Yeah, I’m sure.

Caramel color?

I think I’ll pass.

Also–I’m passing on 430 mg of sodium per serving (1/6 of the package).

Whether you make your tacos with ground beef, ground turkey, pulled chicken, ground chicken, or tofu–this spice mixture is a winner. I also use it for fajitas and other dishes that need a quick pinch of Mexican flavor.

I’m kind of on a make-my-own-spice-mix kick.

What will be next? What do you think should be next?

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Homemade Taco Seasoning with no MSG or additives. 100% natural and delicious. Make extra to keep on hand!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions:

1. In small bowl, mix all ingredients and store in airtight container. (Or you can mix it together in the container you are going to store it in–just give it a shake!)
2. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of this mixture plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water to one pound of cooked meat (of your choice). Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until there is very little liquid left in the pan.
3. Serve with your favorite taco toppings! I recommend lots of sour cream, fresh salsa, guacamole, lettuce, cheese and tomato.

Note: Add a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the pound of cooked meat to thicken up the mixture a bit.

Note: I recently posted a new version of this recipe that yields two cups:  Large Batch Homemade Taco Seasoning.

Note: I've had some comments that this is quite spicy. If you're not a huge spicy food fan, I'd cut down on the amount used per pound of meat -- start with one tablespoon and add more to taste. Or you could leave the red pepper flakes out of the mixture for a more toned-down version of this taco seasoning.

adapted from allrecipes.com

Verdict: I’m never going back to the store-bought package!
Husband’s take: Hubs loves tacos. I think he could eat them every day. I’m not sure he could tell the difference between this and store-bought, but I can. And I told him it is better.
1-year-old daughter’s take: I haven’t fed this to her yet.
Changes I would make: None.
Difficulty: So very easy!

I think this would make a great gift. Actually, it would be kind of fun to give it layered like sand art and the recipient could mix it up themselves. Isn’t it pretty?

UPDATE: Per reader request, I have created a recipe for a large batch of taco seasoning. I did the math for you.

I’d make the label on the computer because cute labels are obviously not my forte. Oh well. Gets the job done around here…but I’ll spice it up for gifts.

Get it? Spice it up?

Sorry. Couldn’t resist. I get it from my dad.

UPDATE: I’ve developed a slight addiction to adding this taco seasoning to everything but the kitchen sink. If you’re looking for some outside the box try these recipes:

Thanks for reading! As always, if you love this recipe, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you’ll never miss a recipe, or you can always find me on TwitterFacebookGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram

 

 

   

206 Responses to “Homemade Taco Seasoning”

  1. Blog is the New Black — October 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

    LOVE this idea! :)

  2. Cookin' Cowgirl — October 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

    So awesome! (I saw this on twitter) And what a fun project. That would be a great stocking gift for the foodies in our lives. :) Well done!

    PS I’m having my first ever giveaway today. Come check it out! :)

  3. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — October 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe. I love tacos and would love to make my own taco seasoning. :)

  4. Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — October 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Awesome! I’ve got all these ingredients in my pantry, I’m going to use this next time we make tacos (Which is almost every week, hah

  5. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — October 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Love tacos so I really need to get around to making my own spice mix. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  6. Taco Dip — October 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Nice taco seasoning. I am also a fan of taco recipes. Keep up the good work.

  7. Biana | Simple and Tasty Recipes — October 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing your taco seasoning, sounds great for tacos!

  8. Claire @ Claire K Creations — October 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I make my own Taco seasoning as well. Why buy it and eat all those ‘natural’ ingredients when you can whip it up at home and know exactly what you’re eating?!?

  9. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I need to make my own taco seasoning soon! So easy, and so good! Great pictures!

  10. Leslie Means @ Her View From Home — October 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I love the pictures! Especially all the layers in this one. Reminds me of making sand crafts when I was a kid. :) Great idea by the way!

  11. Autumn@Good Eats Girl — October 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    This is the same recipe I use! I haven’t bought taco seasoning in like 2 years because I’ve been making it from scratch! This is so much better!

  12. Nutmeg Nanny — October 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    This looks great! I love making my own spice blends. So easy and way more delicious!

  13. Susan in the Boonies — October 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I make one myself that I’m honestly not that thrilled with, so I’m going to print out your recipe and give it a try! :-D

  14. Shannon — October 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I can’t wait to try this one!

  15. Kitchen Belleicious — October 30, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Oh i can’t tell you how many times I end up having to make my own taco seasoning and each time i tell myself to do this ahead of time to just have on hand. I always forget and have to mix it up real fast. The store-bought version is nothing compared to this! Love it

  16. Melanie @ Melanie Cooks — October 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Great idea on making your own taco seasoning! You are right – who wants to eat all those chemicals in the store-bought spice mixes!

  17. Maris — October 31, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Love these! They would be such a great gift. I’ll definitely try this next time I make tacos.

  18. Mom — October 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve done this for years–once I discovered the great taste of cumin, which totally makes the mix. So much better than the packets! I actually never make an actual mix, just add a little bit of this and a little bit of that and simmer away. I like your idea of making the mix and you have a great combination of spices. I’m definitely going to try this one. Penzey’s has a great Mexican oregano that would taste great in this.
    Ole!

  19. BNE — November 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I will add this to my list of gifts to give along with your Pumpkin Pie Spice. Thanks again for sharing.

  20. Gio — November 8, 2011 at 12:09 am

    this is inspiring. haha this could make for a good christmas gift :))

  21. Heather — November 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I’m going to try this out today. We do tacos almost weekly, and I make my own seasoning b/c we’ve got gluten allergies in the family (most store bought packages have wheat in them). We use TVP instead of meat for our tacos–and you can’t tell a difference. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Melissa Loh — November 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    This is perfect timing! It’s summer here in Australia and we’re firing up the barbeque – this seasoning would be perfect for it. Thanks for sharing and I cannot wait to try it out.

  23. ley willis — December 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    So I JUST got around to making this… DELICIOUS. Easily the best tacos I’ve made. I found that the recipe is just the right amount for a package of ground turkey… keeper

    • Rachel — December 11th, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

      Excellent! Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad you loved it!

  24. Chris @ TheKeenanCookbook — December 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Took me a little longer than expected to get around to making this, but so glad we finally did. Super tasty and so much better than the packaged seasoning (that contains stuff I can’t even pronounce). We mixed this with ground turkey for taco salads. Great!

    • Rachel — December 27th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

      Yay! Glad you liked it, Chris!

  25. Chicken recipes with seasoning — May 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    OMG! Loving this article!

  26. Sarah — May 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you! My son has requested “walking tacos” for his graduation reception and I was wondering if I could make some kind of homemade taco seasoning for 40 pounds of hamburger! This should do the trick… now I just have to figure out the math to make it for that much hamburger, LOL!

    • Rachel — May 11th, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

      That is quite an undertaking! Good luck and let me know how it goes! I usually double the batch and probably get 4 (?) pounds of meat from it…going a little light on it, maybe 1-2 tablespoons. So…maybe start by multiplying the recipe by 10? Unless you like it spicier–then you’ll want to do more. You better go to Costco ;) Let me know how it goes!

  27. Megan — July 17, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Love this! Re-blogged and linked you!

  28. BMAN — August 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    JUST USED IT FOR 3 LBS OF TURKEY, ROCKIN GOOD! THANKS!!!

    • Rachel — August 4th, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know!

  29. Angel — August 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Is that 1 & 1/2 tsp cumin. I just want to make sure I am reading that correctly, I have bever seen someone write it as 1.5 tsp in a recipe.

    • Rachel — August 22nd, 2012 @ 8:24 am

      Yup, 1 and a half teaspoons of cumin.

  30. kat — August 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Oh yay! So happy I found this! I love making my own whenever possible because I hate buying things that have ingredients that I’ve never heard of! Thanks so much for this :)

    • Rachel — August 26th, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

      Enjoy! It is something that I always have to have on hand :)

  31. Read Full Report — September 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    This is one awesome blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  32. fran — September 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    just found your webb not a computer person, but found what i wanted from Racheal ray she’s great

  33. Kimberly moore — September 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I will never buy taco seasoning in a packet again after i made this recipe. Delicious

    • Rachel — September 27th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

      Wow! Thanks so much, you made my day!

  34. Angel — October 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    After making several single batches of this and always running out (my family eats ALOT of tacos!!) I decided to just make this x10! My daughter who is not even two even loves this! I would definitely try giving it to your daughter, just make sure she has milk to cool her little tongue if it is too spicy ;)

    • Rachel — October 8th, 2012 @ 8:00 am

      Thank you! My daughter eats it all the time now–that was an older post where she had just turned one :)

  35. Mrs. Sprague — October 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Rachel… I know this is about a year late, but YES!!! Don’t be scared to give your lo spice. You could even reserve some and add half the amount of spice to it if it makes you nervous. My 14mo old son eats everything we do… at least a sampling of it. I think it’ll make him a much more adventurous eater later.

    PS… thanks for the recipe! We eat tacos at least once a week and I hate, hate, hate the ingredient list on those packets!

    • Rachel — October 8th, 2012 @ 7:51 am

      Thanks! Obviously the food we give her has changed a lot since that post, she is given whatever we are having these days. Glad you like the recipe!

  36. richard — November 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    Wonderful recipe.
    If you wanted to make
    a jarfull for frequent use
    could you just increase all
    ingredients by 6-7 times?
    I wasn’t sure whether increasing some ingerdients
    might overwhelm the rest?
    Thanks very much
    Richard

    • Rachel — November 2nd, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      I often do this! As long as you keep the ratios the same, it works out great!

  37. Monica — January 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    My boyfriend and I make extra lean turkey tacos at least once a week (and it takes us two days to eat a batch). This seasoning is awesome! I just made a big batch and we love how spicy it is. Thanks Rachel!

    • Rachel — January 4th, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      So glad you like it, Monica! We go through it really quickly too–mostly for turkey tacos as well! :) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  38. MomAgain — January 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Going to try this tonight to see how it does. With taco seasoning going for a hefty $2.00 a packet and my already having these spices in my pantry, this becomes a no brainer. Will try tonight and let you know what happens.

  39. MomAgain — January 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Made this recipe this evening. Delicious. I will make more of this seasoning. Thanks!

    • Rachel — January 11th, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I just refilled my jar of it this week :)

  40. Lynn — January 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Doesn’t the corn flour in the store-bought serve a purpose? Besides a little flavor I’m sure it’s there as a thickener to help hold the wet meat together and it would take less simmering time to cook down the water you add. thanks!

    • Rachel — January 20th, 2013 @ 10:03 am

      Yes! It does do that. But we like it fine without. Corn flour isn’t something I typically have in the house, so I left it out. What I like about this seasoning is that I can always make it with ingredients I have available. You could definitely add some corn flour if you wanted a texture more like store-bought seasoning.

  41. Melanie — January 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I’ve been making my own taco seasoning ever since my son was diagnosed with a kidney disease. He has to be on a low sodium diet, which means no more taco seasoning packets for us! This is a great recipe, but I still reduce the salt in this recipe. As is, this recipe puts about 2,300+ mg of sodium into 1 lb of ground beef so it’s really not any better than the store packets in that regard. Just thought I’d mention that since you mentioned the high sodium in the packets being one of the reasons you switched over to making your own. Regardless, it’s still better than the store bought variety!

    • Rachel — January 20th, 2013 @ 10:14 am

      Hi Melanie, thank you for reading my blog! I’m sorry to hear that your son has a kidney disease, I can imagine that is stressful and difficult. Typically, I use the lesser amount of salt but the really great thing about this recipe is that if you wanted to, you could leave the salt out all together which would be a good idea, as you pointed out, if you really needed to cut down on sodium.

  42. Ashley Smith — January 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Your taco seasoning recipe is delicious! I will definitely use it again. My family enjoys tacos, always prepared with venison, since my guys like to hunt. Thanks for sharing! Great job on the blog!

    • Rachel Gurk — January 29th, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

      Thank you, Ashley! I’ve never had venison. I hope I don’t get kicked out of Michigan for that. ;)

  43. Carissa — January 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Can this be used in the crock pot? I made tacos this week with turkey and that dreaded store bought crap and it wasn’t that great.

    • Rachel Gurk — January 31st, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      Absolutely! I just made a huge batch of chicken in the crockpot for tacos using this seasoning.

  44. Mary — January 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Don’t hesitate to give your youngster the foods you eat…spicy and all. (obviously nothing way, way too hot- common sense still applies) Give her a variety of things to eat. You want her to develop a taste for the things you normally cook, you don’t want to become a short order cook for a child! My middle child refused baby food, we just fixed her whatever we were eating in either very small bites or smashed up when we could. She eats everything now. Is not picky in the least.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 1st, 2013 @ 9:44 am

      Oh for sure–my daughter eats everything. I think she likes spicy food more than I do!

  45. Marge — January 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I’m SO happy to find this. I just found a new recipe that called for a packet of taco seasoning and started to buy some at the store today but rejected it after reading the ingredients! I really try to avoid anything with MSG and the word “spices” is often a cover for that. I love making my own combos using organic spices and a good quality sea salt. Thanks!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 1st, 2013 @ 9:41 am

      Thanks! Enjoy!

  46. Lauren — February 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Made this last week with lean beef and it was amazing!! I had 2 pounds of meat so I dumped the entire mixture in, perfect!

    Thank you so much for posting this :)

    • Rachel Gurk — February 5th, 2013 @ 8:06 am

      So glad you liked it, Lauren!

  47. Anna — February 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Yummy! I think I’m going to sub some chipotle chili powder for the red pepper flakes and part of the regular chili powder. It has a delicious smoky, spicy kick.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 6th, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      Great idea!

  48. stacey — February 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Wonderful Idea! I would be so excited to receive this as a gift!!

    • Rachel Gurk — February 7th, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

      It would make a terrific gift!

  49. CHRISTY — February 10, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    My two year old loves spicy food. I do not. In fact, after discovering how much she liked it (at her first birthday), I add crushed red pepper flakes to new meals, so I know she will try them.

    Ps. Theres tons of cute, printable, free, labels for canning jars, on Pinterest.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 11th, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

      Good tip about the labels!

  50. Anita Walker — February 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I always say that stuff about labeling everything “I get it from my dad too” lol very funny..I’m going to try it too.

  51. Nikki — February 13, 2013 at 4:06 am

    I make my own taco seasoning as well, have for years, because I have a child who was born allergic to wheat. Instead of adding water to the seasoning and meat, add 1 small can of tomato sauce/passata (per pound) as a way to sneak in extra veggies.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 13th, 2013 @ 7:06 am

      Great idea, Nikki!

  52. Jeremy — February 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Just a dash of corn starch works very well with this to thicken it up I make a very similiar recipe and I also add a tsp. sugar. : )

    • Rachel Gurk — February 14th, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

      Great idea!

  53. Jacqui — February 17, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Hi there,
    I found your blog using google. I bought a store pack and figured i could probably make this myself to make it healthier. My store pack contains weird stuff like…cocoapowder not to mention the dextrose and lemonacid.
    I am going to spread your recipe on my blog …..so i guess you are going global hahahaha
    Huggles from Holland :)
    Jacquie

  54. Jacquie Roeten — February 17, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I shared your recipe on my blog after finding out my store bought mix contains cocoa powder :(
    You are officially a global site now :)

    Huggles from Holland
    Jacquie

  55. Christy — February 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    2nd comment ;)

    To use with deer : Entire recipe + 1c water + 1.5 lbs veniso

    (an

    And it is delicious!!

  56. Jen — March 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    This recipe is SO good. I love that it has a little kick to it. It is way better than those packets! Never buying those again! Thanks so much for sharing!

  57. Tracy — March 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Just made this. The only thing I think could be improved is if you scaled it for a whole jar. I tripled it and it is about half a jar. We made tacos a lot so making a whole jar once every month or two sounds great

    • Rachel Gurk — March 3rd, 2013 @ 10:06 am

      Great idea! I always at least triple the batch when I make it too. I use in a lot of other stuff too, not just tacos. I’ll work on scaling the measurements!

  58. Saydee — March 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I will be making this tonight. Im trying something new this year where I make my own foods, after watching a horrible film on our food, where it comes from, what’s put into it etc. thanks to facebook! lol. This year I’m going to grow a garden (first time so excited) and start canning, making my own spices and everything! Thanks for sharing! And I agree, I can’t stand going back and looking at my old photos to now, i just want to cry! But great photos! Love them!

    • Rachel Gurk — March 3rd, 2013 @ 10:04 am

      Fun! I want a garden but we live in a condo. Some day! But I have a black thumb…

  59. Melaney — March 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

    This looks great, but I’ve recently found out that I have an allergy to cumin and chili powder (two spices that I love!). Any suggestions on replacing them with a different spice? Thanks!

    • Rachel Gurk — March 6th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      Oh Melaney, what horrible things to be allergic to! I’m so sorry! Unfortunately, without those two spices, the taco seasoning will be drastically different. With that being said — I did consult some other food bloggers and here are some of our ideas for you: using coriander instead of cumin, adding spices such as smoked paprika or small amounts of cayenne. One blogger mentioned this: Depending on what you’re allergic to in chili powder (which is a blend) you could try a straight chile powder, like ancho. Another great way to flavor a taco is with fresh cilantro and lime. Or you could marinate your meat in garlic, lime, olive oil and salt and pepper.

      So that’s that! Hope it helps. Please be careful, as your allergies are unique and I wouldn’t want you to have any adverse reactions to any of the things I mentioned. You might want to check with your allergist first! Good luck!

  60. connie d — March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Haven’t tried this yet, but I will. Why does the main photo of the jar of spices list the recipe with Tablespoons of every spice and the actual recipe list the ingredients as mostly 1/4 teaspoons of spices?

    • Rachel Gurk — March 12th, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

      Hi Connie,
      Follow the measurements listed in the recipe to make the spice mix. You then use 2.5 to 3 tablespoons of the mix per pound of meat.

  61. pameel — March 15, 2013 at 12:38 am

    I didn’t read all the comments but this recipe doesn’t seem to make enough for 3 T. much less enough to have to store it. Am I reading something wrong here????

    • Rachel Gurk — March 15th, 2013 @ 7:23 am

      This recipe makes enough for one pound of meat, but I usually quadruple the recipe to store for future use. Sometimes I use less of the spice too, depending on who I am cooking for.

    • Nikki — March 15th, 2013 @ 7:40 am

      If you read the recipe you can see that the ingredients add up to 3 Tablespoons plus 1.5-2 teaspoons depending on how much salt you add. That said, when I make it, I always add extra cumin just because I like it.

  62. Alexis — March 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is all I use for tacos now…it’s a delicious blend and so much healthier than the store brands. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Rachel Gurk — March 17th, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

      So glad you like it, Alexis! We go through a ton of it too.

  63. Robin — March 22, 2013 at 11:03 am

    You asked the question “spices?…is it some kind of secret?” I have read recently that in the ingredient “spices” is MSG.

    Thank you for sharing this seasoning. I would be interested in others that are low in sodium.

  64. Stephanie — March 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    This was fantastic, had a great “Kick” to it! Thanks for sharing!

  65. Laura M — March 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Way too spicy for my 7 and 4 year old, but my husband and I loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

  66. pearl2006 — March 30, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I have all of these spices on hand already! Yeah!

  67. Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking} — March 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Rachel, this is excellent!! The flavors are perfect. We just had taco night and it’ll be our new go-to taco seasoning. Thanks for the great recipe! xo

  68. Danielle — April 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I was gearing up to make taco meat for the new taco shell bowls I made (thanks As-Seen-On-TV Shelf at Walmart!), when I realized that after a $400 grocery store trip, I didn’t have taco seasoning! No way I was going back to the store! I came upon your recipe and gave it a try. I was only missing a few ingredients: onion powder, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. I was only able to sub in ground red pepper. And you know what? It still came out great! I know when I have all the ingredients and add the corn starch or corn flour for thickening it will far outshine the store packets. Thanks!!

    • Rachel Gurk — April 2nd, 2013 @ 10:07 am

      So glad you liked it, Danielle!

  69. Dianna McIntosh — April 7, 2013 at 7:14 am

    I’ve made this three times now and it is fabulous; the flavors are so nicely complementary. We’ve used it to make tacos, chimichangas and even Welsh pasties. We were so fed up with all of the super high sodium mixes, which seemed to be the only options at the grocer, that we were at wits end. Thank you so much for this!

    • Rachel Gurk — April 7th, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

      So glad you like it! It is one of our favorites as well.

  70. Bambi — April 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    If I don’t have ground cumin, what can I use otherwise?

    • Rachel Gurk — April 8th, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

      Hi Bambi! This seasoning will taste drastically different with any substitution for the cumin. Maybe coriander or smoked paprika, but I really would recommend running out to the store for the cumin! It’s important to the taste of this mix. :)

      • Bambi — April 8th, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

        Thanks a bunch!!

  71. ani — April 16, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I’ve always spiced up my taco meat from scratch – this is pretty close to what I do – it’s only missing a can of tomato sauce and I love to add a squirt of tomato paste. If you do this you can reduce water to just a 1/4 cup. That gives it a rich layer of flavor.

    • Rachel Gurk — April 16th, 2013 @ 10:11 am

      Great idea!

  72. S. Minhas — April 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I have been using the Neuva Cocina Taco Fresco seasoning sachet which tastes great with Turkey. And is relatively healthier then other brands (no msg and I think they have made it lower in sodium) but I am eager to try your recipe. Thanks again.

  73. Adrianne — April 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Everyone writes about how good this recipe looks but I actually just made it with turkey tacos and it was absolutely amazing. I will never use packaged taco seasoning again

    • Rachel Gurk — April 17th, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

      So glad you liked it!

  74. chass — April 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I just bought a big container of dried onion flakes at Costco, could I use that in place of the onion powder?? Thanks !!

    • Rachel Gurk — April 23rd, 2013 @ 9:11 am

      I think that would work great!

  75. Kelly — April 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

    How do you sub this in a recipe that calls for the packet?

    • Rachel Gurk — April 29th, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

      I would do it based on how much meat the recipe calls for. Use 2-3 Tablespoons of this per pound of meat, depending on how spicy you like it.

  76. Arianna — April 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Thank you SO much for this! I hate buying taco seasoning from the store — I’m not a very big fan of onions and the little onion chunks in some of them. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Rachel Gurk — April 29th, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

      You’re welcome! Hope you love it! We do!

  77. Sswebster2 — May 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Before you brown off meat try chopping up one onion(sweet red work well) and chopped garlic, sauté with one can of Hunts diced tomatoes and 1/3 of spice mix. When onions are translucent, pour into bowl. Then use seasoned pan and brown off meat. And rest of spice and sautéed ingredient e. final touch, add two ounces of tequila, light it for flambé . This will give your recipe more depth with layering your meat mixture.

    Have a great Cinco de Mayo!

    • Rachel Gurk — May 5th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      Sounds great!

  78. Martyn — May 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Do you think this seasoning will work as a potato wedge seasoning? I used to buy Old El Paso wedge mix, but it seems to have disappeared off the shelves here!

    • Rachel Gurk — May 5th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      I think that would be delicious! They would definitely have a southwestern flair–I’m not sure what is in the wedge mix that you use. I think it would be great though.

  79. RubyDu — May 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Just have to share that I make a very similar taco seasoning mix but I also add a little corn starch to help thicken up the taco “juices” just a tad. My tacos have become famous by using this recipe mixed into one pound of ground beef as well as one package of chorizo (I think it’s just under a pound in weight). The kids and all their friends are constantly begging for me to make them. :)

    • Rachel Gurk — May 13th, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

      Sounds perfect!

  80. Tasha — May 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I would love to blog your recipe on our site and make a printable label for the jar. I was thinking we could link to each others’ posts. Thoughts?

    • Rachel Gurk — May 18th, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

      Hi Tasha! I sent you an email :)

  81. Cathie — May 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Found this through Pinterest and made it last night. It was great! I had to substitute some cayenne pepper since I was out of red pepper flakes but we like spicy so it was ok :-) I used the tomato sauce/water idea I saw in someone’s comments and the whole thing turned out perfectly. My 10 yr old loved it and my boyfriend (who doesn’t like tomatoes and isn’t even a huge fan of tacos) even said it was good. Thanks for the recipe! I’d tried some other homemade taco seasoning recipes before and not had quite the same luck. Think I’ll be keeping this one!

    • Rachel Gurk — May 19th, 2013 @ 8:37 am

      Glad you liked it! Thank you for letting me know!

  82. Debbie — May 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I have been wanting to try making my own taco seasoning for awhile. My fiancé and I finally tried this and we were both so happy with the turnout! We are going to be using this from now on, instead of buying premade packets. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Rachel Gurk — May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:11 am

      So glad you liked it, Debbie!

  83. Ash — June 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Tonight I am baking a taco casserole. I searched the web looking for “best store bought taco seasoning” and you’re blog post came up. Great thing about your recipe is most of the ingredients can be found right in your cabinet! Thanks to you I was able to make homemade seasoning that will last for awhile. We will be taste testing the finishing product tonight! I will write another comment once we try it out.

    • Rachel Gurk — June 24th, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

      Great! Hope you love it. It is one of our favorites.

  84. Cathy - ScrappinCat! — June 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Found your recipe on Pinterest. So glad I did. We used it tonight on our tacos and all of us loved it much more than our traditional Lawrys taco seasoning. I pinned your updated recipe for larger batch and added some of the larger ingredients to my shopping list. I will not buy taco seasoning anymore. Thank you, thank you.

    • Rachel Gurk — June 30th, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

      Thanks Cathy! One of my favorite recipes as well. :)

  85. SpinninJenny — July 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

    My sister found this pinned on Pinterest and she sent it to me. I’m definitely going to try this! I have really acute reactions to Mono-sodium Glutamate and have a hard time finding packaged taco seasoning that doesn’t have this in it. Thanks for an additive-free seasoning that I can really use!!

    Jennifer in GA

  86. A hingrrrrr — August 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    We have a paprika allergy in the house…. I know weird. So I’m wondering if eliminating the paprika will change it much or if you can think of a replacement.
    Any ideas?

    • Rachel Gurk — August 13th, 2013 @ 9:26 am

      Hmm — the taste won’t be identical, but you could try adding in more chili powder or another mild chile powder (ancho), or maybe tomato powder or paste (the paste you’d have to add in during cooking, obviously…not into the seasoning mix). The tomato will help with the color but won’t replicate the flavor of paprika, but the bulk of the flavor of this spice comes from the cumin and chili powder so you should be okay! You could probably leave it out all together and it would still taste great. Hope that helps. Enjoy!

  87. Crystal — September 21, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Great idea! Thanks so much for posting :)

  88. Grace — October 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    This is the BEST taco seasoning I have ever used. I will never used anything else again. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Rachel Gurk — October 26th, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

      So glad you like it! Thanks for the comment :)

  89. Eddie — December 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hey all, just one thing to add; as noted in her breakdown of the ingredients, most store-baught taco seasoning mix contains a starch to help thicken and hold the final seasoned taco meat together in the taco shell. I would add a full Tablespoon of cornstarch to this wonderful recipe. This will combine with the oil from the meat to make a roux to help thicken the final taco meat after the water is added. So good!

    • Rachel Gurk — December 9th, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

      Yes! Great advice. Some times I use all-purpose flour as well to thicken a bit.

  90. lynn woolard — December 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Absolutely my favorite taco seasoning mix…….it’s all we use now :-)

  91. Acacia — January 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I won’t use the prepackaged stuff now. Loved it. I also blogged about it and referenced your site.

  92. Caleb — January 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    You can buy msg for less than $5 a pound, it makes all the difference and there is no reason to handicap your cooking when there has never been a study showing that it makes people feel bad or suffer any negative side effects. That aside though, the autolysed yeast extract is very good stuff and cheap while packed with vitamins and other goodies. I even put it on my popcorn instead of butter, but it still needs a bit of salt. Speaking of salt, I use msg as a salt substitute. A plate of chicken parmessan will have fare more sodium and glutamate from all the tomatoes and cheese than pure msg would add to your typical meal. I’m just tired of the bad rap it gets. Much like lard, a perfectly healthy ingredient that has been demonized by advertisers.
    Back to the recipe though, great stuff, I just added the yeast and msg and it’s so much tastier and cheaper than the packets. I sometimes add a bit of cayenne for a picante batch. Good stuff.

  93. Brenda — February 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I just mixed up the taco seasoning. Can’t believe I have been wasting my money all these years on store package seasoning. They are 90 cents a pkg, and that is only enough for 1 lb of gr. beef.

    Thanks

    • Rachel Gurk — February 5th, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

      So glad you like it!

  94. Christie — February 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I have recently been (secretly) trying to cut down on the sodium intake for my family and this is great! I substituted about 1/2 the salt with salt substitute and it tasted very good. I made taco salad last night and have realized that I really like salt and could taste the difference. I decided next time if I add some fire roasted tomatoes to the mix that it will not raise the overall sodium content too much and will most likely help my horrible salt craving…:)

  95. Nikki — February 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    So excited to try this! Our family loves tacos but I am always weary about all the salt. Thank you :)

  96. Jennifer — April 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Absolutely love the flavor of this!! Do you have any suggestions on how to make it not so spicy? I am sweating!!! Thanks for the post though, you totally got me out of a bind tonight!!!

    • Rachel Gurk — April 12th, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

      Absolutely! Just reduce the red pepper flakes or cut them out completely. :) Or just add less to your meat. I don’t always use 2-3 full tablespoons depending on who I’m serving it to :) Glad you liked it though!

      • Jennifer — April 13th, 2014 @ 11:19 am

        Thanks! Will try that next time :)

  97. Eileen — April 30, 2014 at 3:36 am

    I agree Rachel,

    Too many additives in the commercially bought taco seasoning mix. I’ve always said that when they state “natural flavor” on the ingredient list that it gives them a right to put anything in there that they consider natural. Some people consider sulphites and MSG natural. I’m with ya honey!!

    Thanks as I used your taco seasoning recipe for my kids tacos tonight. I just omitted the chili as I didn’t want any little noses turned up at the chef…..hehe (aka….me…..aka….mum).

    Stay well and yes you do take great photos!

    Eileen.

  98. Tang — May 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Going to try this tonight! It sounds like it’ll be a hit from all the comments I’ve read. Thanks for sharing. :)

  99. Lindsey @ DishingUpHope — June 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    FABULOUS! I don’t like pre-package seasoning for the additives and the expense! Pinned this to add to the pantry. Thanks!

    • Rachel Gurk — June 19th, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

      Hope you love it! I just made a new jar last night…we go through it like crazy. Check back tomorrow for a new use for it! :)

  100. Alex — July 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    My family eats a lot of spicy foods that contain similar spices to this recipe (think authentic Indian food), so we are no strangers to the very spicy. That being said, this was so spicy as to be inedible. I love, love, love the idea of making your own taco seasoning so you don’t have to pay for artificial crap, but I will need to look elsewhere for a recipe for taco seasoning. Even toning it down some didn’t work. I even put more beef and more water than the recipe called for. It was so blistering hot that I couldn’t taste any of the spices. So disappointed!

    • Rachel Gurk — July 5th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

      We’re sort of wimps when it comes to spice and we LOVE this seasoning – as well as many, many people we’ve served it to. Perhaps you measured something incorrectly? I’d definitely try decreasing how much you put into one pound of ground beef if it seems too spicy for your tastes.

  101. Elizabeth — July 26, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Could you please tell me where I can find/how I could make, chili powder that doesn’t have yucky stuff? Mine has silicon dioxide I think it was and I can’t find any that doesn’t.

  102. Becky — August 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    This is now the only taco seasoning i use, and i’ve sent this link to at least half a dozen people. we add a little less salt and extra red pepper flakes, but we like it spicy, too. a few weeks ago, i had run out of chili powder, so i couldn’t make a new batch (i make the large batch recipe and keep it in a tupperware container in the cabinet), so i used an old seasoning packet from the cabinet – the same stuff i’d used for years before – and i couldn’t finish my dinner. it was gross. this seasoning is SO much better than anything you can buy, and preservative free – i really love it! thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Rachel Gurk — August 18th, 2014 @ 7:44 am

      Thanks so much for the nice comment! I haven’t gone back to the packaged seasoning since making my very first batch of the homemade stuff – it would be interesting to see how that tastes now!

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