Homemade taco seasoning without MSG or additives. 100% natural and delicious. Make extra to keep on hand! It’s not only for tacos — you can use it in so many recipes! 

Jar of layered spices. Text overlay reads "homemade taco seasoning - all-natural!"

I’ve made about a bazillion batches of this taco seasoning. It includes great spices like chili powder, cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika and it’s definitely not only for tacos – keep on reading to see all the places I use it!

Overhead view of spices in a jar: paprika, pepper, salt, cumin.

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.

Why you should make this homemade taco seasoning recipe:

I quickly searched for a popular brand of taco seasoning (most brands are similar) 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). Most other brands have similar ingredients.

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).

PS: This is also Whole30 compliant taco seasoning and is also Paleo which is fantastic!!! It works if you’re on a keto diet, too!

Large white plate with small piles of spices on it.

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 (see the end of this post for a lot of really great uses of this homemade taco seasoning!).

Make this taco seasoning your own – here are some suggestions:

  • If you prefer a more mild taco seasoning, leave out the red pepper flakes.
  • Like it on the hot side? Add more red pepper flakes and/or cayenne.
  • Not a cumin fan? You can make this taco seasoning without cumin. It will not taste exactly like traditional tacos so I highly recommend adding the cumin. However, if you just can’t get down with it, leave it out! That’s the great thing about DIYing it. You’re the boss!
  • If you want to add some smokey flavor, try adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
  • Watching your salt intake? Leave it out!


Taco seasoning in a small glass jar, laying on its side on a wooden background.

Love making your own spice blends? See my whole list of homemade spice blends for inspiration! You’ll find a large batch of this seasoning, fajita seasoning, beef stew seasoning, herbes de provence, and mild curry powder.

Taco spice mix being mixed in a jar with a silver spoon; overhead view.

Needed for this recipe:

Taco seasoning on a wooden spoon, spilling off onto a wooden backgrond.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Yield: 3-4 tablespoons
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!


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


  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 1-2 tablespoons (or up to the full amount if you like it spicier) of this mixture plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water to one pound of cooked meat of your choice - see note about flour. 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.


  • Add a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the pound of cooked meat to thicken up the mixture a bit.
  • I recently posted a new version of this recipe that yields two cups:  Large Batch Homemade Taco Seasoning.
  • 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. Alternatively, you could leave the red pepper flakes out of the mixture for a more toned-down version of this taco seasoning.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 tablespoon spice mix
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 5Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 293mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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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.

Layered spices in a small glass jar on a wooden background.

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

Taco Chicken Tenders

Taco Turkey Burgers

Creamy Southwestern Orzo Salad

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken for Tacos

Southwestern Homemade Flour Tacos

Healthy Mexican Lasagna with Swiss Chard

Southwestern Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers

Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Bean and Cheese Taco Rolls

Southwestern Cream Cheese Tortilla Roll-ups

Southwestern Mac and Cheese with Ground Turkey

Southwestern Mini Meatloaves

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley Casserole

Healthy Taco Meat (in 30 minutes!)