This chicken taco seasoning recipe is made with a simple spice blend and works with any taco meat, vegetables, and more. All it takes is 5 minutes and a few simple ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Those single-use taco seasoning packets from the grocery store may seem convenient, but many of them are filled with junky ingredients and anti-caking agents. Not to mention, who really knows how long those store-bought packets have been sitting on the shelf?
Making your own taco seasoning isn't only more cost-effective, but it tastes so much better, too. You have control of the ingredients and can tailor the seasoning blend to suit your own personal preference.
Which means you can easily customize it.
- Want more depth of flavor? Use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.
- Like a spicy kick? Add red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, or cayenne pepper depending on your desired spice level.
- Big garlic lover? Up the quantity.
- Want some umami/cheesiness without the dairy? Include the nutritional yeast.
Remember that this recipe is just a guide. Adjust the portions to suit your own preferences.
You likely already have the ingredients in your spice cabinet. Here's what you'll need for the spice mix.
- Chili powder - an American chili powder made with a blend of spices but isn't actually spicy.
- Ground cumin - adds a warm, earthy taste.
- Smoked paprika - has more depth of flavor than sweet paprika due to its smoky flavor.
- Onion powder and garlic powder - two key flavors in Mexican cuisine.
- Dried oregano - or use Mexican oregano if you can find it. It has a brighter flavor with more floral and citrus notes. Either one is great.
- Kosher salt - has the most consistent salt taste, without tasting overly salty. I only recommend this brand. If using another brand, start with a smaller amount first.
- Black pepper - use freshly ground for the best flavor.
- Nutritional yeast - adds a nice umami/cheesy flavor.
See the recipe card for measurements.
How to Make Chicken Taco Seasoning
Step 1. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Step 2. Store your homemade taco seasoning in an airtight container or mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and label it. Store in a cool dark place.
How to Use Taco Seasoning
I suggest making a big batch so that when taco night rolls around, you have some already made. When ready to use, add two tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat.
Chicken taco seasoning mix doesn't just work for chicken, it works with fajitas or any kind of tacos - ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, roasted cauliflower and chickpea tacos, boneless skinless chicken thighs, skinless chicken breasts, and taco salad bowls.
It isn't just for tacos though. It's also delicious sprinkled on homemade popcorn and used to season rice, black beans, roasted vegetables, stuffed peppers, taco soup, and cooked grains like in my southwest quinoa salad.
More DIY Condiments
Chicken Taco Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast optional
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons diamond crystal kosher salt reduce to 1 teaspoon if using anything else
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
- Store your homemade taco seasoning in an airtight container or mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and label it. Store in a cool dark place.
- Makes just under ½ cup. When ready to use, add two tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat.