This DIY taco seasoning is made with a blend of simple everyday spices. Gone are the days of buying one-and-done taco seasoning packets.
Making your own is much more cost-effective and sustainable. Plus, it's ridiculously easy. As in, so easy you'll wonder why you haven't been making your own all along.
Ingredients You'll Need
If you've already built a capsule pantry, you probably have all the ingredients.
For DIY taco seasoning, you'll need a combination of:
- chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, black pepper, sugar (tiny pinch), and nutritional yeast (optional).
- The chili powder is American chili powder, which is just a blend of spices, but isn't spicy at all.
- Smoked paprika has more depth of flavor than sweet, but feel free to use either one.
- 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.
- Freshly ground black pepper has the best flavor, but pre-ground will also work.
- A tiny pinch of sugar (any granulated kind) helps to balance out the savory flavors.
Store-Bought vs DIY
Those little store-bought taco seasoning packets may seem convenient, but they're usually filled with junk like inflammatory oils and anti-caking agents.
Not exactly mouthwatering.
Making the DIY version means keeping it really simple and fresh (who knows how long those store-bought packets have been sitting on the shelves).
Plus, you can easily customize it.
- Want it a little smokey? Use smoked paprika
- Like a spicy kick? Add in red chili flakes or cayenne pepper
- Big garlic lover? Up the quantity.
- Want some umami/cheesiness without the dairy? Include nutritional yeast like I did.
Honestly, when I don’t have any homemade taco seasoning, I usually just throw all these ingredients onto whatever I’m cooking and hope for the best.
Spoiler: it works this way, too. But, I will say that it's nice to have a batch all ready to go.
Remember that this recipe is just a guide. Adjust the portions to suit your own preferences.
How to Make DIY Taco Seasoning
- Mix. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
- Store. Place in an old spice jar (or another jar) with a tight-fitting lid and label it. Store in a dry, cool spot until ready to use.
- Quantity. Makes 3 tablespoons.
Taco Seasoning Uses
Taco seasoning isn't just for tacos. Other uses:
- sprinkle on homemade popcorn (one of my personal favorites)
- add to homemade risotto for a Mexican fusion twist
- use to season rice or beans
- sprinkle on whatever roasted vegetables are in season
- season fajitas with it or use in stuffed peppers
- add to southwest quinoa salad
DIY Taco Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt* see notes
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- tiny pinch sugar (granulated)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk or stir together until well combined.
- Place in an old spice jar (or another jar) with a tight-fitting lid and label it. Store in a dry, cool spot until ready to use.
- Makes 3 tablespoons.
- *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.
Evie Ugrin says
The taco seasoning is outstanding.
Am hopeful to have success with freezing in a small glass jar to have handy for impromptu use.
Jennifer White says
Hi! Is the ratio 1 Tablespoon for 1 pound of meat?
You'll want to use about 2 tablespoons of seasoning per 1 pound of meat.