Got a recipe that asks for taco seasoning but you have none at home? If you have a few basic spices on hand, it is easy to make it from scratch! Use it to make tacos, burritos, enchiladas and so much more.
So much better than store-bought!
Story of my life: plan to make a recipe, gather all the ingredients and realize I’m missing a key component.
Thankfully, this time it was only taco seasoning.
A quick rummaging through my spice drawer and this homemade taco seasoning was born! And the best part? I get to make it as mild or as hot as I want.
I’m also a bit of a spice snob, and I try to buy the best quality spices I can afford, so there’s no doubt this taco blend is much better than the one I’d get at the store!
Easy to make with pantry staples that you might already have on hand! No need to ever buy the pre-packaged stuff again.
Why make your own taco spice blend?
I know whatcha thinking…Why make homemade spice blends when you can buy them at the store?
Well, there are a few reasons:
- It tastes better.
- You’ll have the satisfaction that comes from knowing exactly what went into your spice blend.
- It’s gluten and sugar free. The store version often has some kind of starch and/or sugar.
- You get to play mad scientist and add or omit whatever you want!
- Sometimes you save money. That doesn’t always happen, especially if you – like me – invest in good quality spices.
- You need to because you want to make a recipe and you have no taco seasoning in your pantry plus no desire to do a grocery store run just for that!
To make mild taco seasoning, you will need:
- Chili powder
- Dried oregano
- Sweet (or smoked) paprika
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
To make hot taco seasoning, you will need:
- All the ingredients for mild taco seasoning
- Cayenne pepper
How to make taco seasoning from scratch
Once you make this taco blend, you will question why you ever bought the grocery store version in the first place.
It’s so easy! Just combine everything and it’s ready to be used in your favorite recipes.
I usually make a small batch of about 1/3 cup, but you can easily double, triple or quadruple if you use a lot of taco seasoning!
Likewise, if you don’t use a lot and just need it for one or two recipes, you can halve the recipe to make about 2.5 tablespoons (most recipes ask for 1 tablespoon).
Recommended tools: small bowl, spoon, airtight jar.
Here’s how I make this homemade taco seasoning recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix until evenly combined. Transfer to an airtight jar.
You can also just combine everything in the jar where you plan on keeping it and shake until combined.
Substitutions and add-ins
This DIY taco blend is easily customizable. You can alter the quantities, omit what you don’t like and/or add other spices and herbs.
- Dried herbs: Dried parsley or basil can be used with or instead of the dried oregano.
- Sweet Paprika: Smoked paprika can be substituted. I wouldn’t recommend using hot paprika or the blend will be too spicy, especially if using cayenne.
- Cayenne: You can use red pepper flakes instead or omit for a mild version.
- Thickeners: For a seasoning that also acts as a thickener, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or 2 teaspoons of flour.
- Want a touch of sweetness to balance out the spiciness? A teaspoon of brown sugar can be added.
- Tomato powder: Add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato powder if you want your seasoning to be tomato-y like some store-bought versions.
How long does homemade taco seasoning keep?
When stored in airtight containers in a cool and dry place, homemade spice seasonings last just as long as the spices you used in the blends.
Since I’m bad at keeping track, I usually use mine within 6 months.
How to use taco seasoning?
Homemade taco seasoning can be used to spice up Mexican or Mexican inspired recipes.
Think tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, nachos, burgers, soups and salads. You can even use to rim the glass for your tasty Margaritas!
I use 1 tablespoon for 1 pound of ground beef or chicken.
|Olivia’s Tip: Homemade spice blends make great hostess gifts and/or party favors. Just put them in nice little jars with cute tags and you’re all set to impress!|
|Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.|
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, whisking until evenly mixed.
- Transfer the blend to a small jar and store in an airtight container, in a cool and dry place, for up to 6 months.
Mild or hot?
Omit the cayenne for mild taco seasoning or add as much as you like if you like it hot!
- Cornstarch or flour: Add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or 2 teaspoons of flour if you want your taco seasoning to also act as a thickener for sauces.
- Brown sugar: Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to balance out the heat.
- Tomato powder: Add up to 3 tablespoons of tomato powder if you want to add a bit of tomato flavor to your seasoning.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 941mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Nutritional values are approximate, please use your own calculations if you require a special diet.