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Homemade Taco Seasoning

4.91 from 21 votes

posted: 03/25/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Homemade Taco Seasoning comes together fast with measurements for one pound of meat or for a whole container to keep in your pantry! Make it extra spicy or keep it mild. We use this recipe weekly!

bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning next to cilantro with tomatoes in the background


This Taco Seasoning recipe has become an absolute staple in my house. I love this homemade taco seasoning recipe so much because you can see that there are two versions for it, a small batch and a big batch. Make the small batch for one recipe at dinner time, or make the big batch version and always have it on hand.

Additionally, because you are making it at home, you can control the ingredients. I have instructions for controlling the spice level and the amount of salt.


Looking to make dinner right now? Make the small batch version.

Want to always have this on hand? Make the big batch version.

  • The small batch version amounts to 1 ounce or 3 tablespoons, the same as the taco seasoning packet from the grocery store.
  • The big batch version amounts to 1 1/2 cups or 8 small packets. Pull out 3 tablespoons at a time to equal one pound of meat.
small white plate with different spices for taco seasoning recipe


Taco seasoning is incredibly simple to make, since it is just measuring out the spices and whisking them together. If you want to hear me talk far too long on it, check out the video below.

You need:

  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • kosher salt
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper (vary the amount depending on the level of heat you want)

Whisk the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.


The big bonus of this recipe is that you can make this recipe mild, medium or hot! We tend to keep it mild for the kids, but love it medium for us.

  • For mild: take out the cayenne pepper completely
  • For medium: leave the cayenne pepper as is
  • For hot: double the cayenne pepper


Yes! Depending on your dietary restrictions, you can cut the salt in this recipe. I would start with cutting the salt in half. If your diet requires very strict sodium restrictions, cut the salt entirely and then allow your family to salt their meal to taste.


If you store your taco seasoning in an air tight container, it should stay good for 1 to 2 years. That said, I think you will use it a lot faster than that.

over head shot of small white plate with spices for chicken taco seasoning


I’ve had a number of viral recipes that started with this homemade taco seasoning!

  • TACO BRAID – This recipe has a viral Facebook video that has been shared over 300k times!
  • TACO SOUP – I’ve been loving this soup for YEARS and it has been pinned over 40k times
  • TACO PASTA SALAD – The video for this post broke the internet. It was shared 1 MILLION times!

My number one most common way to use this taco seasoning recipe is with these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos. We make them all the time and never tire of them.


If you make this great taco seasoning or any of my other recipes leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up picture of instant pot taco chicken with pico de gallo recipe
bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning
4.91 from 21 votes

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Serves: 1 ounce
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This Homemade Taco Seasoning comes together fast with measurements for one pound of meat or for a whole container to keep in your pantry!  Make it extra spicy or keep it mild.


To Replace One Store Bought Packet (1 ounce or 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Large Batch (The equivalent of 8 store bought packets)

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper


  • Mix together all the spices.  3 tablespoons is equivalent to what you would buy at the store.
Calories: 8kcal Carbohydrates: 1g Fat: 1g (2%) Sodium: 4mg Potassium: 38mg (1%) Vitamin A: 50IU (1%) Calcium: 20mg (2%) Iron: 1.4mg (8%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. amy says

    How much water do you add if you are making ground beef tacos with this seasoning?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I would follow the same directions on the packet, which I think 1/4 a cup.

      • Julie says

        5 stars
        2/3 cup water

  2. Julie says

    I love this recipe!!! ???? The amount of water stated on packets is 2/3 cup

  3. Jerri Brewer says

    5 stars
    Searched Taco seasoning recipes and chose this one. It’s awesome. I leave out the salt. Started with small recipe for the first batch. Doing the large batch now.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you like it, Jerry! It is probably the most used recipe in my house, and I love hearing that you still love it without salt. Great for people on low sodium diets.

  4. Daryl Tresler says

    Thank you for this I have tried a home made season and it turened out to bland. Now I can try again and it will taste very good.

  5. Betty Ann says

    Hi, Is chili powder the same as chili seasoning?


    • Lisa Longley says

      Nope, chili seasoning is a spice mix. Chili Powder comes from dried chili peppers.

  6. D. Tracy says

    5 stars
    I love this taco seasoning. I like that I can adjust the spice level. I always have it on hand in my pantry. And I can trust 100% that it’s gluten free!

    • Lisa Longley says

      This makes me so happy! We always have it on hand in our house too!

  7. Melanie Rowe says

    Everything sounds great! I’m making the taco seasoning in a few minutes!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you like it!

  8. Diana Geen says

    Thanks appreciate it

  9. Christoval Sanchez says

    5 stars
    This has replaced any and all pouch seasonings, I funnel this into an empty spice container and now I have it on hand whenever taco night happens. Great recipe.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy to hear this!

  10. MEG says

    5 stars
    I was in the mood for my zucchini nachos…as everything was cooking, I discovered I was out of taxo seasoning! Enter my search for small batch taco seasoning and this recipe.

    Soooo good! Will never buy the packets again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! This is one of my VERY favorite recipes, we use it in my house so often.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners