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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Smoky and savory, with a satisfying mild heat, our homemade taco seasoning is an adaptable, simple way to turn a ho-hum dinner into a “make again, please!”.


Homemade Taco Seasoning in a small glass jar

Once You Try Our Homemade Taco Seasoning, You'll Never Go Back To Store-Bought.

Homemade taco seasoning is such a cinch to throw together. It’s also one of our favorite back-pocket tricks for transforming a few simple ingredients into something ultra-flavorful and satisfying. Not only is it quick—you can whip up a batch in about 30 seconds—homemade taco seasoning will always taste best because you can adjust the proportions to your suit your own tastes.

Think of our recipe as simply a place to start. Homemade taco seasoning will evolve to reflect the home it was made in—isn’t that sort of a nice thought?—and so you should feel free to adjust the proportions as you like. Maybe you’re wanting something with a bit more kick, so you toss in a little cayenne pepper. Or you’ve got a garlic fanatic in your house, so when you add the tablespoon of garlic powder, you make sure it’s a heaping one. We love that! Take this recipe, and make it yours.

salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, cumin and chili powder in small bowls.

How to Make Taco Seasoning:

  1. Start with fresh spices. This is really the most important step of all, and it holds true for anything you cook. Spices lose their potency over time, ground spices in particular.
  2. Decide how much you need. Our recipe makes just shy of 1/2 cup. Depending on how often you use homemade taco seasoning, you may want to double or even triple it.
  3. Measure the spices into a bowl, and gently whisk them together until they are evenly combined.
  4. Store! A tightly-sealed mason jar is a great way to store your homemade taco seasoning, or a ziploc bag with the excess air pushed out of it works, too. Anything airtight will help it stay fresh and zippy. We love these cute little Weck jars!
Homemade Taco Seasoning in a glass jar

A Few Notes on Buying Spices

Fresh, flavorful spices can bring a meal to life—and old or expired spices will do the opposite. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying and storing spices:

  1. Look at the color of the spice you’re buying. It can be a great indication of the age of the spice. Brilliant, vibrant hues indicate freshness, whereas dull, muted colors can indicate that a spice has been sitting there for a while and has lost its punch.
  2. Spices on the shelf at most supermarkets can be up to seven months old already, so by the time you take them home they’re only good for another six months or so. If you’ve got ground spices older than six months, it’s time to replace them.
  3. Consider buying spices online! Not only can you expect a better product by buying directly from a spice merchant, you often save money. Penzey’s, The Spice House and La Boite are all great places to start. And for this homemade taco seasoning, this smoked paprika is our personal favorite.
  4. Store your spices in a cool, dark place—i.e. nowhere near the stove. You’ll extend their life a lot by doing this one simple thing! And while we’re on the subject, same goes for your olive oil, too.
Homemade Taco Seasoning in a small glass jar

How Do You Use Taco Seasoning?

We’re so glad you asked! If you’re anything like us, once you’ve got homemade taco seasoning hanging out in your cupboard, you’ll find yourself using it almost once a day to spice up a meal. Use homemade taco seasoning anywhere you might use a store-bought taco seasoning packet. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it:

  • Healthy, filling Roasted Cauliflower Tacos get their zing from a hefty dusting of our taco seasoning blend.
  • Toss a little homemade taco seasoning with diced potatoes and a drizzle of olive oil, and roast them in the oven until crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside—top with a fried egg and call that brunch!
  • Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are our new weeknight go-to, and they come to life thanks to You Know What.
  • Chop up your favorite vegetables—we love a combination of carrots, cauliflower, shallots and sweet potatoes—and coat them with a slick of olive oil, a little salt, and taco seasoning. Roast until everything is caramelized and tender and use however you’d like! Serve as a side dish, or light, simple lunch.
  • These kid-friendly, comforting Sweet Potato Tacos are another easy, Mexican-inspired dinner that deserves a spot in your weekly rotation.
  • Add homemade taco seasoning to a simmering pot of beans, canned tomatoes and maybe some ground beef and voila—you’ve made chili!

Here are a few more recipes that have us using up this taco seasoning by jar.

Whatever You Put This Taco Seasoning on, We Want to Hear About it!

Post a picture to Instagram and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can oooh and ahhh along with you. Happy eating!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • Yields: ½ cup
  • Prep Time:  2 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Note: Most taco seasoning packets have 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning in them. To sub this taco seasoning mix for a store bought packet, simply brown your ground meat, drain off any fat and sprinkle on 2-3 tablespoons of the homemade taco seasoning per pound of ground meat, mix to combine. If you like saucy taco meat, add ⅓ cup water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the ground beef along with the taco seasoning.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories13
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates3 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium915 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Brittina Collins

    What if you don't have cumin does it make a difference?

    Yes, it would make a pretty big difference, we'd recommend snagging some before you make this. Hope you enjoy Bittina!

  • William weirich

    Do you add water if so how much and then simmer???

    Do you mean if you are using this with ground meat. You don't have to do a simmer method. You can stir the seasoning right in but if you like the way it comes out when you do a simmer. After browning your meat, drain the excess fat and use 2-3 tablespoons of the seasoning per pound of ground meat and use about 3/4 cup water. Stir together, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure your meat is cooked completely through before serving.

  • Toby

    How much of the seasoning per lb of ground beef?

    2-3 Tablespoons

  • Rachel M

    How much will it affect the recipe if I leave out salt? I'm really trying to stick to a low sodium diet but miss all the flavorings!

    It should still taste great it just won't taste salty.

  • Diana

    I am confused about the chili powder ingredient. A homemade recipe for chili powder includes almost all of the taco seasoning ingredients (I don't have store-bought in the cupboard). Seems redundant. Help, please.

    You need store bought. You can't make a homemade version of chili powder (only a substitute) Store bought chili powder is really just ground chilis. It is a key ingredient in this taco seasoning.

  • Heather Horne

    Love this recipe! Loaded with flavor. This will be my go to.

    Thanks Heather, so happy to hear that!

  • Athalia Harper

    My go to! Use it for tacos every week!

    That is so great to hear, thanks Athalia!

  • Hallie

    Another recipe I’ve been coming back to again and again. This is a 12/10 good, I’m never going back to store bought taco seasoning!

    Yay! So glad you love it!

  • Marsha Jones

    Just want to say thanks for having this recipe online I needed it in a pinch and now I'll use it always you guys are truly appreciated God-bless!

    Thanks so much Marsha! So happy this recipe helped you out!

  • [email protected]

    Very nice to run into your site.
    Tried it for tacos easy to make and flavor was a hit
    Thank you

    Thanks Jennifer, we are so glad that you loved it!