Want a taco mix free of ingredients like MSG, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and silicon dioxide? Make this homemade taco seasoning mix for a preservative-free spice mix. Bonus: it’s super versatile and tastes amazing!
A taco just isn’t a taco without the perfect blend of spicy flavor.
I’m a firm believer in tasty taco seasoning and love to add it to tons of recipes. But you know how I feel about store-bought stuff and packaged foods.
Like packaged taco seasoning.
That’s why I’ve come up with this DIY homemade taco seasoning mix that adds just the right amount of kick to Mexican dishes. Chili is a big hit here in Texas, you know, so of course, we make it often and it’s a favorite when we go to a potluck.
Taco salad is another dish where this spice works really well. And have you made my chicken tortilla soup in your slow cooker? It’s another recipe where this seasoning mix adds the perfect touch.
This homemade taco seasoning mix is easy to make in minutes and you’ll most likely have all of the spices in your pantry. Let’s try it!
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Taco Seasoning?
If I don’t have taco seasoning (a rare occurrence!) I use a mixture of chili powder and cumin. If I really want to add a little extra heat, I add some cayenne pepper. For a bit of smokiness, you can add chipotle chili powder. Mmm.
The great thing about making your own spice mixes is that you can go heavier on the specific spice that you like best. Don’t forget a dash of salt and pepper.
How Many Tablespoons Are In A Packet Of Taco Seasoning?
A typical package of store-bought taco seasoning is the equivalence of 2 tablespoons of the mix. If you have a recipe that calls for one packet of taco seasoning, go ahead and substitute it with 2 tablespoons of this much healthier homemade taco seasoning!
What Is In Store Bought Taco Seasoning?
Store bought taco seasoning has a lot of stuff you want to avoid. Seriously, homemade taco seasoning is just SO much better for you! When you make your own you don’t have ingredients like tons of salt, sugar (hidden sugars you don’t need!) and silicon dioxide, which is used as an anticaking agent.
The dangers aren’t clearly outlined but studies do show that there may be risks with eating a lot of food containing this ingredient.
What else is in packaged taco mix? MSG as a flavor enhancer is one, and we all know many people have adverse reactions to it such as headaches. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil is another ingredient I choose to avoid, along with Ethoxyquin, a controversial preservative often used in pet foods, too.
What Is In This Homemade Taco Seasoning?
This homemade taco seasoning has delicious and aromatic ingredients that you’ll find in your spice cupboard. The blend is amazing! Here are the ingredients:
- Kosher salt
- Ground cumin
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Dried oregano
- Cayenne pepper
- Ground ginger.
How To Make This Homemade Taco Seasoning
This homemade taco seasoning mix is just so simple! Want to know how easy it is to make a spice blend that you’ll use over and over? To make it, you combine all of the ingredients and mix them well, storing the mixture in an airtight container in the pantry.
An airtight container is essential to keeping those flavors aromatic and fresh. Store no longer than 6 months. That is it – ready to go!
What Can You Substitute For Cumin In Taco Seasoning?
As a substitute for cumin in taco seasoning, I would swap one of these in:
- Garam masala – this blend often has cumin in it, so if you don’t want cumin, don’t choose this as a substitute
- Ground coriander – milder than cumin with an earthy, lemony taste
- Fennel seeds – they have a licorice-like taste, so keep this in mind
- Caraway seeds – milder than cumin also but with a similar taste
- Curry powder – curry powder has cumin in it, and turmeric too (read about the benefits!)
- Paprika – gives an earthy and smoky taste
Ways To Use Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
You are going to love this spice mix so much that you’ll find tons of ways to use it. Like these!
- As a spice rub for beef, chicken and fish
- In soup (like chicken enchilada soup!)
- Sprinkle on your avocado toast
- As a flavor boost to a pan of roasting veggies
- Use it to flavor a homemade dip
- To add a kick to popcorn
- Season your quinoa taco stackers
More Homemade Seasoning Blends
Now that you know how much healthier homemade seasoning blends are for you, you’ll want to keep making them! Try these:
This post contains affiliate links to products I use regularly and highly recommend.
Are you looking for a taco mix free of ingredients like MSG, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and silicon dioxide? Make this homemade taco seasoning mix for a preservative-free spice mix. Bonus: it’s super versatile and tastes amazing!
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl and mix well.
Store in an airtight container if not using right away.
22 thoughts on “Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix | With Spices You Likely Have At Home!”
I am looking for a copycat Trader Joes Taco Seasoning mix and I saw yours i hashtagged #traderjoes. So is this your substitute for a Trader Joes or a copy cat? Just asking because my sister loves their seasoning but lives in SCOTLAND and therefore needs to try and recreate it!
This is waaaaay better than storebought seasoning. And so much healthier too!
This is delicious and not too spicy. I tried using Trader Joe’s because it doesn’t have fillers, but it was way too hot for my husband. This is just right! I’m making this from now on!
Yes, that’s great to hear. I’m glad you all enjoyed it 🙂
Looks great but is there any need for liquid? Thanks!
Hi Cindy! It really depends in what you’ll be cooking for the tacos (chicken, tri tip, ground beef, shrimp, etc.) as to whether you want to add some liquid like chicken broth. This seasoning mix is intended to give you the spices you need to build the base on. Hope that helps!
Made this and love it! Printing for my cookbook! 🙂
Hi there 🙂
I just used your recipe in my dinner and it turned out really awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Love your site. Can you please tell me how many TBSPNS would equal 1 package of seasoning? I would love to substitute your homemade with store bought but not sure of amounts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Nancy! Unfortunately, I don’t have a great transfer for tbsp as compared to the store bought seasoning packets. But, as a starting point, I recommend using this whole recipe for about 2 pounds of meat. I hope that helps!
This is great! Thank you so much.
I like to use Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn taco shells.
My daughter wants to try this seasoning in burgers,
And I plan to try it with black beans and rice.
I had no idea that taco seasoning was doable at home. I actually have all the spices in my pantry!
Lacey, this was great! I’m so appreciative that you put it together. Since I found this recipe on Pinterest, I’ve reviewed it here: http://pineatreview.com/2012/02/24/homemade-taco-seasoning/. (Of course I gave you credit and links throughout.) Thanks again! –Denise
Hi, You taco spice recipe looks very good. I just wanted to check what the difference is between chili powder and cayenne pepper. I think in most cases chili powder is a commercial spice mix in its own right.
Hi Stanley. You are correct that Chili Powder is a mixture of spices (like cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, oregano and paprika). Cayenne Pepper is ground hot red cayenne pepper. I hope that helps!
P.S. Where did you get the adorable little container? I want some!
How many tablespoons of this would you use per pound of meat? Thanks! I’m excited about the ginger addition. 🙂
I can’t wait to make this. I have been trying to make all of my spice mixes due to all the preservatives. I was surprised to see ginger in this recipe. Love your blog. Take care and have a great week.
I love my ginger 🙂 I think it adds a unique zest to the taco seasoning. Thanks again, Connie!
Great idea…I love mixing up my own seasonings!
Thanks, Jennifer 🙂
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