This smoky, savory, tangy homemade taco seasoning recipe is a flavorful spice blend perfect for everything from taco meat to shrimp to chicken. You'll have a wonderfully delicious dinner on the table quickly with this homemade spice mix!
Why You'll Love This Taco Seasoning Mix
Ditch the store-bought packet of taco seasoning and get ready to make homemade seasoning.
You'll love this ready because it's simple, easy, and quick! Really all you need to do is buy the ingredients (if you don't already have them on hand), measure them, and stir them together.
It only takes a few minutes to have a wonderful DIY taco seasoning recipe.
When you use this recipe to make your own taco seasoning, it's better than store-bought.
Plus, by adding each of the ingredients yourself, you can adjust to your tastes. Want it super garlicky? Go for it! Want it spicier? Add more cayenne.
This seasoning will also last for a while. It will only start losing its flavor after about 3 months of storage.
It scales well, too. This recipe only makes enough seasoning for about a pound of ground meat, but you can easily use the serving adjustment bar in the recipe card below to create a double or triple batch for big parties or even gifts.
Just click on the number next to "Servings" and a bar will appear that you can slide to the right to increase the recipe output.
Finally, and probably most importantly, it's super delicious. This is the best homemade taco seasoning recipe I've tried, and it went through many tests by a culinary professional to reach that ideal balance of flavors.
It's smoky and savory with a hint of spice and extremely versatile. From ground turkey or ground beef tacos to shrimp fajitas, there are tons of uses for this spice blend.
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
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- Chili Powder For the deep, smoky flavor in this seasoning, be sure to use fresh chili powder. If your jar has been sitting at the back of the cupboard for years, it might be time to pick up a new jar!
- Cayenne Pepper This adds the heat. If you're worried about it being too spicy, just add a little bit at a time and taste the seasoning mix as you go.
- Garlic Powder This adds the bulk of the savory flavor in this dish. I don't recommend leaving it out or substituting it. You can also make your own using this helpful article on how to make garlic powder.
- Onion Powder If you don't have onion powder on hand, I have made this blend by doubling the garlic powder and it turned out great.
- Cumin Using ground cumin in this recipe adds a wonderful warmth and savoriness to the spice blend.
- Oregano I recommend using dried oregano for this recipe. It gives it a bit of an earthy flavor I love.
- Paprika I used sweet paprika when testing this seasoning blend, but smoked paprika or hot paprika would be excellent as well.
- Tajín If you can't find this ingredient, you'll still have a very tasty spice blend, but I like adding this for a bit of tanginess that balances the savory and smoky ingredients.
- Black Pepper Freshly ground black pepper will add the most flavor to this recipe.
- Kosher Salt I exclusively use kosher salt in my recipes. If you are substituting table salt or sea salt, only use about half of the amount specified in the recipe. They can be up to twice as salty per teaspoon as kosher salt.
How to Make Taco Seasoning
Step One Measure all of the ingredients for the taco seasoning mix and place them in a dish.
Step Two Stir well and taste for seasoning. Adjust if needed.
Step Three Use right away or store for later use.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Use one full recipe per pound of ground beef or other meat.
This seasoning blend was professionally tested multiple times with different proportions of herbs and spices. The key came in adding some tanginess in the form of the dehydrated lime in Tajín.
The beauty of making your own seasoning blends is that you have input in the final flavor. If your normal store-bought seasoning packet is too salty, too spicy, or too bland, you can adjust that in the blend you make yourself.
Variations and Substitutions
Chipotle Powder Try making this mix a little more smoky and spicy by swapping part of the chili powder for chipotle powder. This is also a great option if you don't have Tajín on hand. You can swap that out for chipotle powder instead and still get some flavor variation.
White Pepper A few recipes add white pepper in place of black pepper. It has a lighter, more nuanced flavor than black pepper. If that sounds appealing, give it a try!
Varieties of Paprika I developed this recipe with sweet paprika, but feel free to swap them out for hot or smoked paprika for a slightly different flavor.
Fridge Store the seasoning mix in an airtight container, like a jar with a lid. It will last in a cool, dark place for about 3 months.
Freezer I do not recommend freezing this seasoning mix. Just mix up some more when you're ready to use it.
- For a spicier seasoning blend, add a pinch of extra cayenne pepper.
- For a smokier seasoning blend, use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika.
- Be sure to taste your seasoning after it's made. This is your opportunity to adjust the blend to taste exactly how you'd like.
How to Use Taco Seasoning
Use taco seasoning for...
Chicken A piece of grilled chicken would be delicious with this seasoning. It creates a smoky, delicious flavor you'll enjoy. I also like adding taco seasoning to this chicken sausage sheet pan dinner!
Shrimp Sprinkle raw shrimp with this seasoning mix and then grill or pan-fry the shrimp.
Steak is another great choice for taco seasoning. You don't need to buy the most expensive cut, because the spice mix will provide so much flavor. You can try a new cut, like flap steak.
Ground Meat This seasoning is excellent to season ground meat of any kind, from beef to chicken to pork. Use that meat in anything you like, from bowls to burritos.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Mixing Bowl
- Measure all of the ingredients for the blackened seasoning mix recipe and place them in a dish.
- Stir well and taste for seasoning. Adjust if needed.
- Use right away or store for later use.
- If you can't find Tajín, substitute with more chili powder or some chipotle powder.
- If you are using table salt or sea salt instead of kosher salt, use half the recommended amount.
- Fridge Store the seasoning mix in an airtight container, like a jar with a lid. It will last in a cool, dark place for about 3 months.
- Freezer I do not recommend freezing this seasoning mix. Just mix up some more when you're ready to use it.