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You Can Make Taco Seasoning at Home Using These Simple Spices

You probably have all of them in your pantry right now anyway!
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While it may be easy to just snag a big tub of taco seasoning at the store, it's not always convenient when you're out of taco seasoning and need some in a pinch. Making your own batch is much easier than you think—and you probably have all of the seasonings already in your pantry!

To make tacos with this seasoning, simply cook up 1 pound of ground beef (or ground turkey, or chicken) with 2 tablespoons of the seasoning below. It's best to wait until the meat is semi-cooked before mixing in the seasoning. In the case of ground beef, it may be best to drain the beef of any excess fat into a can first before adding the seasoning, that way you aren't losing any of the flavor when you drain.

Now, some taco seasoning packets have some kind of thickener inside of them, which helps to make a sauce of the seasoning when cooking the meat. This is why you may see instructions to add water to the taco seasoning when mixing it in with some meat.

This particular seasoning does not need any thickeners, and it will work fine on its own. However, if you prefer to have tacos with a saucy texture to the meat, you can always add 1/4 cup of water to the meat as you mix in the seasoning. To thicken it, you could also add in 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch when sprinkling in the mix.

So if you ever see a recipe that calls for a taco seasoning packet, simply use 2 tablespoons of the mix below! This mix will make about 10 tablespoons of taco seasoning, which is about 5 servings (or packets).

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Taco seasoning separated before mixed in a bowl.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Makes 5 servings (10 tablespoons)


4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

How to Make It

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl or a jar.
  2. Store in an air-tight container or jar in the pantry.
  3. Use 2 tablespoons of seasoning for every 1 pound of meat.
Finished taco seasoning mixed together.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Eat This Tip

If you want to make fish tacos, marinate the thawed fish with only 1 tablespoon of seasoning and 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl for 15-20 minutes in the fridge. You can roast the fish in the oven at 450 degrees, or cook on a skillet.

Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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