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How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning

How to make homemade taco seasoning

This recipe for how to make homemade taco seasoning includes instructions on making a whole jar of it to keep on hand, and this kind doesn’t have the junk that the taco seasoning mixes from the store have! (Try this recipe in a yummy Mexican soup: Organic Baja Chicken Enchilada Soup.)


(These amounts are for one pound of ground beef but this is also good with chicken or pork for all kinds of Mexican recipes – see my complete list of Mexican recipe ideas here!)


  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used to omit this, but a reader friend, Elaine, said this: “You mentioned that you omit the 1/8 tsp. red pepper. I am the biggest wimp on planet earth and I still put a generous 1/8th (or more?) and it is so well balanced with the other seasonings that it is fine. Trust me – if it were too hot, I would tell you! Even my kids who are wimps like me don’t notice or say anything. You might like the flavor.”)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or more)

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well. For taco meat: brown 1 lb. ground beef. Drain. Add 1/2 cup water and the seasoning mix. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


If you’d like to make a larger quantity of this to keep on hand like you see in the jar above, I multiplied the ingredients to get about 1 1/2 cups.


Instructions: Mix all ingredients together. Use about 2 Tablespoons per 1# of ground beef. (I use heaping Tablespoons.)

Note: the above picture I snapped before it was all shook up (doesn’t it look neat?), and at the right is how it looks mixed together.

Thank you to my friend Sue for sharing her recipe. :)

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  1. Thanks! I’ll have to try that. I made tacos the other night and just added spices that I thought should be in taco seasoning. It wasn’t bad, but it tasted more like sloppy joes than tacos.

  2. Ann Marie,

    Mmmm, good idea. Or I’d probably use beef stock, unless I was adding this to chicken for enchiladas or chicken tacos or something…I guess it wouldn’t matter though.


  3. dear kelly,

    how do i make a much larger batch to put in a jar, like the photo? i’ve heard of others mixing the small batch as the recipe entails, and putting them into little tinfoil packets. i’d much rather just have a jar of it made up and scoop out what is needed for a 1 pound recipe.

    thanks for any help you can offer. and thanks for a great blog!


  4. Hi Melanie,

    Good question! I’ll make a note to do some major number crunching as soon as I have a minute, and then post it here.


  5. the recipe is great, my husband has a tastebuds that are hard to fool and he likes the tacos i have been making……. my personal take is its lacking that sweetness com. seasoning has probably the msg. however this is a keeper and I have made a large jar of it.

  6. If I make the larger quantity of the taco seasoning to keep in a jar (as shown), what do you think the shelf life would be of the seasoning? Its just me, my hubby, and little daughter so just curious how long you think the seasoning would be good in a jar before needing to make a fresh batch. Thanks! :)

    • Hi Alexis,
      This is just a wild guess because I don’t know for sure, but personally I think it would be fine for a year or two, and then it might lose some of it’s flavor… Maybe keeping it in cold storage (the fridge?) might help it keep longer.

  7. Kelly,
    I just saw that you added the bulk recipe for this mix. What a great idea. I used to do a few batches at a time, but this is great. However, you might want to put in the recipe how much to use per 1# meat. There are 5-1/4 tsp. per batch, so do you think one would just take that much out of the jar??
    Sue E.

  8. A little off the mark here, but does anyone know what’s in that new Flavor Enhancer stuff they’re advertising on TV these days? I don’t watch much TV so it seems I catch the tail end of the ad each time and I have no idea but it sounds suspiciously like MSG. I think it’s from Campbell’s soup or some company like that. Ack! They are really pushing the stuff from what I can see.

    Also, I’ve been using a similar recipe to this taco seasoning for several years because we try to avoid MSG, too. I have to leave out the cumin in mine because I can’t stand the stuff. Blech. I added organic celery salt in its place and seems to be fine with folks who eat it. They all say it tastes good anyhow!

  9. Wow, so I actually have my own mix that I make and was curious to see what this one was like, and wow, the one I use has way more spices to it. I adapted it from a Cooks Illustrated version to one that I could make up in a large jar ahead of time, but it uses a full 2 TBSP of chili powder, double the cumin and oregano along with some coriander and a touch of brown sugar. I usually chop up a fresh onion and garlic instead of using the dried, although I did experiment with a version using the dried as a slightly faster version.

    One tip on making your taco meat though-instead of adding the seasoning and water AFTER you have cooked your meat, try sprinkling it on top of the meat as it cooks. I never drain off the fat anymore (since I know it’s not bad for me!), and once the meat is fully cooked, the spices are well absorbed by the meat. Chiles (and chili powder) are oil soluble spices which means you get the most flavor out of them by slighly toasting in oil, not water. I rarely have to add any more liquid, and if I do, I may add a touch of chicken broth and maybe a splash of apple cider vinegar. If I am using fresh onion and garlic, I will actually cook those first in the pan with a little oil, and once soft, add the spice mix and cook for about 30 seconds or so before adding the meat. I use this same method when making chili, and it really does bring out the flavors of the chiles.

  10. Hi Kelly,
    Love your website, just joined the classes! I used your taco mix recipe tonight and made the most wonderful Tex-Mex shepherds’ pie. (all organic, of course!) Just brown the meat (2lbs), add the spices (doubled the recipe) and stir til well combined. Place in an 8×13 buttered pan and flatten densely as you spread. Add layer of frozen peas and carrots, and evenly spread mashed sweet potatoes over top. Add layer of Tex-Mex shredded cheese over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Very filling. I get 12 servings from this. Combine this with a small salad and a small serving of homemade ice cream and WOW!!! Portion control is a great way to keep the cost/serving down, especially when using organic ingredients.

  11. I have made this before and it is DELICIOUS!!! I made the big batch and realized when the last was gone that I lost the recipe. So glad you posted it again. Tacos next week for sure!!!

  12. I used your recipe last pm for tacos and it was delicious!! Thanks a lot. I adjusted the spices a bit (about half) and also used it to make refried beans, adding refined coconut oil and one can of organic Eden pinto beans (rinsed) and chopped up in food processer and minced fresh garlic. The meat and beans were both excellent.

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