Those little individual seasoning packets? They’re expensive, plus you generate trash every time you use them. The big bulk bottles at Costco? Less expensive, but plastic. Happily, once you have the ingredients on hand, it takes just a few minutes to make your own homemade mild taco seasoning.
This homemade taco seasoning recipe was originally published in January, 2012; it has been updated.
Those little packets of taco seasoning were standard fare when I was growing up. There was nothing wrong with the flavor that came out of those packets, but what I didn’t realize then is how crazy expensive they are, comparatively. These days, I buy my spices individually and mix up my own homemade taco seasoning. It’s an easy swap to make!
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Easy DIY Taco Seasoning
This is a mild taco seasoning, offering plenty of flavor without a lot of heat. If you like things spicy, be sure to add the optional red pepper flakes, and consider increasing the quantity to fire it up.
We use this homemade taco seasoning for ground beef taco meat on a regular basis, but it’s also great with shredded chicken tacos. And we stir it into refried beans to make a spicy bean dip. It really is one of the easiest swaps you can make in your DIY pantry.
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Minced onions — Dried onion bits will rehydrate in the meat mixture as you cook it down, giving a nice onion flavor.
Chili powder — Use a mild chili powder here, as this seasoning gives the rich flavor you want in the taco seasoning. You can heat it up with the addition of optional red pepper flakes.
Salt — Without salt, this spice will taste less like the store-bought version, but those on a low sodium diet can certainly skip this ingredient.
Garlic powder — Dried garlic powder provides the pungent flavor of garlic we all love.
Cumin — This is a spice that gets a lot of use in my household. It’s pretty crucial to this recipe, so don’t be tempted to skip it!
Red pepper flakes — This is where you can adjust the heat. This is optional, but if you like your tacos spicy, you’ll want to add it.
Cornstarch — Another optional ingredient, the cornstarch will help thicken the juices of the cooked meat. If you prefer, you can skip this ingredient and just cook the meat down until the liquid has all evaporated.
Making Taco Seasoning
This is just a measure and shake recipe! Measure ingredients into an airtight jar, twist on the lid, and shake until well combined.
How do I use taco seasoning?
I like to use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of meat, and you can use 3/4-1 cup of water with it to make your desired final texture. Brown the beef, drain if necessary, then add the seasoning and water and cook to thicken.
Is this taco seasoning allergy-friendly?
One of the best parts of making your own seasoning blends is that you control the ingredients! So many spices and packets have hidden gluten, but not here. I do add cornstarch, but if you have a corn sensitivity you could also give arrowroot a try.
Why does taco seasoning contain cornstarch?
I’ve had a lot of surprised comments on the fact that I use cornstarch in my taco seasoning recipe. If you check a packet the next time you are at the store, this is very common to see. The purpose is to help the taco meat thicken as it cooks. So you can either leave it out or try using arrowroot starch in place. It all depends on if you like your taco meat a little saucy or not. You can also use less water when you add the seasoning or simply cook longer.
Store at room temperature for up to six months. Make sure you select an airtight jar. You can also purchase desiccant packets or use mylar bags to seal for longer storage.
★ Did you make this homemade taco seasoning? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
- 1/2 cup dried minced onions
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Measure ingredients into an airtight pint-size storage jar.
- Screw on lid and shake well until combined.
To use: Stir 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning into a pound or so of browned ground meat along with 1 cup of water. Simmer until liquid is absorbed.
This recipe is gluten free.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 34 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 12Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g