You don't need anything fancy to make this 5-ingredient easy homemade taco seasoning! It's full of savory, bold flavors and will jazz up your next taco night.
Why you'll love it
Ok, everyone claims to have the best taco seasoning, and I'm totally going to do the same here. HOWEVER, I'm also going to sell you on how few ingredients you actually need to make a really tasty taco seasoning from scratch. I've seen a lot of recipes out there that go hard with additional ingredients, but this is a basic blend I've been making forever, and it needs nothing else!
You won't want to buy the store-bought stuff again, and this way you get to control everything that goes in it. There's no preservatives or fillers or boatloads of salt. Nothing you can't pronounce. Quantity-wise, I designed this recipe to easily replace a packet from the store. Convenient, hey? You'll be putting it on everything from tacos to fajitas or using it as a spice rub during grilling season.
Ingredients for it
- Chili powder - it's a blend of mild dried chiles and other spices to give that signature Tex-Mex taste
- Garlic powder - for a touch of savory, garlicky flavor
- Onion powder - another tasty aromatic to build another layer
- Smoked paprika - one of my favorite additions for that irresistible smokiness
- Ground cumin - another staple in taco seasoning. People describe its distinctive flavor profile as everything from warm and earthy to nutty and bright.
- It's simple to learn how to make taco seasoning, but the freshness of the spices is key here since they all play a starring role. Check the best before dates when purchasing them. If any already opened jars of spices have been sitting in your cupboard for too long or have become dull and lost their vibrant color or aroma, it's time to replace them!
- I don't add extra salt to this seasoning since many chili powders on the market already add salt, and I prefer to add it "to taste" as the finishing touch to any recipe. Feel free to add some salt in your blend if you find it needs it, however.
- I suggest making this recipe as-is and then tweaking it to your personal preferences the next time you make it if needed (e.g. add more smoked paprika or cumin).
- This recipe is designed to replace one packet of taco seasoning. You can easily make a much large quantity and keep it in a jar in the pantry if desired!
Substitutions and variations
- You can swap the smoked paprika for regular or hot, but I think the smokiness adds an extra special touch to this recipe.
- For a more herby taste, add in 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano.
- If you want to make this spicy, use a spicy chili powder or add in up to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
How to use taco seasoning
- The possibilities are endless! The obvious choice is tacos, and it also goes great in fajitas, side dishes like black beans, and any Mexican-inspired meal you can think of.
- For some creative options, try it on baked potatoes or tater tots or fries, use it as a seasoning rub for meat, mix it with sour cream or plain yogurt to make a quick and zesty dip or dressing... it's all up to you.
Leftovers and storage
- You will likely use this blend up right away since it makes approx. 2 tablespoons as written, but if you make a bigger batch, you can keep it in your pantry for up to 6 months. Keep in mind that spices do lose some of their flavor over time (paprika in particular).
- Make sure you store it in a tightly covered jar and that it's in a cool, preferably dark place for freshness and to maximize the shelf life. I like these spice jars.
If you have any questions or want to leave a review of this easy taco seasoning recipe, talk to me in the comments below! What do you like to use it on? You can also find me on Instagram.
Simple Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl or jar and mix together. Use it to season meat for tacos, in soups, etc. (any place you'd use a packet of taco seasoning).
- This recipe is designed to replace one packet of taco seasoning. It easily doubles/triples/etc. and you can make a big batch to store in your pantry if you wish. Simply use the slider under the "servings" heading of this recipe card to automatically calculate more servings.
- Want to add a bit of kick? Use a spicy chili powder and/or add in some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes (add up to 1/2 teaspoon or so).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.