Skip to Content
March 6, 2024

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Smoky and savory, with a satisfying mild heat, our homemade taco seasoning is an adaptable, simple way to add flavor to any meal.


a jar of homemade taco seasoning made with chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt & pepper
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Recipes that call for taco seasoning

The Best Taco Seasoning Is The One You Make Yourself!

Homemade taco seasoning is our favorite trick for transforming a few simple ingredients into something ultra-flavorful. It's quick to make, and will always taste better than store-bought taco seasoning because you can adjust the proportions to suit your own tastes. Now you can make flavorful tacos and Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. We’ve got more homemade favorites to keep our pantries in check and our food exciting, like our Everything Bagel Seasoning and Old Bay Seasoning.

chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt & pepper in prep bowls to make taco seasoning

Ingredients For Our Easy Taco Seasoning

  • Chili powder

  • Paprika

  • Cumin

  • Onion powder

  • Garlic powder

  • Oregano

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

a jar of homemade taco seasoning made with chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt & pepper

How To Make Homemade Taco Seasoning

  1. Start with fresh spices. This is really the most important step of all, and it holds true for anything you cook. Spices lose their potency over time, ground spices in particular.

  2. Decide how much you need. Our recipe makes just shy of 1/2 cup. Depending on how often you use homemade taco seasoning, you may want to double or even triple it.

  3. Measure the spices into a bowl, and gently whisk them together until they are evenly combined.

  4. Store! A tightly-sealed mason jar is a great way to store your homemade taco seasoning, or a ziploc bag with the excess air pushed out of it works, too. Empty store-bought spice bottles. Anything airtight will help it stay fresh and zippy.

a jar of homemade taco seasoning made with chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt & pepper

How to Store Spices + Tips

  • Take this recipe, and make it yours. Like more heat? Toss in a little cayenne pepper. Or you’ve got a garlic fanatic in your house, so when you add the tablespoon of garlic powder, you make sure it’s a heaping one. You see what we mean?

  • Spices on the shelf at most supermarkets can be up to seven months old already, so by the time you take them home they’re only good for another six months or so. If you’ve got ground spices older than six months, it’s time to replace them.

  • Consider buying spices online. You expect a better product by buying directly from a spice merchant, and you often save money. Penzey’s, The Spice House and La Boite are all great places to start. And for this homemade taco seasoning, this smoked paprika is our personal favorite.

  • If you can find Mexican oregano, buy it! It’s a little brighter and has a nice floral nose compared to oregano that comes from the Mediterranean.

  • Store your spices in a cool, dark place—i.e. nowhere near the stove. You’ll extend their life a lot by doing this one simple thing!

a jar of homemade taco seasoning made with chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt & pepper

More Favorite Mexican Style Dishes From The Modern Proper

All Of Our Pantry Secrets This Way

For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • Yields: ½ cup
  • Prep Time:  2 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Note: Most taco seasoning packets have 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning in them. To sub this taco seasoning mix for a store bought packet, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound of ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain off the fat. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the homemade taco seasoning. If you like saucy taco meat, add ⅓ cup water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the ground beef and cook, stirring until the sauce is thickened, 4-5 minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories13
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates3 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium915 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sue

    Can we substitute onion powder for onion salt and leave out the tablespoon of salt? I have no onion powder but do have onion salt

    That should work fine! You might need to do 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of the onion salt since you are replacing 2 tablespoons of seasoning with it. Maybe try with one tablespoons and after shaking it taste a tiny bit and if it isn't salty enough add the other tablespoon.

  • Brittina

    What if you don't have cumin does it make a difference?

    Yes, it would make a pretty big difference, we'd recommend snagging some before you make this. Hope you enjoy Bittina!

  • William

    Do you add water if so how much and then simmer???

    Do you mean if you are using this with ground meat. You don't have to do a simmer method. You can stir the seasoning right in but if you like the way it comes out when you do a simmer. After browning your meat, drain the excess fat and use 2-3 tablespoons of the seasoning per pound of ground meat and use about 3/4 cup water. Stir together, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure your meat is cooked completely through before serving.

  • Toby

    How much of the seasoning per lb of ground beef?

    2-3 Tablespoons

  • Rachel

    How much will it affect the recipe if I leave out salt? I'm really trying to stick to a low sodium diet but miss all the flavorings!

    It should still taste great it just won't taste salty.

  • Lisa

    I discovered this recipe about 8 months ago, and have not bought store brand taco seasoning since! This is much tastier and fresher than store brands and it's simple to make!

    YAY! Awesome to hear, thanks Lisa!

  • Chrystal

    Use this on everything! Beef…chicken…chickpeas. It’s perfect

    Thanks Chrystal, we are so glad you love it! We use it on everything too!

  • Andi

    I’m never buying packaged taco seasoning again. This is so much better and without additives. Thanks for this easy recipe!

    Thanks Andi, so glad you loved it!

  • Baylee

    Modern Proper is my go-to for pretty much everything I cook. Including taco seasoning! It’s perfect

    Thanks Baylee, that is so nice to hear! We are so glad you love our recipes!

  • Heather

    Love this recipe! Loaded with flavor. This will be my go to.

    Thanks Heather, so happy to hear that!