I used to be a “packet seasoning” junkie. It just seemed so easy. But really, how difficult is it to measure out a few spices? It takes five minutes, max. So, I’ve experimented with different combinations of spices for taco seasoning over the past year, and I think today I found the winner! One batch of this is roughly equal to one of those packets that you can get at the grocery store and it’s 10 times more flavorful. You can even mix up big batches of it and store it pre-mixed in an air-tight container.
I use a flat cost estimate for herbs and spices because they’re just too hard to measure/weigh, so this cost is purely an estimate. I generally estimate five cents for every teaspoon, unless it’s a particularly expensive herb. For salt I generally estimate half that. So, take the cost of this recipe with a grain of salt (har har har).
I really think the smoked paprika made the flavor of this seasoning pop, but if you can’t get it, use regular paprika in place of it.
It’s also worth noting that I usually use fresh garlic and onions in whatever I’m making with my taco seasoning, so there is no garlic or onion powder in this mix. If you won’t be using fresh, you’ll probably want to add some powdered.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
This homemade taco seasoning is quick, easy, inexpensive, and full of flavor.
- 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
- 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
- 1 tsp cumin $0.05
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
- 1/2 tsp oregano $0.03
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 1/2 tsp 15 cranks fresh black pepper $0.05
- 1/2 tsp corn starch, optional $0.02
Combine everything in a small bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Corn starch is optional but it will help thicken any sauce or absorb excess moisture in whatever you add the taco seasoning to (commercial taco seasoning packets contain corn starch).
Step By Step Photos
Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, freshly cracked black pepper, and salt in a bowl. I would say this mix is “medium” spicy. Adjust the cayenne to make it more or less spicy.
Stir until evenly mixed.
Add corn starch to help thicken whatever you’re adding the taco seasoning to. It also helps prevent sogginess from moisture that may seep out of vegetables or other ingredients.
Store the taco seasoning in an air-tight container in a cool dark place until ready to use.