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3 June 2019

Learn how to make homemade taco seasoning mix at home with your own herbs, spices and blends. The recipe possibilities are endless. You’ll never want to use store bought again! It’s LOADED with chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic, onion and more. Perfect for tacos, but also for burritos, chicken, burgers, nachos and so much more!

Taco night is awesome. Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, a super quick meal at the end of a long day, or simply your favorite dish, tacos are something the whole family can enjoy. If you’ve ever bought taco seasoning from the grocery store, I’m sure you’ve found that there are so many different blends.

No two seasoning blends are alike. You find your favorite brands and stick to them. I used to buy seasonings, but found myself using them only as a base. I would add in a touch of this, a bit more of that, throw in some fresh herbs, garlic, whatever I felt would enhance the overall taco seasoning blend.

But no more!

If you look at the ingredients on the packets, you’ll find it’s fairly simple to develop your own blends of taco seasonings.

All it takes is having some ingredients on hand, which we always do here in the Madness household.

All of my Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe ingredients in a bowl

Let’s talk about how we make our own taco seasonings, shall we? I’ve experimented with different ingredients and combinations and this is my favorite mixture. However! See my NOTE below.

NOTE: Consider this a BASE recipe. It’s my own preferred mixture, but feel free to change it up as you see fit. Try it out a few times, then play with ingredients of your own. More on that below.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons red chili powder (use less for a less spicy version)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (sub in cayenne for a spicier version)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (sub in regular dried oregano if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

How to make Homemade Taco Seasoning

Simple mix together all of your ingredients, including red chili powder, paprika, cumin, cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, pepper and chili flakes (if using) in a medium sized bowl. Use a fork to blend the mixture as evenly as possible. Once you’ve achieved your desired consistency, store the taco seasoning in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dark place, like your pantry.

You can also double or triple this recipe very easily to make yourself a big batch. Make it family size and use it all month long.

My Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe ingredients in a bowl

Mix it up as much as you’d like!

Starting to Mix my Homemade Taco Seasoning Ingredients Together

Homemade Taco Seasoning Blend – Madness Style

I personally make my own blends for different types of meals, especially tacos, and this is one such blend. It is simple, but tasty, with a focus on red chili powder but complemented by cumin, salt, garlic and basil. The corn starch acts as a thickening agent for your taco meat.

I often like to add in some extra ingredients to the overall mixture, including cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, and ghost pepper powder for some real heat.

There are a number of combinations and flavors that you can bring into your own blends, but hopefully this helps you as a starting point to play with flavors and ideas. Bring on the seasonings!

Wait until you try my superhot version…

Ten Ingredients for my Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Making the Recipe Your Own

As mentioned, you can use my own recipe as a starting point to make your own preferred taco seasoning blend. Once you’ve tried it out, get a feel for how you might adjust it.

Want to add more paprika? More garlic? Go for it. Want to cut the salt? Skip the Mexican oregano? No problem. You can very easily play with the ingredient ratios to get your desired flavors.

Also, you can include other ingredients to make it unique and pleasing to your own palate. Here are some ingredient additions to consider:

  • Ancho Powder
  • Jalapeno Powder
  • Chipotle Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cornstarch
  • Dried Basil
  • Spicy Chili Flakes

So many wonderful options. Got a special ingredient you like to share? Do tell! If you feel like spilling a secret.

You can dehydrate your own chili peppers, then grind them up into powders to add in your own unique elements.

What Can I Make with My Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe?

Make anything you’d normally make with your old store bought taco seasoning or old packaged taco seasoning, including tacos, nachos, taco bowls, burritos and burrito bowls, taco salad, so much more.

You can use this taco seasoning on ground turkey, ground beef, ground chicken or ground pork. It will season up just about any type of meat.

How Much Water to Add to Taco Seasoning

When making tacos with ground meats, use a ratio of 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix to 1/2 cup water to 1 pound of meat.

To double this, use 4 tablespoons taco seasoning mix to 1 cup water to 2 pounds of meat.

Such a great recipe. Great for any spicy food lover.

Starting to Mix my Homemade Taco Seasoning Ingredients Together

Try it Out on these Taco Recipes

Check Out Some of My Other Homemade Seasoning Blends

Homemade Taco Seasoning, all mixed together

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Learn how to make taco seasoning mix at home with your own herbs, spices and blends. The recipe possibilities are endless.
Prep Time1 min
Cook Time1 min
Total Time2 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: seasoning, spices, tacos
Servings: 8
Calories: 26kcal


  • 3 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)


  • In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix well.
  • Use as you would use any store bought brand of taco seasoning.
  • Enjoy!


Heat Factor: Medium. You can play with the heat to your preference by including or not including spicy red chili flakes. If you're looking for hotter, add in some spicy cayenne powder, or crazy like me and include a bit of ghost pepper powder. I love it!


Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 1405IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.5mg

This post was updated on 6/3/19 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 2/25/15.

Homemade Taco Seasoning


  1. Rick Starling

    I just made this mixture and added 1 tsp of tumeric
    This is the best taco spice I have ever eaten.
    Thank you very much for this and I’m looking forward to the info you will be sending.
    You are a spice god.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Nice! I appreciate it, Rick! So good! I love making my own blends. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Your recipe calls for red chili powder (as do most recipes on web). You indicated in earlier exchanges that a simple American blend could be used….but all american blends of “chili powder” at supermarkets already have other spices, such as paprika, cumin, pepper, oregano, etc. in them….so if we use supermarket chili powder, and add cumin, paprika, oregano, it seems we’re just doubling up on spices already included? unless we start with only a single pepper powder…..when you say simple american chili powder, should we be looking for single pepper powder? Also, if using chili powder as a base to make taco seasoning, same thing is happening?? Other than cornmeal/cornstarch, what might be the principal difference between chili powder and taco seasoning? Thanks so much for your passion!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Barbara, it’s OK if you’re duplicating some of the ingredients, as the end result is still a nice balance of flavor. I link directly to the red chili powder page from the recipe so you can review that if you’d like for further discussion. I mix it up usually. You have many options. You can use your favorite type, such as New Mexican red chili powder or ancho powder, for example. If you use an American blend, yes, there will be some duplication of ingredients, but they compliment each other. The overall difference is in the flavor.

  3. I’ve been looking for a good made-from-scratch taco seasoning, and this looks terrific. I have a recipe question. The write up references the “corn starch” will act as a thickening agent for taco meat. Yet the recipe reflects “cornmeal.” Which one do we use for the seasoning?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Robynet, I use cornmeal in my recipe, as it thickens and adds some “corn” flavor. You can use cornstarch instead as a thickener. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  4. 5 stars
    Great Taco Seasoning, I used 1/2 half chilpote chile powder and 1/2 ancho chile powder and just the right amount of kick. with great flavor Thanks for the receipe

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, Keith! I like the variation!

  5. When you say “red chili powder”, exactly what do you mean? Is that a chili powder mix or a specific chile you are referring to?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Gib, there are a number of chili powders you can purchase, such as the typical American chili powder, but you can also use paprika, cayenne, or a Mexican powder, like ancho.

  6. Brent Spomer

    Hi MIke, I have been looking for a good taco spice recipe and ran across yours. I have some ancho chile powder that I was hoping could be used for the basis of a taco spice but wanted to get your thoughts. It may be too mild but then everyone doesn’t like things hot. I was thinking I’d cut back on the cumin a bit as I don’t care for cumin all that much.

    I enjoy your letters and wish I had time to try out and eat all of your recipes (chili con carne looks outstanding!). Any thoughts you might have about using ancho for a homemade taco spice would be appreciated.

    Thanks and have a great day!


    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Brent. Thanks. Ancho powder would be a great addition to this, actually. Ancho is one of my very favorite seasonings. If you enjoy it, certainly add it in. You can also omit the cumin. A number of people don’t like cumin. The great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your own personal preferences. Let me know how it turns out! Have a great one!

  7. Tom Speight

    Hi Mike – new viewer, thanks for the great site! General question: when you say Chili Powder (like above) is this a blend like Chili Powder i find in grocery stores or is ground Chile pepper the only ingredient?… thanks, Tom

  8. Hey Mike,

    I’m very interested in making this but I would love to see this super hot version you teased us with. Is that in your cookbook or did it just not make it on the site yet?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Jason, it’s not in my book. I’ll have to get it on the site soon!

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