Make your own and save!

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mixes

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

Related Articles

Do-It-Yourself Pancake Mix and Homemade Syrup

Chili Seasoning Mix

Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix

Homemade Taco Seasoning

My family loves tacos. I make them often. Usually I use one of those packets for seasoning. They don't cost a lot, but every bit helps. Can anyone give me a recipe for what's in the taco seasoning? I figure I could make a big batch for the price of just one of those seasoning packets. We might even come up with some variations that my family will like.

It's So Easy!

Taco seasoning is one of the easiest things in the world to make. It is basically ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, and some other flavorings like garlic and onion powder. Personally I do without the onion and garlic powder and use fresh garlic and fresh chopped onion.

We usually use one teaspoon of ground coriander, one teaspoon of ground cumin (sometimes more because we love it), and chili to taste. We add this to the minced beef or drained beans as they are cooking with the onions and garlic.

Even the cheapest taco seasoning is exorbitantly priced compared to buying your own ground spices in bulk.
Mand in South Australia

Add Some Black Beans for Delicious Homemade Tacos

Here's our method for seasoning taco meat. It's easy, inexpensive and nutritious, and it makes plenty for leftovers. To a pound of ground beef that's been browned and drained, I add a jar of salsa and a can of black beans. Then I let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

This Homemade Taco Seasoning Is Really Good!

For the reader that needs good seasoning for tacos:

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. sea salt

Mix well and place mixture in jar. Place lid on jar and keep in a dry, cool spot. I use 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. of mix to 1 pound ground meat, either beef and or turkey. For spicier tacos, I sprinkle a pinch of pepper flakes in.

Homemade Tacos: Meat Optional

This is the recipe I use:

2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. oregano

This makes the equivalent of one of those little packets. I always make enough to fill an empty spice jar, so I have it on hand. I use about 2 tablespoons per pound of meat. Sometimes I don't use meat. I like using a mixture of cooked, leftover beans or lentils and leftover plain rice instead of meat. My family actually prefers it because it's never "greasy." You can adjust this seasoning to however you like it. Add some ancho or chipotle chili powder or even a pinch of cayenne if you like it spicy.

Shop smart with great cash back offers on your favorite brands at your favorite grocers.
Better than coupons. Join Ibotta today.

You're in Control

Go to an online recipe site like and do a search for homemade taco seasoning. It is wonderful because you can control what goes in it, and it is cheaper than using the packets.

Happy Taco Night!

There's a great book out there that I refer to often. It's The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. Amy got her taco seasoning mix recipe from one of her contributors to her newsletter.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

6 tsp. chili powder
4 1/2 tsp. cumin
5 tsp. paprika
3 tsp. onion powder
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. The homemade mix is twice as strong as the store-bought one, so add only half as much.

Quick Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

This very good recipe found in Taste of Home's Quick Cooking September/October 1998, Page 59

1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

(Note: I do not use the 3 tablespoons of salt listed in the original recipe; it's too salty if used! The beef bouillon granules are salty.)

Combine the above ingredients. Store the mixture in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to one year. This makes about 3/4 cup total.

To prepare tacos, in a skillet, brown 1 pound of ground beef; drain. Add 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix and 1/3 - 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Take the TDS Pantry Challenge.
Clean out that pantry, fridge and freezer and see how much extra cash you can free up this month!

Enjoy Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning

Here is our version, and it can be made gluten free as well.

5 1/2 Tablespoons dry minced onion flakes
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons flour (for gluten free, use white rice flour)

Mix well and store in airtight container. (I like to use a clean recycled glass jar, so I can see when it needs to be replenished.) Two to three Tablespoons of the mix equals one package taco mix. Stir seasoning into one pound browned ground beef, add 1/2 cup water, and simmer 10 minutes.

Take It Up a Notch with Cilantro

For years, I did what my mom did and just added 1/2 cup or more of salsa and 2 dashes of salt and pepper to the browned hamburger. Now that I can't eat tomatoes, I use 2 dashes of pepper, 2 tablespoons of cumin (I love cumin!), a tablespoon of dried cilantro, 1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder, and a beef bouillon cube or two (no need to add salt with these) to one pound of browned hamburger. I add some water (1/4 cup or more) to dissolve the bouillon and moisten the cilantro. After simmering for five minutes, I serve it with salsa for those who can have it.

Because One Recipe Is Just Not Enough...

Here is a recipe for not just homemade taco seasoning mix but also ranch dressing (which I use a lot of!) and dried onion soup mix!

Taco Seasoning:

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt

Put ingredients into a jar and shake.

Dry Onion Soup Mix:

2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar and then give the jar a good shake. I recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use. Use four tablespoons in a recipe in place of one packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place


5 tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoons parsley flakes
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container.

For dressing, mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.

For dip, mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream. Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend.

Save a Bundle with Homemade Taco Seasoning Mixes

You are correct in realizing you can save a bundle by not buying packaged mixes. This recipe comes from Make-A-Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, and Madeline Westover. I use recipes from this book whenever I need to find the equivalent of any packaged mix.

Combine in a small bowl:

2 tsp. instant minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. crushed dried red pepper
1/2 tsp. instant minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

This can be stored in a foil packet for up to six months. Makes one packet.

Take the Next Step:

  • Visit the TDS library for more great homemade seasoning mix recipes.
  • Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
  • Continue to trim food costs by visiting our food & groceries section to get tips and tools for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to the Dollar Stretcher newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.


Debt Book