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Homemade Taco Seasoning (Healthier & Tastier!)


Ever since making big changes to eat mainly Paleo friendly foods, I have gotten really good at making a point to look at the ingredient listed on any prepackaged items I’m contemplating purchasing. It always blows my mind the ingredients listed on an item that you’d think would have just a few basic ingredients. And lots of times, I don’t have a clue what some of the ingredients are… I can’t even pronounce them correctly.

Check out the back of a Taco Bell Taco Seasoning packet and you should see the following ingredients…

Wheat Flour, Salt, Dried Garlic, Maltodextrin, Chili Peppers, Spice, Dried Onions, Monosodium Glutamate, Paprika, Sugar, Contains less than 2% of Silicon Dioxide As An Anticaking Agent, Soybean Oil, Malic Acid.

The ingredients I highlighted in red are items that I wouldn’t have expected to be in a taco seasoning packet. And what the heck is Monosodium Glutamate? Well, MSG (as most call it), is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. According to many, MSG is a leading cause of obesity. MSG is found in tons of fast food items and prepackaged products.

And what about Maltodextrin? A food additive. An easily digestible carbohydrate made from rice, corn or potato starch.

Sugar… in taco seasoning?

Plus, if you have a gluten intolerance, you’ll definitely want to stay away from these taco seasoning packets. And don’t you think it’s crazy that the list of ingredients on the back of a Taco seasoning packet are mainly not herbs and spices?!

So with all of that being said, I now make my own taco seasoning, thanks to finding this great recipe on AllRecipes.com! It’s simple to make, requires spices and herbs you may already have on hand, can be altered to your liking and tastes a heck of a LOT better than a Taco Bell taco seasoning packet! And did I mention it’s healthier too?! 🙂

Check it out…

Homemade Taco Seasoning

(The ingredient list below should make enough for about 5 to 6 lbs of meat… maybe more?)

4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

In a bowl mix everything together and store in an airtight container. That’s it!

Join The Discussion

Comments 141

  1. Angie

    These are the kinds of posts that make this site truly “hip”. Thanks, Collin! Once again, you rock!

  2. Moe

    Thank,Collin! Love this! 🙂 You’re Awesome!

  3. Tina

    Yum! I will be trying this.

  4. Erica

    I do the same thing! I was always out of taco seasoning and when I realized that I could make it with only the things that I had on hand I decided I would never buy a taco seasoning packet again. Most of the time I don’t even measure out the ingredients now. Makes tacos an adventure!

  5. Casey

    Thanks, Collin for this post…we need to read, read read…labels…It is important for a healthier you. I read labels on everything.
    Lotion etc

    I lean towards more organic or all natural products…

    Read more…

  6. Lindsey O

    I’m excited to see a fellow coupon blogger caring about icky ingredients, too! Keep up the informative posts!

  7. Jin

    Found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it’s amazing. I put like 1/2 a tablespoon tomato paste and it tasted even better.

  8. sherri

    Thank you I will make this for my familys spice cabnet this weekend.

  9. Cleary

    I’ve been doing homemade taco seasoning for years. It is disturbing when you begin to red food labels!

  10. Becky Clapp

    My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this past fall. We came home on a low carb, low salt diet…………..man start reading the labels for salt, knowing that under 120 a serving is all you can have…………..we threw out all of our processed food………..I realized with couponing I often by more processed food………..now I have to coupn smarter. The only frozen food we have is meat and veggies……………it’s hard but we are all benefitting from it….

    • mommyspendsless

      Awesome, thank you! There are only a couple of brands of salad dressing that don’t use MSG so this recipe will come in handy!

    • Karen H.

      Thanks so much for this info!!

    • Tilla R Ham

      thank you for the homemade ranch powder recipe. i use it for pastas and it’s expensive and so not healthy

  11. deb

    Thanks it was so easy to do also

  12. Emilytwinmom

    I have to eat gluten free, and use old el paso taco seasoning. I have tried and tried to do this at home but it never quite tastes right – I’ll have to look at the packet next purchase to see what “stuff” is in my old el paso packets!! 🙂

  13. felicia

    I love this!! I follow the Paleo diet for the most part and trying to find new, tasty recipies is a challenge- especially cheap ones!

    Thanks Collin!!!

  14. Dorota

    I know I should read more labels because everone once in a while I hear of an ingredient in a product and totally freak out. Like MSG in certain stock (I check those labels) but I just didn’t even think it could be in something like Taco seasoning….Thank you so much for posting about this and can’t wait to try your version.

  15. terri

    I’m glad you post things like this Collin, might I suggest another tab for it? More and more people want to eat healthy, but there are so many other problems too (like the prior J&J debate on here). Things we eat as well as put on our bodies cause issues. It looks as if you could create another tab to consolidate a lot of info/recipes/etc. Thanks

    • Rebecca

      Ditto! Other problems like Nestle, too. 🙁 Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try this one! 🙂

  16. Jessie

    thanks collin, love the food posts!!!!

  17. Jaleah

    I went through my little stockpile recently and have seeded out all the processed stuff. I love a good bargain, but I’ve realized that it was not worth feeding my family all that junk food. We started to notice weight gain and sluggishness! every once in a while is fine, but really? Do I need a six month supply of Chex mix and candy? Lol

    • Erin

      Yup! And it seems like *everyone* gets so excited about all the free and cheap processed foods. Hopefully these deals won’t flagged as “hot” quite so often.

      • Mae [Bina] :o)

        I agree. :o)

      • Rebecca

        Big ditto. 😀

    • Angela

      Totally agree!

  18. darcy

    I remember reading somewhere before that these taco “packets” use silicone? The same stuff that comes in little packets when you buys shoes.

  19. Misty

    my husband has a secret recipe (it s secret because he never keeps track and it varies each time) for taco seasoning. we have been looking for a good enchilada sauce recipe. any body have a favorite?

    • Rebecca

      Enchilada Sauce Recipe: ( from http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/41715 )

      1/3 c Chopped grn bell pepper
      2/3 c Water
      1 t Chili powder
      1 1/2 tsp Chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp Dried oregano leaves
      1/4 tsp Ground cumin
      (2 whole green chilies, chopped)
      1 clove Garlic, finely chopped (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
      1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
      8 Tortillas (5-6″ in diameter)

      HEAT bell pepper, water, chili powder, oregano, cumin, (chilies), garlic, and tomato sauce to boiling in 2-qt saucepan, stirring occasionally; REDUCE heat. SIMMER uncovered 5 minutes.
      POUR into ungreased pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4 inches. DIP each tortilla into sauce in pie plate to coat both sides.
      I never buy enchilada sauce as we love this better than anyting you buy. DH can always tell if I “cheat” and use store-bought & complains. 😛 Everyone who’s had my enchiladas always say they’re the best they’e had. 🙂

      View the complete enchilada recipe at the link above. Enjoy!

  20. Mandy B

    This is great! Thanks so much! I already have all but 1 ingredient to make taco seasoning. Awesome!

  21. Donna Wright

    My hubby (the cook) makes his own also but, his is totally salt free

  22. Holly

    My girlfriends and I get together before Christmas to make all kinds of mixes and we include taco seasoning. We also do some of our own BBQ seasoning recipes and more. Recipients love them! We find jars at garage sales or re-use jars we get from other products and decorate them. Ranch is easy too!

    • rebaby

      Can you share your BBQ seasoning recipes and any other favorites? Nice idea!

  23. Mary

    thanks for sharing the taco seasoning recipe.

  24. Michelle

    Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!

  25. bt

    I’ve been a long time follower/fan of yours, long before you became famous 🙂 and you never cease to amaze me…I LOVE the way you think! Thank you!

  26. Abby

    love this!

  27. vicky

    Thanks for sharing this! How much of the mix do you use per pound of ground beef/turkey?

    • Mae

      Exactly what I was curious about too. 😉

    • Heather Y

      If you do the math, it works out to about 34 teaspoons of mix total. For 6 pounds of meat, that would be almost 6 teaspoons (2 Tablespoons) per pound. That seems pretty reasonable, and pretty close to the amount in one packet. Hope this helps!

      I’m looking forward to trying this recipe! The packets I recently picked up at Meijer that were on sale/free (I think Ortega?) don’t have MSG in them that I saw, but it’d still be great to be able to make my own and always have it available! Thanks!

  28. heather

    On the recipe comments, it says 3 TBS per pound of meat…

    • Zina

      … “(The ingredient list below should make enough for about 5 to 6 lbs of meat… maybe more?)” is what it says. That’s not precise, so it was nice of Mae and Vicky to ask I think.

  29. Christa

    Yay, I have all the ingrediants! Have to try this sometime, sounds yummy. I like homemade options – though it’s hard to beat the store bought products when they’re free. 🙂

  30. Samantha

    I made this today, and my husband and I had tacos tonight, and we immediately agreed after tasting it, that we would never buy store bought taco seasoning again. Holy moly, it was good. I didn’t have enough cumin, so I only used about 2 tablespoons, but it was still fantastic. With 2 tablespoons of the red pepper flakes it was pretty spicy, so I may have to tone it down for the kiddos when they eat with us. Thanks so much for posting this. It was so easy, so delicious, and so much healthier!

  31. Angela

    With real ingredients you can actually taste the food more! Any packaged foods we buy (not a lot) are organic, it really is worth the extra money.

  32. Ebony Cullars

    love this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Christina

    I’ve been making my own Mexican seasoning for year and it really is tastier and much more cost effective, especially when I purchase the ingredients at Aldi and/or Walmart.

  34. Brittany

    tried this last night in some ground antibiotic free/ hormone free/ free range ground chicken breast. SO good!

    Thanks collin! Ive been looking for a good whole taco seasoning 🙂

  35. joanna shirley

    I made this last night and used it with our tacos. It was great. Thank you so much for sharing. I am always looking for homemade goodness, because I want to feed my baby nothing but the best. I actually felt good about serving him this last night, because I knew it was natural and not loaded with a bunch of extra crap/preservatives!! I hope you don’t mind, but I just linked my blog to your recipe!! =)

  36. Kristen

    Thank you very much for this recipe! I made it tonight (w/ a couple of missing ingredients because I didn’t have them on hand) and it tasted great. THANKS!!

  37. Shelly

    I think I might be doing something wrong. When using the taco seasoning blend my family says that it taste like sand with the meat and seasoning mixed together. I ate tomotoe sause and about 1/2 cup of water to the seasoning then cook for about 15-20minutes. I thought it might be the chilli powder so I switch to another chilli powder and it still tasted the same. Any suggestion? Thanks I would much rather use this then the taco seasoning package 🙂

  38. Shelly

    Any suggestions? My family says that the tacos with the seasoning taste like their is sand in it? I thought maybe it was the chilli powder so I bought a new one of that and made them again and it was still sandy.

  39. Sally

    how much do you use if you are using one pound of ground meat

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