Thursday, September 10, 2009

Make Your Own: Taco Seasoning

I use taco seasoning quite a bit, but I hated spending $1+ on a packet that was only good for one meal. Taco seasoning packets aren't magical, really. It's just a combination of spices with some thickening agents (to make your taco meat saucy).After looking at the ingredients of store-bought packets and noticing spice combinations of mexican/southwestern dishes that I make, I came up with my own version. I like mine because it has a lower salt content than most store-bought brands, no fillers, and doesn't have MSG. (Some brands don't have this anyway. Nice job!)

If you scan the list of ingredients and think, "What the. . . cocoa?!" I'm not crazy, I promise -- cocoa is no stranger to Mexican cooking (ever had mole?). It makes the flavors richer, but it doesn't make your tacos taste like chocolate, I promise. You can use this blend in any recipe that calls for taco seasoning. I use it in the Taco Pasta and the Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken that I make quite often, and it turns out just as good, if not better, than a taco seasoning packet.

Oh, and it's cheaper this way. I made a big bottle of it for a lot less than spending $1+ per packet. Gotta love frugality.

Natalie's Taco Seasoning

To make about the equivalent of one seasoning packet (3-4 T):
1 T flour
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. coriander

To make about one cup or 4-5 packets worth of seasoning:
1/4 c flour
1/4 c chili powder
4 tsp cumin
4 tsp oregano
4 tsp cocoa
4 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp coriander

Combine all well and store in an airtight container. Use 3-4 T of seasoning plus about 1/3-1/2 c water to season about 1 lb of ground meat for tacos. (Depending on how strong and saucy you like it.)

Nat's Notes:
1. If you don't have coriander, it won't be the end of the world.
2. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne.

Print Recipe Text Only

Originally Posted Here


  1. Thanks for sharing this!!! I go through packets of taco seasoning like crazy and as much as I'm too lazy to do things from scratch, I'd much rather save money and make my own ....especially since it would allow me to play with making it more or less spicy.

  2. Oh man Natalie, you are a cooking GENIUS!!! I use taco seasoning so much in this house I'm thinking of buying stock in Old El Paso!! Now I can make it myself, in mass quantities I might add, with stuff I already have on hand!!

    Once again, you have saved dinner! ♥

  3. !! I haven't had taco seasoning in years, because all of the convienent packets have gluten in them. I'm excited for this, writing it down now. Can't wait to try it, thanks!

  4. Oh wow, I LOVE tacos! My kids eat ground beef and chicken (but are allergic to seafood), and my pescatarian hubby ONLY eats fish, so I LOVE taco night. I can make up fish and rice tacos in one skillet, and beef or chicken tacos in the other skillet, and the seasoning tastes great on both. I can not WAIT to try out your seasoning!

  5. PS, thanks so much for showing how to make one packet's worth AND the bulk amount. Very handy!

  6. Tia, I'm sure you can substitute the flour for cornstarch (but I'm sure you already know that :)) If it works out well, or if you find another gluten-free alternative, let me know!

  7. We had this tonight and it was fantastic! Thank you! I now have more money for avacodos (they're $2/per here!)


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