Homemade Taco Seasoning

Photo: Kim is sitting on a panel discussion with Beall Phillips, and several other ladies. They are discussing frugality and healthy livingOver the weekend, I spoke on the Frugality panel for Vision Forum’s food conference, The Reformation of Food & the Family.  The complete name of the panel discussion was, “Resolving the tension between feeding your family a healthy, high quality diet and staying within the constraints of a tight budget.”  It was loads of fun, and we could have spent hours on the subject!

One of the things I mentioned was making our own taco seasoning.  This is one easy way to save money and avoid added MSG or other unnecessary chemicals and preservatives.  I have a big Taco Seasoning container we bought at Costco, and when it gets low we usually refill it ourselves instead of buying a new one.

Making your own taco seasoning is surprisingly easy, and the results are as good or better than the purchased mixes.  Doing it yourself lets you control the amount of sugar and salt as well.  We make ours to taste like the mix we buy, but you can easily tweak the ingredients for your family.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cumin
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbs onion powder or 4 Tbs dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp. oregano

Combine in an airtight container.


  1. Wow what a timely post, I was about to add Taco seasoning to my list for my next visit to Sam’s Club. I will be making this instead! One thing I have found and wanted to share is that if I try a taco seasoning and it either doesn’t thicken like I want, or is too spicy for my kids, I add a Tbsp of flour and it cuts some of the heat and thickens nicely so we don’t have drippy taco’s.
    I’m much more able to try new recipes and brands now that I can solve my families to biggest complaints.

  2. Justine says:

    My family is small so far (2 adults, 1 toddler), so our needs are a bit different from yours. I’ve been making my own taco seasoning for a few years with a recipe that’s fairly similar, but on a smaller scale. I recently decided to re-purpose the divided formula dispenser that I had from needing to supplement for my son, and I put 1 packet’s worth (about 3.5 Tbs/1 batch with the recipe I use) in each compartment. Then, I don’t even have to measure it when it’s time to use it, so it’s almost as convenient as a store-bought packet!

  3. Sheila, Mom to seven says:

    Wow, you’d think I’d read what few comments/responses have been posted before I ask my question. Sorry!

    • No problem, Sheila. I do buy my spices in big containers, but I think Costco sells high quality products in general and I have always been happy with the spices we buy there, unlike Dollar Tree. We use most of them relatively quickly so they’re always fresh.

  4. Sheila, Mom to seven says:

    Hi, Kim. Do you buy high-quality seasonings (like your chili powder)? If so, where? I usually buy cheap, bulk, and it doesn’t taste as good (I guess you get what you pay for, eh?).

  5. This is great! But how much is equivalent to one packet of store-bought seasoning? And how exactly do you use it?

    • Laurie,
      I use my taco seasoning to taste, since I cook for a crowd every day and have always bought the seasoning in bulk. One of the little packets contains 2-3 Tbs and seasons about 1 lb of meat or beans, so that would be a good place to start. It’s a very versatile seasoning mix for Mexican or Tex-mex food, but I most often add it to beans and/or browned ground beef to top taco salad or fill tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.

  6. Melissa M. says:

    Sounds good–thanks for sharing!

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