How to Make Your Own Taco Seasoning Mix (Large Batch)

Spices have always been costly but seasoning mixes used to prepare salad dressings, gravies, and meat dishes are even more expensive. When we first started making Mexican food at home, we always bought the brand name taco kits. As time went by and our family grew, it got progressively more expensive to make an easy dinner like tacos. One of the things we did was to start buying no name or store brand taco kits.

I eventually got to the point where I just buy the taco shells (or wheat tortillas, if I’m making soft tacos or some other Mexican dish.) I mix up the spices I need for my Mexican food myself and I often substitute them for commercial seasoning mixes or spices in recipes for chili, enchiladas, burritos, or taco soup. This way, I can control the heat and the earthiness of my taco seasonings. And I save money too.

I love to make taco seasoning for my gift jars, as well as for my own cooking. A jar of taco spices tucked into a basket of taco fixings makes a great housewarming gift or a birthday present for your favourite foodie! Or make up a basket of several different gift jars. I love to make up a basket of different seasoning mixes. But cookies in a jar are great too, as are flavoured coffee and hot chocolate mixes. Spicy Mexican foods go great with chocolate, after all!

Making Your Own Taco Seasonings

Most of the recipes I found for taco seasonings were pretty much identical. They used ingredients like red pepper flakes, which I normally don’t have in the house. Instead of leaving them out (they’re listed as optional in some recipes) I decided to tweak the recipe and substitute Hungarian paprika, which I do keep on hand.

This taco seasoning mix is earthy and not too salty. It has more bite than the commercial stuff, so if you don’t like it hot just use regular paprika instead.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all the spices, herbs and salt together. Store your taco seasoning mix in a labelled airtight jar. This recipe will make just a little more than 1 cup of the mix. It should last for 2-3 years in your cupboard, but I usually use it up fairly quickly. If your family loves Mexican food, you will too. Don’t forget to mix up extra for friends! you can make a double batch, and have plenty to fill up gift jars for the holiday season or special occasions.

How to Use Your Homemade Taco Spice Mix

Use 3 tbsp of taco seasoning mix to replace a packet of commercial taco spices. That should season about one pound of ground beef or other meat.

To make tacos with ground beef, first brown the meat. If necessary, drain the fat. Add tbsp taco seasoning mix per pound of meat, plus 1/2 tbsp of flour per pound of meat for thickening. Pour in roughly 2/3 cup of water per pound of ground beef; simmer until the meat mixture thickens up.

If you’re preparing a dish other than tacos, you may opt to use the taco spices without the flour and water. If you’re cooking chili or taco soup, for example, you may simply want to add the seasoning mix to your other ingredients instead of whatever spices are in your recipe.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe | This is an earthy spice mix with more bite than commercial Mexican food seasonings. This big batch recipe is great for gift jars or for your own cooking. And it's frugal too!

Your homemade taco seasoning mix can be added to just about any Mexican food recipe
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    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      I wish the photo could convey how delicious a good taco can be! It’s meaty and crunchy, spicy and also juicy with fresh vegetables. And when topped with melting cheese and salsa or sour cream, it’s just perfect!

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      I really like it. Sometimes I’ll add a little more cumin to the spices, or I might put a small amount of cocoa with the taco seasoning when I add it to a recipe. Taco seasoning is really versatile. I use it when I cook a lot of other dishes, too.

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      Yes, definitely! Some people aren’t big fans of cumin, so they can either reduce the amount or leave it out of their taco seasoning mix altogether. I find cilantro disgusting, so I don’t put any in my Mexican foods. But those who love cilantro could add it to the spices when they use the recipe 🙂

  1. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
    Gil Camporazo

    I remember that I have already eaten a Taco like food preparation as offered to us by our friend one day. There are chips in there. They crack when you bite them.

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      Yes, there is often a hard corn tortilla used to prepare the taco. That’s what many people think of when they hear the word “taco.” But I’ve discovered that a taco can also be made with a soft corn or wheat tortilla. I like the crunch of the hard corn tacos, but they’re more messy!

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      I’m glad you like the idea of making gift jars, Marsha. I can imagine you packaging up the taco seasoning in all kinds of creative ways! I hope you’ll share with us when you do this 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      You know Brenda, I’ve done tons of other spice mixes, coffee creamers, cookies, soup mixes, etc. in gift jars. But I had never thought of making gift jars of taco seasoning mix until I sat down to write this post! Sometimes writing inspires life, instead of the other way around…

    2. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne Post author

      I find that most often, it’s life that inspires my writing. But it’s really fun when the writing process seems to unlock an inspiration that I can put into practice in my everyday life – like making taco mix gift jars 🙂

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