Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Like my last post about stromboli, this recipe isn’t one that came from either of my grandmas. But, it’s something I must have in my kitchen at all times. I just assembled a big batch and thought I’d share the recipe here.

And yes, it probably is easier to just buy a packet of the stuff from the grocery store, but what’s the fun in  THAT? I use a LOT of taco seasoning – not only to add flavor to the ground beef we stuff into taco shells or flour tortillas, but also for tortilla soup, taco soup, enchilada casseroles, black beans – you name it. You already know I like to buy my spices in bulk from Penzey’s, and this recipe is just the excuse I need to buy their fresh, high-quality chili powder, paprika, cumin, etc. in bags.  And, while I’m lucky to live close to a retail store, you can mail order from their catalog, too.  See what my freezer door looks like because of how close I live to Penzey’s?

Anyway. This recipe makes about a cup and a half of seasoning. Which seems like a lot, but really it isn’t. To season a pound of ground beef, you add two heaping tablespoons to the browned, drained beef, plus 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water. Or you can add more or less of each, depending on your taste. That’s the beauty of making your own – you can adjust it to suit the needs of the people for whom you cook. Or yourself. Or both.

I’ve adapted this from other recipes I’ve seen floating around, so I feel safe in calling this


Make this right in an airtight container that holds at least 16 ounces. Use a Mason jar or something plastic. Or, a zip-top plastic freezer bag.  All measurements are suggestions; adjust to your taste.

6 Tablespoons chili powder

5 Tablespoons paprika

4.5 Tablespoons cumin

2.5 Tablespoons onion powder

2.5 Tablespoons garlic powder

2 Tablespoons corn starch

1 Tablespoon oregano

1/2 Tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon (are you paying attention? Not Tablespoon Teaspoon!) cayenne pepper

Combine all and store in an airtight container.

…Alternatively, layer spices into a 2 pint Ball jar and go “ooooh, cool, pretty, spices, in layers, now where is my camera…”

Use 2 heaping Tablespoons of mix + 1/2 – 3/4 cup water to turn browned ground beef into taco filling.


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