Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe


Tacos can be one of the easiest and quickest meals to get on the table that the whole family will enjoy. Unfortunately many premade taco seasoning mixes sold at the grocery store are highly processed and contain additives that are not health promoting. The good news is that it is super easy to make homemade taco seasoning with just a few spices that you probably already have in your pantry!

As a holistic nutrition consultant I always promote sticking to real whole foods. One way I help my clients do this is by teaching them how to read a nutrition label and review the ingredient list. Many taco seasoning mixes sold at the grocery store contain more than just simple spices and herbs. They contain added sugars and starches (maltodextrin, corn starch, potato starch), pro-inflammatory vegetable oils (canola and soybean), anti-caking agents (silicon dioxide), natural flavors (nothing natural about them, usually a chemical crap storm), and MSG & Torula yeast (flavor enhancers that are excitotoxins and have been found to destroy nerve cells in the brain). 

Food manufacturers use these additives for various reasons but mostly it’s to reduce their costs and increase their profits. For example, MSG is an inexpensive flavor enhancer and it allows companies to use less of the more expensive ingredients, such as spices and herbs. This happens across brands, even those labeled organic and “natural.” Checkout the ingredient lists of some of the most popular taco seasoning brands on the market: 

McCormick Brand Original Taco Seasoning Mix: Spices (chili pepper, paprika, oregano), onion, salt, potato starch, sugar, garlic, natural flavor. 

Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning Mix: Chili Pepper, Corn Starch, Salt, Onion Powder, Maltodextrin, Spice, Sea Salt (potassium magnesium chloride, salt). Contain 2% or less of: Vegetable Oil (canola oil and/or soybean oil), Silicon Dioxide (anticaking agent), Citric Acid, Sugar**, Natural Flavor. **Adds a trivial amount of sugar

Ortega Original Taco Seasoning Mix: Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Rosemary and Green Tea Extract, Silicon Dioxide.

Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning Mix: Organic Chili Pepper, Organic Maltodextrin, Organic Paprika, Sea Salt, Organic Garlic, Organic Onion, Organic Potato Starch, Organic Coriander, Organic Cumin, Organic Rice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Organic Cayenne.

Casa Mamita Original Taco Seasoning Mix: maltodextrin, salt, chili pepper, monosodium glutamate (MSG), corn starch, yellow corn flour, spices, sugar, contains less than 2% of natural flavors, silicon dioxide (anticaking agent), torula yeast, extractives of paprika, wheat starch, whey, soy flour.

It is possible to have delicious, flavorful tacos without all of those additives. Here is the taco seasoning recipe I use in my home:

Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced or pressed through a garlic press OR 1/2 -1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or Redmond Real Salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Brown 1 pound of ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey in a skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up and stirring. 
  3. Stir in seasoning mix until well combined. 

Alternatives: This recipe also makes AMAZING steak fajitas! Mix your spices as above, season your steak (sliced into 1/2” strips) and let it sit. Slice your bell peppers and onions (I use about 3 bell peppers and 1 onion). Heat 1 Tbsp of avocado oil in a large frying pan. Add your peppers and onions and sauté until cooked through. Set aside. Using the same pan, add more avocado oil if needed, then add the steak and toss to cook until cooked through. Add the peppers and onions in with the steak and heat though. I love to serve this on lettuce wraps with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. 

Don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients a bit and tailor it to your tastes! If you like more heat try adding 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. You can also try adding additional spices like 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. 

Give it a try on your next Taco Tuesday and let me know what you think!




* indicates required