The best homemade taco seasoning and a secret ingredient


We eat tacos a lot in our house. Taco Tuesday anybody? Actually, I’ve never intentionally had tacos on Tuesday. But, several years ago, I found I alway had a headache after taco diners. One day, I read the package and found the culprit, MSG (monosodium glutamate). It’s in every single taco seasoning packet I could get my hands on.

I couldn’t give up my beloved tacos, nor could the family. So, I decided to make my own taco seasoning. I tweaked and combined until I found what we liked.

The best Homemade taco seasoning

All of these black lid spices are $1 at our local store. And, I can get the cumin there, too, but I have this big container. And the sugar is missing because, it’s in a giant container. Which means it’s so much cheaper to make your own, and of course it tastes better and you know what’s in it!

The best homemade taco seasoning

Glass Food Storage Container Set - Round - 620 ml - Red - BPA Free - FDA Approved - Reusable - Multipurpose Use for Home Kitchen or Restaurant - (3 Piece) - by Utopia KitchenGlass Food Storage Container Set – Round – 620 ml – Red – BPA Free – FDA Approved – Reusable – Multipurpose Use for Home Kitchen or Restaurant – (3 Piece) – by Utopia Kitchen

I usually make this up in triplicate and store it in a sealed and dry container. These glass containers are great for storing your homemade taco seasoning. We go through it fast enough that it doesn’t spoil.

And, the secret ingredient for amazing tacos?

Tomato sauce (not water like those nasty-headache packets). For every pound of ground beef, I use 3 Tablespoons of this mix and one small can of tomato sauce. It brings out the seasoning and gives it just the right consistency. Try it!

Have you ever made your own taco seasoning? What is your favorite topping or secret ingredient?

The best homemade taco seasoning and a secret ingredient

The best homemade taco seasoning and a secret ingredient

The best homemade taco seasoning recipe + a secret ingredient to add when the meat is cooking

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Measure and combine all ingredients into an airtight container.
  2. Stir or shake well to mix.
  3. Use 3T of mix per pound of browned ground beef.
  4. The secret ingredient: Add one small can of tomato sauce to cooked meat and allow to simmer 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. My family loves taco night but we never intentionally have it on Tuesday either. Your seasoning blend sounds perfect, i can’t wait to try it.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m tired of buying taco seasoning packages too, so this is right on time for our family.
    When you come up with the secret to chili seasoning, tag me. That’s the next thing I want to tackle.

    1. Chili seasoning? Seriously…I sprinkle some garlic powder on the meat as I brown it. Then, I add 2-3 Tablespoons of chili powder depending on how spicy we want it (usually 3 T for one pound of beef) and that’s it. Let it simmer. Honestly, it tastes even better the second day after it has been in the fridge overnight.

  3. 5 stars
    How funny you post this…
    We are planning on doing taco’s one night this week!

  4. Oh! I just made a double batch of my chicken tortilla soup, and added taco seasoning. Wish I’d seen this, as I’m certain it would’ve been much healthier. (And when you use the Vitamix to make a veggie-based broth, that’s kind of what you’re going for….)

    How do you think salsa (homemade even) would work instead of a can of tomato sauce? Just looking at my options.

    Thanks for posting! Bookmarking this one NOW!

    1. Hmmm…I’m not a big salsa fan (I don’t like the chunks), but if you threw that in the vitamix first, then into the meat, yum. I’d just check the ingredients. If it has salt, I wouldn’t add the salt. And, same for sugar! You might just want to use a little less seasoning!

      I’ve also used like two scoops of tomato paste and water…and one time, just threw in two tomatoes pureed!

  5. I’m going to try this. I love tacos but we don’t have it very often. Actually ours are going to have be burritos cause my son can’t eat taco shells anymore due to him having braces.

  6. ooh, I love the tomato sauce idea! I usually use my own seasoning made like this as well. It tastes MUCH better anyway!

  7. I love homemade taco seasoning. I hadn’t thought about adding tomato sauce. We’re “chunky sauce” people so the salsa suggestion would definitely work in ground meat!

  8. 5 stars
    I haven’t made my own taco seasonings before but I have run out to the store to get taco mix and looking at this recipe I had all the ingredients. lol I love this post I can make a lot and store it for later too. My favorite topping is lots of cheese.

  9. This seasoning sounds fantastic. I love your secret ingredient, too. If you had a moment, I would be delighted if you’d pop on over to my blog and add this (and maybe 2 others!) to the #PureBlogLove link party 🙂

  10. Brenda Haines says:

    That’s awesome, I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Thanks. 🙂

  11. Nicole Dz says:

    5 stars
    I am going to have to once and for all try doing It homemade. I have wanted to for so long as my sister says it is better. Going to try it out. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Thank you for joining us this last weekend on #PureBlogLove recipe and DIY craft Link Party! I hope to see you this Thursday night again, the party starts at 8 pm EST and runs all weekend! I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up next!
    Heidy L. McCallum

  13. LEILANI G says:

    My secret ingredient is 1 to 2 tablespoons of masa. I use it in homemade taco seasoning as well chili. It adds the perfect missing flavor and acts as a thickener as well.

    1. I’ve never used masa before. It’s corn based right? I might have to try this…it sounds great for both!

  14. When you say one small can of tomato sauce per 1 pound of beef is that 8 ounces?

    1. Yes. That’s exactly what I mean! You could easily go with a little more or less, too depending on your preference.

      1. 5 stars
        I don’t know what I was so nervous about with using tomato sauce but this turned out fabulous! Everyone loved it! Thank you.

        1. You’ve made my day, Sue! So glad you tried it, loved it, and came back and told me!

          We actually ate these tacos last night for dinner, too!

          1. Sue Flynn says:

            5 stars
            I will never again make taco meat without this secret ingredient! It seriously was the best. My 18-year-old son said it was the best taco meat I had ever made. Thank you for making me shine. ????????

            1. Happy to get a son stamp of approval for you! I know that’s a huge win!

  15. Kippy McIntosh says:

    5 stars
    I make my own taco seasoning and always use tomato sauce. It adds flavor and thickness to the filling.

  16. Thanks for this tip! Who doesnt love tacos, right? I usually just use store bought seasoning, but this looks simple and easy.

  17. DwarfPlanet says:

    5 stars
    Only thing I would change is use non-iodized salt. I use kosher sea salt.

    1. I will interchange them, too. Lately we have been using sea salt!

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