Taco Seasoning Mix

A quick recipe for the best easy copycat Taco Seasoning Mix, also a wonderful all-purpose homemade mexican spice blend. 5 Ingredients. 5 Minutes. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb. Keto. Paleo. Whole 30.

taco seasoning mix in a small wooden bowl

Many people exclusively use store-bought taco seasoning packets and sometimes don’t realize that it can be a sneaky source of added sugar, gluten and unpronounceable ingredients.

If you’re eating clean and whole diet, most things are best homemade. That includes a general Taco Seasoning Mix. Our recipe is simple and a really delicious taco seasoning as well as great for any Mexican meal.

Yep, it’s a yummy all-purpose mexican spice blend as well!

How To Make Taco Seasoning Mix:

Whether you’re talking Taco Seasoning, Chili Seasoning, Fajita Season or just plain Mexican Chili Powder – it’s all essentially the same thing.

All use a combinations of the same ingredients with subtle differences.*

The Ingredients You’ll Need:

  1. Smoked Paprika
  2. Cayenne Pepper (add this according to your own spice tolerance)
  3. Dried Oregano
  4. Ground Cumin
  5. Garlic Powder
  6. Onion Powder
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper

Step-By-Step Instructions:

step by step instructions for making homemade taco seasoning mix
  1. Add all the spices into a bowl. (Photo 1)
    1. Pro Tip: We like to make seasoning mixes using a mortar and pestle. Grinding the spices really infuse the spices together and unlocks the flavor a lot better.
  2. Mix together. (Photo 2)
  3. Voila! You’re done. You’ve now got a delicious taco seasoning mix, as well as a perfect all purpose Mexican spice mix. (Photo 3 & 4)

*Mexican Chili Powder Substitute:

On the topic of “they’re all essentially the same thing” – did you know you can easily make your own Mexican Chili Powder at home?

Whether you live in an area of the world where “Mexican Chili Powder” isn’t readily available, or you’re out of chili powder and too lazy to run to the grocery store.

You’re probably wondering what you can use instead of mexican chili powder. Well, it’s very easy to make your own Mexican Chili Powder Substitute using

  1. Paprika
  2. Garlic Powder
  3. Onion Powder
  4. Oregano
  5. Cumin

See THIS post from Spiceography.com for more exact details.

The best part? YOU control the heat and salt level, which is preferable for most home cooks.

Do You Add Water To Taco Seasoning:

If you’re wondering whether you need to add water to taco seasoning, the short answer is yes! Add about 1/3 cup of water to the ground beef and taco seasoning. This will help spread the seasoning evenly if the meat is dry.

The long answer is “it depends”. It has to do with draining the ground beef before adding the taco seasoning mix. Let’s read on…

Do You Drain Ground Beef Before Adding Taco Seasoning?

If you are looking to lower the fat and calorie content, then yes – drain the ground beef.

As for myself and my family – I never drain the ground beef. Fat carries the flavor of the meat, so draining the fat means draining the flavor. You’re also making the ground beef dry, and we all know that dry ground beef is not all that great.

The good thing is, when you’re on a low-carb, keto or paleo diet, you WANT that delicious and satisfying fat in your diet.

Unless it’s a bit excessive of course. I do occasionally drain a tiny bit of the the fat if the ground beef is literally swimming in it. It depends on the fat content of the ground beef you bought.

Also, when adding the taco seasoning mix to ground beef that is not drained, the oil is a sufficient vessel to ensure that the mix is evenly spread, and no water is needed.

How Do I Add Taco Seasoning To Ground Beef?

I add at least 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix to each pound of ground beef.

I press down the ground beef into my pan and let it sear. Then use a large spatula to flip it over and allow it to sear on the other side. If you prefer draining the ground beef, do it now.

Sprinkle the taco seasoning mix evenly over top of the ground beef and work it in until the ground is broken up into smaller pieces. (Add about 1/3 cup of water at this point if you drained the ground beef, or if it looks dry in any way).

Looking For More Mexican Recipes?

For healthy low-carb, keto and paleo Mexican recipes, check out any of these yummy options, plus some of our personal favorites from other great bloggers.

  1. Chopped Mexican Salad
  2. Real Restaurant-Style Salsa
  3. Refried Red Kidney Beans
  4. Salsa Chicken
  5. Mexican Stuffed Peppers by SeekingGoodEats.com
  6. Cauliflower Mexican Rice by OurCounterTop.com

Did You Make This Recipe?

If you’ve made this taco seasoning mix, please leave a comment and a rating. We love hearing your feedback and it greatly helps us improve our recipes!

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Taco Seasoning Mix

A quick recipe for the best easy copycat Taco Seasoning Mix, also a wonderful all-purpose homemade mexican spice blend. 5 Ingredients. 5 Minutes. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb. Keto. Paleo. Whole 30.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serving Size 20


  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch ground cloves
  • to taste cayenne pepper


  • Mix all the ingredients together until well blended.


Tips and Tricks:

  1. If you have one, try mixing the spices together using a mortar and pestle. We find that this really blends things together and properly unlocks the flavors of each individual spice.
  2. If you’re trying to eat less salt, either add no salt, or only add one teaspoon of salt.

This recipe was first published on January 18, 2018 and was updated on February 20, 2020 to include step-by-step instructions and faqs.

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