What Is A Good Substitute For Taco Seasoning?

Chili powder and cumin on their own will suffice if your spice rack is lacking in other ingredients. Here, the two flavor components of taco seasoning—heat and earthiness—are broken down. You can make an acceptable taco seasoning to add to other recipes as long as you have these two essential ingredients (plus a little salt and pepper).

If I don’t have taco seasoning, what can I substitute it with?

Making your own taco seasoning is quick and simple. You may season food to your preferences and always have fresh seasoning on hand.


  • one teaspoon of chili powder
  • 14 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 14 teaspoon powdered onion
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon
  • dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2teaspoonpaprika
  • Cumin, ground, 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (or regular salt)
  • black pepper, 1 teaspoon


Combine salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and chili powder in a small bowl. Use an airtight container for storage. roughly 2 3/4 tablespoons are produced.

How to use: For every pound of meat, use roughly 2 tablespoons of the taco spice. Depending on your preference, use more or less. Cook the meat, then drain the fat. Add a little over 1/2 cup of water along with your taco spice. Until the water is absorbed, simmer and stir.

Recipe Notes

Taco seasoning from the store typically contains a thickening ingredient. There are two possibilities if you want the same amount of savoriness as a prepared mixture:

To the spice mixture, add 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch, then proceed as directed.

What ingredients are in taco seasoning?

The greatest taco seasoning is produced using fresh ingredients, which is one of the reasons homemade taco seasoning is superior to store-bought. No one can say for sure how long such sachets have been on the shelves. If at all feasible, get your spices in bulk or from an online retailer like Penzey’s to guarantee that they are always fresh. Purchasing them in bulk can frequently be less expensive than purchasing them packed.

This taco seasoning’s base is a combination of paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powders, oregano, sugar, salt, and two other unexpected additions. The richness of coriander, a pleasant and energizing spice, is added to the mixture. Additionally, when the mixture is added to chicken or beef tacos, cornstarch functions as an anti-clumping agent in addition to thickening cooking liquids.

Cumin alone constitutes taco seasoning?

The typical family dinner on a weeknight is tacos, right? If you continue to purchase spice packets from the shop, things have just become a whole lot easier. Without all the ingredients included in a store-bought package, you can have great homemade taco seasoning ready to go in only two minutes. Additionally, it’s likely that you already have all the necessary spices on hand.

Taco Seasoning Blend

Most likely, you already have all the seasonings required to produce this blend. If you don’t, these seasonings are likely worth the investment because most people consider them to be staples. These are the only spices that I use in my own kitchen and that I purchase in extra-large bulk bottles.

You’ll need oregano, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder among other spices.

The primary spices in the seasoning are chili powder, cumin, and paprika, which are followed by salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano in varying but equal proportions.

Now, I definitely wouldn’t classify this mixture of seasonings as spicy, but spices, particularly chili powder, can differ by brand. As a result, make sure to taste your seasoning mixture before using.

Taco Seasoning Instructions

The taco seasoning is straightforward to make. The spices are measured out and then combined. It should be simple to put extras in an airtight container.

What to do with it after it is made is the part that can be a little bit more complicated at this point. So don’t worry, just do this.

To begin with, 1 packet of store-bought taco seasoning is equal to 2 teaspoons of this blend. Therefore, you will need roughly 2 teaspoons to create 1 pound of ground beef tacos (or any other type of meat).

*As a side note, although 2 teaspoons can yield wonderful tacos, I frequently find that I need to add a little more for a deeper taste. However, that is just how I like it; not everyone will. Therefore, don’t be afraid to experiment with the quantities you use.

To create taco meat, brown the meat in a sizable skillet over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until no longer pink and crumbly.

Add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons of your home-made taco seasoning. When water is reduced to a saucy coating on the meat, toss to coat, lower heat to medium, and stir occasionally. Serve right away.

To make basic taco meat, you utilize homemade taco seasoning in this manner, but there are a ton of additional uses for it as well. You can use it as a dry rub on chicken for a flavorful meal, add it to nachos like my Black Bean Nachos Recipe, coat oven-baked shrimp for tacos, make chicken tacos or easy chicken tacos with it, or sprinkle it over roasted potatoes or fries for a tasty side dish.

However, here are some fantastic side dish suggestions to offer with some tasty tacos:

What distinguishes chili seasoning from taco seasoning?

Taco seasoning and chili seasoning might resemble one another somewhat. Both typically contain between 5 and 8 components. The main distinction between the two is that chili seasoning will contain more paprika and chili powder. Cumin will probably be more prevalent in taco seasoning. These two spices can be used interchangeably in a pinch with only a slight difference in flavor.

Can I substitute taco seasoning with fajita seasoning?

Seasoning used for tacos and fajitas differs The taco seasoning contains a greater quantity/proportion of chili powder and oregano to give it a kick than the other one. Fajita seasoning is milder and has a softer flavor, but since I like both blends, I use them interchangeably.

What seasonings are used in Mexican restaurants?

There is much more to Mexican food’s use of spices than just taco seasoning. Many intricate soups and stews, such as an excellent mole poblano, rely greatly on the precise blend of spices. Additionally, you can find spices in baked items, such as the enticing anise scent in a soft and pillowy pan dulce.

If you can, ground the spices yourself when using them. Freshly ground spices provide a far richer flavor than the ground ones you can get at the supermarket. Even dry toasting the spices is recommended in some recipes to bring out their flavour.

The most typical spices found in Mexican food are listed below:


the bright orange-red seeds of the annatto tree, which is a tropical American native. The seeds are either turned into a paste or a powder after being dried. It mixes well with citrus and has a sweet and earthy flavor. It is a staple spice in Yucatan cuisine from Mexico and is added to savory meals and stews.


The pimento dioica tree, which is indigenous to Southern Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, produces dried unripe fruit. Allspice is a spice that can be blended with other spices that have the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. It is primarily used in adobos and pipianes in central and southern Mexico (seed-based sauces). Due to its pleasant perfume, it is believed that the Mayans employed it for embalming.


the seed of a flowering plant that is indigenous to Southeast Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. You can compare its flavor to licorice, fennel, or tarragon. It goes great with vanilla and cinnamon. It is primarily utilized in Mexico in the creation of cakes, pastries, and sweet breads like the legendary pan de muerto and the legendary anise cookies. Additionally, it’s a component of mole. Anise tea was once administered to infants to relieve colic.

Avocado leaves

the avocado trees in Mexico, either their fresh or dried leaves. They have a flavor that is nutty and anise-like. It is employed to flavor bean tamales in Central and Southern Mexico. The plants from other nations have been known to be harmful, so be sure your avocado leaves come from Mexican trees!

Chile powders

a combination of ground, dried chilies. Chile powder is a common condiment in Mexico for enhancing the flavor of various fruits and vegetables as well as confections. It differs from the chili powder that is typically used to prepare chili in the United States and Canada. Instead, entire dried chilies are utilized to prepare savory foods. To quickly replace dry chiles, you might use chile powder, but be sure to only use powders derived from one type of chili. Use chipotle chile powder, for instance, if the recipe asks for chipotle chilies.


the dry inner bark of Sri Lankan evergreen trees. Only Ceylon cinnamon, which is distinct from Cassia cinnamon, is used in Mexico (what is most readily available in the United States and Canada). It has a spicy, fragrant flavor. It can be found in many baked items and pastries, as well as in mole, caf de olla, and candying sweet potatoes. To cover up offensive odors in the kitchen, water and cinnamon are frequently boiled in Mexican homes.


the blossom buds of an Indonesian native evergreen tree. It has a strong flavor that is also sweet, little bitter, and powerful. It is frequently used in savory Mexican cuisines together with cumin and cinnamon. Additionally, it is used to flavor moles and pipians as well as baked items.


the entire dried seeds of the cilantro plant, which can be found in southwestern Asia, southern Europe, and northern Africa. Cumin, thyme, and black pepper go well with coriander’s flowery, lemony, and sweet flavor. It is a common ingredient in soups and stews as well as the Mexican dish chorizo.


the seed of a flowering plant that is indigenous to South Asia and the East Mediterranean. It mixes well with coriander and dried chilies and has a robust, distinct earthy flavor with bitter undertones. It is a component of sauces and stews in Mexico. It is not utilized as frequently as it is in Tex-Mex cooking, though.


Despite being a herb, epazote is typically used as a spice in its dry form. The plant is indigenous to Central and South America, as well as Mexico. It has a strong flavor with hints of mint, lemon, anise, and oregano. In the majority of Mexico, it is generally used to flavor black beans, however sauces can also utilize it. Cooking beans with epazote is believed to improve their digestion (aka reducing the gas they often cause).

Mexican Bay leaf

the withered leaves of a native Mexican evergreen plant. Similar to oregano and marjoram, it has a mildly herbal, bitter, and flowery flavor. It is widely used in rice, broths, stews, and soups in Mexico. Additionally, it has religious and medical uses.

Mexican oregano

the blooming plant of the verbena family that is indigenous to Mexico, Central America, and the Southern United States. It has a strong flavor with licorice and citrus undertones. It goes nicely with chilli peppers, cumin, and paprika. It is employed in Mexican cooking to flavor soups, stews, and beans. Make sure the label reads Mexican oregano when you buy it because it differs from Mediterranean oregano.


the seedpod of an orchid-family blooming vine that is indigenous to Mexico and South America. It has a sweet yet smokey flavor. It frequently goes with clove and cinnamon. It is widely used in Mexico to produce hot chocolate and desserts including flan, ice cream, and cake. Additionally, it is used in savory meals, particularly in the Veracruz region. According to legend, princess Tzacopontziza of Totonac, who was destined to devote her life to the deity Tonacayohua, fell in love with prince Zkatan-Oxga. Death was the penalty for seducing a princess who had been betrothed to the goddess. They hid in the mountains, but the high priests later tracked them out and slaughtered them. A big shrub sprang where their blood had touched the ground. This eventually became entangled with a strange vine, which blossomed into a lovely orchid plant. The Totonac people eventually came to believe that the shrub and the orchid were lovers. Vanilla was created as a result of the blossoms’ scent being released as they dried into pods. Later, the orchid was dubbed a sacred plant. Because of this, it is thought that vanilla was created from a princess’ blood.

What flavor does taco seasoning have?

You probably already have all the spices you need in your pantry, and homemade taco seasoning doesn’t taste artificial, doesn’t cost as much as store-bought, and doesn’t require preservatives. Without the artificial flavor and with less salt, it tastes just like the spice from the packet. The benefit is that you may also change the flavoring to suit your preferences. I boost the chile since I prefer my Mexican spicy!

Can you use chili powder on tacos?

Taco night rocks. Tacos are a food the whole family can enjoy, whether it’s Taco Tuesday, a really quick lunch at the end of a hard day, or just your favorite dish.

It’s time to step up your game, though, if you’re still utilizing taco spice packets from the store. Your tacos will taste completely different thanks to my homemade taco seasoning mix.

We’re discussing a combination of chili powders, paprika, freshly ground cumin, a ton of garlic and onion, dried herbs, and other fantastic flavors. It’s simple to modify this taco seasoning combination, which is my favorite!

This is my favorite concoction after experimenting with various components and mixtures. However! See my NOTE after that.

Please take this as a BASE recipe. Although this is my personal favorite combination, feel free to adjust it as you see fit. Try it out a few times, then experiment with your own ingredients. See more below on that.