Homemade Taco Seasoning {recipe} – Polysyllable Free

Taco Seasoning - Homemade

Monosodium glutamate.

Autolyzed yeast extract?

Are we baking bread with our taco seasoning?! In a car, no less?!

In the midst of developing a recipe for Southwest Burgers, we had to take a moment for “taco seasoning,” basically any personally preferred mix of chili powder, hot pepper, cumin and whatever other special herbs and spices to transform plain ground beef (or chicken! or pork!) into something seasoningly appropriate for tacos, burritos and fajitas.

To make things easy, we were just going to go with one of any number (five, actually) of those seasoning packets at the grocery store. However, when we saw what was actually available on the shelves, we realized that “easy” was full of ingredients that are very difficult to pronounce. Of course we know that not every polysyllabic ingredient is bad for us — the word “vitamin” alone has three syllables! — but still, we couldn’t help but be eep-ed out.

Ethoxyquin? Seriously? (Don’t click the wikipedia link unless you’re okay with seeing the words “pesticide” and “pet foods” associated with your food.)
Taco Seasoning Packet Ingredients Lists
So we came back to the TasteSpotting Kitchen with a bag full of two-syllable spices to grind up our own blend. We based it on what we saw on the labels, as well as a few recipes we pulled up on our phone while in the store. We threw chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper together in a grinder and came up with a mix that we’ll be using again.
Taco Seasoning - Homemade, Ingredients
Our ratios — a heavy hand toward heat — are listed below. Start there, adjust accordingly, and perhaps incorporate cocoa powder, which we saw on the Lawry’s seasoning packet, but didn’t have on hand to try.

Do you make your own taco seasoning? What do you put in it? Any secret ingredients you’d like to share in the comments?!

Taco Seasoning - Homemade

TasteSpotting Kitchen’s Taco Seasoning

based on what we’ve researched on the web, seen, and tasted


4 parts chili powder
2 parts ground cumin
1 part paprika
1 part crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
1 part dried oregano
1 part onion powder
1 part garlic powder
1 part salt
½ part black pepper


Throw spices and herbs in a bowl and combine.

If the spices are whole seeds/flakes, grind in a coffee/spice grinder.

by Sarah J. Gim on March 28, 2011 · 35 comments

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: