This dry taco seasoning blend for chicken, beef, and pork comes together easily and has a slightly smoky flavor. In just 2 minutes you can create a versatile homemade seasoning that’s even better than store-bought. Use it the day you make it or store it for up to 6 months; either way your family can enjoy the convenience of a quick and flavorful addition to your taco nights.
Can you buy pre-made taco seasoning at the store? Yes.
Is it easy to make at home so you know exactly what’s going into it? Also yes.
When testing this recipe I bought seven different store-bought taco seasoning packets, and was really surprised that most of them had ingredients other than herbs and spices – sometimes even as the first ingredient!
I was also shocked that some of them had wheat flour, which as someone who’s gluten free is obviously a no-go.
So why bother with a store-bought taco seasoning blend when you can make it at home and it tastes just as good, if not better?
It might seem like there’s a lot that goes into this homemade taco seasoning, but it’s still under 10 ingredients and each spice makes a difference.
I tested it several different ways (with and without oregano, with regular paprika instead of smoked, and adding in cayenne, to name a few) and this was the mix that won out.
Read on to see what all goes into it, get tips on storage, and learn what else you can do with this gluten free taco seasoning recipe.
Grab these from your pantry
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Spices: grab smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. If these spices have been sitting in your pantry for a few years, you may need to get new ones to get the best flavor – see more on that in the next section.
- Dried oregano: sometimes this comes in larger leaves; if the leaves are too large for you, you can grind them slightly with your fingers when adding it to the other spices to have them mix more evenly in the seasoning.
- Ground black pepper: You can use either freshly ground black pepper or pre-ground black pepper.
- Kosher salt: salt is the most important ingredient for seasoning any food. In this case the recipe calls for Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is my preferred salt. It is less salty by volume than other salts which means it leaves a little more room for error when salting your food. If you are using a different type of salt (kosher or otherwise), you’ll want to use this salt conversion chart from Epicurious to determine how much salt to use.
Are your spices & herbs losing flavor?
If you can’t remember the last time you bought herbs or spices, it may be time to get new ones. Both herbs and spices lose potency over time and if they are too old the seasoning won’t have as much flavor as it should. Here are three ways to check your herbs and spices for freshness:
- Look: take a good look at your spices. Are they vibrant or has their color faded?
- Smell: put your nose down to the bottle (though not too close!) and take a sniff. Do you smell the herb immediately or do you have to take a couple deep inhales to get any scent?
- Taste: take a small pinch of the spice and give it a taste. Is it strong on your tongue or can you barely taste it?
Use one or all three of these methods to see if your spice shelves need an overhaul.
How to make homemade taco seasoning
I hesitate to call this a recipe because all you’re doing is measuring out the ingredients and stirring them together. But below are some picture to show you what I mean.
How to use taco seasoning
There are lots of different ways (and different types of tacos) to use taco seasoning. Here are some favorites.
- Cooking ground meat like chicken, beef, turkey, and pork;
- Marinating and grilling chicken thighs or chili lime flank steak; and
- In a taco salad dressing, with sour cream and lime juice or just some oil and vinegar
How much taco seasoning per pound of meat?
Different types of taco seasonings are going to use different amounts per pound of meat. For this taco seasoning, use 2 tablespoons of the seasoning blend per pound of meat.
Storing taco seasoning
If you are either making the seasoning ahead of time or want to make a big batch all at once, place the seasoning in an air-tight container (I like to use a mason jar) and store it in a cool, dark place. It will keep for about 6 months this way, depending on how fresh your herbs and spices were to begin with.
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If you make and like this recipe for taco seasoning for beef, chicken, and pork, then please leave a 5-star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
Dry Taco Seasoning Blend for Chicken, Beef, & Pork
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt Diamond Crystal
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1.5 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Measure out each ingredient with the appropriate measuring spoon and place it into a bowl.
- Use a small whisk or other utensil to stir the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
- Makes roughly ¼ cup of seasoning
- Use 2 tbsp of seasoning for 1 pound of ground meat
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.