A plate of food on a table

How to Make Taco Seasoning Mix and What to Do With It

Seasoning packets from the supermarket may be convenient, but they have drawbacks—not the least of which is they’re relatively expensive! I just checked several brands including Lawry’s Taco Spices and Seasonings Mix both online as well as the prices today at the two supermarkets in my community. Prices range from $.89 to $1.61 an ounce!

I hate to pay that much for so little. And I don’t have to because I’ve got a great recipe to make taco seasoning mix myself, using ordinary spices I have already. As a bonus know exactly what’s in it, and how old the ingredients are, too.


A plate of food on a table, with Taco and Beef

The recipes that follow call for the amount of seasoning you would find in the typical supermarket seasoning packet—about 4 1/2 tablespoons of mix.

While you could make the amount you need as you need it, a better idea is to make a bunch while you’re at it, then keep it tightly sealed in your spice rack. It’ll come in handy more times than you can imagine. The recipe multiplies well.

Enjoy this simple mix and the two family-friendly recipes that follow for both beef and chicken tacos. Yum!

Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Taco Seasoning Mix

(Yield: 4 1/2 Tablespoons Mix)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal (maize or corn flour)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in small airtight container.


Restaurant-Style Taco Meat

(Yield: Meat for 12 Regular-Size Tacos)


  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 1/3 pounds lean ground chuck
  • 1 cup water
  1. In a small bowl combine all of the spices or measure out 4 tablespoons of mix  if you’ve made this up in advance.
  2. Crumble the ground chuck into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until browned. Remove from heat, rinse meat with hot water, and drain water and grease from beef.
  3. Return meat to skillet, and pour in seasoning. Stir in water. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked away, about 20 minutes. Yield: Meat for 12 regular-size tacos.


Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

(Yield: Chicken for 12 Regular-Size Tacos)


  • 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • juice of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast

Place salsa, taco seasoning, lime juice, and cilantro in a slow cooker and stir to combine. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover slow cooker, set to High, and cook until chicken is very tender about 4 hours. Optional: Set slow cooker to Low and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Shred chicken with 2 forks to serve.

First published at Everyday Cheapskate: 1-21-16; Revised & Updated 7-5-19


More from Everyday Cheapskate

cheap from scratch meatloaf meal with ketchup glaze
chicken noodle soup
banana and carrot gluten free muffins
English Muffin Bread
Instant Pot with Beans Rice and Fresh Vegetables
A woman standing in front of a store
Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts
caramel corn collage

Please keep your comments positive, encouraging, helpful, brief,

and on-topic in keeping with EC Posting Guidelines

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
7 replies
  1. Lynette says:

    Thanks for the recipe. We’re trying to cut back on sodium so its great that we can use this recipe and just leave out the salt.

  2. TwiggyB says:

    This recipe looks GOOD! Can’t wait to make a batch this summer. YIPPEE! Saves me a ton of money in those stingy little packets.

  3. holly says:

    I am anxious to try this. I have all the ingredients in my cabinets. I use a lot of spices etc. Hope this is as spicy as what I use. But if not I can probably increase or decrease something.

  4. N Dekker says:

    I have a similar recipe with different amounts of the same spices but use some oregano and turmeric in the mix. For those that are sensitive to corn products, arrowroot makes a good substitute for the corn flour or corn starch.

  5. tboofy says:

    We use taco seasoning a lot, so I buy giant containers at Sam’s. Definitely cheaper than the packages. I’d have to go out and buy about half the ingredients in the homemade stuff (no, I’m not much of a cook), then make it. This works for me. I’d never pay the better part of $2 for one packet!

  6. Bookworm says:

    Thanks, Mary! Since I’m allergic to corn, I can’t use the store-bought packets. I’ll use this recipe and add another thickener as needed.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *