I’ve been making my own Mexican seasoning for years.
It’s quick, easy, healthier than store bought, and I always have the ingredients on hand!
Why make Mexican seasoning from scratch?
When I first saw a recipe for homemade taco seasoning in a natural mom group on Facebook, I was hesitant to try it. Our family was used to the kind in the packet and it was super quick and easy. The more I read packages and learned about what was in my food, the more I saw that those various Mexican seasoning packages didn’t JUST contain spices. They had anti caking agents and preservatives and sugar and even ingredients containing gluten. Weren’t these supposed to be spice blends?!
I didn’t just want to take care of my own family and help them eat better. I love to be hospitable and I find it very important to make sure the ingredients I use are friendly for my guests who have dietary restrictions like sugar, gluten and preservatives. After I made the switch, I found that I could serve it to almost anybody, and it was easy to make up a batch and have it on hand for whenever we needed it. And the great thing is that we loved the flavor!
How to make Mexican seasoning:
Over the years, I’ve played with the original Mexican seasoning recipe. I’ve added chipotle powder, dried onions, and my favorite addition – glucomannan. This is the secret ingredient that makes it feel like a similar texture to the store bought variety. In the beginning, I didn’t like how the water and spices created a thin and watery consistency on the meat. It just didn’t feel the same to me, so this ingredient was a game changer!
What is glucomannan you ask? It’s a low carbohydrate thickener made from konjac root, that does not need to be heated in order to thicken. I often use it in place of cornstarch in a recipe. I also use it in my homemade dressings if I’m trying to cut back on the oil in them.
If you don’t have it, that’s ok! Alternately, you can just add a little sprinkle of cornstarch on your meat when you add the seasoning and water. That will give you a thicker consistency that you’re probably used to when using a store bought alternative.
I think that you’ll find this to be a super simple process once you get used to making up a batch when you’re running low!
4 T. dried onion
4 T. chili powder
2 T. ground cumin
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
2 t. paprika
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 t. dried oregano
Pepper to taste – I use a few good grinds
1 T. + 1 t. salt
1 t. chipotle powder (optional)
1 t. glucomannon (optional)
There’s really not much to this recipe! Just put all the ingredients into a mason jar, put the lid on it and shake! This will keep for months in your spice cabinet.
When you use it, add 4T. to each pound of meat, along with 1/2c. water. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it’s all incorporated and the water begins to evaporate. Want me to tell you a little secret? I NEVER measure this when I use it! I just dump a bit on top of the meat and add some water. It’s better to add a little less because you can always add more if you need to. However, if you add too much water, just let it cook a little longer until the moisture evaporates.
See? It’s SO simple!
I often get asked about my measuring spoons. Years ago, I purchased the regular set as well as the odd sized measuring spoons at Williams Sonoma, so the ones they sell now look a little different. The odd sized set is the one that has the 2 Tablespoon, 1 1/2 Tablespoon, and 2 teaspoon. I love them SO much, especially for this recipe. I often double it which makes it perfect to have a 2T and a 2t. on hand!
When you use this taco seasoning to mix up your burritos, tacos, or burrito bowls, don’t forget to add my homemade salsa. It’s unbelievable and adds so much authentic flavor to Mexican meals!
How to store Mexican seasoning:
Store this in the spice cabinet with the rest of the spices. I make sure it has a mason jar lid on it so it’s airtight. You can just as easily use any type of container that is airtight. It can be stored for months in the cabinet, just like you would store all the ingredients that make up the blend. But, I think you’ll find that you use it up before then!
Ways to use homemade Mexican seasoning:
Our family uses this taco seasoning in so many ways! The most obvious way would be to use it on ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork for tacos or burritos…of course we love that! However, there’s so many other things you can do with this versatile Mexican blend.
- Season homemade refried beans with a little of this blend to add a bit of spice.
- Use it in my delicious and simple black bean burger recipe.
- Add it to sour cream as a layer in a 7 layer taco dip.
- Put boneless skinless chicken breasts in an Instant Pot with a can of fire roasted tomatoes, a little water and a generous sprinkle of the taco seasoning. Set on high pressure for 15-20 min. After that is complete, allow it natural release for 10 min, then quick release. Shred the chicken and use for tacos, nachos, burrito bowls, or chicken burritos.
- Use it to season your chili. Just add a bunch of extra cumin to kick up the chili flavor.
- Rub it on a pork butt before you smoke it and use the smoked pork for burrito bowls, nachos, street tacos…the possibilities are endless!
- Season black beans with the spice blend for tacos, burrito bowls, or vegetarian nachos. Just put rinsed and drained canned black beans or frozen black beans in a pot. Add taco seasoning and water and cook down a little until the water begins to evaporate and the spices incorporate.
These are all ways we use this, but I’d love to hear some ways you find to use this amazing homemade taco seasoning! Let me know in the comments!
Quick & Easy Taco Seasoning
- 4 T. dried onion
- 4 T. chili powder
- 2 T. ground cumin
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. onion powder
- 2 t. paprika
- 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 T. + 1 t. salt
- 1 T. Pepper (to taste – I use a few good grinds)
- 1 t. chipotle powder optional
- 1 t. glucomannon optional
- There's really not much to this recipe! Just put all the ingredients into a mason jar, put the lid on it and shake! This will keep for months in your spice cabinet.
- When you use it, add 4T. to each pound of meat, along with 1/2c. water. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it's all incorporated. Can I tell you a little secret? I NEVER measure this when I use it! I just dump a bit on the meat and add some water. It's better to add a little less of the seasoning blend because you can always add more if you need to. However, if you add too much water, just let it cook a little longer until the moisture evaporates.