A spoon rests in a wooden bowl with homemade taco seasoning in it.

Tacos are a crowd-pleasing favorite, and the secret to taking them from ordinary to extraordinary lies in the perfect blend of taco seasoning. While store-bought options are readily available, making your own homemade taco seasoning allows you to control the ingredients and ensures that it meets any dietary needs. Let’s explore the main ingredients and the ideal way to season your taco meat!

A trio of crunchy tacos stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on a light background.

Are all taco seasonings gluten-free?

Unfortunately, not all taco seasoning mixes are gluten-free. Some commercial brands may contain additives or fillers that contain gluten, which can be a concern for individuals with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free diet. The safest way to enjoy gluten-free taco night is by crafting your own taco seasoning at home with spices and herbs. And we’re here to help!

What is the main ingredient in this seasoning?

The star ingredient in any taco seasoning is chili powder. This fiery and flavorful spice not only provides the essential kick to your tacos but also infuses them with a beautiful red hue. To craft your own seasoning, combine chili powder with other complementary spices to create a balanced and mouthwatering blend.

What else is in this taco seasoning?

For this taco seasoning blend, you’ll need:

  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Ground oregano
A wooden bowl filled with gluten-free taco seasoning rests on a counter with extra seasoning around the bowl.

How many tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of meat?

The ideal ratio of taco seasoning to meat is two to three tablespoons per pound of meat. Of course, you can adjust the quantity according to your personal taste preferences. If you prefer mildly spicy taco meat, reduce the seasoning slightly, or if you want an extra burst of spice, feel free to add a bit more. Tacos are all about customization, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

How much taco seasoning is in a packet?

A standard packet of taco seasoning contains around three tablespoons.

Top view of homemade seasoning mix in a wooden bowl with extra spices sprinkled on the counter nearby.

Do you season meat before or after cooking?

We recommend adding the taco seasoning after browning the meat. If you add the taco seasoning and water beforehand, you are boiling the meat, and it won’t be as flavorful. Instead, brown your ground beef, chicken, or whatever meat you are using in a large skillet. Add the taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water, and simmer until the sauce has thickened and all the meat is seasoned.

Homemade taco seasoning is the key to elevating your taco game while ensuring it’s gluten-free. By using chili powder as the main ingredient and seasoning your meat before cooking, you’ll unlock a burst of mouthwatering flavors in every bite. Embrace the freedom to customize your seasoning and enjoy the journey of crafting the perfect taco for you and your loved ones! Happy taco-making!

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Now that you know the importance of homemade taco seasoning, let’s dive into an easy and quick recipe:

A spoon rests in a wooden bowl with homemade taco seasoning in it.

Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning

Yield: About 3 tablespoons of mix
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Taco Tuesday can easily be set up to be naturally gluten-free! It all starts with this homemade gluten-free taco seasoning.


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. To use: Brown 1 pound of meat of your choice. Add the seasoning and 1/4 cup of water. Simmer until sauce has thickened, 2-3 minutes.


  • Adjust the kosher salt and red pepper flakes to your preferences. You can always add more later!
  • To save yourself some time later, you can scale up this recipe as much as you'd like. Store the excess in an airtight jar.
  • About three tablespoons of this spice mix is the equivalent of one packet of store-bought taco seasoning.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1499mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Want some recipes that call for taco seasoning?

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  1. Thanks for sharing. This is my first time to your blog. I just started back up over on SparkPeople…I’m pregnant and overweight, and was just looking for some people to interact with that helped INSPIRE me to EMBRACE certain aspects of life (eating) and help me ENJOY this pregnancy as I long to. I am 38, with what will be 7 years between this new baby and our yourngest…and well, I was pretty shocked when I found out we were expecting.

    I didn’t mean to go on and on, but I can’t bare to remove what I’ve shared already…LOL…I just wanted to say, so far, your blog is fabulous and I will be catching up on the older blogs, and enjoying them, as well. Love love love your photos. 🙂

    Have a blessed day.

  2. Made this for dinner last night. Boyfriend loved it and it gave me the energy to do some glass work, homework and get a workout in at the end of a very long day. Thanks for the recipe! I’m off to pack the leftovers for lunch!

  3. Cassie,

    I love making home made spices, so this is really cool. I agree, many store bought spice and seasonings have too much sodium, way more than we need.

    Sound like you had a great hike and hope you talked important things, it reminds me when hub and I talk, we go to our favorite hangout to chat.

    1. I used to salt EVERYTHING. It is amazing how our taste buds get desensitized. Now I think so many things taste too salty.

  4. Hi! I know you from Sparkpeople. OMG this looks amazing!! I love how bright the colors are in your photos too! What kind of camera do you use??

    1. Hiya and thanks! I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel xSi. And I use Lightroom for post-production on the photos to bump up the brightness and make them really sparkle.

  5. Ohh, forgot to add that Taco seasoning packets have corn flour too, to thicken them. I don’t use it due to diabetes, but thought you or some of your readers might like to know.

    I’m going to make some of your recipe and see how it goes. I can’t wait. LOL Kitty

    1. I saw cornstarch in the ingredients on the packet, but didn’t really notice a difference without it. I think if you wanted the meat saucier, the cornstarch and a bit more water would definitely help. 🙂

  6. I’m still in the early stages (research) of making my own spice mixes but isn’t Chili powder a mixture as well? I thought it was oregano, Chili pepper (cayenne), garlic and maybe salt? not sure, it’s a long time since I really LOOKED at the bottle. LOL

    1. You know, it probably is! We just have a GIANT (as you can see) bottle of it and use it at will. Maybe next time I’ll make my own.

  7. Great post. I was just thinking the other day about a homemade taco seasoning and you posted yours!

    Thanks for sharing, I will be making this very soon.

  8. This looks amazing! I don’t really like those taco seasoning packets, I always find them a little too smoky and not spicy enough but I’ve never really been sure of how to make my own. I’ll give this a go!