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taco seasoning recipe in a wooden bowl with a metal spoon.
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5 from 5 votes

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 492kcal
Author: Karen


For the dry spice mix:

  • 6 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

When you make taco meat:

  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 & 1/4 cups water for each single batch of taco meat
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base for each single batch of taco meat


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons oregano, 2 tablespoons dried minced onion, 4 teaspoons garlic powder, 4 teaspoons sea salt, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
  • Makes 1 cup taco seasoning. Store mixture in an airtight container (mason jar, tupperware, zipolock baggie, we not fancy)
  • Use 2 tablespoons seasoning for 1/2 pound of ground beef.
    Use 1/4 cup seasoning for 1 pound of ground beef.
    Use 1/2 cup seasoning for 2 pounds of ground beef.
    Use 3/4 cup seasoning for 3 pounds of ground beef.
    Use 1 cup seasoning (all of it) for 4 pounds of ground beef.

To make 1 pound taco meat:

  • Cook 1 pound ground beef in a pan over medium heat, crumbling. Drain the grease. (Or don't!!)
  • Add 1/4 cup of taco seasoning to the meat. Add 1 and 1/4 cups water. If you love yourself even more, add in 1 teaspoon Better than Beef Bouillon. (this ingredient is optional but soo tasty. Adds great beefy flavor.)
  • Stir well and cook over medium heat until liquid has reduced somewhat but for heavens sake, not all the way. JUICY tacos, please! Your sauce should be nice and thick. It shouldn't take more than a couple minutes.


*"Chili powder" sold in the United States is actually a blend of chili powders and is pretty mild. Do not replace it with straight up cayenne pepper or any other straight chili powder. If you can't get this style of chili powder, use whatever chili powder you have but start with a much lower amount and taste as you go, to make sure it's not crazy spicy.
If you don't have time to make your own taco seasoning, use any 1 oz taco seasoning packet and add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal into your taco meat in addition. I'm telling you! It's so good! 


Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 9867mg | Potassium: 1663mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 13753IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 441mg | Iron: 22mg