It’s no secret that making seasoning mixes and homemade sauces – as opposed to storebought – is one of my favorite ways to amp up the flavor and save money in the kitchen.
Even better? You know exactly what’s ingredients are being used, with no added preservatives or artificial flavors. It’s also naturally gluten-free!
Plus, then you can totally customize it *just* how you like it. Especially in this DIY taco seasoning. It’s mildly spicy, yet if you like it milder, use less chili powder. Spicier? I won’t stop you from adding more!
This no-salt version also provides you with a lot of flexibility in recipes, because you can add as much or as little salt as you prefer. Plus, layering salt throughout the cooking process is a key way to add flavor to recipes. That’s the best kind of win around!
What goes into taco seasoning?
Taco seasoning is a spice blend that’s commonly used to make…tacos! Or taco-inspired recipes like black bean nachos or breakfast burritos.
Most blends are a mixture of warming spices and of course garlic and onion powder. While many do contain salt, because as we know, salt brings out other flavors in recipes, this version does not. That way, as I mentioned, you can add salt to the recipe itself, and do so to your exact liking.
Make sure the dried spices in your pantry are fresh for the most flavorful seasoning mix!
Be sure to see the full recipe card below for amounts!
- Cumin: one of my favorite flavors in Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines! It’s earthy, slightly smoky, and incredibly aromatic. This spice mixture uses more cumin to chili powder in its ratio, and if you’re not a huge cumin fan, I have noted that you can reduce it for a more 1:1 ratio of the two spices.
- Chili Powder: this is where the heat comes in! A blend of dried chiles, not a specific kind of chili, which makes it very different from cayenne pepper.
- Cayenne Pepper: speaking of… it’s a hot spice made from ground red peppers. It tastes hotter the longer it cooks.
- Onion and Garlic Powder: two ingredients that feel like a given as they provided a balance of flavor to so many savory recipes.
- Oregano: a pungently floral aroma, this dried herb is used in a variety of cuisines. It adds a wonderful bright warmth to the taco seasoning. Use Mexican Oregano for an even louder version of this herb.
- Smoked Paprika: the smoked variety is hotter than its unsmoked counterpart, so feel free to substitute with regular paprika to temper the heat.
- Black Pepper: the classic, a few grinds of fresh black pepper to round it all out.
How to Make Taco Seasoning
This is so easy… are you ready for it?
Get yourself a bowl if you’ll be using the seasoning immediately. If you’ll be storing it or making a bulk batch to have on hand, use a jar or another airtight container. I recommend using glass so the flavors do not soak into your container.
Then, it’s as simple as mixing the seasonings together until combined!
How to Use DIY Seasoning
There are so many ways to use low-sodium taco seasoning! Including, but not limited to, tacos!
While you don’t need a recipe to use this blend, you can use it in place of recipes that call for a packet of taco seasoning.
A store-bought taco seasoning packet is 1 ounce of seasoning, which is usually around a heaping 3 tablespoons in total, give or take a little depending on the brand.
This recipe yields right around the amount of 1 packet, or 1 ounce, the equivalent of approximately 3 1/2 tablespoons.
- Taco Meat: to make ground beef tacos, use the full amount for 1 pound of meat. You can also use it to season shredded chicken or pork for tacos.
- Vegetarian Tacos: I use about 1 1/2 tablespoons for my black bean and jackfruit tacos and burrito bowls. If you’re simply sauteeing beans or another meatless protein, I recommend starting with about 1 tablespoon per can and adjusting as needed.
- Burritos: for burritos – like these breakfast burritos– where there will be lots of other fillings, I do use an entire packet worth of seasoning to make the beans extra flavorful.
- Nachos: use it to season your nacho toppings, or take the super easy route and just add a sprinkle on top of the cheese before baking!
- Layered Taco Dip: it infuses flavor in both the bean and creamy layers!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Homemade Taco Seasoning (No Added Salt)
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, for a little heat
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, for regular paprika, use ½ teaspoon
- ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a bowl, add all of the ingredients and whisk or stir until completely incorporated together. Or, shake them together in a jar. Store in an airtight container in a dark cupboard for up to six months.
- Use in place of a taco seasoning packet or in your favorite Mexican-inspired recipes. Add salt to the recipes, to taste.
- Bulk: make this recipe in bulk and store it so you have it on hand. Click the x2 or x3 in the recipe card above to easily adjust the amounts.
- This recipe yields approximately 3 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce), equivalent to 1 packet of store-bought seasoning.