What Is Taco Seasoning Made Of? (And Used For?)

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What Is Taco Seasoning Used For

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Taco seasoning, as the name suggests, is used as a seasoning on taco meat. But the seasoning has gone beyond use for taco meats, and it’s used for more sophisticated dishes and meals.

The rich and earthly flavor of the seasoning has made it a must-have among chefs and cooks as they used it for various recipes.

But what is taco seasoning made of? We discover that the primary ingredients in taco seasoning are cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, chili pepper, just to mention a few.

What Is Taco Seasoning Made Of?

Most store-bought taco seasoning contains the following ingredients in order of dominance:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper

What Is Taco Seasoning Used For?

What Is Taco Seasoning Made Of

As mentioned earlier, taco seasoning is not just used for taco meats but can be included in various dishes and recipes. Some popular recipe where taco seasoning becomes useful are:

  • Copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
  • 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
  • Beef Totchos
  • Best-Ever 7-Layer Dip
  • Slow Cooker Taco-Stuffed Potatoes
  • Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Nachos
  • One-Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
  • The Simplest Mexican Chicken Tacos

More so, the seasoning can be used in the following ways:

  1. As a rub for porks, chicken, steak, chicken, fish, or shrimp, especially during summertime grilling season
  2. It can be sprinkled in soup and vinaigrette
  3. Sprinkled on a salad if you’re craving a zesty flavor
  4. Used in casseroles
  5. Used on seafood and veggies
  6. It gives a wonderful taste and flavor to Mexican rice or a side of black beans
  7. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, sprinkle it on your popcorn

How To Make Homemade Taco Seasonings

Nothing stops you from making your homemade taco seasoning. Most of the spices used in taco seasoning are pantry spices that must be quite accessible to you.

Making your taco seasoning at home could be achieved in less than 5 minutes. Not only does it help you save time, but it also gives you complete control over its flavor, tastes way better than anything that you can buy.

Homemade taco seasoning is less expensive than buying a store-bought packet.

If you’re also a fan of fresh seasonings, it will be a disservice to yourself to go for store-bought seasoning that might have been sitting on the pantry for quite some time. Below are the ingredients you need for your homemade taco seasoning:


  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Whisk the spices mentioned here together, breaking up any clumps. Store in an airtight container if you are not using it immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Taco Seasoning?

You don’t have to look for a substitute for taco seasoning since with few tablespoons of cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and chili pepper; you can make homemade taco seasoning.

What Is In Store-Bought Taco Seasoning?

Most store-bought taco seasoning contains cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and chili pepper.

Is Chili Powder The Same As Taco Seasoning?

Chili powder is not the same as taco seasoning, but it’s an ingredient in taco seasoning. Hence, you cannot substitute chili for taco seasoning.

What Can You Substitute For Cumin In Taco Seasoning?

Coriander can serve as a good substitute for cumin in taco seasoning.

What Brand Is The Best Taco Seasoning?

Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning Mix is the overall best in terms of taco seasoning:


When it comes to taco seasoning, the rich and earthly taste has made it quite famous not just for taco dishes but for thousands of recipes.

For instance, the seasoning is used as a dry brine for big cuts of meat, a seasoning for casseroles, and a flavor booster for chili, just to name a few.

When it comes to the question, what is taco seasoning made of? You realize that basic pantry ingredients like cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, chili pepper are used in making the seasoning.

This means you can save yourself the stress of going to the store and whip your unique taco seasoning!

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