Make your own homemade taco seasoning with this simple recipe made with minimal ingredients. Use this combination of seasonings for your favorite vegetarian Mexican recipes and never run out of taco seasoning again!
Of course you can buy store-bought taco seasoning, but why not try this vegan taco seasoning recipe and make it yourself. That way you get the flavorings exactly the way you like them.
It was a family member who encouraged me to start making my own taco powder. I’m so glad because there are lots of reasons for making your own spices at home. I now even make my own pumpkin pie spice, too.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Minimal salt is added to this taco mix, making it perfect for low sodium diets and allowing you to add more if you prefer
- Crushed red pepper flakes add a hint of zest, making this recipe a spicy favorite
- Turmeric adds color and flavor to every bite of this mix, so you can add it to your favorite recipes to add all the right Mexican flavors!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Chili powder — I buy chili powder in bulk at Costco or health food stores, but it’s also available in larger quantities at many grocery stores.
- Garlic powder — You can find garlic powder in the spices section of your grocery store or health food store.
- Dehydrated onions — I prefer dehydrated onions to onion powder because I find onion powder clumps very easily, making it nearly unusable.
- Crushed red pepper flakes — This is an optional ingredient, but a favorite if you like a little heat in your taco seasoning.
- Dried oregano — This may be best known as an Italian seasoning, but it adds subtle flavor to this Mexican spice blend too.
- Ground turmeric — We buy this in bulk, but you can find it at grocery stores in smaller bottles.
- Paprika — Try using smoked paprika for a chipotle flavor to your taco blend.
- Ground cumin — This is the star of the taco show if you ask me. I like using a lot of it so I buy this in bulk.
- Salt + Pepper — You can use table salt or sea salt (I prefer sea salt), but when it comes to pepper, I highly recommend freshly ground black pepper.
What Turmeric is Best for Taco Seasoning?
Turmeric is a flowering plant in the same family as ginger and cardamom. As with ginger, the root is used in cooking as a spice to add flavor and color. Turmeric is commonly used in vegan recipes for natural orange and yellow food coloring. Curcumin is turmeric’s main ingredient and is responsible for many of its health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects which are constantly being studied. [Source]. For this recipe, it’s best to use ground turmeric, widely available in many stores.
Many of these spices are part of my favorite vegan products at Costco because I can buy them in larger quantities. We love adding spices to our plant-based recipes.
How to Make Taco Seasoning
- Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Transfer to a lidded jar, like a mason jar or spice jar.
You can adjust this list of seasonings to fit your preferred tastes. Some like to add sugar to their taco seasoning. Some like more salt. I like a lot of ground cumin, but my husband does not, so I strike a balance that works for us both.
However you slice it, create the perfect taco seasoning for you!
Store this spice mix in an airtight container or lidded jar. It will keep for up to 12 months if stored correctly. I repurpose a spice container or a small mason jar and it works great! I find spices are best when they don’t sit around too long.
How to Use This Homemade Taco Mix
You may be wondering how much Mexican spice mix to use to make the best vegan taco mix. Here’s a handy guide that I use:
Make Vegan Taco Meat:
- Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of taco spice mix to 2 cups of vegan veggie crumbles or vegan ground beef substitute in a skillet.
- Cook and stir over medium heat until the veggie crumbles are heated through.
Best Vegan veggie crumbles: I like to use Gardein Beefless Ground Crumbles, Bocca Crumbles, and/or Beyond Meat Crumbles. You can also use plant-based meat substitutes like Impossible Burgers or Pure Farmland.
Make Vegan Taco Steak
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning to 2 cups vegan steak pieces.
- Cook and stir over medium heat in a skillet until the vegan steak pieces are thoroughly coated and heated through.
The best vegan steak pieces are Gardein Beefless Tips.
Make Taco Jackfruit
- Drain a can of young jackfruit in brine (available at health food stores).
- Add two cups of water, and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 20 minutes, until the jackfruit is tender.
- Use a fork to break the jackfruit down into strands.
- Add 4 to 5 tablespoons taco seasoning and stir to coat the jackfruit.
- Continue simmering until the liquid has turned into a thick sauce.
Make Vegan Taco Chicken:
- Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of taco spice to 2 cups of vegan chicken pieces in a skillet.
- Cook over medium heat until the chicken pieces are heated through.
- Use a spatula to break the vegan chicken pieces into smaller, bite-size pieces. Add to taco salads, on vegan quesadillas, and more!
Best vegan chicken pieces: Gardein chicken pieces or make homemade vegan chicken.
Are Mexican Spice Mix and Chili Seasoning the Same?
There are a lot of similarities between Mexican spice mix (taco seasoning) and chili seasoning, the main difference being the amount of ground cumin used. Chili seasoning will have less ground cumin and more chili powder.
Well, that’s it for this mild homemade taco seasoning recipe!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dehydrated onions
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric*
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Stir.
- Store in an airtight container.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.