Homemade Chili and Taco Seasoning

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of cooking dinner and realize that you’re out of a key ingredient? This happened to me about three years ago when I was in the middle of making a huge pot of chili. After searching my pantry for a nonexistent envelope of chili seasoning, I had to improvise. Turns out this moment of annoyance created a spice cabinet must have.

After a quick visit to Google, I realized that I could make my own chili seasoning and it worked out beautifully. I was able to control the level of heat and the salt content from making my own spice mix and my chili wound up being incredibly flavorful. This homemade chili seasoning recipe wound up being so good,  I ended up making a large batch of it and storing it in my spice cabinet.

This simple chili seasoning turned into a multipurpose spice blend that now flavors most of my Mexican inspired dishes. Everything from homemade tacos to roasted potatoes can be enhanced with this easy to make homemade seasoning blend. Moral of the story? Sometimes a kitchen conundrum can turn into something quite splendid.

Stay tuned later in the week for my favorite chili recipe, trust me, it’s delicious and will be the perfect last minute addition to your Super Bowl Spread!

Homemade Taco and Chili Seasoning

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, and black pepper.
  2. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.


  • Stored in an airtight container, this spice blend will keep for up to a year.
  • When making chili or tacos using one pound of ground beef, start with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the seasoning blend and adjust according to your tastes.

60 Responses to “Homemade Chili and Taco Seasoning”

  1. welbilt bread machine — February 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    sounds and looks good. i’m going to give it a try tonight! thursdays taco night :)

  2. Jhonny Walker — February 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    With the cold sparing none in the country..this is a perfect way to get things cosied up. Love the recipe. Bookmarked!

  3. Happy When Not Hungry — February 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    What a great idea! This has definitely happened to me… I think I have a certain spice and I don’t or if I do, it’s gone bad. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Stella — February 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Oh my gosh, I was just thinking the other day that I should really make my own chili powder mixture. Now I will! Thanks for this;-)

  5. Lynzi Montemayor — February 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    OH! I love this! I’m going to have to keep this on hand! Chili would be PERFECT for this crazy we are having in Houston! Too bad I didn’t prepare for it earlier this week.

    Oh…And I can’t wait for the chili recipe!

  6. Carolina Little — February 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I love this! I have forgotten taco seasoning so many times!

  7. Lori @ RecipeGirl — February 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    This is such a great recipe to have at hand… why buy the packaged stuff when you can put together something so much better?!

  8. Kristen — February 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    This is the same recipe I use and it has literally changed my life. We love tacos and I used to feel so tied to those spice packets. No more! Such a great recipe to know about and keep on hand!

  9. Robyn | Add a Pinch — February 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Yum! I love to make homemade taco and chili seasonings. Can’t wait to try this one.

  10. Tina (Tangerine Tea) — February 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I realised in a similar manner how lovely it is to make home-made spice mixes. It actually does end up tasting so much more flavourful! I made some Mexican food the other day and since I didn’t have the good ol’ El Paso spice mix, I made my own with stuff from my spice rack. My bf loved it! The cumin definitely makes it.

  11. My Kitchen in the Rockies — February 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    My husband always makes our own taco seasoning. I would never dare to buy a package at the store. I like yours a lot and will safe it. Thanks.
    Oh, by the way, “WE” won “Best Taste” in my friends cupcake contest with your recipe for the chocolate cupcakes with the caramel filling and the salted caramel. I made a vanilla cream cheese frosting and used a chocolate cake recipe that works fantastically in this altitude. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!
    P.S: The salted caramel (like you had mentioned) was very soft and melted away. The Baker judge told me to use less cream to fix the problem. I’ll give it a try next time. The taste was great.

  12. iscribbler — February 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been thinking about making my own taco seasoning since I use it in my chili, and I hated how tied down I was to the ingredients in a store bought taco seasoning. I’m definitely going to make this. (It’s geeky, but I’m excited. lol)

  13. Ann — February 4, 2011 at 5:01 am

    What a great idea!

  14. I like the idea of making your own chili and taco seasoning, you never know what unwanted ingredients are in those seasoning packet in the store.

  15. Katrina — February 4, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I didn’t realize how easy this was. Thanks!

  16. Wenderly — February 4, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I have done the very same thing! This looks delish! And I love the idea of having a big jar JUST WAITING quietly and innocently for me to dig into!

  17. Jaime ( Sophistimom ) — February 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    This is the perfect idea that I never think to do. And your photograph is gorgeous. Who ever thought a ground spice mix could look so beautiful?

  18. CaSaundra — February 5, 2011 at 8:45 am

    It’s always such a good way to save money by making your own spice blends–I’m a huge fan! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Brea — May 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Just made this, and it’s perfect! But REALLY spicy, even without the cayenne pepper. FYI, in case you’re thinking of making it for kids. :-)

  20. Brandie — May 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Thankyou for this recipe, its very useful and tasty :). I was in a rush for a chili seasoning recipe and you’re was first on google lol. Grats~

  21. Jeanine — August 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I have never left a comment on a blog before so here goes… WHAT! My family and I have been using the “envelope method” for chili for AGES! I just made a pot of chili with this seasoning recipe and I have never made a beter pot of chili. Unbelievable! (I added some brown sugar because I can’t resist the sweet/spicy combo). Can’t wait to make the homemade vanilla!

    • Jamie — August 28th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Ha! I am so glad you liked the recipe – brown sugar sounds awesome. Now that you’ve officially left your first blog comment, I’m hoping to see more from you! Have a great week!

  22. Paula — September 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I have everything in my pantry but the ground cumin! Going to definitely get some and make a batch of this. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  23. Jenny Loughridge — October 10, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Everything I’ve tried from your blog has been fabulous. This spice combination was no exception–it was great! I made a big batch of chili this weekend and it was a hit! I will never buy the stuff in the packet again.

  24. Kendra — November 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Great recipe! Was also looking for your chili recipe as I’m always trying different ones. Can’t seem to find it? When I click on the link, it takes me to a Buick website. :(

  25. Bella — December 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I made this seasoning blend this week and we loved it! I made two changes to it to suite our family better and it came out so yummy. Thanks for the great recipe for this blend. I did a blog post about it and linked back to you. :)


  26. Rebekah — January 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Yum. I used your recipe as a base and made some changes… doubled the oregano, halved the cumin, omitted the black pepper, added a teaspoon of ground coriander.

    I also left out the garlic and onion powder, and just sauteed fresh onion and garlic instead. :)

  27. Charlisa — February 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

    So, last night I am laying in bed unable to sleep…so my crazy mind goes to how about making my own chili and taco seasoning? Here I am on your site this morning, exactly one year to the day you posted it!.. Coincidence? I think not! Thanks for the recipe! Cannot wait to make it!

  28. Sean — April 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

  29. kay — May 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    It makes great sweet potatoe fries seasoning… yum

  30. Everett De Morier — August 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Great recipe.

    My issue with over the counter chili mixes is that the first ingredient is often salt. The more of the mix you add the salt goes in first.

    Nice idea and great site.

    Everett De Morier

  31. Lisa — October 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I used this in place of chili packets in my regular chili recipe and it turned out great! Just wondering if you add any moisture to your taco meat in order to help the seasoning mix bind? (The liquid in the canned tomatoes helped with that in the chili)

    • Jamie — October 29th, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Hi! I typically add about 1/4 cup of water to add a little moisture to the beef mixture. I hope this helps.

  32. Apa — October 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I love, love this blend. I found it while searching for a good, gluten-free alternative to McCormick’s packet and I’ll never go back.

    • Jamie — October 29th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the spice blend – thanks so much for coming back and leaving your feedback!

  33. Shayna — November 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Just raided my spice cabinet and realized I had everything except paprika so I tried it out and I love it! So much better than the packet that I didn’t want to have to buy, though I left out the salt for now so I can add it to taste later. Love this!

    • MBA — November 28th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and giving us your feedback – have a great day!

  34. Amanda — December 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I loved it! 1lb of browned ground beef onions, peppers, dusted with 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 3-4 tablespoons of mix. 1 can each if diced tomatoes, chili beans and blac beans. 1-2 cups water. Delicious!

    • MBA — January 4th, 2013 at 10:05 am

      I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and providing your feedback – have a great day!

  35. doodad — January 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    This is no big revelation. How, exactly, do people think chili was originally made?? Seriously, think outside the store packages, people!

  36. Meg — January 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    This is the best homemade chili seasoning I’ve ever tried! It’s not too hot for my family at all, and the oregano really adds to it. I just made up my second batch, and though I should thank you for such a great, simple recipe!:)

  37. Jessie — January 27, 2013 at 5:02 am

    I made this as a gift! You can see here: http://imake2.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/diy-chili-and-taco-seasoning.html

  38. Jenn — February 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Just made up a batch! Can’t wait to try it in my chili tonight.
    Thanks so much.

  39. Brad — February 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    cant wait to do this..going to add some heat to it..chilli tonight with my lady..oooooooooo this will be wicked good

  40. Nathan — February 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Made Fajitas with this, added some freshly squeezed lime juice. Delicious!

  41. Ivonne — February 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    NICE!!! maybe 2 t sugar??

  42. Gail — March 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I love making my own spices like this. It’s fresh and it doesn’t have MSG in it.

  43. Louise — June 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Thanks so much for this! I’m just wondering why chili powder is an ingredient — I thought that’s what this recipe is for? Chili powder ingredients = chili peppers, cumin, salt, oregano, garlic.

  44. Kelli — July 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Do you know where to get the jars you used for this chili seasoning?

    • Jamie — September 13th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Kelli,
      That jar is from Weck. You can find them at places like Crate & Barrel, or online through Weck’s website.
      – Amber

  45. Courtney Dunevant — August 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    This chili seasoning recipe is the best – spicy but not too hot. I will never go back to the packaged garbage again!

    • Jamie — August 19th, 2013 at 10:47 am


      Thank you so much! I’m so happy that you enjoy the recipe! Have a wonderful day!


  46. Tiki — October 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I was in a pinch without a chili packet and googled for ingredients. I come across this and thought it was for a pot of chili. Then after dumping one at a time going down the list, then realize the ingredients was for a batch of a mixture to only use a small amount of in a recipe. I hope I didn’t just wreck my family’s dinner.

  47. Jaymee — December 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Love your recipe I like my taco meat a little thicker so I add cornstarch to your recipe mix. It thickens up the meat a little when you cook it down with a little water. :)

  48. Stephanie — December 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I have made this recipe many times, and always receive rave reviews of my chili. I just tried this seasoning when making homemade chili cheese fritos, and it worked beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jamie — December 27th, 2013 at 11:12 am


      You’re welcome! Thank you for stopping in to let us know! Have a great day and thank you for following MBA!


  49. The Petite Gourmet — May 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    This is fabulous! I never buy any spice blends the store because they always have sooo much added sodium. It was nice to make one with a low amount (and all organic, in my case). I used it to season ground turkey, black beans, and corn, which I then stuffed into bell peppers and roasted! So good!

  50. Michael — September 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I hate to be a jerk, but there is HUGE a problem here. What you have done is taken store bought chili powder, add the EXACT ingredients required to make chili powder and then add salt & pepper.

    OMIT the chili powder, double all the ingredients other than salt & pepper, then add the salt & pepper in the original recipe amounts and you have your own chili powder recipe.
    This adjusted recipe actually works without all the excess cost of the store bought chili powder!
    Sorry, but redundancy is just wasted time and money. Best.


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