Homemade chicken taco seasoning is a lifesaver on busy weeknights. Take five minutes to mix up a big batch of this pantry staple, and have delicious homemade tacos in a snap.
How about taco night tonight? It’s always a hit in my house. When you have young kids, taco night is an easy win. No one whines on taco night. Do you need a break from the whining today? I recommend tacos.
Homemade taco seasoning is a great pantry staple. It takes less than five minutes to mix your own seasoning blend that tastes so much better than those store-bought packets. I always try to keep a little mason jar of this spice blend on hand. It elevates your taco game while still keeping taco night simple, as you deserve it to be.
This taco seasoning has a perfect blend of spices for delicious chicken tacos. Use it as a dry rub for roasted chicken breasts, mix it with ground chicken and black beans to make bell pepper nachos, or sprinkle it on sliced boneless skinless chicken breast for easy sheet pan fajitas. There is no wrong way to use this!
You Will Love This
- Homemade seasoning mixes are perfect for busy families. Keep a big batch of this taco mix on hand and you can turn ordinary chicken breasts into a delicious Mexican meal in minutes.
- The best part about making a homemade spice mix is that you know exactly what it going into it. This recipe is made with only real spices – no artificial flavors or questionable ingredients that might be in that little packet from the store. You can taste the difference!
- This is the perfect seasoning for chicken tacos, but it also works well on any kind of taco meat you like – I also use it with ground turkey and lean ground beef.
This great-tasting seasoning only needs a handful of simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
- Kosher salt: Remember, kosher salt is a flakier, larger grain salt than regular table salt. If you substitute regular table salt, you will need to cut down on the amount called for our your seasoning will be much too salty.
- Chili powder
- Paprika: You could substitute smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder: You could substitute dried minced onion if that’s what you have on hand.
- Ground cumin
- Oregano: Mexican oregano is great in this recipe, but regular oregano will work just fine!
- Optional: This recipe makes a mild taco seasoning for family-friendly tacos that won’t be too spicy for the kids. If you like your tacos spicier, experiment with adding a small amount of red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper or chili pepper.
Step One: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store the taco seasoning in an airtight container in a cool dark place, like inside your pantry or spice cabinet. The seasoning mix will keep for 3-6 months.
Step Two: To use, mix about 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning with 1 pound of cooked ground or diced chicken. I suggest starting with 1 tablespoon, and adding more to taste. For a saucy taco filling mixture like you get from store-bought packets, follow the instructions below.
How do I make my taco filling saucy like when I use the store-bought packets?
When you follow the directions on a packet of store-bought taco seasoning, you usually add water to the meat along with the seasoning and end up with a taco filling mixture that has a gravy-like sauce. You can totally get the same effect at home with your homemade chicken seasoning.
First, cook your meat and season it to taste with your homemade seasoning. Then make a slurry by whisking together about 1/3 cup water and a little bit of cornstarch until no lumps remain. About 1 teaspoon of corn starch will give you a thin sauce, while 2 teaspoons will give you a thicker sauce like gravy. Over medium heat, slowly stir the corn starch slurry into your seasoned meat mixture until the sauce has thickened.
A corn starch and water slurry is the base for many gravies and sauces. Store-bought taco seasoning packets often already contain cornstarch, and that’s why they instruct you to add water to your meat with the packet of seasoning.
What’s the difference between taco seasoning and chicken taco seasoning?
Regular taco seasoning and chicken taco seasoning are very similar and use many of the same spices. Chicken taco seasoning is usually a bit more mild, and contains less chili powder and cumin. Bottom line is that you can use this homemade chicken taco seasoning on any meat you like! If you prefer your tacos a bit spicier, feel free to customize it to your taste with some extra chili powder or cayenne pepper.
Chicken Taco Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
- Note, this recipe makes the amount of taco seasoning that I would use to flavor one pound of meat. Use the 1x, 2x, 3x buttons above to scale the recipe up to make extra for storing!
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store the taco seasoning in an airtight container in a cool dark place, like inside your pantry or spice cabinet. The seasoning mix will keep for 3-6 months.
- To use, mix about 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning with 1 pound of cooked ground or diced chicken. I suggest starting with 1 tablespoon, and adding more to taste.