Homemade Taco Seasoning for Beef or Chicken

Updated on January 8, 2020
prestonandkate profile image

Preston and Kate enjoy numerous DIY projects: painting, tiling, quilting, crafting, gardening, canning, thrifting, cooking—they do it all.


Cooking from Scratch

Over the last year, my husband and I have attempted to buy less-processed foods. No, we have not triumphed in eliminating all processed foods, but we have made a few manageable goals. And we have found some success.

We had to decide where to start. Starting small was a good idea for us. We stopped buying most boxed foods from the grocery store: no more cereal, premixed rice, or pasta dishes, and no more granola bars. I have tampered a little bit with homemade bread recipes, but I am still trying to decide if making homemade bread every week is a great use of my time.

I've tried several homemade granola recipes, but I am still on the quest for a keeper. My husband willingly gave up cereal but isn't content eating regular oatmeal every morning.

As you can imagine, eliminating some processed foods means learning to make some of their equivalents at home...from scratch. Sometimes I set out to try a new recipe, and I think to myself, 'oh my stars...is this really worth the time and effort?' But, you know what? The recipe is always way easier the second time I try it.

Making my homemade taco seasoning has been an easy adjustment and well worth the bit of time it takes to throw together the spices and seasonings. Plus, depending on who I am making the tacos for, I adjust the flavors and spicy levels.

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Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 3 1/2 Tbsp. Seasoning for one pound of meat.


  • 2 Tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth


Do you like spicy food? Add more cayenne pepper. Remember, a little cayenne pepper goes a long way.

Do you want your taco seasoning milder? Leave the cayenne pepper out of the recipe.



Mix all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. You do not need to add the apple cider vinegar until your meat is cooked and seasoned with the homemade taco seasoning.

Are You Making Beef Tacos?

If you are cooking beef tacos, brown one pound of ground beef in a skillet. Drain most of the grease from the skillet. Once the ground beef is browned and drained, add the mix of dry ingredients. Next, add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.

If the meat seems a bit dry and is having some trouble absorbing the taco seasoning well, add some chicken broth or water. Add just enough to moisten the meat. I usually find myself adding about a fourth of a cup of chicken broth.

If you find you have added more liquid than necessary, simmer the meat for a few minutes without a lid, and most of the liquid will evaporate out.

Let the meat and seasoning sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve with all your favorite taco toppings!

Are You Making Chicken Tacos?

If you are making chicken tacos, I recommend to boil your chicken, shred it, and then add the taco seasoning. Take three (good-sized) frozen or fresh chicken breasts. Cover the chicken breasts with water and bring them to a boil on top of the stove. Once they are boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow them to simmer until they are cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 165 degrees.

I tend to leave the chicken simmering for a good thirty minutes. This is not necessary, but I find the chicken is moister this way and falls apart very easily.

Once your chicken is done boiling, take it out of the water and let it cool on a cutting board or plate. Once you can handle it with your hands, shred your chicken.

Take the shredded chicken and put it in a skillet on top of the stove. Take about a 1/4 of a cup of the water that the chicken boiled in and add it to the skillet. Add the homemade taco seasoning. Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Mix the taco seasoning and chicken together until all the chicken is coated. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes.

Serve with all your favorite taco toppings!

Are You Making Fish Tacos?

I have never made fish tacos, but I am growing curious about them. If you use my homemade taco seasoning on some fish, let me know how it turns out!

Simple Christmas Present for Extended Family

Are you looking for an easy gift to hand out to your extended family over the Christmas season? My husband's family has this great tradition of taking a small gift of your favorite homemade goodies for all your cousins, aunts, and uncles. This year I took a quarter pint mason jar of taco seasoning for each of the families. I tied a ribbon around the lid and included some basic instructions on a tag.

The homemade taco seasoning was well received!

© 2013 Preston and Kate


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    • prestonandkate profile imageAUTHOR

      Preston and Kate 

      6 years ago from the Midwest

      Hi Ginger! Maybe this one will appease your husband. :)

    • prestonandkate profile imageAUTHOR

      Preston and Kate 

      6 years ago from the Midwest

      kidscrafts, I'm with you on that one. I like knowing what goes into my food. Happy New Year to you too!

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image


      6 years ago from Illinois

      Yum! I've tried several recipes for homemade taco mixes, and my husband hasn't been satisfied yet. I've never added ACV, though so I'm excited to try this one! - Ginger

    • kidscrafts profile image


      6 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I like to cook from scratch because I know everything that goes into my recipe and I think it will taste better! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

      Happy New Year!


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