Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (2024)

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By Anjali Shah on

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Upgrade your Taco Tuesday with this spicy, delicious Old El Paso Taco seasoning recipe that takes just 3 minutes to make! This DIY taco seasoning is so much healthier than store-bought options, is budget friendly, and is big on flavor. Once you start making your own homemade taco seasoning mix, you’ll never go back to store-bought again!

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (1)

This homemade old el paso taco seasoning recipe is super easy to make and keep on hand. I love using it for delicious vegetarian taco soup, and other Mexican inspired recipes like this vegan crunchwrap supreme and layered taco casserole.

Making your own taco seasoning from scratch is so simple, you’ll never buy seasoning packets for taco night again!

Table of Contents hide

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

🥘 Ingredients

🔪 Instructions

💭 Expert Tips

📖 Variations

❓Recipe FAQs

🍲 More Tasty Recipes!

📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

The authentic Mexican flavor of these Old El Paso seasoning mix ingredients is a classic addition to tacos, ground meats, and vegan taco meat like these sofritas or vegan chorizo, but they taste great on almost any dish you want to add them to.

Make a ground turkey taco salad, an Old El Paso taco bake, crispy seasoned potato wedges, baked chicken, black beans, any type of Mexican food, or any variety of recipes you can think of.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Packed with bold flavor
  • Budget friendly
  • Easy to make
  • Vegan, gluten free, keto friendly
  • No artificial colors or added preservatives compared to a typical taco seasoning packet
  • Super versatile, elevate your basic taco recipe with this spice mix!
  • Best old el paso chili seasoning copycat recipe!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

Old el paso taco seasoning ingredients are super simple and can be found at any grocery store in the spice aisle! Here’s what you need:

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (2)

This diy, easy mild taco spice mixture is just a blend of commonly found spices!

This simple spice blend of smoked paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, ground chili powder, and black pepper combine to give you that familiar taco seasoning flavor that we all know and love. Feel free to add in sweet paprika to make it less spicy.

🔪 Instructions

Gather Ingredients: Add all copycat taco seasoning ingredients to a small bowl.

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (3)

Combine Ingredients: Mix together well.

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (4)

Store: Transfer to a glass jar, seal with a lid, shake to combine.

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (5)

Use As Needed: Keep in a cool dry place for up to 3 months, and as long as 6 months, use in a variety of Mexican recipes. If you eat meat, you can use about 2 tablespoons of El Paso seasoning for every 1 pound of beef or another pound of meat. Note: If stored correctly, homemade spice mixes last for a long time, around 6 months. If it still has a strong smell and has not formed a cakey consistency, the spice mix is still good.

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (6)

💭 Expert Tips

  • To keep this mild taco seasoning lasting long: Keep your homemade seasoning mixes stored in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Keep your spice mixture fresh longer by putting an oxygen absorber in the container with the spice mix.
  • Use glass containers for storage because porous containers like plastic will absorb the smell and colors of the spices and stain your container.
  • When seasoning ground meat or vegan meat for tacos, wait until after you drain the excess fat to season. After draining, add the meat back to the nonstick skillet and then add in the old el paso chilli mix. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes to soak up the seasoning.

📖 Variations

  • Low Sodium El Paso Chili Seasoning: If you are on a low sodium or no sodium diet, you can reduce or even eliminate the salt in this OId El Paso taco seasoning copycat recipe. You can also substitute sea salt if you prefer it to table salt.
  • Add Even More Heat: This variation just swaps the chili pepper powder for cayenne pepper for an Old El Paso spicy taco seasoning. You can even add some crushed red pepper flakes. For an even bigger flavor, add a couple teaspoons of adobo seasoning as well.

❓Recipe FAQs


Taco spice mixes can be used in a variety of ways. Add this Old El Paso spice mix to chili, fajitas, taquitos, quesadillas, nachos, enchiladas, lasagna are great ideas, just to name a few.

The possibilities are endless and you don’t have to confine your use of this Old El Paso spice mix to traditional Mexican dishes.

You can give lots of other recipes a kick with this homemade taco spice mix. Soups, casseroles, and grilled foods are just some of the things you could dress up with this great recipe!


This copycat Old El Paso taco seasoning should be stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight (at room temperature). Your pantry or kitchen cabinet is a good place for spice storage. A mason jar or other glass container works best.


It depends! Some store-bought taco spice mixes can contain gluten, so if you’re buying a store-bought packet from the grocery store, check the ingredients label carefully. This homemade old El Paso seasoning mix is gluten-free, which is another reason why it’s better than the store bought version!


Yes! In general, taco seasoning is healthy for you. Since it’s just a blend of super flavorful spices, it’s typically low in calories, low in fat, low in sugar, but big on flavor. This El Paso taco mix does contain a fair amount of salt, so if you need to limit that ingredient in your diet for health reasons, simply reduce the amount you use in this Old El Paso spice mix.

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (7)

🍲 More Tasty Recipes!

  • Mexican Pizza Taco Bell Recipe
  • Taco Stuffed Peppers With Avocado Lime Sauce
  • Pancake Tacos
  • Vegan Fondue
  • Sweet Potato Tacos
  • Vegan Black Bean Tacos

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (9)

Print Recipe

4.95 from 17 votes

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe

Upgrade your Taco Tuesday with this spicy, delicious Old El Paso Taco seasoning recipe that takes just 3 minutes to make! This DIY taco seasoning is so much healthier than store-bought options, is budget friendly, and is big on flavor. Once you start making your own homemade taco seasoning, you'll never go back to store-bought again!

Prep Time3 minutes mins

Total Time3 minutes mins

Course: Condiment

Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan

Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 8 tablespoons

Calories: 22kcal

Author: Anjali Shah



  • Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl.

  • Mix together well.

  • Transfer to a glass jar, seal with a lid, shake to combine and store in a cool dry place for up to 3 months.


  • This seasoning mix has a mild-medium heat, you can adjust the amount of chili power to suit your preferences. If you’d prefer the seasoning to be milder either reduce to ¼ tsp or omit the chili powder all together.
  • If you’d prefer a hotter seasoning add additional chili powder or cayenne pepper to suit your tastes.
  • Taco seasoning is great used in your favorite Mexican recipe.
  • This recipe can be doubled or even tripled and stored in an airtight jar ready for future use for up to 4 months.
  • If you’re using this seasoning mix to coat meat or in a marinade, make sure to add a little cornstarch and water so that it really coats your meat well.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.4g

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17 responses to “Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe”

  1. Hi! How much would you recommend using with one pound of ground beef?
    Thank youOld El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (13)


    • Hi Nan! I actually haven’t used this with ground beef, so I can’t tell you exactly. What I would recommend is making a double or even a triple batch, seasoning your beef with how much feels right, and storing the rest and using it for another recipe! Hope that helps!


    • TLDR
      1 pound Ground Beef
      3/4 cup Water
      4 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
      2 pinches Cornstarch/Flour

      The Old El Paso packet is for 1 pound of meat, contains 28 grams, and states that 2 teaspoons = 5 grams. With that I was able to work out that the package contains 3 tablespoons and 2 1/4 teaspoons of seasoning. I just rounded on up to 4 tablespoons and used the 3/4 cup water recommended by the Old El Paso packaging too. You will need to add a little cornstarch or flour to get the seasoning to bind to the meat.

      This was an instant hit with my family. We were able to make our own adjustments for just the right heat, and we won’t be buying taco seasoning ever again.


      • Thank you so much for sharing this Mary! And also, I’m so glad you loved this recipe!!

  2. The flavor of this recipe is excellent and better than others I have found. My only complaint with yours and others is none I have found include cornstarch. I have found the cornstarch is necessary to get the “sauce” to coat all the meat for tacos, nachos, etc. No one ever mentions this and I’m confused as to why. Without the cornstarch and a little water, you completely lose that. I hesitate to call it a sauce because it isn’t really, but can’t think of anything else to call it, lol !Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (14)


    • Hi Marny! So glad you liked the flavor of this recipe! Regarding your question about cornstarch, the reason I didn’t include it is because this seasoning mix is meant to be used in a variety of recipes, most of which would not work well with cornstarch (e.g. soups, stews, roasted vegetables, etc.) I’ll add a note to the recipe that if you’re using this spice mix to coat meat, to add a little cornstarch! I hope that makes sense, thanks again! 🙂


  3. Just tried this! It is great! Using it to make taco soup on a snowy night.Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (15)


    • Awesome!! So happy to hear that Ellisa!!


  4. Loving this copycat taco seasoning. We used it last week on taco Tuesday and my family thought it was great. Saving for my weekly taco recipes.Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (16)


    • Yay!! So happy to hear that MacKenzie!


    • How much did you use per pound of meat?


  5. You can’t beat homemade seasoning. Can make it as spicy as we want then.Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (17)


    • I know right? It’s just so much better than the pre-made kind!


  6. What a great hack! Easy homemade seasoning , bet this is so much better then the store bought stuff! Thanks for the recipe!Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (18)


    • Yes!! Exactly! Thanks Farah! 🙂


  7. So glad to find your recipe. I’ve been wanting to make my own seasoning. This is delicious! So much better than the store-bought envelopes.Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (19)


    • Thanks so much Jill! So glad you liked it!


Leave a Reply

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe (2024)


What are the ingredients in El Paso taco seasoning? ›

Ingredients. Corn Starch, Chili Pepper, Maltodextrin, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder. Contains 2% or less of: Vegetable Oil (high oleic canola and/or soybean oil), Silicon Dioxide (anticaking agent), Natural Flavor, Modified Corn Starch.

How much taco seasoning and water per pound? ›

To use: Use about 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning for every 1 pound of meat. Use more or less depending on your preference. Brown meat and drain the fat. Add your taco seasoning along with about 1/2 cup of water.

What can I use if I don't have taco seasoning? ›

Packet Taco Seasoning replacement: if you only want to make enough taco seasoning to replace 1 packet, use the following amounts:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder.
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder.
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano.
  • ½ teaspoon paprika.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
Mar 16, 2021

Do you add water before or after taco seasoning? ›

1/2 cup water: After you've browned your meat, add in 1/2 cup water with 3 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix. Stir to combine and mix all together. Slowly add in another 1/2 cup water as some will begin to absorb – you want it with a little sauce, just not too watery!

Do you add water or taco seasoning first? ›

Pretty much everyone knows the drill: Brown the meat, breaking it up as you go, sprinkle the taco seasoning over it, and add a specific amount of water, simmering and stirring until thickened.

How much water do I add to Old El Paso taco seasoning? ›

Ingredient List
  1. 1 box (12 count) Old El Paso™ taco shells.
  2. 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef.
  3. 2/3 cup (150 mL) water.
  4. 1 package (24 g) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix.

How much taco seasoning for 1 pound of meat? ›

Freshly made taco seasoning, without msg and preservatives, tastes so much better. Use about 2 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of ground meat for tacos.

Which is hotter, mild or original taco seasoning? ›

McCormick Spices on X: "@DialedIn6 Whoops, sorry for the confusion! Our Original Taco Seasoning Mix is spicier than our Mild Taco Seasoning Mix.

How much taco seasoning for 2 pounds of meat? ›

I use 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound. For 2 pounds, I would use 4 tablespoons. After sprinkling over your burger mixture, don't forget to add about 2/3 cup of water (since your doing 2 pounds) to your mixture. Let it all simmer together in its taco goodness!

Why add water to taco seasoning? ›

Turns out it's essential for giving the proper consistency to the taco meat because those seasoning mixes contain cornstarch, which requires water and heat to create a sauce.

How many tablespoons are in one packet of taco seasoning? ›

How Much Taco Seasoning Is In a Packet? If your recipe calls for one packet of taco seasoning, how much DIY mix should you use? Different commercial brands package their taco seasonings in different amounts, but most packets contain about 1 ounce or 3 tablespoons of product.

What's the difference between Mexican seasoning and taco seasoning? ›

Mexican seasoning typically consists of a blend of traditional herbs and spices while taco seasoning is a specific blend of spices that may not be used as much in traditional Mexican dishes.

What if I don't have cumin for taco seasoning? ›

Cumin is an earthy, aromatic spice that brings citrusy notes to a dish. If you're in a pinch, there are many great alternatives you might already have in your pantry. Caraway seeds and ground coriander most closely mimic cumin's flavor, while curry and chili powders contain cumin.

Is fajita seasoning the same as taco seasoning? ›

Fajita seasoning and taco seasoning are very similar, but they are not the same. Taco seasoning typically has more oregano and chili powder than fajita seasoning. With that being said, however, you can use fajita seasoning and taco seasoning interchangeably in recipes, it may just warrant a slightly different flavor.

Can you use taco seasoning without cooking? ›

Use taco seasoning to boost yogurt or sour cream dip.

Sour cream or yogurt languishing in the fridge instantly becomes taco dip when sprinkled with a bit of taco seasoning. It works well as a dip or sauce for tacos or nachos, or as a topping for baked potatoes.


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