Taco night just went from awesome to amazing. This homemade taco seasoning, with a secret ingredient you’ll never guess, ups the flavor game on anything and everything. Make it ahead of time to store for use at a moment’s notice!
Making your own spices is always better than premixed varieties. This homemade taco seasoning is no exception! It’s really easy to throw together and is perfect to store in your spice cabinet for quick and easy use. Plus it has a secret ingredient that really ups the flavor game!
The perfect secret ingredient
Tacos are a staple in our house, and up until now, taco seasoning was a “throw in a little of this and little of that” kind of creation. I have always wanted to nail my perfect taco flavor, the store bought seasonings just don’t hit the perfect spot for me. Most homemade taco seasonings have similarities in the ingredients, with the most common being:
- chili powder
- paprika of some sort
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- some kind of spicy seasoning (I love crushed red pepper but cayenne or chipotle are awesome too)
A mix of all of these spices generally yields a good result, but I wanted a little something different. Which is when I thought about one thing I have had in traditional Mexican and Spanish foods before that you wouldn’t think of in a savory dish. Cocoa powder. Mole is one example of a great use of cocoa powder. I have even seen it used in enchilada sauce.
Cocoa powder does not give your savory foods a chocolate flavor when used in small amounts. All it really does is bring some depth into the flavor profile and gives that extra oomph of deliciousness. Definitely do not skip it in your taco seasoning!
I like to make this in a big batch and store it in an air tight container for easy use. I do not use any flour or cornstarch, so if you do plan on keeping it a while, adding either of those two will help it so it doesn’t clump down the line. I also do not use any sugar or salt in my recipe. I am picky about mixing sweet in with my savory dishes, and I really don’t think it needs it. But feel free to add some!
As for salt, I wanted to keep this salt free and allow others to add salt where they want. It really is an awesome homemade mix to keep on hand!
Taco night just went from awesome to amazing. This homemade taco seasoning, with a secret ingredient you'll never guess, ups the flavor game on anything and everything. Make it ahead of time to store for use at a moment's notice!
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container. You can also mix it by shaking the container well after you put the lid on.
- Note that if you plan to store it for a long period of time, you may want to add a tablespoon of cornstarch to prevent clumping. I did not add anything but typically use my stash up within a month, then make more.
- This recipe makes about 1/2 cup, serving size for nutrition is 1 tablespoon.
- I used dutch processed cocoa as it is a touch less bitter, but either kind works as long as it is unsweetened.
- I love the flavor of crushed red pepper but I also tried this with chipotle seasoning and cayenne pepper, which turned out great as well. Add between 1 and 3 teaspoons depending on how spicy you want it.