Why this recipe works
Did you know that store-bought taco seasoning typically has gluten in it? It’s true! There are fortunately a few gluten-free taco seasoning blends on the market now that you can find at your local grocery store. But, why overspend on a packet of taco seasoning when you can make it yourself at home for pennies?
I love making homemade gluten-free taco seasoning because it’s also a great way to control the ingredients that go into my food. I can customize it to my own taste preferences, ensuring that I’m getting the perfect combination of seasoning for my uses and most importantly, without gluten!
I also like that my homemade seasoning doesn’t have any preservatives or additives like store-bought seasonings do. It’s so quick and easy to make, too! It takes just a few minutes to do. Just combine your spices into a bowl and mix it together. Store it in a small spice jar and label it so you don’t forget to use it! It’s great for making gluten-free tacos, seasoning chicken or fish, or even seasoning taco-inspired dishes like casseroles!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Chili powder – This is American-style chili powder which is super different from chili powders outside of the United States. In Belgium, where my sister lives, chili powder is closer to cayenne pepper and is very hot. You will want to ensure you are using the American-style chili powder in this recipe.
- Cumin – Ground cumin is what provides the earthy, warm flavor to this taco seasoning. Do not skip it!
- Paprika – You can use regular paprika or smoked paprika in this recipe. I love the flavor of smoked paprika and tend to use it, but I’ve also used regular paprika as well.
- Garlic powder – I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic because it’s shelf stable and provides a well rounded flavor for the seasoning blend. Depending on what I am cooking with the taco seasoning, I will still add fresh minced garlic to the final recipe for more flavor.
- Kosher salt – I prefer kosher salt, which has larger salt crystals than table salt, but you can use table salt or sea salt instead.
- Onion powder – Similar to garlic powder, I love to add onion powder to my taco seasoning to round out the flavor. With most recipes, I will still sauté onions and garlic with the protein I’m using for additional flavor.
- Ground black pepper – I prefer freshly ground pepper because it has much better flavor than pre-ground black pepper.
- Dried oregano – You don’t need a lot of ground oregano for this recipe, but it helps balance the overall flavor of the taco seasoning.
- Red pepper flakes – If you like a little heat in your taco seasoning, red pepper flakes will provide that. I don’t always add them to my taco seasoning to keep it a bit more versatile. If I want some heat, I’ll just add a pinch of red pepper flakes to my pot or pan with the taco seasoning while I’m cooking instead. It’s all up to your preferences.
Chili powder is not the same across the world. In the United States, chili powder is a combination of spices, usually including ground up chili peppers, garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Outside of the United States, chili powder is usually just ground up chili peppers, similar to cayenne pepper in the US. Use the American-style chili powder in this taco seasoning recipe.
No need to buy taco seasoning at the store when you can make it at home in under 5 minutes! This gluten-free taco seasoning recipe is so easy to make and it adds so much flavor to your tacos!
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
One taco seasoning packet is typically 1 ounce, which is about 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning. Substitute 2 tablespoons of this spice blend in your recipe. For recipes that call for a combination of spices, add up the total spices and use that amount of this gluten-free taco seasoning blend in your recipe.
If made from scratch, taco seasoning is typically gluten-free. However, packets of taco seasoning sold at local grocery stores typically ARE NOT gluten-free. They contain gluten (either wheat flour or gluten-containing yeast extract) as a flavoring and/or thickening agent in their taco seasoning blend.
Whole spices typically last about 4 years. Ground spices, like we’re using in this recipe, last about 2-3 years. Some spices, like dried basil, oregano, and thyme, will last only about 1-2 years. Typically, spices will begin to lose their potency before they go completely bad. Smell the spices. If they don’t smell like anything, they likely are not going to taste like anything and should be discarded.
For best results, I’d use this taco seasoning within a year. This will obviously depend on how old your spices are that you used in this recipe. If they’re on the cusp of expiration, use this gluten-free taco seasoning quicker. If they’re fresh, you can use your taco seasoning longer than a year. Part of why I only make a batch of ½ cup at a time is to ensure that I use the taco seasoning within a year (usually sooner) for the freshest and most flavorful taco seasoning.
hints & tips
- Storage: Keep your taco seasoning blend in an airtight container in a dry place (a cupboard, spice cabinet or spice drawer works) for up to a year for best flavor.
- Use: When you’re ready to use your spice blend, just measure out the amount called for in the recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 packet of taco seasoning, use 2 tablespoons of your owen homemade taco seasoning. If the recipe calls for individual spices, add up the measurements for all of the spices and use that amount of your homemade taco spice blend.
What recipes can you use gluten-free taco seasoning in?
- Use 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning in my turkey taco stuffed sweet potatoes. They’re Whole 30 compliant, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
- Making my gluten-free ground beef tacos? Use 2 tablespoons of this taco seasoning in place of all the spices listed in the recipe instructions. Taco Tuesday just got easier!
- If you’re looking for something a little different for dinner or a taco-inspired appetizer, try my beef taco potato croquettes. Use 4 teaspoons of the taco seasoning in this recipe instead of the spices listed.
- My vegetarian roasted cauliflower tacos are another great option to use up this taco seasoning! Use 1.5 tablespoons total homemade taco seasoning in this recipe!
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Add all of the spices to a small bowl.
- Whisk together until combined.
- Pour the spice mixture into a small jar and store until ready to use.
- Use about 2 tablespoons of spice blend in place of a full packet of taco seasoning.
- This gluten-free taco seasoning mixture makes a scant ½ cup (7 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) of spice blend. This will give you about 4 servings assuming that you are using 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) of spice mixture per recipe, which is the amount you’ll find in a store-bought packet of taco seasoning.
- Always double check that your spices are gluten-free in case there are any allergen statements or warnings about cross contact on manufacturing lines or equipment that are shared with wheat or other gluten-containing grains. As long as you use gluten-free spices, your taco seasoning will be gluten-free!
- The red pepper flakes are optional. If you don’t like a little kick to your taco seasoning, you can omit it. I sometimes do this so I have a versatile blend and can add some red pepper flakes while I’m cooking depending on what I’m making and who I am serving.
- Instead of red pepper flakes, you can also add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for some heat.
- I like to store my spice blends in a small spice jar. Don’t forget to label it and add the date so that you don’t forget about it in your cupboard.