Homemade “Old El Paso” Copycat Taco Seasoning Mix

Another money saving tactic we use around here is making our own taco seasoning mix. The packets can be bought for a little over a buck a piece and they include all sorts of ingredients that are used for preserving and cost cutting and simply don’t need to be in your food!

This is my version of Old El Paso’s “regular” taco seasoning mix. Use it just like you would the packet – though I really like that you can use different quantities if you want to make up more or less meat in a given sitting! I make up a couple batches of the spices at at time and just use as needed – so I always have some on hand.


This is actually an old leftover jar from some store bought honey that I saved. It works perfectly!

6 TSP Chili Powder
5 TSP Paprika
4 1/2 TSP Cumin
2 1/2 TSP Onion Powder
1 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Garlic Powder
1/8 TSP Cayenne Powder – – this heat will be similar to the ‘original’ of El Paso, if you want some heat, feel free to add more!

Simple mix all the seasonings together and store in an airtight jar for up to a year. Use approximately 3 TBSP of seasoning mix and 2/3 cup of water for a pound of ground beef or you can eye ball it and make it as strong or as weak as you like. It also works really well with chicken.


19 responses to “Homemade “Old El Paso” Copycat Taco Seasoning Mix

  1. guest

    September 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Missing salt, otherwise perfect. I prefer garlic salt.

  2. Rachael

    May 20, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Excellent recipe! I made it tonight for taco style nachos and everyone including the kids loved it!

  3. Amber Wardell

    August 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the recipe – I also added salt 🙂

    • chase matthews

      December 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      how much salt did you add?

      • offthecuttingboard

        December 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm

        1tsp seems to satisfy most people 😉

      • Amber Wardell

        January 13, 2015 at 11:48 am

        Sorry just saw this – i think i added about 2.5 altogether as i did not salt the beef separately

  4. Amanda

    August 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    This was pretty good, although the second time around I added ½ tsp more cumin, and double the cayenne, because we couldn’t feel the heat at all. Very close to Old El Paso, though!

  5. Tanith

    August 20, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    This has literally saved tacos for this house! I emailed Ol El Paso to say I was not at all happy with new or alternative mix and they sent me the but it’s all improved – what they aren’t dioing is listening to the customers. I haven’t heard any positive about this change and everyone loved the original. But this means if they won’t listen we can do it ourselves and it’s got no preservatives or weird extras in it so better even and Ol El Paso can just live with the consequences of dwindling sales and bad publicity. Thank you so much for figuring out this mix it was pretty much perfection and I’m so happy having my tacos tonight for first time in ages!

    • offthecuttingboard

      August 20, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      I love this!! Thank you for commenting! This is exactly why we have our own versions of these flavor packets!!

  6. Kristofer Block

    September 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    made it today after starting tacos and realizing there was no seasoning packet in the house. Spot on! We may even keep making it instead of buying the seasoning mixes.

  7. Lisa

    June 27, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Do you have a recipe for something similar to their nacho sauce? The one in the kit rather than the jar… we love it but there’s so much extra packaging and unknown ingredients in the kit…

    • offthecuttingboard

      June 30, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      I’m so sorry, I don’t! We’re not a nacho-family – – – but maybe I ought to pick up a packet and try to replicate it!! 😀

  8. Kristi

    January 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I don’t like a lot of heat. I really like the mild OLD ELPASO…..can I simply omit the Cayenne powder to achieve this?

    • offthecuttingboard

      January 17, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Hi Kristi. This mix is modeled after the ‘mild’ El Paso so it might work out for you the way it is. The cayenne can be omitted though and the flavor profile won’t change much at all – there’s just a touch of it in there.

  9. kati

    May 26, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Just a heads up
    If you only have hot chilli powder but don’t have plain chillI powder instead of the 6 tsp of powder reduce it down to 2-3 tsp of powder. I used hot chilli powder and only put in 4 tsp of powder and it has a big time kick to the meat

  10. Liz Brownlee

    July 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    This has been just perfect for us as we’re sissies when it comes to heat! The little bit of cayenne has not been a problem!

  11. admin

    November 17, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Great base to start with I added a bit of flour and starch for thickening and a little salt and sugar to round out the seasonings. Thanks.

  12. Bee

    January 28, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    6 tsp = 2 tbl


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