How many tablespoons of mix are in a taco seasoning packet?

Taco seasoning packets typically contain between 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning mix. However, the exact amount can vary by brand. To determine how many tablespoons of mix are in a particular taco seasoning packet, it’s best to check the label or recipe on the packaging.

What’s typically in taco seasoning packets?

Taco seasoning packets contain a blend of spices and dried ingredients used to add flavor to ground beef or other taco fillings. While recipes can vary, most taco seasoning mixes contain some or all of these ingredients:

  • Chili powder
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Cornstarch or flour
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground coriander
  • Cinnamon

By blending together an assortment of spices, herbs, and thickeners, taco seasoning packets provide a quick and convenient way to add bold Mexican flavors to ground meat for tacos, burritos, taco salads, and more.

How much mix is in popular brand name taco seasoning packets?

Here is an overview of some popular taco seasoning mixes and how many tablespoons they contain per packet:

Brand Amount
McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix 2 tbsp
Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix 2 1/4 tbsp
Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix 2 tbsp
Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce Mix 3 tbsp
Tones Taco Seasoning 2 tbsp
Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning 2 tbsp

As you can see, the amount of seasoning mix in a standard 1.25 oz taco seasoning packet ranges from 2-3 tablespoons depending on the brand. Old El Paso has one of the highest amounts at 2 1/4 tablespoons per packet.

Does the amount of mix impact how many tacos it will season?

Yes, the amount of taco seasoning mix in a packet will impact how much ground beef or meat it will flavor. Here are some general guidelines:

  • 1 packet (2-3 tbsp) will season 1 pound of ground beef or meat
  • This will make 8-12 standard size tacos
  • For less meat, use half a packet
  • For more meat, use multiple packets as needed

It’s always best to follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet to determine how much meat it will season. But in general, most standard sized packets have enough mix to flavor 1 pound of ground beef, chicken, pork or turkey to make taco filling for 8-12 tacos depending on their size.

Tips for making the best tasting meat with taco seasoning

Here are some helpful tips and tricks for making delicious taco-seasoned meat with packets of taco seasoning:

  • Use 80/20 or 85/15 lean ground beef for the best texture
  • Brown the meat well before adding the seasoning
  • Stir in the seasoning packet and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • For even more flavor, add diced onions, garlic, cilantro or lime juice
  • For extra spice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce
  • For smoky flavor, add a dash of smoked paprika
  • Use corn or flour tortillas warmed up in the oven or microwave
  • Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, salsa, guacamole etc.

By following the directions and customizing the flavors to your tastes, taco seasoning packets make it easy to whip up restaurant-worthy tacos at home any night of the week.

How long does an opened taco seasoning packet last?

An opened taco seasoning packet will generally stay fresh for 12-18 months past its printed expiration date when stored properly. Here are some tips for preserving freshness:

  • Fold or clip the packet tightly shut after each use
  • Store the packet in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight
  • Keep the seasoning mix in an airtight container for longer shelf life
  • Avoid temperature extremes – don’t store in hot spots like near oven

Over time, the spices and dried ingredients in a taco seasoning mix may start to lose their potency and flavor. If the mix ever smells musty or dull, it’s best to discard and open a fresh packet.

Should you make your own homemade taco seasoning instead?

While the convenience of store-bought packets can’t be beaten, many cooks enjoy making their own homemade taco seasoning mix. Here are some pros and cons of each option:

Taco seasoning packets:

  • Pros: Super fast and convenient. Consistent flavor and results.
  • Cons: Less customizable. Contains preservatives and anti-caking agents.

Homemade seasoning:

  • Pros: Can customize flavors. No additives. Adjust spice to taste.
  • Cons: More time consuming to mix up. Doesn’t store as long.

Overall, pre-made taco seasoning delivers convenience and reliable flavors. But homemade allows you to control the taste and heat level and avoid added ingredients. It comes down to personal cooking style and preferences.

Homemade taco seasoning recipe

If you want to try making your own taco seasoning at home, here is an easy recipe to mix up a big batch:


  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional


  1. Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and stir to blend well.
  2. Store in a cool, dry place. Keeps for 3-6 months.
  3. Use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground beef (or meat substitute) when making tacos.

You can adjust the quantities and flavors to suit your tastes. Start with less cayenne and red pepper flakes if you want a milder mix. Play around and find your perfect homemade taco seasoning blend.


Taco seasoning packets offer a quick way to add big Tex-Mex flavor to ground meat for tacos, burritos, nachos and more. While amounts vary by brand, most contain around 2-3 tablespoons of spice mix which is enough to season 1 pound of meat or 8-12 tacos. Opened packets will stay fresh for over a year stored properly. You can also easily make your own homemade taco seasoning using common spices and customize the flavors to your liking. Whether using pre-made mixes or blending your own, taco seasoning is a versatile way to add zest and excitement to weeknight dinners.

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