Taco seasoning mix is a popular ingredient used to add flavor to ground beef or chicken to make quick and easy tacos. Most taco seasoning mixes contain a blend of spices and dried ingredients like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt. But when it comes to knowing exactly how much taco seasoning mix you need for recipes, the key question is: how many teaspoons are in a package of taco seasoning mix?
The number of teaspoons in a package of taco seasoning mix can vary depending on the brand and size of the package. However, on average, here is how many teaspoons are in some common taco seasoning mixes:
- 1 oz packet: 2-3 teaspoons
- 1.25 oz packet: 3-4 teaspoons
- 2 oz packet: 5-6 teaspoons
- 3 oz packet: 8-9 teaspoons
- 4 oz packet: 11-12 teaspoons
So in summary, a typical 1 ounce package contains around 2-3 teaspoons of taco seasoning mix. The number of teaspoons scales up accordingly in larger size packages. But be sure to check the individual label, as amounts can vary between brands.
Examining Common Taco Seasoning Packets
To provide more detail, here is an overview of some of the most popular taco seasoning packets and how many teaspoons they contain:
McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1 oz packet: 3 teaspoons
- 2 oz packet: 6 teaspoons
McCormick is one of the most common taco seasoning brands found in grocery stores. Their standard packets contain 3 teaspoons per 1 oz packet and 6 teaspoons per 2 oz packet.
Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1.25 oz packet: 3 teaspoons
- 2.25 oz packet: 5 teaspoons
Old El Paso is another very popular taco seasoning mix brand. Their packets contain 3 teaspoons per 1.25 oz packet and 5 teaspoons per 2.25 oz packet.
Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1 oz packet: 2 teaspoons
- 3 oz packet: 8 teaspoons
Ortega is a common brand sold in many grocery stores. Their taco seasoning packets contain 2 teaspoons per 1 oz packet and 8 teaspoons per 3 oz packet.
Taco Bell Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1 oz packet: 2 teaspoons
Taco Bell sells their popular taco seasoning mix in grocery stores too. Their 1 oz packet contains 2 teaspoons of seasoning.
Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning
- 2.12 oz packet: 8 teaspoons
Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning is a salt-free, blend that contains 8 teaspoons per 2.12 oz packet.
Badia Taco Seasoning
- 3.5 oz packet: 12 teaspoons
Badia is a popular brand sold in many Latin grocery stores. Their larger 3.5 oz packet contains 12 teaspoons of seasoning.
How Many Teaspoons in Homemade Taco Seasoning
When making homemade taco seasoning from scratch, you can customize the flavor and amount you need. Here is an example homemade taco seasoning recipe and how many teaspoons it makes:
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
This homemade taco seasoning recipe makes approximately 3-4 teaspoons total. So you can customize the batch size as needed. Make sure to thoroughly mix all the spices together before use.
How Much Taco Seasoning Mix Per Pound of Meat?
When adding taco seasoning to ground beef, chicken, or other proteins, the general recommendation is:
- 1 packet (1-1.25 oz) per 1 pound of meat
So if you have a 1 pound package of ground beef, you would add 1 packet of taco seasoning mix. For a 2 pound batch, use 2 packets. This ratio provides enough seasoning without overpowering the meat.
Taco Seasoning Conversions
Here are some common taco seasoning conversions when substituting between packets, homemade seasoning, and teaspoons:
|Taco Seasoning Mix||Conversion|
|1 packet (1-1.25 oz)||2-3 teaspoons|
|2 packets (2-2.5 oz)||4-6 teaspoons|
|3 packets (3-4 oz)||6-9 teaspoons|
|Homemade recipe (above)||3-4 teaspoons|
Tips for Using Taco Seasoning
Here are some helpful tips for using taco seasoning for maximum flavor:
- Brown the meat first – Cook ground beef or chicken over medium heat until browned before adding taco seasoning.
- Use the seasoning packet – The packets help distribute the seasonings evenly over meat versus dumping in straight from the jar.
- Add water – Mix taco seasoning with a little water before adding to meat to fully dissolve spices.
- Simmer the meat – After adding seasoning, simmer beef or chicken for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to fully absorb.
- Adjust to taste – Add more taco seasoning if you want more flavor, or consider extras like cumin, cayenne, garlic, or lime juice.
- Use leftovers sparingly – Cover and refrigerate seasoned meat within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days.
Common Uses for Taco Seasoning
While the most popular use for taco seasoning is in ground beef or chicken, here are some other ways to use it up:
- Season black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas
- Add to dips like hummus, bean dip, or cheese dip
- Season hard boiled eggs
- Use as a rub on chicken, fish, or pork chops before grilling
- Make taco-spiced oven baked fries or tator tots
- Make taco-spiced popcorn as a snack
- Season plain rice, potatoes, or grains like quinoa
- Sprinkle over eggs for taco-flavored scramble
- Use in place of chili powder in recipes like soups, stews, and chilis
Storing Leftover Taco Seasoning Mix
To keep leftover taco seasoning mix fresh, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Keep in mind:
- Packets – Unopened taco seasoning packets can be kept for 6-12 months past the “best by” date.
- Homemade – Store homemade seasoning for up to 4-6 months.
- Jars – After opening, taco seasoning in jars stays fresh for about 1 year.
If storing for longer than recommended times above, the spices may lose potency and flavor over time. For best quality and taste, try to use opened taco seasoning within 1 year.
Where to Buy Taco Seasoning
Taco seasoning is sold in the Mexican or Latin food aisle at most major grocery stores. You can also find it at:
- Walmart, Target, Costco
- Amazon, online spice retailers
- Ethnic markets like Mexican, Latin, or Spanish markets
- Dollar stores or discount retailers
- Drug stores or convenience stores
- Some home goods stores like Bed Bath & Beyond
Be on the lookout for sales, coupons, and bulk options to save money. Make sure to check the expiration date and buy the size you will use within a reasonable timeframe.
Some of the most popular taco seasoning brands include:
- Old El Paso
- Taco Bell
- Mrs. Dash
- Santa Maria
- Simply Organic
Less common regional or specialty brands are also available in some areas. Try different brands to find your favorites or make homemade.
Low Sodium Options
To limit sodium, look for low-sodium or reduced sodium taco seasoning options. Some brands that make lower sodium seasoning mixes include:
- Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Taco Seasoning
- Simply Organic No-Salt Taco Seasoning
- Spice Hunter Salt-Free Taco Seasoning
- Shilling No Salt Added Taco Seasoning
- Nature’s Promise Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
You can also make reduced sodium homemade mixes by cutting back on or eliminating the salt in recipes. Be sure to adjust and season to your taste preferences.
Look for brands certified gluten-free if needed. Some gluten-free taco seasoning mixes include:
- Tones Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
- Simply Organic Taco Seasoning
- Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning
- Badia Taco Seasoning
- Spice Hunter Taco Seasoning
- Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce Mix
Homemade taco seasoning is typically gluten-free if you avoid ingredients like wheat flour. But always check individual spice labels to be safe.
Taco seasoning can add big Tex-Mex flavor to meats, beans, veggies, and more with minimal effort. While there are some slight variations between brands, a typical 1 oz packet contains around 2-3 teaspoons of the blend. Adjust amounts as desired for your recipes. And get creative using up leftovers beyond just tacos. With so many uses, taco seasoning mix is a convenient pantry staple for quick southwestern cuisine any night of the week.