Tacos are always a favorite meal in our house. My homemade taco seasoning is Paleo, Gluten-Free, Keto, and Sugar-Free. It provides just the right level of flavor and spice for any taco dinner.
One of my favorite "guilty pleasure" foods is flavorful ground taco meat, served with just about anything. Taco salad, actual tacos, tortilla chips with taco meat and melted cheese... I used to love those crunchy tacos that came from a box as a kid.
🥘 Ingredient Notes
- red pepper flakes
- garlic powder
- ground black pepper
- kosher salt
- paprika (smoked or sweet)
- onion powder
- chili powder
- arrowroot powder: I love using arrowroot in my taco and fajita seasonings because it gives your meat a thick and saucy texture.
🥣 How to Make It
Taco seasoning is really easy to make - add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix everything together. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for later use.
- If you are not following a Paleo diet, you can substitute corn starch for the arrowroot powder.
- If you are following a keto diet, you can leave out the arrowroot. The meat won't be as thick, but it will reduce the amount of carbohydrates.
🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
You can use this taco seasoning for:
- ground beef, chicken, or turkey
- chicken breast
- sliced steak
Instant Pot Taco Chicken
One of our favorite things to make with this seasoning is Taco Chicken in an Instant Pot. To make this, liberally coat 1 - 2 pounds of chicken breast with olive oil and taco seasoning. (Picture 1) Let this sit for about 15 minutes.
Then heat your Instant Pot using the saute function. Add a little olive oil let it heat up. (Picture 2)
Then sear your chicken for a minute or two on each side. You don't want to cook the chicken, just get a little crust on the outside. (Picture 3) I like to slice chicken breasts in half to make them thinner - they cook much faster this way. (You can see how to do this in my Instant Pot Chili Lime Chicken Recipe.)
Then, we like to add peppers and onions. I put the peppers on a steamer basket (with a trivet underneath) above the chicken. If you cook the vegetables in the juices with the chicken, they get really mushy and soggy. This keeps them crisp. (Picture 4) I like to use the trivet that came with my Mealthy CrispLid - here is a link to the same one without the crisplid. I also use the basket that came with it because it is short enough to sit on top of the trivet.
Cook the chicken for 7 minutes if thinly sliced or 14 if you are leaving the breasts whole. (If you are cooking veggies also, I highly recommend slicing the chicken thin so that you don't have to cook it as long and the vegetables stay crisp.)
Let the pressure release naturally, then you can slice the chicken, shred it, or serve it whole. (Picture 5)
Taco Ground Beef
You can also use your taco seasoning to make ground beef. It is really easy to make:
Cook your ground beef until it is no longer pink, then drain off any excess fat and discard it. Add one whole serving of this taco seasoning and ½ a cup of water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and the sauce will thicken up. I like to add diced peppers and onions to my ground beef when it is cooking.
What Can You Use Taco Meat For?
This taco seasoning is free of additives, sugar, gluten, and grains, so it is great for almost every diet. You can serve your taco meat in a taco shell (just like the traditional Ortega or Taco Bell "crunchy" tacos), on a salad, over plantain chips, over tortilla chips - whatever your heart desires.
Some of our favorite variations are:
- stuffed Mexican sweet potatoes
- taco salads with plantain chips
- served over Spanish rice
- in a sweet potato/ground beef casserole
- over chips with some melted cheese on top (cafeteria lunch style)
🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating
Taco seasoning stored in an airtight container will last a really long time, but ideally, you want to use it within a year as the quality will start to deteriorate over time.
Why Make Your Own Taco Seasoning?
As I got older, I got a little turned off by taco meat after reading the little packet of taco meat seasonings and seeing that the ingredients were: Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors. Or another: Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Yeast Extract.
I mean, I just want to flavor some ground beef. It really should not be that complicated. I finally just started making my own seasoning.
You Might Also Like These Other Paleo Seasoning Recipes
- I like to make a few servings of this at a time, each in an individual container. I like the individual portions because you know that each time you use it, you will get a perfect amount of all the spices. Doing it this way is like having a packet of taco seasoning ready to go.
- I like to store my taco seasoning in 4 ounce mason jars. (The small jelly jars.) This way, once you add the seasoning into your beef, you can use the same jar to measure the water that you need to add as well.
- If you want to make a large batch, you can triple everything and store it in an airtight container. Just be sure to shake it up really well before using it.
Homemade Taco Seasoning - Paleo, Keto, Whole30
- Add all seasoning ingredients to a bowl and mix together.
- If saving for another time, store in an air tight container and shake before each use as contents will settle.
- ground beef, turkey, or chicken
- as a marinade for chicken breast
- as a marinade for steak Tips:
- if you are not following a Paleo diet, you can substitute corn starch for the arrowroot powder
- if you are following a keto diet, you can leave out the arrowroot (the sauce won't be as thick, but it will reduce the amount of carbohydrates) Storage:
- store in an airtight container for ideally no longer than a year - the quality will start to deteriorate over time
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.