A low carb keto taco seasoning! Because have you ever seen the ingredients list on a taco seasoning packet? In addition to all of the lovely herbs and spices, there is starch and sugar. No thanks. I've always preferred to make my own homemade taco seasonings and spice mixes, but eating a clean keto diet has given me another reason to go the DIY route. Today, I'm sharing the spice combo I use to whip up a big batch of keto taco seasoning.
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Why not use taco seasoning packet on keto?
Well, aside from the starch and sugar in the ingredients list, let's take a look at the carb count on the nutrition label for one of the most popular packets on the shelf: McCormick Original Taco Seasoning Mix.
Upon first glance, you'll notice that there are three grams of carbohydrates. One might assume that would mean only three grams of carbs for the entire packet, but you'd be wrong. This number is the amount per serving, and according to the label, there are six servings in the package.
That means there are 18 grams of carbohydrates in the seasoning packet (3g carbs x 6 servings = 18). Seriously. It's ridiculous, right? Sneaky AF. Depending on how you use said seasoning and how big your meals were, this could have a pretty significant impact on your daily carb count.
You'll be happy to know that my keto taco seasoning recipe only has 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, which can be used as an equivalent amount for the entire seasoning packet!
What seasonings make taco seasoning?
The main ingredients in taco seasoning are ground cumin, chili powder, garlic, onion, paprika, and salt. You can also add oregano if you prefer the extra herb and color.
Taking a peek at the ingredients list of a taco seasoning packet reveals some of the key spices (and additives that you're probably trying to avoid), but it doesn't give you a solid handle on the quantities of each. Don't worry; I got you!
- ¼ cup ground cumin
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/12 teaspoon paprika
The two main ingredients are ground cumin and chili powder. I use equal amounts of both, and since I like to prepare the keto taco seasoning in large batches for convenience, I use ¼ cup of each. If you would rather make a single serving at a time, use one teaspoon of each instead.
Next on the list is garlic powder, which I use half the amount of the ground cumin or chili powder. For the larger batch, two tablespoons will be the perfect amount, but for a single serving only use half a teaspoon.
Onion powder and salt are both a tablespoon each for the batch prep, but just a quarter teaspoon for the single serving. I usually use sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, but you can use whichever salt you prefer. So many options!
Finally, I add a little bit of paprika. In the batch preparation, one teaspoon will do the trick, but for a single serving, you just need a decent sized pinch. I have been obsessed with smoked paprika lately, so of course, that's what I used here. You can use regular old paprika for a more traditional flavor.
Store it in a mason jar or other airtight container until you're reading to use. I use a wide-mouth mason jar to mix all the ingredients and store the seasoning, so I have one less dish to wash when everything is said and done. Man, I hate doing dishes.
How do I use homemade keto taco seasoning?
If you are making the bigger batch, you'll end up with about 12 tablespoons of the keto taco seasoning. A single serving is a tablespoon, so just scoop out a tablespoon and use it in your low carb dish. It's a pretty versatile seasoning, and just a tablespoon of this spice combo can be used to replace the taco seasoning packet in any recipe that calls for it.
My guess is that you are making taco meat, though. You'll want to brown your meat first and remove any excess fat that renders. Add in one tablespoon per pound of meat, add ¾ cup of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few more minutes, then use your taco meat however you so choose. I love to use this in a healthy taco salad or low carb burrito bowl. Enjoy your keto taco seasoning!
- Combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Transfer to an airtight container for storage until ready to use. A mason jar, Ziploc bag or Tupperware would work well.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published author dedicated to helping people thrive and succeed using low carb and keto dietary patterns.