DIY Taco Seasoning, Old El Paso Style

DIY Old El Paso Style Taco Seasoning

 Shoes stink.

I mostly mean trying to find shoes to go with specific outfits stinks.

It makes me want to run screaming into the street, hurl something fragile and glass-ish at the pavement, and then dissolve into a weeping pile of mush.

But I guess literally, some shoes – mostly of the athletic or flip-flop variety – do stink.

That’s not the point though. This the point:

I own this dress.

Both my hair and my legs are at least six inches shorter than those shown on the model.

That dress is not quite so short on me, and I can’t pull off just any old shoe or my legs look like they belong on a garden gnome.

I’ve wasted way too much of my time now, searching for the perfect shoes.

So again I say, shoes stink.

I’d like to self-medicate in the form Tex-Mex comfort food.

Seven layer dip? Nachos? Tacos? Deep fried burritos? Chili Cheese Fries?

Any of them are fine with me.

Just smother it in cheese and call it good.

And for seasoning? Let’s ditch the prepackaged stuff and go the route of making our own.

Let’s make a big batch, so any time we have a date with that devil called “Shoe Shopping” we can just yank our feel-good mix off the shelf and throw it into whatever wonderful therapy concoction we please.

Just sayin’. DIY Old El Paso Style Taco Seasoning

A healthy, mock Old El Paso seasoning is a good thing to have around.

Oh – and stay tuned.

Later on? A recipe for some rockin slow cooker Tex-Mex chicken.

Yeah. I just said it.


Shoe shopping apparently throws me back to 2005.

DIY Taco Seasoning, Old El Paso Style

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Sometimes I fiddle with recipes, but this one is top notch - no need. If you're a fan of Old El Paso Taco seasoning, this home made version does the trick without any of the unidentifiable ingredients that come with the convenience of the paper envelope on the supermarket shelf. About three tablespoons of this mix is equal to one of those packets from the store.


  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


In a small bowl, mix all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.


21 thoughts on “DIY Taco Seasoning, Old El Paso Style

  1. Funny! Maybe you just put too much pressure on yourself for the shoes… Or maybe you’re actually human and don’t want to totter around on 6′ platform heels like it seems every store sells today….

    As for the seasoning, looks delish. I do something similar on my own, but I use chipotle (because you know how I feel about chipotle). And honestly, I think I probably swap the ratios of chili powder and cumin. But all of that to say… I totally can see WITHOUT EVEN MAKING IT that this is one killer seasoning.

    • Well, yes. I actually do put too much pressure on myself for shoes. Mostly because I wait until I’m only days away from the event at which I am supposed to wear them. . . . So, totally my fault. What can I say?

  2. I love shoes but hate shopping for them, so lately my strategy is: pour a drink, get on my laptop, order six pairs, send five back. Exhausting, but less so than physically shopping… I’m the worst.

    I also season my tacos the homemade way… Except I’m lazy and just add all this stuff in various proportions until it tastes good. Maybe I should make actual seasoning sometime!

    P.S. I say nude peep-toe pumps. Wardrobe essential!

    • Most of the time I do a “dump and pour” for my Mexican foods too, but I finally figured out if I premix, then *voila* all of the sudden it’s fast AND consistent. And it makes it much easier for recipe sharing!
      I actually was shopping for two pairs of shoes for two different dresses. I did, in fact, end up with some nude peep toe pumps and for the other dress, some rose-gold snakeskin platform peep-toe heels. Long description, pretty shoes. . . .

  3. I love this recipe, I need it tonight for taco night! And shoes, my word they are totally frustrating! I wear a 13 in womens, it is normally impossible for me to find anything! Then when I do I find a platform heel. Yes that is what I need another 6 inchs to my already 6 foot tall body!

  4. Made it a few weeks ago and tried it out today. It was really tasty but too spicy for my family. Will have to reduce the heat a bit but great recipe. Thanx for sharing!

  5. Hi. I live in Costa Rica and can rarely find Old El Paso seasoning. I made your recipe but it was too spicy for our taste (especially my son’s). Can you recommend a tweak to lesson the spice but keep the flavor? Thanks. (My knowledge of spice powers is obviously limited).

    • Hi Caroline! You could just omit the chili powder, or decrease it significantly – maybe to just one tablespoon, then add it in to taste when you are cooking. I’d also reduce the red pepper flakes – maybe down to a quarter teaspoon. If you have some of the mix left over from last time, I would make the same thing again, omitting the chili powder and the red pepper flakes. Then mix your old mix with the new one. That should be more mild, and it would save you from having to toss the batch that was too spicy.

  6. Thank you for the base recipé. I have developed a resistance for chili so I am adding sun-dried jalapenos and Thai hot chili in the mix. For a bit or sweetness I also throw in some roasted capsicums.

  7. What brand of chili powder do you use? The taste can vary so much! Just made a batch and it’s no where close to the Old El Paso flavor…I think it’s the chili powder throwing it off. Thanks!

  8. Hello everyone, this reciepe is one of the best i have come across over the internet. i have change the amount of some of the ingredients to my taste and i must say its one of the best ever. some poeple like it spicy and some dont. i say play with the ingredients to your liking. no reciepe is set, use this as a guide and explore. well done for posting this reciepe. also i have added 1 teaspoon of corn starch to thicken the juices.

  9. “Dear sweet baby jesus” is what I said the first time I made it. It is heavenly. I also made jars of itt to give to my friends. Thought you should know how widespread the love of this mix is.

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