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This salt-free taco seasoning is so easy to make and adds full-flavor to dishes without the sodium! It’s also more cost-effective than purchasing the packets from the store. You’ll want to make a large batch to save time in the long-run.
No need to buy taco seasoning packets at the store when you can mix up a batch of this all-purpose Mexican seasoning in minutes! This low sodium taco seasoning is perfect for chicken tacos, fajitas, taco salads, and any other recipe that calls for taco seasoning.
It’s my favorite taco seasoning for chicken and shrimp tacos. You can find the recipe here.
Why Make Your Own Taco Seasoning?
There are many perks to making your own taco seasoning:
- Low in sodium
- No artificial ingredients, added sugars, or fillers
Most taco seasoning packets range from $0.90 to $1.50 per packet. In comparison, the same amount of homemade taco seasoning costs around $0.75 (depending on the brand/cost of spices that you use).
Let’s say that you buy two taco seasoning packets per month, or 24 packets per year, at $1.50 per packet. This would add up to $36 per year. In comparison, it would cost only $18 for the same amount of homemade taco seasoning.
This would be a total savings of $18 per year, and almost $100 in savings over 5 years. It might not seem significant, but it does add up in the long-run.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) daily, and ideally aiming for 1,500 mg per day to help control blood pressure and heart health.
Commercial taco seasoning ranges from 370-700 mg sodium per 2 teaspoon serving. This can add up to the daily limit of 1,500 mg very quickly, which is why it’s a better option to make your own seasoning so you have control over the amount of sodium.
Since this no-salt taco seasoning recipe is made from spices that are naturally very low in sodium, one serving of this homemade seasoning has less than 1 mg sodium per tablespoon.
You can add some salt to the taco seasoning if you feel it’s too bland without. As a reference, ¼ tsp. Of salt contains 575 mg sodium (1).
If you’re adding ¼ tsp. of salt to a 1/2 -cup batch of taco seasoning, this would only be around 25 mg of sodium per 1 tsp. of taco seasoning, which is still significantly lower than commercial taco seasoning.
If you look at the ingredient list on store-bought packets of taco seasoning, you’ll likely find ingredients such as MSG, sugar, dextrose, wheat (gluten), maltodextrin, silicon dioxide, and others.
Homemade taco seasoning is free of sugar, sodium, gluten, and these unnecessary added ingredients that could potentially have negative effects on our health.
Nutrition Profile & Health Benefits
As mentioned above, this homemade taco seasoning is very low in sodium, with less than 1 mg sodium per serving.
It’s also low in calories, carbs, and fat, while providing beneficial antioxidants.
Carbs in Taco Seasoning
Most commercial taco seasonings contain added sugars, dextrose, wheat, and other fillers that increase the total carb content.
This healthy homemade taco seasoning is made purely from spices, which are naturally low in carbs, calories, and fat.
Spices also provide a good source of fiber, which lowers the total carb content. For this reason, there are very few carbs in taco seasoning, with around 1 gram of net carb per 2 teaspoons.
Spices are full of plant compounds called antioxidants and phytochemicals that are beneficial to our health.
These antioxidants help to destroy free radicals which damage our cells, promote inflammation, and contribute to chronic disease (2).
Each of the spices used in this taco seasoning recipe offer their own unique antioxidants that have protective properties to our health.
Adding this taco seasoning to your meals is a great way to increase your intake of antioxidants and reduce inflammation.
Refer to the “ingredients” section below to learn about the specific antioxidants found in each spice used.
How Much Seasoning is in a Packet
Most taco seasoning packets contain around 1-1.25 ounces of seasoning, or 2 tablespoons per packet.
Simply use 2 Tbsp. of this homemade taco seasoning mix for each packet that a recipe calls for. As a general rule of thumb, use 2 Tbsp. of taco seasoning per pound of meat, adding more or less to your preferred taste.
Uses for Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
This authentic taco seasoning can be used for any of your favorite recipes that call for taco seasoning including:
- Beef, chicken, shrimp, or fish tacos
- Chicken and shrimp tacos
- Taco salads
- Shrimp taco bowl
- Taco salad dressing
- Chicken tacos seasoning
- Chicken fajitas
- Chicken fajitas nachos
- Keto fajita seasoning
- Taco dip
- Taco soup
What You’ll Need
You’ll need measuring spoons and a 4-6 oz. mason jar or other storage container for storing the taco seasoning.
Ingredients and Antioxidants
Spices needed to make the taco seasoning include:
- Chili powder: Chili powder is the main spice used in taco seasoning. Chili powder contains capsaicin, the primary phytochemical found in chili peppers that gives them their spiciness. Capsaicin acts as an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Capsaicin also lowers cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood pressure (3).
- Ground cumin: Flavonoids and phenolic acids are the main types of antioxidants found in cumin that contribute to its health benefits. Cumin has historically been used to treat and relieve digestive issues such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Studies show that cumin significantly improves IBS and digestive symptoms (4).
- Paprika: The red color of paprika is due to the high content of carotenoids (including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), the primary type of antioxidant found in paprika (5). Carotenoids protect the eyes from UV light and age-related vision problems (6).
- Garlic powder: Garlic contains many powerful antioxidants, such as allicin and NAC, that reduce the risk of many health conditions including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and cancer (7).
- Onion powder: Onions are rich in flavonoids including quercetin and kaempferol, both of which have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Studies show that kaempferol and quercetin reduce the risk of cancer by their ability to kill cancer cells (8, 9).
- Oregano: The primary phytochemicals in oregano are carvacrol and thymol. Both are powerful antioxidants that inhibit the growth of bacteria, promote immune function, and have antimicrobial properties (10).
- Turmeric: Turmeric possesses antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, digestive, immunity, and neurological benefits (11). It’s one of the top anti-inflammatory spices, known to relieve joint pain and arthritis. The primary antioxidant in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has poor bioavailability on its own, which is why turmeric should be combined with black pepper which increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% (12). Turmeric is also fat-soluble, so should be consumed with a source of healthy fats to increase absorption.
- Black pepper: The major antioxidant in black pepper is piperine which possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticancer and antispasmodic properties (13). Piperine improves digestion by stimulating the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is needed to break down protein. Piperine also improves digestion by acting as an antispasmodic, relieving abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
- Cayenne pepper: if you like your taco seasoning on the spicy side, add a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes. Omit this if you prefer a mild taco seasoning.
- Salt: if you’re not on a low-sodium diet, you may add salt to your taco seasoning as well.
How to Make It
- Measure each of the spices into a mason jar and shake or stir to combine.
- Store it for up to a year.
- Direct light accelerates the breakdown of spices, which is why the taco seasoning should be stored in mason jar in a cool, dark location such as a cupboard, drawer, or even your refrigerator.
How Long Does Taco Seasoning Last
Homemade taco seasoning will last up to a year (or more) when stored properly. Store your taco seasoning in an airtight container in a cool, dark location.
Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
Single Batch (Equal to 1 taco seasoning packet, or 2-3 Tbsp.)
- Measure each spice into a 4-oz. or 6-oz. mason jar.
- Stir or shake to combine.
- Store for up to 1 year.