Make Your Own Spice Mixes!

Written by UConn Dietetic student Lisa Joyner

spice cups on a tablePremade spice mixes and rubs are convenient, but are also usually loaded with extra salt, sugar, and other chemical compounds. Making your own is good for your health and your wallet. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to make your own spice blends and how awesome they taste!

What’s in those packets?

Eating excess salt and sugar can create health problems over time. For example, while salt is a necessity in our diet, most Americans consume much more than they need. The recommendation for daily sodium (salt) intake is 2300 mg. In just one Tablespoon of prepared taco seasoning, there is 480 mg sodium.2 One simple way to reduce sodium and sugar in your diet is to avoid those salty spice packets and make your own spice blends. The recipe below for taco seasoning has over ten times less sodium – 32 mg per Tablespoon – than the processed packet. You’ll also find a recipe below for an all-purpose seasoning blend that can be used in place of salt. Either can be used to season dishes, veggies or as a rub for steaks and chicken to add a little kick and a lot of flavor without the salt.

Try these easy recipes at home!

Taco Seasoning

(Adapted from Chile & Spice Seasoning)3

  • 1/4 tablespoon paprika 
  • 2 tablespoons oregano (dried, crushed) 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (black) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Use 1-2 Tbsp to season 1 lb. ground meat for tacos, use as a rub for steak or chicken, or use in your favorite Mexican soup or casserole recipes!

Salt-Free All Purpose Seasoning Blend1

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

Use this in place of salt when seasoning any savory dish or try as a spice rub for steak or chicken.

*Either seasoning blend can be stored in an airtight jar or container for up to six months.




  1. Behnke, Nikki. “Homemade Seasoning Blends – Nine DIY Recipes.” 26 August 2017.
  4. Winn, Justin. “10 Easy DIY Spice Blends.” 12 August 2020.

This material is funded by UDSA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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