Taco Seasoning Spilled from a Teaspoon
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Taco Seasoning Vs Fajita Seasoning (Is There a Difference?)

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Taco and fajita seasonings may have a lot of similarities, but they are slightly different types of seasonings with varying characteristics.

Taco seasoning vs fajita seasoning, is there a difference? Taco seasoning is made using the same ingredients as fajita seasoning, but the proportions are a bit different. Taco seasoning is usually spicier as it has more red chili powder, while fajita seasoning is slightly less spicy and usually contains oregano. Both can be customized to suit your taste.

Read below to learn more about the differences between the two, and whether you can use them interchangeably!

What Is Taco Seasoning?

Taco seasoning is a core ingredient in any good taco recipe — and there are many variations of this delicious mix of spices and herbs!

Taco seasoning will have a warm, spicy, umami-laden flavor with hints of smokiness depending on the ingredients added to it.

The basic recipe consists of heat-adding spices like chili powder and paprika. It also contains flavoring ingredients like garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, and of course, salt.

That’s right, most taco seasonings are made using super common ingredients that you may already have in your pantry!

Taco seasonings are generally known to be spicier as they contain cayenne pepper or other spices that not only increase the heat of the seasoning, but also add an unmistakable flavor that pairs well with most types of meat and veggies. 

What Is Fajita Seasoning?

top down photo of mexican steak and chicken fajitas in iron skillet with corn tortillas

Fajita seasoning is a similar seasoning that is extensively used in not just Mexican cuisines, but in any recipe that requires grilled meat and veggies. 

Although fajita seasonings share more or less the same ingredients as taco seasonings, both of these mixes differ in their spice levels.

Fajita seasoning is known to be less spicy and is designed to bring out the flavor of the assorted veggies that are tossed in with the meat. 

Most fajita seasonings consist of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and even sugar sometimes!

Why You Should Avoid Store-Bought Seasonings

We won’t deny it — store-bought seasonings are extremely convenient and delicious, and we’ve got more than a few in our pantry. Unfortunately, they are also rather unhealthy.

Take a look at the back of any store-bought seasoning bottle and you will find a list of ingredients that shouldn’t be there. 

For example, a secret to why commercial taco and fajita seasonings taste so great is that they are loaded with sodium and MSG

The amount of sodium added to most seasonings is usually more than what you need to add flavor to the spice mix. On top of that, manufacturers will also use MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) to spike the flavor of the seasonings.

While a bit of MSG isn’t harmful, if you regularly use taco and fajita seasonings, then you might want to reassess the quantity of these unnecessary ingredients that you are adding to your diet. 

To make matters worse, commercial seasonings also commonly include preservatives, anti-caking agents, and artificial colors and flavors to improve the overall quality, appearance, and flavor of the product.

Taco Seasoning Vs Fajita Seasoning

Now that we’ve learned a bit about taco and fajita seasonings, plus why you might want to make them at home, here’s a chart breaking them down a bit further:

Taco SeasoningFajita Seasoning
FlavorSpicy and warm with umami notesSlightly less spicy with umami notes and a hint of an herby flavor
Storage LifeUp to 2 years in an airtight bottleUp to 2 years in an airtight bottle
Preparation TimeCan be prepared under 5 minutesCan be prepared under 5 minutes
Basic IngredientsRed chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, and paprikaRed chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and oregano

Making Seasonings At Home

As mentioned above, taco and fajita seasonings are incredibly easy to make — and chances are that you might not even have to make a grocery run to make them.

Here’s how to make both of these savory seasonings at home!

How To Make Taco Seasoning

Tacos are such a delightfully flavorful meal — here’s a super quick and easy-to-make seasoning to maximize their flavor!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cumin 
  • 3 tsp paprika (not smoked paprika!)
  • 2 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional 
  • 1½ tsp salt, optional 
  • 1 tsp black pepper 

Instructions

  1. Simply portion all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together until fully incorporated. If you don’t want to add salt, then you can skip it and add it directly to your recipe as per your preference!

Notes

  • This taco seasoning can be stored in an airtight container and will be good for up to 2 years as long as you keep the jar in a cold and dark cabinet. 
  • We recommend using 2 tablespoons of this taco seasoning for every pound of meat. You can also bump the quantity of the seasoning up to 2½–3 tablespoons if you want a deeper and more pronounced flavor.
  • Don’t want it to be that spicy? Then skip the cayenne pepper and leave the rest of the ingredients as it is. You may also adjust the quantity of chili powder or add a dash of powdered sugar to balance the spice levels of the seasoning. 
  • You can also add smoked paprika to the seasoning if you want a slightly smoky flavor, but we highly recommend that you start with the basic seasoning and then adjust future batches according to your preferences. 
Taco Seasoning

How To Make Taco Seasoning

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Tacos are such a delightfully flavorful meal — here's a super quick and easy-to-make seasoning to maximize their flavor!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tsp paprika (not smoked paprika!)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1½ tsp salt, optional
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Simply portion all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together until fully incorporated. If you don’t want to add salt, then you can skip it and add it directly to your recipe as per your preference!

Notes

  • This taco seasoning can be stored in an airtight container and will be good for up to 2 years as long as you keep the jar in a cold and dark cabinet. 
  • We recommend using 2 tablespoons of this taco seasoning for every pound of meat. You can also bump the quantity of the seasoning up to 2½–3 tablespoons if you want a deeper and more pronounced flavor.
  • Don’t want it to be that spicy? Then skip the cayenne pepper and leave the rest of the ingredients as it is. You may also adjust the quantity of chili powder or add a dash of powdered sugar to balance the spice levels of the seasoning. 
  • You can also add smoked paprika to the seasoning if you want a slightly smoky flavor, but we highly recommend that you start with the basic seasoning and then adjust future batches according to your preferences. 

How To Make Fajita Seasoning

If you compare them side by side, you will see that this fajita seasoning uses the same spices, herbs, and aromatics as the taco seasoning above. The only difference here is the proportions and the addition of oregano and cilantro. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp onion powder 
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tbsp paprika 
  • 1 tbsp cumin 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro 
  • ½ tsp salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. Just add salt to the recipe as needed!

Notes

  • This seasoning is perfect for 1 pound of meat and approximately 2 pounds of chicken.
  • To scale up the recipe, simply multiply the quantity of the ingredients equally — you can increase the quantity of salt as per your preference. 
  • This seasoning can be used in the same way as taco seasoning. We recommend starting with 1–2 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat to add a lip-smacking flavor!
Fajita Seasoning

How To Make Fajita Seasoning

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

If you compare them side by side, you will see that this fajita seasoning uses the same spices, herbs, and aromatics as the taco seasoning above. The only difference here is the proportions and the addition of oregano and cilantro. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • ½ tsp salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. Just add salt to the recipe as needed!

Notes

  • This seasoning is perfect for 1 pound of meat and approximately 2 pounds of chicken.
  • To scale up the recipe, simply multiply the quantity of the ingredients equally — you can increase the quantity of salt as per your preference. 
  • This seasoning can be used in the same way as taco seasoning. We recommend starting with 1–2 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat to add a lip-smacking flavor!

Related Questions 

Taco and fajita seasonings can be made at home in under 5 minutes using simple and healthy ingredients. Now that you know the difference between the two, here are some related questions!

Can you use fajita seasoning for tacos?

Yes, you can use both seasonings interchangeably. When using fajita seasoning for tacos, you will only have to increase the heat by either adding paprika or red chili powder.

You can also whip up a barebone and quick seasoning by sprinkling chili powder, cumin powder, and garlic powder over the tacos to give them a great flavor.

Can you use both seasonings?

Yes, in some situations, you may be able to use both seasonings, especially if each seasoning contains different optional ingredients like smoked spices, sugar, or even MSG.

Please be careful when mixing both seasonings as it may throw off the balance of the food by being too intense. 

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