Does Taco Seasoning Go Bad? (How Long Does Taco Seasoning Last?)

homemade taco seasoning

Are you a taco lover who loves to spice up your meals with some delicious taco seasoning? If so, you may be wondering if your taco seasoning can go bad and how long it will last in your pantry. 

Taco seasoning is a great way to bring flavor to Mexican-inspired meals. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or any other dish that needs a bit of spice, taco seasoning can help you create a delicious and flavorful meal. 

Not only is it easy to find in most grocery stores, but it’s also incredibly versatile and can be used in many different recipes. 

We’ll address the question of “Does taco seasoning go bad?” in this blog post and offer some advice on how to store your taco seasoning to keep it as fresh as possible. 

So if you want to keep your taco seasoning fresh and flavorful, keep reading!

The Popularity of Taco Seasoning for Mexican Cuisine

Taco seasoning has become a popular spice blend for Mexican cuisine, adding flavor and heat to dishes such as tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. 

Taco seasoning is popular with both home cooks and professional chefs because it is easy to use and can be used in many different ways. It can be used as a dry rub for meats, added to soups and stews for extra flavor, or mixed with water to create a flavorful taco filling.

Taco seasoning can also be used to make homemade tortilla chips by sprinkling the blend over corn or flour tortillas before baking or frying. 

It can also be used to make dishes like refried beans, Mexican rice, and guacamole without the traditional Mexican spices.

What Is Taco Seasoning Made Of?

Depending on the brand or recipe, the exact ingredients and amounts can vary, but most taco seasonings have a mix of the following:

  • Chili powder: A blend of ground chilies, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano, chili powder is the base of most taco seasonings and provides a bold, spicy flavor.
  • Cumin: A spice made from the dried seeds of the cumin plant, cumin adds a warm, earthy flavor to taco seasoning and is commonly used in Mexican cuisine.
  • Garlic powder: Made from dried and ground garlic, garlic powder adds a pungent, savory flavor to taco seasoning and is a common ingredient in many spice blends.
  • Onion powder: Made from dried and ground onions, onion powder adds a subtle sweetness and mild onion flavor to taco seasoning.
  • Oregano: A fragrant herb with a slightly bitter, minty flavor, oregano is commonly used in Mexican cuisine and adds depth and complexity to taco seasoning.

Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, and coriander are some of the other things that can be in taco seasoning. Some taco seasonings may also contain additives or preservatives to extend their shelf life. 

Does Taco Seasoning Go Bad?

The short answer is no; taco seasonings don’t typically spoil. However, over time, the spices in the mix can lose their potency and flavor. 

The good news is that taco seasoning does not spoil easily and only loses some of its potency. This is because its ingredient list contains only dried herbs and spices with no added wet ingredients. 

As long as it’s stored correctly in an airtight container away from direct sunlight or heat sources, you can expect your taco seasoning to be fresh for about six months to one year after opening the package

It’s important to consider how long you’ve had the seasoning mix, as well as if it’s been stored correctly, when deciding if it’s still okay to use. 

So, taco seasoning is not spoil easily, but this is not the case with with taco shells that can go bad.

How Long Does Taco Seasoning Last (Taco Seasoning Shelf Life)?

The shelf life of taco seasoning varies depending on a few factors, including the ingredients used, the packaging, and how it is stored. If the taco seasoning is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and is properly sealed and stored, it can last for several years

But if the seasoning has been exposed to air or has any moisture in it, it can go bad and lose its taste over time.

Unopened packages of taco seasoning can stay good for up to two years if they are kept in a cool, dry place. 

Most brands, though, say that once the package is opened, the contents should be used within six months for the best taste and effectiveness. 

Should I Get Rid of My Old Spice?

Whether or not to throw away old spices depends on several factors, such as the type of spice, its expiration date, and its appearance, smell, and flavor. In general, old spices should be discarded if they have reached their expiration date, changed color, developed an off-odor, or lost their flavor.

Spices such as chili powder, cumin, and oregano have a relatively long shelf life and can last for several years if stored properly

But over time, their taste and potency may change, making them less useful for adding flavor to food. In this case, it is a good idea to throw away the old spices and replace them with fresh ones.

On the other hand, spices such as ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon have a shorter shelf life and can spoil more quickly than other spices

If these spices have passed their expiration date or have developed an off-odor or flavor, it is best to discard them and replace them with fresh spices.

Signs of Spoiled Taco Seasoning

  • One sign that your taco seasoning has spoiled is an unusual odor. If the seasoning has a musty, moldy, or sour smell, it has likely gone bad and should not be used. 
  • Another sign is a change in color. If the spice has changed color or gotten spots or streaks, it may have gone bad and should be thrown away.
  • Also, clumps or lumps in the seasoning mean that it may have soaked up water and shouldn’t be used. This can happen if the seasoning has been exposed to moisture or if it was not properly sealed in its packaging. If there are clumps or lumps in the seasoning, it could also mean that there is mold or bacteria in it, which would make it unsafe to use.
  • If you notice any mold on the packet, your taco seasonings have gone bad and should be thrown out.


It is also a good idea to check the expiration date on the packaging of your taco seasoning, if there is one. If the expiration date has passed, it is best to replace the seasoning with a fresh batch.

Storage Advice for Taco Seasoning

Finding the right way to store your taco seasoning is important in order to keep its flavor fresh and potent. Here are some tips for storing your taco seasoning properly:

The key to keeping your taco seasoning fresh is airtight storage containers. Buying a good container will make sure that no moisture or air gets into the mix. This will keep the flavors from changing and the mix from clumping or getting hard.

You should also keep the container away from direct sunlight, as this can damage the spices over time. If you’re using pre-made packages, make sure they are kept sealed until you use them all up, as these are not designed for long-term storage.

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