Are Taco Seasoning and Chili Seasoning the Same Thing?

Taco and chili seasoning packets look the same and have a lot of the same ingredients. Are they interchangeable?

Taco and chili seasoning packets look the same and have a lot of the same ingredients. Are they interchangeable?

The Short Answer

Yes, taco seasoning and chili seasoning are essentially the same, with minor differences.

The Long Answer

Good Mexican food is all about the seasoning. That delectable combination of flavor and spice comes from the perfect blend of ingredients. When it comes to tacos and chili, two of the most common Mexican dishes among American households, it’s easy to see the similarities. In fact, these recipes are almost identical.

Both use a winning combination of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, crushed red pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Some chili recipes I’ve seen also call for cayenne pepper, which is the only difference from typical taco seasoning. Chili recipes are often larger in volume than tacos, so they require more of the ingredients, but by and large, they’re the exact same thing.

That being said, these seasonings are typically something that a person purchases pre-made in a packet. If you’re sitting at home staring at your packet of taco seasoning and wondering if it can be used for the chili recipe you’re preparing tonight, then save yourself a trip to the grocery store. That taco seasoning will work out just fine. Vice versa is true as well. Go ahead and use chili seasoning on your taco beef. The flavors are slightly different but will not be noticeable in the finished dishes.

If you’ve got a packet of taco (or chili) seasoning and need culinary inspiration, check out our recipes for Taco Lettuce Wraps and Taco Lasagna. We’ve even put those great flavors into a dip with this Slow Cooker Taco Dip. Don’t limit yourself to Tuesdays, these are great any day of the week!

Taco and chili seasoning packets look the same and have a lot of the same ingredients. Are they interchangeable? #taco #chili #seasoning #spices
Taco and chili seasoning packets look the same and have a lot of the same ingredients. Are they interchangeable? #taco #chili #seasoning #spices

Kevin Kessler

Kevin J. Kessler is an experienced professional writer and published author living in Orlando, Florida. With a lifelong passion for food, this sandwich loving Italian boy enjoys exploring unanswered questions about the foods we all know and love so well. Kevin’s foodie lifestyle was born through his love of Walt Disney World and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. A lover of stories, he enjoys trying new dishes from all over the world and learning everything there is to know about where food comes from, how its prepared, and what variations on it exist.