Does Taco Seasoning Go Bad

Does Taco Seasoning Go Bad? Answered (Updated)

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Taco seasoning is the term used to describe the common blend of spices typically used in Mexican cuisine.

The exact ingredients will vary depending on the brand, but most mixes contain chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. 

If so, you might be wondering if it goes bad over time. Does taco seasoning go bad? Let’s find out.

Can Taco Seasoning Go Bad?

taco seasoning on a white bowl

Taco seasoning can eventually go bad. The spice blend will stay fresh for about 18 months when stored in a cool, dry place. 

However, the seasoning may lose some of its potency after this point.

It should be discarded if the taco seasoning smells musty or stale. Overall, taco seasoning is a versatile and flavorful addition to many dishes. 

However, like all spices, it will eventually go bad. When in doubt, please toss out any seasoning stored for more than 18 months.

Read: Why Is Taco Bell So Good?

How Long Does It Last?

When properly stored, taco seasoning can last for up to 2 years. However, it is important to note that the shelf life will decrease if the spices are not fresh. 

Additionally, any homemade taco seasoning should be used within six months.

To maximize its shelf life, taco seasoning should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. 

Find out if does ranch go bad if left out here.

Yes, you can freeze taco seasoning. 

This is a great way to extend the shelf life of the seasoning and make sure it is always fresh.

To freeze taco seasoning, place it in an airtight container or bag and store it in the freezer. 

When ready to use it, thaw the seasoning in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.

Be sure to stir the seasoning well before using it to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Taco seasoning that has been frozen will last for 6-8 months. After that, the flavor and quality of the seasoning will start to decline.

Tips On How To Store Taco Seasoning

taco seasoning mix on a ziploc pouch

First, it’s important to find an airtight container. A Mason jar or plastic Tupperware works well.

Be sure to label the container with the date and contents to know when it was made and what’s inside. 

Second, store the taco seasoning in a cool, dark place. A cupboard or pantry works well.

Heat and light can cause spices to lose their flavor over time, so keeping them out of direct sunlight is best. 

Third, use only what you need. When measuring out taco seasoning, try to avoid contact with air as much as possible.

This will help to keep the spices from drying out and losing their potency. 

By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your taco seasoning will stay fresh and flavorful for months.

Read: How Long Is Miracle Whip Good For?

Signs That It Might Have Gone Bad

Here are a few signs that your taco seasoning might be past its prime:

  1. The color has changed. Over time, taco seasoning will lose its vibrant color and develop a duller, more muted hue.
  2. The aroma has changed. If your taco seasoning no longer smells fresh and fragrant, it’s probably time to toss it out.
  3. The texture has changed. If your taco seasoning has developed clumps or crystals, it’s no longer usable.

If you notice these signs, it’s best to get rid of your old taco seasoning and start fresh with a new batch.

That way, you can enjoy all the flavors of tacos without risk.

Read: How To Tell If Queso Fresco Is Bad?

What Can You Do With Expired Taco Spices?

Add them to soups or stews: Expired spices can still add flavor to soups and stews, even if they’re not as potent as they once were.

Just add a little extra spice to make up for the lost flavor.

Make a spice rub: If you have a lot of expired spices that you want to use up, one option is to make a spice rub.

This can be used on meat or vegetables before cooking. Just mix the spices and store them in a jar for later use.

Make a spice blend: Another option for expired spices is to make your spice blend.

This can be used in any recipe for a taco seasoning mix [1]. Combine the spices in a jar and label it with the name and date.

While expired spices may not be as good as new ones, there are still plenty of ways to use them.

So don’t throw them away – put them to good use instead.


How long are seasoning packets good for?

Most seasoning packets are good for about two years. Once they’re opened, they should be used within six months.

Can expired taco seasoning make you sick?

It’s possible but not likely. The food safety experts at the FDA say that most spices and herbs are safe to eat after expiration as long as they haven’t been exposed to moisture, which can cause them to spoil.

How often should you replace spices?

It’s generally a good idea to replace spices every 6 to 12 months. The exception is ground spices, which should be replaced more often, about every 3 to 4 months.

In Conclusion

While taco seasoning doesn’t technically go bad, it can lose its flavor over time.

If you’re unsure whether your taco seasoning is still good, give it a smell before using it.

If it doesn’t have much scent or the aroma is unpleasant, toss it out and get a new bottle. 


Shari Mason

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