How often have you had a craving for tacos, or your kids started begging for tacos, and instead of going out to eat you thought you’d make them at home (saves money and they’re a bit healthier)? Once you lay everything out to get started, you realize that you don’t have any taco seasoning mix in the house, so you end up going out to eat after all. I hate when that happens. Guess what? You can make your own homemade taco seasoning mix, from ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards, and never run out again.
It’s so frustrating to me when I run out of something that I consider a staple. You know like deodorant, soap, toothpaste or toilet paper (and I’m not talking about when Craig uses the last of the tp and doesn’t replace the roll – I’m talking about not a single roll in the house, must resort to Kleenex out of tp). Those are things you should never, ever run out of. In fact, in our house I made a pact with Craig that we would never be out of those things. This does occasionally lead to some mountainous piles of toilet paper (but it was on sale). I suppose taco seasoning mix should be added to that list.
It’s not like we eat tacos every week around here, but when one of those cravings hits…it isn’t going away until it gets satiated.
This homemade taco seasoning mix recipe actually came about because a night that Craig and I wanted a big ol’ pan of nachos, I opened my cupboard to find that I was out of taco seasoning mix packets. I let out a bit of a shriek but then calmed down and realized I didn’t need to be that dramatic about it. I mean, how hard could it be to re-create a packet of seasoning mix for something I’ve eaten a lot of? Turns out, not that hard.
I’ve made a few different blends of homemade taco seasoning mix (they vary depending on whether I’m using it on chicken or beef), but this is the one I use the most. It’s strong flavors work really well with both beef and turkey. Since chicken is such a lighter flavored protein, I back down on the stronger flavors in this seasoning recipe when I’m using chicken. (I don’t use this for making fish tacos.) This also is a great seasoning for a pot of beans.
I use my taco seasoning mix with the same directions you would see on the packaged stuff. For every pound of ground meat, I use 2 tablespoons of the mix and 1/2 cup water. The water helps to make sure that the seasoning gets evenly spread in the meat. I just keep cooking until all of the water has been cooked out then serve the meat in whatever dish I had planned to use it in.
So now that you know how easy it is to make homemade taco seasoning, you can stop buying those packets and maybe work through your jars of spices a little more quickly. Which, of course is a good thing since the fresher the spices, the better their flavor.
So what’s it going to be first; tacos, nachos or burritos?
And you wonder why you get hit on when you go to that greasy spoon to eat.
Recipe: Homemade Taco Seasoning
Summary: Makes 3 Servings
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 3 Teaspoons Hot Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Cumin
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Coriander
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Pour all ingredients into a sealable jar.
- Cover and shake to mix.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the taco mix over the top of the browned ground meat.
- Add 1/2 cup water to the mixture and stir.
- Continue cooking, and stirring, until the water has cooked off.
- Use meat for taco filling, nachos topping or to stuff burritos.
I like the heavier flavors in this mixture, but if you prefer a lighter tasting mix keep the same measure of chili powder and reduce the remaining ingredients by 50%.
If you don’t have hot paprika, you can use regular or smoked paprika.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 3
Culinary tradition: Mexican
Recipe by Pamela Braun.
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