Recipe for Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

September 25, 2008 · 26 comments

This recipe for homemade taco seasoning comes from my friend, Sue.  A commenter asked how to make it in larger quantities to fit in a jar like the one shown above, so be sure to see below for that update.  (Try this recipe in a yummy Mexican soup:  Organic Baja Chicken Enchilada Soup.)

HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

  • 2 tsp. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I omit this)  (Update 6/09:  a reader friend, Elaine, says this:  “You mentioned that you omit the 1/8 tsp. red pepper.  I am the biggest wimp on planet earth and I still put a generous 1/8th (or more?) and it is so well balanced with the other seasonings that it is fine.  Trust me – if it were too hot, I would tell you!  Even my kids who are wimps like me don’t notice or say anything.  You might like the flavor.”)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or more)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well. For taco meat: brown 1 lb. ground beef. Drain. Add 1/2 cup water and the seasoning mix. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

HOW TO MAKE A WHOLE JAR OF HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

If you’d like to make a larger quantity of this to keep on hand like you see in the jar above, I multiplied the ingredients to get about 1 1/2 cups (someone double check my math please!):

  • 1/2 c. minced onion
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy)
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1/4 c. salt (this sounds like a lot, but it’s how the math came out…?)
  • 1/8 c. garlic powder
  • 1/8 c. ground cumin (or more to your taste)

Use about 2 T. per 1# of ground beef.  (I use heaping Tablespoons.)

Note:  the above picture I snapped before it was all shook up (doesn’t it look neat?), and at the right is how it looks mixed together.

THANKS SUE! :)

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  • { 24 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Diana September 26, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Thanks! I have all the ingredients.

    Reply

    2 Bertie September 27, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks! I’ll have to try that. I made tacos the other night and just added spices that I thought should be in taco seasoning. It wasn’t bad, but it tasted more like sloppy joes than tacos.

    Reply

    3 Kelly the Kitchen Kop September 27, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Bertie,

    You’re not alone, it’s not easy getting those spices just right. :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    4 cheeseslave September 28, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Yum!

    You know… this recipe would be even tastier (and more nutritious) if you used chicken stock instead of water.

    Reply

    5 Kelly the Kitchen Kop September 28, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Ann Marie,

    Mmmm, good idea. Or I’d probably use beef stock, unless I was adding this to chicken for enchiladas or chicken tacos or something…I guess it wouldn’t matter though.

    Kelly

    Reply

    6 Renee September 29, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Your main dish recipes link is dead on this post;) Is it just on your site? I will keep looking and figure it out, but just so you know;) THANKS for your TIME!!!!

    Reply

    7 Kelly the Kitchen Kop September 29, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Hi Renee,

    THANK YOU for letting me know! I just fixed it. :)

    Kelly p.s. You’re welcome, good thing I love it, eh?!

    Reply

    8 Melanie December 15, 2008 at 8:19 am

    dear kelly,

    how do i make a much larger batch to put in a jar, like the photo? i’ve heard of others mixing the small batch as the recipe entails, and putting them into little tinfoil packets. i’d much rather just have a jar of it made up and scoop out what is needed for a 1 pound recipe.

    thanks for any help you can offer. and thanks for a great blog!

    melanie

    Reply

    9 Kelly the Kitchen Kop December 15, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Hi Melanie,

    Good question! I’ll make a note to do some major number crunching as soon as I have a minute, and then post it here.

    Thanks,
    Kelly

    Reply

    10 Kelly the Kitchen Kop December 20, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Hi again Melanie,

    I added the update in the post above for the larger quantities.

    Merry Christmas!

    Kelly

    Reply

    11 Shannon January 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I assume when you say minced onion, that is dried, right?

    Reply

    12 Kelly January 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Yes, dried onion. :)
    Kelly

    Reply

    13 Jennifer July 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    So you would use 2 tablespoons for each pound of beef, right? My math is not great…

    Jennifer

    Reply

    14 Kelly July 10, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Jennifer, I’d add 1 T., taste it, then add more as needed. :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    15 issacs wife March 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    the recipe is great, my husband has a tastebuds that are hard to fool and he likes the tacos i have been making……. my personal take is its lacking that sweetness com. seasoning has probably the msg. however this is a keeper and I have made a large jar of it.

    Reply

    16 Alexis July 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    If I make the larger quantity of the taco seasoning to keep in a jar (as shown), what do you think the shelf life would be of the seasoning? Its just me, my hubby, and little daughter so just curious how long you think the seasoning would be good in a jar before needing to make a fresh batch. Thanks! :)

    Reply

    17 KitchenKop July 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Hi Alexis,
    This is just a wild guess because I don’t know for sure, but personally I think it would be fine for a year or two, and then it might lose some of it’s flavor… Maybe keeping it in cold storage (the fridge?) might help it keep longer.
    Kelly

    Reply

    18 Sue E. August 2, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Kelly,
    I just saw that you added the bulk recipe for this mix. What a great idea. I used to do a few batches at a time, but this is great. However, you might want to put in the recipe how much to use per 1# meat. There are 5-1/4 tsp. per batch, so do you think one would just take that much out of the jar??
    Blessings,
    Sue E.

    Reply

    19 KitchenKop August 3, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks Sue, I’ll add it. :)
    Kel

    Reply

    20 Alex at A Moderate Life August 3, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Hi Kel! I linked to this GREAT taco seasoning in my recent recipe for zesty taco quesadillas! Your friend sue sure knows her taco seasoning! :) http://amoderatelife.com/featured-blog-hop-recipes/zesty-taco-quesadillas/ Thanks babe! Alex

    Reply

    21 D. February 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    A little off the mark here, but does anyone know what’s in that new Flavor Enhancer stuff they’re advertising on TV these days? I don’t watch much TV so it seems I catch the tail end of the ad each time and I have no idea but it sounds suspiciously like MSG. I think it’s from Campbell’s soup or some company like that. Ack! They are really pushing the stuff from what I can see.

    Also, I’ve been using a similar recipe to this taco seasoning for several years because we try to avoid MSG, too. I have to leave out the cumin in mine because I can’t stand the stuff. Blech. I added organic celery salt in its place and seems to be fine with folks who eat it. They all say it tastes good anyhow!

    Reply

    22 Robin February 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, so I actually have my own mix that I make and was curious to see what this one was like, and wow, the one I use has way more spices to it. I adapted it from a Cooks Illustrated version to one that I could make up in a large jar ahead of time, but it uses a full 2 TBSP of chili powder, double the cumin and oregano along with some coriander and a touch of brown sugar. I usually chop up a fresh onion and garlic instead of using the dried, although I did experiment with a version using the dried as a slightly faster version.

    One tip on making your taco meat though-instead of adding the seasoning and water AFTER you have cooked your meat, try sprinkling it on top of the meat as it cooks. I never drain off the fat anymore (since I know it’s not bad for me!), and once the meat is fully cooked, the spices are well absorbed by the meat. Chiles (and chili powder) are oil soluble spices which means you get the most flavor out of them by slighly toasting in oil, not water. I rarely have to add any more liquid, and if I do, I may add a touch of chicken broth and maybe a splash of apple cider vinegar. If I am using fresh onion and garlic, I will actually cook those first in the pan with a little oil, and once soft, add the spice mix and cook for about 30 seconds or so before adding the meat. I use this same method when making chili, and it really does bring out the flavors of the chiles.

    Reply

    23 MaryAnn November 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Love your website, just joined the classes! I used your taco mix recipe tonight and made the most wonderful Tex-Mex shepherds’ pie. (all organic, of course!) Just brown the meat (2lbs), add the spices (doubled the recipe) and stir til well combined. Place in an 8×13 buttered pan and flatten densely as you spread. Add layer of frozen peas and carrots, and evenly spread mashed sweet potatoes over top. Add layer of Tex-Mex shredded cheese over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Very filling. I get 12 servings from this. Combine this with a small salad and a small serving of homemade ice cream and WOW!!! Portion control is a great way to keep the cost/serving down, especially when using organic ingredients.

    Reply

    24 Kelly the Kitchen Kop November 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    What a great recipe idea, thanks for sharing it with us!!! :)

    Kelly

    Reply

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