Yes, I know you can purchase taco seasoning, but this is incredibly simple to prepare and way more economical. Sometimes taco seasoning can be too salty for our taste. But, making your own allows you to control the amount of added salt and you can guarantee that it’s gluten-free! You now how you make something…you just do it and don’t think about it. That’s how this came about. I realized I make this all the time, and rarely if ever, purchase taco seasoning. Yup! The Goddess, has been holding out on you. She just never thought about sharing the recipe…shame on her! Smack her with a wet tortilla, will ‘ya, please. But, until she made this batch, there really wasn’t a recipe…but now, there is.
A couple of things to think about—Toasting spices and mixing spice blends. Toasting spices adds a richness and an additional layer of flavor to pretty much anything. It just makes anything better. It is particularly true with cumin. Look at the difference! How could toasting not add flavor? But, if you don’t want to do that (but why wouldn’t you?), this is still darn good. I have a coffee grinder I use just for grinding spices…a dedicated spice grinder! And when you decide to make your own spice blends, and I encourage you to do so, a plastic bag is the perfect way to blend herbs/spices most thoroughly. The bonus…you can store the blend in the same container you mixed it in! Very efficient, we are.
It doesn’t get much easier than this. You just dump everything together in a plastic bag, seal it and move the mixture around until you have a completely homogeneous mixture. Look how completely mixed and homogeneous that mixture is.
TIP: Storing “red” spices in the freezer helps keep the color and prolongs the shelf life.
Packaged taco seasoning can be produce salty taco meat. By making your own seasoning blend, you are able to control that aspect completely.
- 1/4 cup onion powder or granules
- 2 tablespoons dry beef base
- 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika (or Spanish, if you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons pure ground chile powder (see NOTE)
- 4-5 teaspoons ground cumin (see NOTE)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder or granules (not garlic salt)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano leaves (crush between your fingertips)
- 2 teaspoons very finely ground coffee
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced dried garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered lime juice or 1/8 teaspoon citric acid
Place all ingredients in a plastic bag. Move it around until the spices are completely combined. Let the bag set to allow the “dust to settle”. Dump the mixture into a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid—Store in a cool, dry location or in the freezer.
TO USE: Stir 2-3 tablespoons of the dry taco seasoning into 1 pound of ground meat. Add 1/2 cup water or beer; simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture is reduced and thickened.
NOTE: Toasting whole cumin and coriander seeds, cooling them and then grinding them in a spice or dedicated coffee grinder, will give you a superior seasoning blend. Some recipes call for red pepper flakes, but I prefer to use pure ground chile powder, using a combination of ancho and guajillo chile powders. But, if you wish, add 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. If you prefer to use garlic and onion powder, you may want to store the finished seasoning in the freezer, as both powders tend to clump and become rock-hard. The freezer prevents this.
Taco Seasoning Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
! also realize I’ve never dedicated a post to toasting spices…I’m working on one now.
I add a couple of teaspoons to ground beef or pork, when I’m making burgers. It’s great on chicken breasts, too and don’t forget about eggs. Sprinkle into eggs before scrambling or add to deviled egg mixture. Options, baby…options!