I just love making my own pantry staples, from non dairy milks (like Easiest Almond Milk and this Easiest Coconut Milk), Powdered Egg Replacer, Easy Homemade Ketchup, Homemade Salad Dressings, and more.
But one thing that I really get a kick out of (yes, I really get into this) is making my own homemade seasonings.
Over the years, we’ve found or developed quite a few of them including chili powder, celery salt, this all-purpose seasoning and this Dorito® seasoning, but today I’m sharing a new one with you — Homemade Taco Seasoning.
Making your own seasonings insures you will almost never be out of a seasoning you need for something you’re cooking.
For example, just the other day, I had a craving for taco salad, but hadn’t made taco meat in years. So I had no taco seasoning in the house — and on our budget (and with our food sensitivities and life-threatening food allergies), eating out is not a pleasurable or viable option so heading out for tacos wasn’t going to happen.
Basically it’s not my idea of a fun time to pay about $15 for my son to get a plain chicken breast and a side of steamed veggies.
Just have a few meals like that and pretty soon eating out loses its appeal.
Anyhow, it’s frustrating to find yourself excited to cook something only to find yourself missing what you need. Sometimes you can find an easy substitute, but other times, like in the case of taco seasoning, you just need to have exactly what the recipe calls for.
So I got to work in the kitchen and tried out a few recipes and came up with one that fits the bill.
And it’s very easy to recreate in a flash.
Why Make Your Own Seasoning Blends?
Why indeed? Isn’t it easier to just buy those pre-made blends at the store?
Easy in one way, but here is why I love making my own spice blends.
- Control Over the Ingredients (no icky MSG type stuff or allergenic ingredients. For those of you with milk allergies, did you know that many taco seasonings have lactose, milk sugar, in them?)
- Save Money (individual seasonings are cheaper than blends)
- Save More Money (use up individual seasonings faster so you can buy in bulk)
- Save Even MORE Money (have you seen the prices of those packaged “Taco Seasoning” mixes at the grocery store? Ugh!
- Save Money and Time (no last minute trips to the store to get something that you can easily make yourself)
- Have Fun with Kids – making seasoning blends is an easy way to involve your kids in the kitchen 🙂
- Freshness – making your own seasoning blends ensures you use up your spices more quickly so spices will get old less frequently
How to Use Homemade Taco Seasoning:
We’ve used this Homemade Taco Seasoning Blend on:
Tacos (of course) – you will LOVE these Grain-free Taco Shells (AIP)
Sides (like rice, potatoes, etc.)
It’s great on so many things!
Convinced? I thought so.
So now on to the recipe for homemade taco seasoning that tastes great on so many things…..
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- 2 Tbsp chili powder (Here's the recipe for my "Best" Basic Chili Powder)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (Aleppo peppers would add a wonderful depth of flavor but red chilis are fine.)
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2½ tsp salt (I recommend Real Salt.)
- 2 tsp pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mix well.
- Store in a tightly closed container.
- Use approximately 2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat (or to taste, of course. Some people may prefer 1 Tbsp, others up to 4 Tbsp).
- As with other taco seasonings, either use the mixture as is, or add approx. ¾ cup water to the beef and seasoning mixture to make a more "saucy" beef.
- You can also flavor beans, like lentils, with this mixture. About 2 cups of cooked beans will be the equivalent of one pound of ground beef.
- And as I said in my "Saving Time in the Kitchen by Baking in Bulk" post, I recommend making more of this in advance so that you have it on hand when you need it. Cook once, use two three four times or more :-)!
- We use this even as a standby seasoning on our table. It tastes great on veggies and loads of dishes!
- For my spice shopping, I really like Frontier Brand and Mountain Rose Herbs. I've done taste tests and the Frontier Brands have won out every time and boy, are they reasonable! Mountain Rose Herbs has a great selection of nicely priced organic products in smaller quantities. Bulk but not HUGH bulk amounts :-).
Looking for more ways to save money and have control over ingredients? How about:
- Homemade Coconut Milk
- Homemade Protein Bars
- Powdered Sugar (or powdered sugar alternative)
- Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade (a healthy version :-)!)
Or more Homemade Seasonings like:
How about you? Do you have a favorite seasoning blend that you would like a recipe for?