My Favorite Homemade Taco Seasoning Blend ((Tip of the Week))
I think it has been about a two years since I purchased my last 69¢ packet of taco seasoning.
Life circumstances changed, as they do for everyone ((so I hear)) and I began thinking more about the foods I was feeding my family. Specifically, my littlest one ((Gracie)) was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. With the confirmation of what I already knew in my heart, that diagnosis compelled me to make some significant changes in my family’s eating routine.
One of those changes included a breakup with the little taco seasoning packet – and every other packet. It was officially time to think beyond the foil seasoning pouch. Why? There are a lot of ingredients in those pouches I cannot pronounce, and I am pretty sure they don’t grow in anyone’s garden. I try to feed my family foods that do not include any “mysterious extras” and to my surprise there are a lot of “mysterious extras” in seasoning packets.
I found several homemade taco seasoning recipes on the web and after trying them out, was thrilled to find I loved these seasonings were so much more flavorful than any foil packet blend. I did have one little problem: every blend I tried was WAY TOO HOT for my herd with sensitive tongues!
I mean – on the shelf, I saw “mild, medium & hot” choices but at home – everything I mixed together seemed to be HOT. I didn’t want tears at the dinner table and I didn’t want to throw away a meal because it was too spicy. So I began working on my very own taco blend.
After a little experimentation and some investigation ((have I mentioned, I am a scientist at heart??)), I have cracked the taco seasoning code and am excited to share my discovery with you!
Once you start making your own taco seasoning blend, prepare yourself! You will suddenly feel compelled to ‘homemake’ every seasoning blend you can imagine. Creole, ranch, southwest, chili…just to name a few. But don’t kick out ALL seasoning blends. Sometimes, a pre-mixed seasoning blend does not have added, unpronounceable ingredients ((like Old Bay & Chef Paul Prudhomme’s)) and in those cases I am happy to use store-bought. So don’t forget to read the label.
They key for my taco seasoning blend is to combine spices and fresh ingredients. If you don’t have fresh garlic and parsley on hand, a garlic powder blend and dried parsley are fine, just be sure not to over salt the blend by using garlic salt.
*Store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.
- 3 T red chili powder (I prefer Hatch MILD red chili powder)
- 3 T green chili powder (I prefer Hatch MILD green chili powder)
- 3 T cumin
- 3 T dried Mexican oregano
- 3 T sweet paprika
- 2 T steakhouse seasoning blend (I like McCormick Montreal style steak seasoning)
- 1/3 c fresh parsley, finely chopped*
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced*
- 1/2 c salsa (I prefer Herdez)
- 1 c low sodium tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- Combine dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Store in an airtight jar.
- When ready to make taco seasoned ground meat, brown and drain 2 pounds of ground beef. Remove meat from pan and add garlic to preheated pan, cooking while stirring for 1-2 minutes.
- Next add 3-4 T** of taco seasoning blend to the hot pan and stir (1-2 more minutes). Add drained meat back to the pan and stir to combine. Add salsa & tomato sauce. Season with salt to taste & serve.
- * If you want to use dried parsley & garlic instead of fresh, that will be fine. Just add 1 T garlic powder & 3-4 T dried parsley in with dry ingredients and store as described.
- **Use more or less seasoning depending on your taste preferences.
- This is great for fajitas, ground turkey, chicken or fish!