Make-Your-Own Taco Seasoning (Hot and Mild From Scratch)

Taco Seasoning - Ready to use

Now that we have a freezer, we can finally buy meat in bulk when it goes on sale and freeze it in quantities appropriate for individual meals. We froze most of it plain, cooked some up with grated carrot and onion for fast marinara sauces and stuffings, and turned the rest into taco meat.

While you can buy a packet of taco seasoning at the store, it’s really a shame because of how cheap and easy it is to make your own at home, provided you have a well-stocked spice cabinet. (I, er, tend to collect spices. It’s sad.)

This is one we put together today for some of our beef. I’ve written our version up as the Hot and Spicy! but I’ve also included a Mild and Tasty! version that uses spices most common to the average cupboard.

Taco Seasoning

Spicy Taco Seasoning [printable recipe]

Makes enough to season 1 pound of ground meat (or, the same as 1 packet)

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder or granulated onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp pasilla chile powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all in a small dish.

To use: Brown one pound of ground meat and drain off any fat. Stir in spice mix and 3/4 cup water. Cook until liquid is mostly gone.

Mild Taco Seasoning [printable recipe]

Makes enough to season 1 pound of ground meat (or, the same as 1 packet)

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder or granulated onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, leave out for mild)

Combine all in a small dish.

To use: Brown one pound of ground meat and drain off any fat. Stir in spice mix and 3/4 cup water. Cook until liquid is mostly gone.

Notes:

  1. I happened to pick up a couple of different chile powders at the local Mexican grocery, which is why I used both ancho and pasilla. (Always, always look in the Mexican section of your grocery, if they have one, for cheap, fresh, and good spices!)
  2. We love paprika. We have four different types in the cupboard! My favorite is the smoked paprika because it’s so mellow and tasty.

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One Response to Make-Your-Own Taco Seasoning (Hot and Mild From Scratch)

  1. Pingback: Pantry Cooking Saturday: Homemade Bulk Taco Seasoning

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