I used to mix up my own taco seasoning mix when MSG and other weird stuff was added to the taco seasoning packages. But a lot of that stuff has been eliminated, and I started buying the packages with the shells and seasoning because it’s often cheaper on sale than shells alone.
A few months ago I started mixing up my own taco seasoning mix again to make beef quesadillas with some tortillas we had, and again when I realized that I’d bought a box of taco shells, the seasoning wasn’t included, and I didn’t have any packets on hand.
It’s easy to mix up a big batch of taco seasoning to have on hand, and it’s nice to control the flavors that you like (or don’t like), add herbs from the garden sometimes, use up some of the seasonings in your cabinet while they still have flavor, cut down on the salt of the packaged brands, or still make tacos even when you realize you forgot to buy the seasoning pack.
There are many recipes on the internet for taco seasoning. Here is a good one to start with and you can adjust it to your desired flavor and heat, or use it as is.
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder (or garlic powder or both)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste (1/4- 1/2 tsp depending on the rest of your recipe)
- optional: cayenne pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste for heat (1 pinch or more)
- Mix all of the ingredients together. Add more of what you like.
That’s it. To use it, add as you would a seasoning packet. Brown and drain (or otherwise prepare your meat of choice) and add the seasoning. We are still working through the side of grass fed beef, so I brown a pound of ground beef, drain it, and add all but a tsp or so of the seasoning with a little bit of water or beef broth. If you want a thicker sauce, like the packets produces, add 1 tsp or more of cornstarch to your mix and ~2/3 cup of water with the seasoning to ~1 lb of cooked meat. Keep the unused seasoning in an airtight container.