This Homemade Taco Seasoning gives you the perfect blend of spices for all types of tacos!
For a long time I used packaged seasoning mixes when I made tacos, then one day, I stopped to read the ingredients and realized that in addition to a lot of sodium, most of them contain many other less than desirable ingredients. So I switched to using Penzey's Original Taco Seasoning, which is great and I still use in a pinch. I'd highly recommend it if you are in a hurry, however now I prefer to make my own as you can change the amount of something suit your mood, the type of meat you are using or your dining companion's tastes.
Tips on Buying Herbs + Spices
Fresh, flavorful herbs and spices can really bring a dish to life! Having a great collection of spices and dried herbs means you always have flavor options, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when buying and storing them:
- Dried herbs and spices are generally good for about a year however in may grocery stores they sit on the shelf for quite some time, especially the less common varieties. This means once you purchase them, they may only be good for 6 months or so.
- For the freshest and highest quality, think about buying online or from a local spice merchant. Not only do you typically get better quality, but they are also often less expensive. Some great options include Savory Spice, which also has stores in some locations and is where I shop here in Denver. Penzeys and The Spice House also have great selections and good quality.
- Store herbs and spices in a cool dark place. This will extend their life. While convenient, this means storing them right next to your cooktop or oven is not ideal!
- Keep track of when you purchased them so you know when to replace. I use a black Sharpie to mark the bottom of the jar with the year. Mark when you purchased them. sharpie with the year
- Start with a solid collection of staples. This includes basil, oregano, garlic powder, minced onion, chili powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, thyme
andcrushed red pepper. And of course ground pepper and salt (I prefer sea salt).
- Other than staples, only buy as you need them for a recipe and then buy the smallest quantity possible. If you find you use something often, buy a larger quantity the 2nd time around.
This is my basic recipe, which I'd recommend with ground beef, ground turkey or chicken. This makes enough to
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon minced dried onion
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more if you prefer spicier tacos
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch and mix to incorporate.
- When making tacos I mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning with a pound of cooked ground meat. I tend to use little less for turkey than I do for beef.
- After you've browned the meat, sprinkle with the taco seasoning and add about a cup of water and some lime juice. Mix well. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.