Homemade Taco Seasoning
This homemade taco seasoning is the perfect way to kick your tacos up a notch. It’s easy to make and tastes great!
It’s super versatile and you can use it to season any of your favorite proteins for tacos, burritos, soups, quesadillas, or marinades. Some of my favorites are jackfruit, shredded seitan, crumbled tofu, and ground Beyond or Impossible Burger. Adding a sprinkle of this seasoning to a quesadilla with a little nacho cheese sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, and your favorite chicken strips will make a quesadilla that tastes very much like Taco Bell’s.
If you’re using it for tacos, cook your choice of meat with this seasoning and spoon it onto a corn tortilla, add a drizzle of agave nectar for some sweetness, a squeeze of lime for a little citrus, then top it with a little thinly shredded cabbage, a thin slice of avocado, a spoonful of avocado salsa and pico de gallo and they’ll be addictive.
What Is Taco Seasoning Made Of?
Store-bought taco seasoning is generally made of a blend of spices, salts, sugar, starch, and preservatives. The spices in store-bought taco seasoning are what gives it its classic flavor. The salts enhance that flavor. Then sugar adds a slight sweetness to the seasoning. The starch prevents the seasoning from caking together, and the preservatives prevent it from spoiling by giving it a longer shelf life. The spices that give taco seasoning its classic flavor include chili powder, ground cumin, and Mexican oregano.
This taco seasoning recipe is a combination of just spices and salt and contains zero preservatives.
What Do I Make With Taco Seasoning?
Tacos, of course! You can use homemade taco seasoning to make these addictive Fire-Roasted Sweet Sriracha Vegetarian Tacos. They’re sweet from a little agave nectar, a little spicy because of the sriracha, a little smokey from the paprika, and have a slight kick of zest from the lime.
Is There A Difference Between Regular Oregano and Mexican Oregano?
There is a difference between regular oregano and Mexican oregano. This is because Mexican oregano is a different but closely related plant to regular oregano. Mexican oregano also contains oregano florets, which are the flowers of the Mexican oregano plant and are very fragrant, adding a strong but pleasant oregano flavor. Regular oregano is native to the Mediterranean while Mexican oregano is indigenous to North America.
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Taco Seasoning?
If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can easily make homemade taco seasoning from dried spices. The three main flavors for taco seasoning include ground chili peppers like hot paprika, ground cumin, and Mexican oregano. Some taco seasonings also add savory flavors like garlic and onion powders.
How Much Taco Seasoning Do I Need For 1 Pound Of Meat?
Store-bought taco seasoning packets generally suggest using 1.25 ounces of seasoning, or the whole packet, for 1 pound of meat. For homemade taco seasoning, a good rule to follow is to add one tablespoon of taco seasoning to start for each pound of meat, adding an additional teaspoon at a time if it needs more. This taco seasoning recipe makes about half of a cup of seasoning, which should be enough for several pounds of meat. These measurement suggestions also remain the same for plant-based meats like Impossible Burger or Beyond Beef.
How To Make Homemade Taco Seasoning
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It’s easy. To make homemade taco seasoning, you just mix together the spices and seasonings and store the seasoning in an airtight container. If you want to really draw the flavors out of the spices, you can use a spare coffee grinder or pestle and mortar to grind them before mixing them together. This will strengthen and enhance the flavor as the oils in the spices more easily mix and blend.
If you like this recipe for taco seasoning, you might also enjoy my recipe for Hot Italian Sausage Seasoning. It’s perfect for adding a delicious, savory flavor to your favorite Italian dishes. It’s perfect for adding a touch of spice to your sausage, pasta, or pizza.
Hot Italian Sausage Seasoning
Ultimate Taco Seasoning Recipe
Makes approx. 1/2 cup of seasoning.
- 2 tablespoons hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, less for mild, more for hot
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Combine all ingredients together with a whisk or spoon and store them in an air-tight jar or container.
For making tacos or burrito meat, cook your choice of protein in a pan until cooked through, then sprinkle in a level tablespoon of the seasoning for each pound, adding additional seasoning in increments of a teaspoon at a time to your taste.
Add a pinch of salt and sugar to taste, finishing it off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if desired.
Note: For best results, use a separate coffee grinder solely for grinding spice blends. I recommend doing this if you want the flavors to come together in the best way, but it’s not required for the seasoning to be great. What this does is help to release the oils and flavors in the spices and allow them to come together and blend. However, please do not use the same grinder that you use for coffee. The spices are potent and will leave behind their oils and ruin your next cup of coffee.
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