Some people love making foods from scratch, and others prefer the convenience of having them made and pre-portioned in the package for them. Even if you fall into the latter category, you don’t need to be a DIY pro to appreciate the benefits of making your own spice blends.
There are several advantages to making taco seasoning. In particular, it saves money and gives you endless customization options. You can avoid the preservatives and filler ingredients. It’s more environmentally friendly not to throw all those packets in the trash.
What Is Taco Seasoning?
Taco seasoning is a blend of spices typically used to season meat for tacos, though it can be put in other recipes as called for to give a Mexican flair. It consists of chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, with several other spices in smaller amounts depending on the brand of seasoning.
Many people purchase taco seasoning in packets pre-measured to be the correct amount for one meal. Of course, it’s all too easy to run out. When that happens, knowing how to make taco seasoning from spices you have in your cupboard can come in handy.
Taco Seasoning: The Best Homemade Seasoning
- 4 teaspoons Black pepper (ground)
- 4 Tbsp Chili powder
- 2 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Oregano (dried)
- 2 teaspoons Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 teaspoons Salt (preferably good quality like pink Himalayan sea salt)
- The steps to make DIY taco seasoning are as straightforward as combining the spices. You can mix them in a bowl, shake them together in a jar or add them directly to the dish you are cooking and mix them in.
Tips and Tricks for Taco Seasoning
When you decide to take the leap and enter the wonderful world of DIY spice blends, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind.
Make Extra So Future Meals Are Easier
Remember, the recipe above makes enough for one meal. If you use taco seasoning often, it is a good idea to multiply the batch to save yourself some work next time.
You can store this mixture in an airtight container, such as OXO containers, and measure out 2-3 tablespoons anytime a recipe calls for a package of taco seasoning.
As long as it stays dry, this taco seasoning mix won’t ever go bad. However, spices start to lose their peak flavor after six months, so aim to use them up before that point.
Make It Your Own
The best part of making a taco seasoning mix is that you can adjust the ratios of spices to fit your preferences.
First, try making a batch as written and evaluate how much you like it. Do you wish it was a little bit spicier? Add some more red pepper flakes next time. Want more of a smoky flavor? Try extra cumin or using smoked paprika. Did you love the flavor of pepper or garlic? Increase the amounts of those spices to your taste.
Just keep in mind when you’re adjusting the recipe to make a note somewhere of what you are changing. It can be frustrating to find the perfect balance of flavors for your tastes only to not recall what you did to achieve it.
You may also prefer slightly different seasoning blends depending on the protein you are using. When making taco seasoning, it’s simple to mix up one recipe for chicken taco seasoning, another for beef tacos, and yet another for fish tacos. You are free to customize it however you choose.
Nutrition Information of Taco Seasoning
Since this recipe includes only spices, the nutrient amounts are negligible. The mix contains less than 15 calories per serving and one gram of carbs.
The only significant nutrient present in this taco seasoning mix is sodium due to the inclusion of salt. One-quarter teaspoon of salt contains 575 mg of sodium, which is around 25 percent of the daily recommended amount. That is a little more than most pre-packaged taco seasoning mixes contain.
If consuming that amount of sodium presents a problem, you can make whatever adjustments are necessary. After all, you have control over the ingredients and the levels you include.
Go Ahead and Get Spicy
There are many reasons to try your hand at making taco seasoning. You might want to make cash savings, or perhaps the store-bought seasoning isn’t to your taste. It could be that you’re doing your best to avoid fillers and preservatives or you’re striving to be zero waste and want to reduce packaging.
And, of course, maybe you just found yourself with an empty space on your shelf where the taco seasoning packets live, and you need to substitute in a pinch. Whatever your reason, you will soon discover how easy spice blends are to make. So, try this recipe out and give your food some exquisite flavor!
This was very good, definitely worth preparing again.
All I can say is “WOW” This is an awesome dish
I had 4 People over for dinner last night and every one of them enjoyed this recipe. Loved it, thank you.