Early in our marriage, I discovered my husband’s fondness for taco salad. When I first served tacos, he piled all the filling ingredients on his plate and crumbled the shell over top. From then on, I simply made taco salad! Eventually, the hard shells were replaced with “Hint of Lime” tortilla chips. I have my husband to thank for that discovery, too. There is something about them that tastes so good!
For a long time, I bought the little packets of taco seasoning to flavor the ground beef. Years ago, I stopped buying them to avoid several ingredients those packets contained. The following spice mixture is blend I now keep on hand to use anytime I want that classic flavor combination. In addition to tacos and salads, it is delicious as a flavoring in tortilla soup, enchiladas, and any slow cooker meal where you want a hint of Mexican flavor. While I typically pair it with beef, the spice blend is delicious with chicken and ground turkey, too.
Delicious and easy recipes using Homemade Taco Seasoning:
Taco salad or “Walking Tacos”
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (see notes)
- In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
- Store in a small jar or other airtight container.
- When ready to use, brown one pound of ground beef; drain if necessary. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the browned meat, pour in 2/3 cup water and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Use in tacos or your choice of recipe.
- If you prepare a big batch to use over time, use approximately 2 1/2 tablespoons per pound of meat to equal one store-bought packet.
- If you plan to use this spice blend in a recipe where no thickening is desired, you may omit the cornstarch.