Backstory (aka: unseasoned taco night)
Cheap taco seasoning is usually pretty awful stuff. Not as bad as cheap chili seasoning, but still not pleasant. My own tastes tend to lean towards the McCormick end of the spectrum, which is generally the most expensive one on the shelf.
I have to say, totally worth the price too. However, I had a few recipes sitting around on how to make your own and a full spice rack. During a period of time living in a small town with one store that closed by 9, I had everything ready for taco night and either forgot to buy or lost the seasoning.
It seemed like the perfect time to try out the recipes. I was so impressed at how good it was, that I have not bought taco seasoning since. With that said, I have made adjustments over the years to tone down the spiciness a bit. All of the recipes I had were very strong in their use of chili powder or chili flake.
Mix this up either in advance and store in a sealed container or just make it while the beef is browning. A single batch of this is just right for a pound or so of beef.
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp onion flakes
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 ½ tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 ½ tsp ground sea-salt
- 1 to 2 Tbsp of flour
- A bit of water
- In a shallow bowl or plate, combine every ingredient but the water and flour.
- Give it a taste and decide if you prefer a spicier seasoning. If so, increase the chilli powder to 1 Tbsp or add 1 tsp of chilli flakes. If you really like it spicy, add both.
- Add the flour. Generally start with 1 Tbsp and add more if needed later until you know how much you prefer to achieve the thickness you like.
- Add to cooked, ground beef along with a little water. As with the flour, this is a matter of personal preference as to how much of a ‘sauce’ you would like with your taco meat.
- Serve in whatever manner you happen to like your tacos or taco salad.
The price of all the ingredients is fairly low, but unless you eat tacos regularly, it isn’t likely to have much effect on your food budget. The real reasons to make your own seasoning is so that you can tweak the flavor to match your own tastes and always have fresh spice instead of some packet that has been sitting on a shelf for an unknown period of time.
On a low sodium diet or just don’t like salt, just drop the amount for example. If nothing else, it certainly evades the matter of MSG regardless of how you feel about it. I hope you enjoy this recipe. I know I have.