Who doesn't love an easy weeknight meal? Ground meat tacos are a delicious and easy go-to meal but are often made with storebought mixes with a bunch of unnecessary added ingredients. But, there's an easy solution - make your own! It takes less than 10 minutes to mix up a batch of seasoning to have on hand for many meals to come. Bonus - you can customize it to your liking! Give it a try and you'll never need to buy a mix again!
Why This Recipe Works:
Packaged taco seasoning often has unnecessary fillers like flour or corn starch and it's often too salty with not enough flavor. If you've ever been underwhelmed by storebought taco seasoning, homemade is what you need! You can adjust the quantities of all the ingredients to your liking and you'll never have boring tacos again! This mix is packed with flavor from all of the spices and just the right amount of salt to balance it out. You're going to want to keep it in your pantry at all times!
- Chili Powder: Chili powder can vary widely in flavor and spice level. Make sure to check the spice level of your chili powder before adding too much cayenne! Unless you're going for extra spicy, of course.
- Cayenne: If you want a mild taco seasoning, you can omit the cayenne. If you like it extra spicy, add some more!
Tips and Tricks:
- Make a big batch to have on hand! It's just as easy to make one batch as it is to make multiple so do the work once and save time later! You can fit 3 batches in an 8 oz jar or 6 batches in a 16 oz jar. Add all the ingredients to the jar, put the lid on, and give it a shake! Don't forget to add some notes to the lid so you know how much to use.
- Mix the seasoning into the meat before cooking! To get the most seasoning flavor in your taco meat, mix it into the meat and let it rest in the fridge like you would ground sausage. This also helps keep more moisture in the meat because you risk squeezing the juices out of the meat when you mix it in after it's cooked.
- Add a little moisture if your meat is very lean! After the meat is cooked, add some moisture with tomato paste and stock to keep your taco meat from drying out. It also adds a lovely flavorful sauce to your taco meat!
Taco seasoning is often a mix of chili powder, cumin, salt, some form of garlic and onion, along with a few other spices and/or herbs.
When you make your own taco seasoning, you can make it as mild or as spicy as you'd like depending on the type of chili powder you use and the amount of cayenne you add.
Standard taco seasoning packets are usually around 2 tablespoon per pound of meat. This recipe ends up being around 4.5 tablespoon per pound of meat and is packed with flavor!
Other Recipes to Try:
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All-Purpose Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 8 oz glass jar
- 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
Optional Ingredients for Cooking Taco Meat:
- 1 lb ground meat
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¾ cup stock or broth
- 1 tablespoon lard
- Add all ingredients to small bowl or jar and mix until well-combined. Use in recipes like you would use packaged taco seasoning.
- If you'd like to make extra to have on hand for future use, 3 batches of this recipe will fit in an 8 oz jar.
- On the top of the jar, you can write instructions like the following:4 ½ tablespoon per lb+ 2 tablespoon tomato paste+ ¾ cup stock
Optional Instructions for Cooking Taco Meat:
- Add seasoning to ground meat and incorporate spices into meat, using your hands.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lard to pan, let it melt, and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add seasoned meat to pan and spread meat out into a thin layer. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until bottom side is browned and crisp. Flip and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Break up meat with a wooden spoon or ChopStir tool. Add in tomato paste and broth. Stir until well combined. Bring to a simmer and let liquid reduce for an additional 2-3 minutes or until liquid is no longer soupy. The mixture should be mostly meat with a little extra thickened sauce to keep it moist.
- Use for tacos, quesadillas, taco salad, or whatever you'd like!
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