Ingredient Spotlight: Taco Seasoning

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Maybe this focus on taco seasoning and Mexican foods will warm us up.  January has been a cold, snowy month so far.

Taco seasoning is definitely one of my pantry staples.  I’ve taken to buying it in a can instead of one packet at a time.  But I also use a combination of cumin and chili powder in quite a few recipes.

Off topic note: Keep your cumin away from your cinnamon.  These two bottles look a lot alike and can easily fool a 12 year old boy.  Cumin-sugar toast is not good!

Here are a few of my recipes that use taco seasoning or a combo of cumin and chili powder:

Now it’s your turn!  Link up any recipe on your blog that uses taco seasoning or a combo of cumin and chili powder.  It doesn’t have to be a recent post, just be sure to link directly to your recipe, not just the main page of your blog.  I only ask that you include a link back to Eat at Home in your post.  You can link directly to this post or use the button in the sidebar.

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  1. Ha.. I would imagine cumin sugar would not be a good thing, especially if you were expecting cinnamon sugar 🙂

  2. This is right up my alley! I LOVE anything taco-y! We eat it all the time! Thanks!

  3. These look great. Let’s not forget your “Taco Soup” recipe! I made it last night, my family loves it. I love your site and have made quite a few of you recipes. Thanks!

    • Bonnie, I do love that taco soup recipe. I knew there would be others that linked up their versions. It’s kind of like chili – there are 1001 ways to make it!

  4. Sharon Andrews says:

    Here is my recipe for Taco Seasoning Mix. We like it better than store bought. I also add the juice from my can tomatoes in the meat mixture (I make my own salsa) when using it to make tacos.

    Taco Seasoning Mix

    Mix together and put in jar. Use about 2 T per pound of meat.
    ¼ C chili powder
    ¼ C cumin
    ¼ C oregano
    ¼ C garlic powder
    ¼ C onion powder
    2T salt
    1T red, cayenne pepper

  5. That is so funny you caution about the cumin/cinnamon snafu. My former college roommate made “cumin french toast” and was eating it along with a girlfriend of ours and neither of them even noticed that the flavor was “off”! I came in and had a piece and I noticed the difference right away. It’s still a joke we have to this day… and I always double check which jar I grab from the pantry. Thanks for that memory today!

  6. Tiffany, I (like Sharon, above) make my own taco seasoning mix to use. This lets me adjust the salt and heat for our family’s tastes. My recipe is very similar to hers above, but with the addition of 1 1/2 T of cornstarch and 2/3 cup water to thicken it up like commercial mixes. I make up a large batch of this and keep it in my spice cabinet so it is as quick to use as tearing open an envelope of mix.

    • Amy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with cornstarch but it’s a great addition. One thing I like about commercial mixes is that they thicken and make a sauce for the meat.

  7. Taco Seasoning is one of my favorite things to use for cooking. Looking forward to seeing what else everyone submits!

  8. I keep my ‘sweet spices’ separate from my ‘not sweets.’ There’s not much cross-over. The one I watch over carefully is ginger (that I sometimes use in Asian dishes)

  9. Cumin sugar toast sounds dis.gus.ting! But really funny if someone else was the one to eat it. 🙂

    I make my own taco seasoning and generally use it for Taco Tuesday. Sometimes I throw it in HH’s lentils & rice, rather than measuring out the seasoning that recipe calls for. Or I add it to a pot of rice. 🙂


    1/4 c. dried, minced onion
    3 T. chili powder
    2 T. cumin
    1 t. salt
    2 t. red pepper flakes
    1 T. cornstarch
    1/2 t. garlic powder
    2 t. oregano

    Mix all ingredients and place in lidded jar. Use 2 T per pound of meat. Makes 1/2 cup, enough for 4 pounds of meat.

    Notes: I make my taco meat in three pound increments and freeze one pound at a time in quart-sized bags, so I quadruple this recipe and put it in a jar. It’s more efficient to make a bunch than to make it often. So, I always have it handy for when I make a bunch of taco meat.

    As to your question, I use cumin and child powder in two dishes I found on allrecipes – a black & red bean soup and a crockpot tortilla soup. Yum! 🙂

    • Bethany, thanks for the recipes. I have a question about freezing taco meat. I usually don’t do that because the times I have the meat seems to dry out vs adding the seasonings as I need it. How do you keep that from happening? I just brown the meat out and freeze it with no seasonings and then add later.

  10. Christina says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t seen my most simple but often asked for recipie for my very delicious dip. Its perfect for tortilla chips, to toss on top of tacos or burritos or to use in my 7 Layer Mexican Dip (or however many ingredients your have). Ready?

    * 1 16 oz. container of sour cream (buy on sale for no more than 99 cents)
    * 4 Tbsp. pre-made taco seasoning (giant 24 oz. container at Costco for like $5)
    Mix them together. Add more or less seasoning to your taste. Let sit for about 20-30 minutes to really meld tastes together.

    Its so simple (and inexpensive) that its criminal. If you’re not using it all right away, put it back in the sour cream container and store it in your fridge as you would sour cream and use at will. And being that I’m a Weight Watchers junkie – using a fat free sour cream makes it a very low points value but the taste isn’t compromised at all since the taco seasoning is what its all about!!

  11. Here is yet another Taco Seasoning/Taco Soup recipe. The Taco Seasoning recipe is one I have been making for 40 years. It is from a 1974 Farm Journal cookbook called The Thrifty Cook. Farm Journal cookbooks were the precursor of the Taste of Home type cookbook with recipes sent in from all over the country to the Farmer’s Wife section of Farm Journal magazine. I am fortunate enough to have all the Farm Journal cookbooks. (Of course, that is way more than you wanted to know.)

    Anyway, here is the recipe:
    Taco Seasoning
    2 t. instant minced dried onion
    1 t. chili powder
    1/2 t. ground cumin
    1/2 t. crushed dried red pepper flakes
    1/2 t. instant minced dried garlic
    1/2 t. cornstarch
    1/4 t. dried oregano leaves

    Mix all ingredients together well. Makes the equivalent of 1 package purchased taco seasoning. Note: the original recipe included 1 t. salt. Since I need to watch my salt intake,
    I no longer include salt in the mix, but add it to the finished dish if I think it needs it.

    Here is my favorite Taco Soup recipe. It is from the book Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas by
    Brenda J. Ponichtera. What I really like about this recipe is, if you have browned ground beef in the freezer, the soup is basically: open some cans, dump and pour, cook.

    Taco Soup
    1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce
    2 cans (16 oz. ea.) diced tomatoes
    2 cans (16 oz. ea.) pinto or chili beans (I usually use the chili beans, undrained, but drain the pinto beans if I use those)
    1/2 to 1 package taco seasoning

    Brown meat with onion and garlic in a stockpot and drain if necessary. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 quarts.

    I keep ground beef in my freezer that has been browned up with diced onions, celery, red peppers and sometime carrots. I do 3 lbs of ground beef at a time and divide it up into 4 parts. This stretches the meat and helps the food dollar. Depending on how ambitious I am I will add the fresh onion. This soup is very good with some hot corn bread on a cold winter’s day which we have a lot here in the northwest.

    On freezing Taco Beef, Lynn over at Lynn”s Kitchen suggests using tomato sauce instead of adding water to the browned beef. She uses 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce to two pounds of meat and 1 to 2 packages of taco seasoning. You might give that a try. Also I divide my taco beef up and put enough for one serving in a plastic snack size bag, flatten the bag, and put several of the snack bags in a 1 gallon freezer bag. There is just my husband and me, and this way I can take out just what I need.

    Well, this comment has become WAY TOO LONG.


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