Homemade Taco Seasoning

February 14, 2012

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I grew up loving “taco night”. It was one my favorite nights of the week. I love a crispy shell(a tortilla, lightly fried in oil), filled with seasoned meat, homemade salsa, good-organic cheese, and fresh lettuce. Yum!!

I wanted to make a childhood favorite for my kids. The seasoning that I grew up on, sadly, was not something I was going to feed to my kids. Instead, for years, I made soft, chicken tacos. The chicken, slightly sauteed in a combo of onions, tomatoes, a small teaspoon of chopped jalapenos, chicken stock, and some seasonings. They are super tasty, but nothing can beat a crispy taco.

I read Cook’s Illustrated religiously and own every issue since 1993(and a selection from 1981-1992). They are my “go-to” and a place that I find lots of inspiration. Many of our favorite dishes are adapted from CI so when I found a recipe for homemade taco seasoning, I earmarked the page and headed to the kitchen.

Using the original recipe as a jumping off point, I changed it up a bit to make it my own. Keeping a mix of the dry ingredients, stored in a glass jar, helps make taco(or tostada) night, any night of the week.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
This recipe makes a big batch. My boys like it in their lunch box the next day. Kept warm in a thermos with a side of corn chips and simple salad, sending them with a perfect whole meal is the best way to get them through their day.

ingredients:
3 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 lbs. grass fed, organic ground beef
3/4 cups homemade chicken stock
3/4 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoons sucanat
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
12 corn tortillas

toppings:
black beans
shredded, organic lettuce
grated cheese
homemade salsa

instructions:
• preheat oven to 250*. set a wire rack inside a jelly roll and set aside.
• heat a heavy duty fry pan over medium heat. heat the coconut oil. add the onions and saute until they become translucent.
• add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
• add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, Celtic sea salt, and white pepper. mix and saute for 1 minute.
• add the beef and saute until the meat is no longer pink.
• pour in the chicken stock and tomato sauce. bring to a boil. once boiled, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked off.
• while the beef is cooking, heat some peanut oil in a fry pan. add one tortilla, cook for 1 minute. flip the tortilla, using a pair of tongs, slightly fold over the tortilla. don’t let the tortilla close, keep it open with the tongs.  when golden brown and crispy, remove from the oil and place on wire rack. repeat with the rest of the tortillas. place in the oven until ready to fill.
• when the liquid has almost evaporated, add the sucanat and cider vinegar. cook for 1 minute.
• taste and adjust seasonings.
• fill taco shells and eat! enjoy!

More Homemade Pantry Staples
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette – Aggie’s Kitchen
Marinara Sauce – The Urban Baker
Homemade Almond Milk - A Food Centric Life
Orange Vinaigrette – Dine and Dish

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lucy Lean February 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

This spice mix looks perfect for any Mexican fiesta.

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2 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

What a simple and delicious staple to have on hand! Thanks for sharing this smart idea, Susan.

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3 Nancy@acommunaltable February 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

Every time I make tacos I pull out the 6 – 8 seasonings I use and think ” I should just make up a batch and store it with my spices” – and of course, I never do! This is just the nudge I needed to do it!

And those tacos look sooooo good – and I can’t tell you how GOOD it feels to say that!!!

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4 Susan February 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Nancy, a few months ago, I made a triple batch and it was genius. I just figured out what i used per recipe and simply measure it out that way and always seems to taste fantastic. And, yes, nothing much better than a fried tortilla filled with goodness!

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5 HeatherChristo February 15, 2012 at 11:45 am

This is so practical (and delicious!) great to have in the spice cupboard for impromptu taco nights!

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6 Victoria February 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Love this post! Taco night is my favorite too…Think I’ll be making this tonight. Your photos are incredible…

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7 Susan February 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Thanks, Victoria – so appreciate the compliment!

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8 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] February 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Taco nights are one of my favorite nights too!

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9 Mercedes February 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

This is so great! I love the spices you included.

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10 NancyR February 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Ok, the struggling cook here is confused. If I just want to make the dry taco seasoning to put with my spices what do I do? What do I mix together? It looks like you gave the whole taco recipe. Thanks for helping this crazy unknowing cook. :0)

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11 Susan February 18, 2012 at 8:29 am

I am so sorry for the confusion, Nancy. I store the dry ingreidients only. Generally, I double or triple the dry ingredients, putting them in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Then when I am ready to add the seasonings to the cooking mixture, I add about 3-4 tablespoons. I hope helps!

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12 Kim February 16, 2012 at 4:09 am

Love tacos and I prepare too my own seasonnings for these! Like your recipe thought! I maybe will try it!

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13 Kristina Vanni February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I love the idea of making homemade versions of pantry staples! This is a great way to control the ingredients in your seasoning. I think it’s time for a “Taco Tuesday!”

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14 aida mollenkamp February 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

I love doing homemade spice mixes since you then know what went into it and how fresh the spices are! Thanks for sharing, Susan.

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15 marla {family fresh cooking} February 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Great to have such a versatile seasoning at the ready :)

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16 Barb January 16, 2013 at 7:43 am

Taco seasoning recipe only please

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17 Susan January 27, 2013 at 8:22 am

Barb – it’s on the website page. Were you able to find it?

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