Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recipe for Kalyn's Taco Seasoning Mix

There are lots of good reasons for making your own Taco Seasoning Mix!

If you're lucky enough to be celebrating Father's Day today, I hope you won't see this until the parties are over and you're thinking about what to put on the menu for the coming week.  All weekend I've been  really missing my dad, but I've also had tacos on the brain this weekend.  I think it might have started when I bought a new type of whole wheat flour tortillas that were the perfect size for tacos, and soon I'd decided I had to mix up a batch of taco seasoning.  (Ground Beef and Black Bean Taco recipe coming tomorrow!)  There are lots of reasons why making your own taco seasoning mix is a smart idea, not least of which is that if you have a well-stocked spice pantry, you can make a lot of taco seasoning for the price of one of those packaged mixes.  Making your own taco seasoning also lets you control what goes into the mix, so you don't get sugar, preservatives, or chemical ingredients you may not want.  But most important to me is and reason this is called "Kalyn's Taco Seasoning Mix," is that when I make my own I can put just the flavors I like in a spice mix like this.  

I love cumin, so my mix has lots of that.  I also have a thing for cilantro, so I add dried cilantro to my version.  (If you're not a cilantro fan, I think dried Mexican oregano would be a nice substitute.)  I'm fond of the flavor of Ancho chile powder made from dried Poblano chiles, so I use lots of that (from Penzeys), and even though I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat I adore the smoky flavor of Chipotle Chile Peppers, so I use just a little ground chipotle.  Of course when you make taco seasoning it will be your version, so I encourage you to adapt this recipe to whatever spices you like most or have on hand.  (I did check some online versions when I was coming up with mine, and was inspired by taco seasonings from Food Renegade, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and Green Lite Bites if you'd like to see some other options.)

My blend uses Ancho chile powder, chile powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried cilantro, sweet paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.  (If you want more heat you can add a small amount of ground Chipotle peppers, which I forgot to put in the photo!)

You could definitely just mix this together in a bowl, but I wanted the cilantro to be ground up more, so I put the ingredients into the bowl attachment of my immersion blender.

After I buzzed all the ingredients for about a minute, the mix was this nice rusty color.

This recipe makes about a cup of Taco Seasoning Mix.  I put mine in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and I think it will keep for at least a year this way.  (I use wide adhesive tape and a Sharpie marker to make labels for the tops of my spice jars, since they're stored in a drawer.)


Kalyn's Taco Seasoning Mix
(Makes about 1 cup of dried Taco Seasoning Mix; recipe inspired by Kalyn's flavor preferences and recipes from other blogs, especially Food Renegade, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and Green Lite Bites.)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Ancho Chile Powder
2 T chile powder
3 T ground cumin
1 T dried cilantro
1 T sweet paprika (not hot paprika, unless you like it hot)
1 T fine grind sea salt (or slightly less regular salt)
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. fine grind black pepper
1 tsp. ground Chipotle Chiles (optional, but good if you want more heat)

Instructions:
You can simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir them together.   I wanted a mixture that was more finely ground, so I put the ingredients into the bowl attachment of my immersion blender (or a small food processor would work) and buzzed them together for about a minute. 

Store Taco Seasoning Mix in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Start with 2 T per pound of ground beef for regular ground beef tacos, then taste to see if you want it more spicy.


South Beach Suggestions: 
One great thing about making your own spice mix blends is that you can be sure they don't contain added sugar, insuring that this mix is suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

More Tasty Taco-Flavored Recipe Ideas:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos from Kalyn's Kitchen
Perfect Taco Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Braised Chicken Tacos from [No Recipes]
Chipotle Chicken Tacos from Homesick Texan
Quinoa Taco Salad from Gluten-Free Goddess
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

26 comments:

  1. Add just a tiny pinch of cinnamon, too! Fantastic!!

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  2. Hi Kalyn! I always adored my mother's homemade tacos and remember coming home after baseball practice on a cold afternoon and smelling them cooking. She used Lawry's Taco Seasoning Mix and they were fabulous. On moving to New England, no Lawry's, sob. I found a terrific taco seasoning mix recipe online and added my own ground chipotole chili, and it was over the top. Never looking back to buying someone else's packaged taco mix. Yours sounds terrific! Thanks for the reminder that the extra goo manufacturers add, we do not need, and are much better off without. Congrats on a great idea!

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  3. I love making big batches of spice blends, and bottling them for gifts during the holiday season. I usually include a couple of recipes, too. It's a great gift.

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  4. I make tacos all the time and I am so happy to have a homemade seasoning now. Thank you so much!

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  5. Maris, that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'll just make it for my friends!

    RebeccaVH, interesting idea. I'll have to try that.

    Cary, I think my mom used Lawry's too. Glad you like it.

    Lydia, I love to do that too.

    Miri, hope you enjoy making your own. So much better and cheaper.

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  6. I love this recipe. Great for the pantry and father too!

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  7. No sugar and no MSG. Win and win! Thanks for this!

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  8. My hubby loves Mexican food but I have never tried making my own taco seasoning mix...thanks so much for this! :)

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  9. I was actually surprised when I realized that the packaged taco seasoning had sugar. Glad people are liking this.

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  10. Yum, I am drooling here, love the ingredients going in the seasoning. I would love to get my hands on it :)

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  11. It is crazy the things that have sugar in them. Since I've started reading labels more closely, it has been a big influence on which brand I buy-I hope companies will start paying attention one day!

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  12. I just got some ground beef from the local food co-op and wanted to make tacos but not with the pre-made mix so this is fabulous! I feel like you're always posting something that I really need. thank you!

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  13. Quite similar to mine; I also use guajillo chiles, smoked paprika, and a bit of unsweetened chocolate. The chocolate brings out the flavor of the meat and chiles, which is why it was used a lot in moles.

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  14. I love the idea of mixing your own spices. You're right about the ingredients in store-bought spice mixes, reading labels is a must these days. Love all the spices you used (I noticed you like Penzeys too!)

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  15. Glad people are liking this. I love Penzeys, and also love The Spice House (the owners are brother and sister!)

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  16. Kalyn, this looks great. I am going to make a batch. I use taco seasoning in a grilled jalapeno I make during the summer. Thanks!

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  17. Hope you enjoy it, and I'm intrigued by grilled jalapenos!

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  18. Kalyn, I have been knew to South Beach. Your recipes have helped me to lose and keep the weight loss off. I feel like I have become a good cook too. I Love all your recipes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone. With out your recipes I would not had stayed on the diet.
    Margaret

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  19. Margaret, I'm so happy to hear that my blog has been helpful for you. Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

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  20. I was always told that dried cilantro was a waste of money - that because of the lack of essential oils in the plant, you were basically paying for a dried grass flavor - similar to parsley. Do you actually use dried cilantro or were you using coriander (cilantro seeds) and grinding them? Thanks for taking time to clarify!

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  21. I did used dried cilantro. I do think it's a waste as a substitute for fresh cilantro, but in a blend like this, or in soup or a marinade I do like the dried cilantro.

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  22. I have a question. I've started making our own seasonings a couple of years ago, while most are great, the taco seasonings seem to not absorb?? Or something. The meat just tastes like meat w a taco sauce, my husband isn't a fan. Is there something I'm maybe doing wrong when I cook it?

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  23. Ashley, when I use this mix I cook it in one of two ways. If it's going into a soup or stew, I add the taco seasoning mix to the onions after I brown then and saute for a couple of minutes so the seasoning is cooked and mixed with the oil. If I am using it to make taco meat, I add the taco seasoning mix to the meat after I browned it, then add about a cup of water, and simmer until the water is evaporated. I'm guessing that "cooks" the taco flavor into the meat more. Hope that helps.

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  24. Kalyn, could you add the directions about how you use the taco seasoning to the recipe? I keep forgetting and have to look the recipe up repeatedly since I have it printed in an old fangled binder. ;) Thank you for this amazing resource!!

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  25. Shannon, the recipe says "start with 2 T per pound of ground beef." Not sure what else to add since I have a few different recipes that use this.

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