Let’s talk about one of my favorite pantry staples — Taco Seasoning.
Yes! Taco Seasoning!
It’s one of the items I tend to grab for at least once a week. I use it to season all of my taco fillings, in fajitas or enchiladas, when I make huevos rancheros or chilaquiles — and even as a dry rub for chicken, pork, beef, or seafood before grilling it.
Heck– I’ll even throw in a few pinches when I’m scrambling eggs.
And if you’re like me, you grew up using the prepackaged envelopes of seasoning. Don’t get me wrong–that stuff’s delicious and completely nostalgic. But the problem I’ve always had is that although I would use the store-bought seasonings, I would still find myself adding cumin or smoked paprika or whatever it was to get the exact flavor profile I liked.
Which lead me to nix the whole thing and start making my own—-and that’s the beauty of homemade taco seasoning. You can add and omit whatever tickles your fancy.
I tend to lean towards a deeply smoky (hence the ancho and smoked paprika), earthy (which explains the heavy hand in cumin) and spicy (cayenne, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes) blend.
I do believe the variations in chili powders and paprikas add a complexity but if you don’t have all of the varieties on hand, just sub as needed (ie. replace standard chili powder for ancho). It won’t have the same flavor but it’ll still be dreamy.
You may also notice that the amount of salt I’ve listed below is fairly low compared to the other proportions–but keep in mind, you’ll likely be salting the rest of your dish at various times, so add accordingly.
If stored in airtight containers, the blend will last for several months–though I seem to end up making a new batch up every month or so. And because of this and the fact that it’s easy to double or triple the recipe, they’ll make for great gifts!
DIY Taco Seasoning Blend
Makes approximately 8 tablespoons
½ tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder), omit if you don’t have any
1 tablespoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
In a bowl, carefully whisk all the ingredients together until well incorporated. The blend can be used right away or stored in an airtight container for 5-6 months.