Taco night has been a regular event over here. Sometimes I like to cook up braised meats like beef barbacoa and pork carnitas for our tacos, but other nights, we just opt for quick and easy fillings like shrimp, chicken, and ground beef cooked with taco seasoning. A question I get asked often is, what do you use to season your meats?
Back in the day, I used to buy those taco seasoning packets for convenience, but then as I got more and more comfortable with using spices, I realized that the packets were often not enough to give the dish the flavor I was looking for. The ingredients just weren’t working for me anymore, so I started making my own blend!
A homemade taco seasoning mix requires quite a few spices and dried herbs, but really, these are standard ingredients you’ll likely have or should have in your pantry. They last a while as long as you keep them in airtight spice jars, and I know I use them very often. Unlike the Hawaiian black lava salt I’m struggling to use up, which definitely fits under the category of impulse buy :)
I’ve had great results using this spice blend in ground beef, skirt steaks, chicken breasts, and ground turkey. As a meatless option, you can even sprinkle some on cubed firm tofu and roast ‘em up in the oven until they are golden brown and crispy. You’re gonna love it!
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
- Use as a dry rub or add to partially browned meat.
*Salt can be omitted from the mix and added to taste when the meat is cooked.