Monica's favorite gear for
making Taco Seasoning
I've been using this Cuisinart model for years. I don't know how to cook without it anymore. It's whirls together this taco mix in seconds.
I store my taco seasoning in these jars. They're a perfect size for gift-giving, too.
The downloadable taco seasoning labels can be printed on these sheets, cut apart, and stuck on the jars. Instant, awesome gift!
This has a slightly different flavor from the more common oregano. I use it in most of my Mexican cooking.
Also available: ground cumin, chili powder, paprika

Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix

A healthy mix & gift jar for seasoning taco meat, nachos, beans, dips & more; plus how to cook and freeze ground turkey taco meat


Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix

By Monica              Makes 2-1/4 cups
Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix

This mix is a healthier, tastier alternative to those packets from the grocery store. It can be used to season ground beef or turkey, and also used as a dry rub for fajita meat. Makes great meat fillings for tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and more.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup salt (reduce to 1/8 cup for low-sodium version)
  • 2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried leaf oregano (Mexican preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined. Or, whisk together in bowl. Store in airtight container. (Adjust or omit cayenne for more or less heat.)

FOR TACO MEAT: Use 1/4 cup seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat. 1 pound of ground meat is enough for approx. 12 tacos.
TO SEASON GROUND BEEF FOR TACOS: In large skillet, cook 1 pound meat over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add 1/4 cup seasoning mix and toss to coat the meat. Add 3/4 cup water, stir to combine. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens, approx. 5-10 min. Add more salt to taste, if desired. Cover and keep warm on low until ready to serve.
TO SEASON GROUND TURKEY OR CHICKEN: Follow same directions as for ground beef, except heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in skillet before adding meat.
TO SEASON WHOLE CHICKEN BREASTS/THIGHS OR BEEF STEAKS FOR TACOS: Coat meat on all sides with seasoning mix. Grill, broil, or pan fry meat. Let meat rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing or shredding, to retain moisture in the meat.


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Make this tasty dry mix to have on hand for seasoning taco meat.
Printable tags are provided to turn this mix into a gift jar, too!

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I've really tried to eliminate prepackaged mixes from my kitchen. Most of them are loaded with preservatives, artificial ingredients and excessive sugar and salt. Those taco seasoning packets that are next to the taco shells in the grocery stores are among the worst when it comes to unhealthy ingredients. But, I love their convenience for throwing together a quick taco meal.

It's so easy to make your own homemade taco seasoning mix. It's healthier and tastes better than the store bought mixes, too. Just combine a few spices and seasonings and have this on hand to season ground beef, turkey, or chicken for quick tacos or nachos. This mix can also be used to flavor a pot of chili or as a rub for fajita meat or veggies. Mix it with some sour cream for an easy dip. It's a versatile staple in my pantry.

Don't miss my 7 recipes that are seasoned with this mix.
Links are at the bottom of this post. 


Here's how to make Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix.


Assemble these ingredients: cocoa powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, ground coriander, and corn starch.

Want flavor without the heat? Omit or reduce the cayenne and use a mild chili powder.
Why is corn starch in the mix? The recipe for making the taco meat (at the end of this post) calls for adding water along with the seasoning mix. The corn starch thickens the seasoned water so that the flavors distribute and cling to the taco meat. When used to season a pot of chili, the cornstarch helps to thicken it a bit.

Ingredients

 

It's easy to combine everything quickly and thoroughly in a food processor. (Or, you can put it all in a bowl and whisk everything together.) Pulse the food processor until everything is well mixed. You may need to scrape down the sides a time or two.

view my 11-cup Food Processor on Amazon

taco mix

That's it! Put the mix in a jar or airtight container.

mix in bowl

 

How to use this mix to season ground taco meat:

  • Use 1/4 cup seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat. 1 pound of ground meat makes approx. 2 cups of taco meat--enough for approx. 12 tacos.
  • TO SEASON GROUND BEEF FOR TACOS: In large skillet, cook 1 pound meat over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add 1/4 cup seasoning mix and toss to coat the meat. Add 3/4 cup water, stir to combine. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens, approx. 5-10 min. Add more salt to taste, if desired. Cover and keep warm on low until ready to serve.
  • TO SEASON GROUND TURKEY OR CHICKEN: Follow same directions as for ground beef, except heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet before adding meat. 

These photos show ground turkey seasoned with this mix. I used to always use ground beef, but have switched to turkey for a leaner, healthier option. And honestly, using this seasoning mix makes it hard for anyone to tell it's not beef. 

Taco_Spice_Mix

The seasoned sauce thickens and results in moist, flavorful ground turkey taco meat that is very low fat.

meat with shells

Taco meat freezes really well. I measure portions into quart size Ziploc freezer bags, and flatten them for easier freezer storage and faster thawing. The meat reheats well in a covered dish in the microwave. Having this on hand in the freezer makes it easy to throw together a fast taco dinner.

turkey taco meat

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This mix makes a great gift! 


I use half-pint mason jars for storage and gifts.

view 1/2-pint mason jars on Amazon

IMG_7773.jpg IMG_7754.jpg

Download printable gift tags

Print a sheet of these tags for adding the finishing touch to gift jars. It includes instructions for cooking taco meat using this mix.

To use the tags:

  • Print these on card stock, cut them out with scissors, punch a hole in the corner, and hang them from a ribbon or string. 
  • Print them on sticker paper and stick them to your gift. Or, stick them on with tape.

view Sticker Paper on Amazon

If you don't have a printer or specialty papers, you can have a store with printing services download and print them for you.  

To download and print a full sheet of tags,
simply click on the image below.

Taco Seasoning Mix blog image.png

You can read my tips for making a big batch of this mix for giving multiple gifts in my post: No-Cook Dry Mixes Make Easy Gifts From Your Kitchen

The gift recipient(s) will love having copies of recipes that use this mix for seasoning. You can print out 7 of my recipes that use this taco mix at the bottom of this post.

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It's so convenient to have this on hand for making a quick taco meal. Load taco shells with the meat and your favorite toppings and dinner is ready! 

tacos

Meat flavored with Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix isn't just for tacos. Try the seasoned meat on nachos, taco salad or a bed of rice. Use if for a filling for enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, and chimichangas. This is a versatile mix for many dishes. Ole’!

Make it a yummy day!

Monica


You also might be interested in these recipes seasoned with this versatile Fiesta Taco Seasoning mix.
 (Print and include copies of these recipes with gift jars of Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix)

Click to view Ropa Vieja Shredded Beef recipe

ThumbnailIMG_5250.png

Click to view Quick & Healthy Turkey Chili recipe

IMG_2204thumbnail.jpg

Click to view Fiesa Fries recipe

IMG_5852thumnail.png

Click to view Fiesta Salsa Chicken recipe

ThumbnailIMG_6913.png

Click to view Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce recipe

ThumbnailIMG_6267.png

Fiesta Healthy Microwave Popcorn

IMG_0715fiesta.jpg

Fiesta Quinoa Salad-In-A-Jar

IMG_3632.jpg

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix
By Monica              Servings: Makes 2-1/4 cups
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup salt (reduce to 1/8 cup for low-sodium version)
  • 2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried leaf oregano (Mexican preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Directions
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined. Or, whisk together in bowl. Store in airtight container. (Adjust or omit cayenne for more or less heat.)

FOR TACO MEAT: Use 1/4 cup seasoning mix for each pound of ground meat. 1 pound of ground meat is enough for approx. 12 tacos.
TO SEASON GROUND BEEF FOR TACOS: In large skillet, cook 1 pound meat over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add 1/4 cup seasoning mix and toss to coat the meat. Add 3/4 cup water, stir to combine. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens, approx. 5-10 min. Add more salt to taste, if desired. Cover and keep warm on low until ready to serve.
TO SEASON GROUND TURKEY OR CHICKEN: Follow same directions as for ground beef, except heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in skillet before adding meat.
TO SEASON WHOLE CHICKEN BREASTS/THIGHS OR BEEF STEAKS FOR TACOS: Coat meat on all sides with seasoning mix. Grill, broil, or pan fry meat. Let meat rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing or shredding, to retain moisture in the meat.
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Posted on Monday, January 24th, 2011








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