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!
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.
Skip the photos – Go straight to the recipe
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.
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
That’s it! Put the mix in a jar or airtight container.
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.
The seasoned sauce thickens and results in moist, flavorful ground turkey taco meat that is very low fat.
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.
This mix makes a great gift!
I use half-pint mason jars for storage and gifts.
view 1/2-pint mason jars on Amazon
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
Click to view Quick & Healthy Turkey Chili recipe
Click to view Fiesa Fries recipe
Click to view Fiesta Salsa Chicken recipe
Click to view Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce recipe
Fiesta Healthy Microwave Popcorn
Fiesta Quinoa Salad-In-A-Jar
Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix
Servings: Makes 2-1/4 cups
- 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
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.