Easy-peasy DIY Taco Seasoning Recipe

Not so long ago I used Trader Joe's envelopes of taco seasoning to season my taco meat. But then I discovered that it contained sugar, which meant my sister, who does not eat sugar and then regularly ate with us, could not eat it. Of course I had to browse dozens of recipes before trying a few and then finding my own favorite version through trial-and-error. I'd say of all the recipes I browsed, mine bears the closest resemblance to Alton Brown's.

I mix and store mine in the little glass jars that came with my yogurt maker (they hold a little less than one cup). I always make my yogurt in quart jars, so I can use the little jars for other things. After getting tired of searching for my favorite version of the recipe every time I needed to make a new batch of seasoning, I had a stroke of genius and affixed the simple recipe to the lid using part of a blank label.

This recipe is not too spicy because I have little kids and I'm not a big fan of spicy myself anyway, but you could easily kick it up a notch with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. A good chili powder is key, as this is the basis of your taco seasoning. I often use Spice Islands because it's America's Test Kitchen's favorite, but it probably contains GMO something-or-other. I've also used Simply Organic's chili powder with good results. I also add freshly ground pepper straight to the meat while browning (as pepper loses its potency quickly after grounding), and add fresh diced tomatoes whenever possible. The recipe is for what gets stored in the jar.

I use about one tablespoon to season a pound of ground meat (beef or turkey). A little more (1 1/2 tablespoons) if I'm mixing in tons of vegetables (onions, peppers, tomatoes), which I usually am.

DIY Taco Seasoning

1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
4 teaspoons kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons coriander
Measure all ingredients. Add to a jar that holds at least 3/4 cup. Shake thoroughly. 
Use about 1 tablespoon per pound of meat, more if adding lots of vegetables.
When browning meat, add freshly ground pepper to taste, as well as fresh (or canned) tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, etc.


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