Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WFMW: Make Your Own Taco Seasoning Mix

One thing that works for me is making my own seasoning mixes instead of buying the packets.  This not only saves money, but you know what all of the ingredients really are!  I was happy to discover this taco seasoning mix in a cookbook.  After I give you the recipe, I'll share my Montana Taco Salad with you - I do think you'll get a laugh from it.  :)

Measure out the ingredients into a small bowl.
Mix it up - looks like taco seasoning to me!
Taco Seasoning Mix

2 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic (sometimes I just use garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Mix ingredients together and use immediately or store in airtight container.  Makes about 2 tablespoons mix, the equivalent of 1 package.  When using, add 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water to 1-1/2 lb. browned ground beef.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I really like this!  And you can make it ahead of time and label the bag/container ('cause if you don't label and think you'll just be able to remember what that is for, you might be wrong and you might have packs of spice rubs and seasoning mixes that look similar and you don't know which is which...or maybe that's just me).  :)

And now...Montana Taco Salad.  I named it this because that's where I learned how to make it - from a newlywed friend when I was probably 17.  So you need to keep in mind that I didn't have much exposure to Mexican food growing up - only tacos and a few tamales.  That's it!  This taco salad was my first and is still a fave though most would not consider it worthy of being called a taco salad.  There are only 4 ingredients: lettuce, tomatoes, browned ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, and...beans?  No.  Corn?  No.  Olives?  No.  Salsa?  Sour Cream?  Cheese?  Cilantro?  No, no, no, no.  The 4th ingredient is none other than Nacho Cheese flavored tortilla chips (AKA Doritos)!

I did recently try to healthify this recipe a little - I use organic lettuce & tomatoes when possible, grass-fed beef, and I found a Doritos equivalent at Trader Joe's that does not have artificial flavors or colors and doesn't use GMO corn.

Gather the ingredients!
Uh-oh...somebody appears to have already opened the bag to sample!  Must be Quality Control.  ;)
I put lettuce and tomatoes in first, then crumbled chips, then the seasoned meat on top and let it sit for a couple minutes before tossing.

Toss it all together!
This is SUPER easy when you need something quick and it's kid-friendly!  It's one of my son's faves!

Do you make your own taco seasoning?  Do you have a fave taco salad recipe?  Obviously I need a "real" taco salad recipe, so leave links to your faves in the comments!

This post is linked to Works-For-Me-Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

Have a great day friends!


  1. Taco salad dressing: mostly salsa (canned/bottled works great), partly mayo. totally yummy!

  2. Printing out your recipe! I hate buying those little (chemically filled, expensive) packets at the store.

  3. OH! And also, instead of cornstarch I changed that to arrowroot powder (real food, thickening agent).

  4. I'm with you my friend. Love making my own seasonings.

    We used to do taco salads a lot when we were growing lettuce. Haven't had one in a month or so now. But now I'm craving one so I guess I need to go buy some lettuce.
    Can you build a Trader Joe's down here my friend?
    Big that reminds me I'm out of Curry size hugs to you!
    Love ya!

  5. My taco salad isn't much different. I get the plates out and put lettuce on each one, then layer tomato, green pepper, green onions, and the meat mixture {ground beef, browned with taco seasoning, then kidney beans added till warm}. We surround the plate with dorito's and use Catalina dressing.

    Cilantro would be a great touch to this... I never think of it!

  6. Taco's are truly a staple in our home. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

  7. I'm printing both recipes out right now. They look great. Thanks for sharing!
    (Oh and "healthy" Doritos cracks me up. Way to go, Trader Joes!)

  8. A good friend of mine makes this salad, and guess where she's from... Montana!! :) Yummy stuff!!


  9. This looks so good! I LOVE Taco Salad!


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