As a child of the 1980s, I am well-versed in tacos for dinner. Not fancy tacos. Not street tacos or fish tacos or steak tacos. I’m talking ground beef seasoned with a packet and spooned into crunchy corn taco shells. And while I love all the fancier tacos, I’m never going to say no to the old-school taco meat, the stuff of my childhood and late-night roommate nacho runs in college (Beto’s, anyone?) and quick post-baby dinners. They’re cheap, they’re easy, everyone loves them. And while store-bought taco seasoning is fine, you can make it in bulk SO cheaply and it’s not only incredibly delicious, but it doesn’t have any preservatives or chemicals, just herbs, spices, and a little cornstarch.
This recipe is going to make a LOT–that’s the point. You can keep it in an airtight container and then use it as needed. Not everything is cheaper at Costco and Sam’s Club, but spices definitely are, so if you’ve been itching for a reason to buy giant containers of chili powder, then boom. Here you go.
To make the base recipe, you’re going to need chili powder, cumin, coriander, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper or cayenne pepper, oregano, and cornstarch.
Toss them into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Now…if you want to make chili-lime taco seasoning, go ahead and add some Simply Lime–you can buy it in packets, but it’s cheaper and easier, especially for cooking, to buy it in these canisters.
If you’re not feeling the lime, but you’re also wanting to jazz things up a little, try adding some smoked paprika instead of regular paprika (although I will say that using the smoked paprika AND lime is one of my favorite combinations!)
If you’re using this in recipes, 1/4 cup=1 packet. Or, if you’re making just regular ol’ tacos, brown 1 pound lean ground beef with 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic over medium heat. When the meat is browned, add 1/4 cup seasoning, 2/3 cup beef broth (or 2/3 cup water + 1 heaping 1/2 teaspoon of beef base, like Better than Bouillon.) Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then serve.
- 3/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (replace with cayenne pepper if you like things spicy)
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Replace paprika with smoked paprika, 1/3 of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder, and add 1 teaspoon brown sugar per 1 pound meat when you add the seasoning mix.
- Add 1/4 cup True Lime granules.
- Whisk together in a large bowl or place ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until well combined.
- To make seasoned ground beef, heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1 pound ground beef, 1 chopped onion, and 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned. Add 1/4 cup taco seasoning and 2/3 cup beef broth (or 2 cup water + 1/2 heaping teaspoon of beef base like Better than Bouillon) and simmer on low for 5 minutes before serving. If making the sweet and smoky variety, add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar when you add the spice mix.
- Spice mix can be stored in an airtight container for about 1 year in your cupboard or in the freezer indefinitely.