Make your own Taco Seasoning Mix and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

Seasoning packets from the supermarket may be convenient, but they have drawbacks — not the least of which is they’re relatively expensive!

I just checked Lawry’s Taco Spices and Seasonings Mix — $1.57 for one packet! I just hate to pay that much for so little. And I don’t have to because I’ve got a great recipe to make taco seasoning mix myself, using ordinary spices I have already. As a bonus, I know exactly what’s in it and how old the ingredients are.

The recipes that follow call for the amount of seasoning you would find in the typical supermarket seasoning packet — about 4-1/2 tablespoons of mix.

While you could make the amount you need as you need it, a better idea is to make a bunch and then keep it in a tightly sealed jar on your spice rack. It’ll come in handy more times than you can imagine. The recipe multiplies well.

Enjoy this simple mix and the two family-friendly recipes that follow for both beef and chicken tacos. Yum!

Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornmeal (maize or corn flour)
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Mix all ingredients together, and store in a small airtight container.

Makes 4-1/2 tablespoons mix.

Restaurant-Style Taco Meat

  • 4-1/2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1-1/3 pounds lean ground chuck
  • 1 cup water

In a small bowl, combine all of the spices. Or if you made the seasoning mix in advance, measure out 4 tablespoons.

Crumble the ground chuck into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the meat, stirring until browned. Remove from heat. Rinse the meat with hot water, and drain the water and grease. Return the meat to the skillet, and pour in seasoning. Stir in water. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked away, about 20 minutes.

Makes enough meat for 12 regular-size tacos.

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

Place salsa, taco seasoning, lime juice and cilantro in a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Add chicken, and stir to coat. Cover the slow cooker. Set it to high, and cook until the chicken is very tender, about 4 hours.

Optional: Set slow cooker to low, and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Shred chicken with to forks to serve.

Makes enough chicken for 12 regular-size tacos.

Mary Hunt, founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Send tips or address questions to: Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740, or email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com.

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