Tacos Without the Packet

I don’t know about you…but I like to know what is in my food. You know, pronounce-able names of ingredients I have heard of before and, with a greener thumb and more time, might actually be able to grow myself. So, years back when my sister-in-law shared her recipe for homemade taco seasoning I eagerly ditched the store bought packet in favor of her easy mix of dried spices. Better still, all the ingredients were ones already living in my spice cabinet. Over time I have tweaked it a bit to match the tastebuds in my house, and that is the version I am sharing here with you today.

Tacos are requested in my house AT LEAST once a week, so they are pretty much a staple on our weekly meal plan. I’ll often make this with ground turkey, but this spice mix goes equally well with ground beef or ground chicken. It is a lightening-fast weeknight meal which is a crowd-pleaser for both the adult and preschool palettes I am trying to please. Mischief and Mayhem, are big fans of the “Mini Taco”, which is just taco fixins in a TOSTITOS® Scoop. In fact, that is by far the most popular lunch I pack them for preschool. Any time I send leftover taco meat and a handful of scoops, I am guaranteed to get back completely empty lunch containers at the end of the day.

Ground Beef Tacos

Ground Beef Tacos

Homemade Tacos


  • 1 # ground beef (or chicken, turkey, tofu…whatever floats your boat)
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 8 oz tomato sauce


Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain any excess fat, and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in dry spices and cook 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and cook 3-4 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Serve with taco shells and fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and shredded lettuce.

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