Every time I make burritos, tacos, or even a zesty salad dressing, I find myself looking for the pouch, baggie, or shaker of taco seasoning in my pantry.

Now that I'm feeding a toddler (and another eater quickly getting ready for lightly spiced foods), I'm more aware of what I'm adding to our meals. I want to know what's in the spice mix, sauce, or topping before it goes on our plates and in my kiddos' mouths.

Taco seasoning is an easy place to start. It has seven ingredients and all of them are found easily; I bet you have all seven in your pantry right now.

Are you ready? This is going to be really taxing.

Combine 2 tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, and 1/8 tsp each of onion powder, cayenne, and salt.

Stir well and use as one seasoning packet when your recipe calls for it.

I like to make a big batch and keep it in a tightly sealed jar so that I can dole it out as needed. A generous tablespoon is my go-to substitution for the "taco seasoning packet" called for in many recipes.

Speaking of recipes, let's see what you can use this awesome, easy spice in:


We all do it. You let the taco filling spill out onto the beans, right? Then add a little salsa? Now you don't have to make this dish a "leftover" dish. Make it from the start. Move on over to the center of the table, taco sides!


Tacos pretend to be portable in their soft or hard shells, but everyone knows that the best stuff spills out the back end (see the happy Taco Beans and Rice above!). This recipe solves all those problems, plus you get to eat a bag of corn chips.

The next time you add taco seasoning to your shopping list, take a stab at making it at home instead. You won't be sorry!

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel