The Country Cook: Homemade Taco Seasoning

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I have had a super educational week this past week. I dipped my toe into the world of gluten-free recipe creation. I have a special recipe that I'm sharing on here in a couple of days that will be my first (on-purpose) gluten-free recipe.
I'm not on or going on a gluten-free diet but I have a couple of friends whose children were diagnosed with celiac disease. It's an autoimmune disease that makes the body intolerant to gluten. I myself was diagnosed with Lupus (another autoimmune disorder) several years ago. Any kind of disease comes with its own special set of challenges. And autoimmune diseases are the "quiet" diseases. We look completely healthy on the outside, while inside, our bodies are waging war within themselves. When I'm not feeling well, it can take me down for days at a time where I physically cannot get out of bed because the pain is so intense. Or one day I might wake up and my stomach is cramping so intensely I can hardly breathe. There are no warnings. It just comes on me all of a sudden and I pray that it will pass quickly. I never know how my body might attack itself from one minute to the next. There is no cure. There isn't much I can do but ride out the storm. When folks ask what's wrong, I just try to simply explain it as "Lupus" but autoimmune diseases aren't as simple as slapping that one label on it. That's an umbrella name for all these other little diseases that are not totally figured out by the medical field. I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Disease as well as Limited Scleroderma among other things. But try explaining all that to people...not easy. Most folks will just say "Oh, um okay. What's that?" And I totally get that response because that was me when I was first diagnosed. I don't expect folks to be medical experts on every disease out there. I'm certainly not. 
Diet and health become super important when you've been diagnosed with anything. And while "gluten-free" is a popular diet for folks trying to lose weight, for others it is life and death. And when it is a life or death situation, it can be an exhausting task to monitor everything that you or your child are eating. It's one thing to monitor it while just trying to diet and if you accidentally eat gluten, it's not going to harm you. But if you accidentally feed your gluten-intolerant child taco sauce that had gluten in it and they suffer a massive reaction, then suddenly you are spending time in an emergency room or scrambling for an Epi-pen and your life has suddenly taken a dramatic turn into panic and worry. 
When I first started trying to create a gluten-free recipe this week, I had no idea ALL the things that had traces of gluten. And yep, one of those things was taco seasoning and taco sauce. Now, not all of these products have gluten in it but many do. So I talked to my Mom friends whose children have Celiac Disease and almost all of them make their own seasonings for everything to be safe. Who knew pre-made seasoning would have gluten in it?! Not me. When I think gluten, I think bread, that's it. So I understand the need to be extra careful. Also, for some folks it's just a personal choice. A lot of folks are concerned about preservatives in foods and seasonings as well. I don't know the all the science behind all of that so I won't go into it. However, in many cases, it's really easy to just go ahead and make your own. Plus, it tastes REALLY good. I usually just buy my own seasonings but it's great to know I can make my own. I loved how the flavor turned out with this too! It's super yummy and it doesn't taste exactly like store bought seasoning so it has it's own unique, homemade flavor!
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. kosher (or sea) salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
Measure all of the ingredients into a lidded jar (I love my mason jars!) Shake until all ingredients are combined.
It's a good idea to put a sticker or tag on the jar that identifies the seasoning but also how to use it. So for one pound of meat, you would use 3 tbsp. of seasoning plus about a 1/3 cup of water. I used just over a 1/3 cup because you want the meat to simmer in the water and seasonings for a couple of minutes to really soak up the flavor. 
I really enjoyed making my own seasoning so be on the lookout for more coming soon!



  1. Sounds DELISH- I can't wait to try it Brandie! Definitely something we would use all the time.

  2. My daughter has been diagnosed with POTS, which is also an auto-immune disease, but she's always had constipation issues so she recently decided to try gluten free. She tried it for a brief time and then started eating gluten again, she's a big bread lover. After she started back eating gluten she started having pain in her hands and has been told she probably has non-diabetic neuropathy. But anyway, she was looking for something for the pain in her hands until her dr. appointment and someone suggested something that she ordered on-line. In the mean-time she decided to get back off gluten since the hand pain didn't start until she started back on gluten. She received this stuff in the mail, cost sixty something dollars, and discovered it contains gluten. But she said she thinks it is helping, slightly, with her pain, and after spending that kind of money for it she's gonna go ahead and take it.
    Also, I made some homemade pumpkin pie spice a few months ago. We like to put it in our breakfast but my granddaughter said she didn't like my homemade pumpkin pie spice.

  3. Somehow I had misplaced my recipe for Taco Seasoning so Thank You for sharing your recipes.
    Have a wonderful weekend

  4. Thanks so much for sharing.



  5. Hope y'all love it! Michele, praying for your daughter. It is a constant struggle that I totally relate to!

  6. This sounds delicious and I can not wait to try it out. I love all the recipes I found on here and I am tickled pink I found your blog. I can not wait to visit again.

  7. I love making my own seasoning blends - I add a little sugar to my taco seasoning. And each time I make it, its every so slightly different, depending on how heavy handed I am with certain things! Good luck to you in your quest for health!!

  8. I love the recipe but Celiac Disease does not cause anaphylaxis. Someone with Ceiac Disease could also have a wheat allergy which could, in rare cases, cause anaphylaxis. Just thought I'd add my two cents. I wish you good health and thank you for your thoughtful recipe.

  9. I love your recipes and this one is no exception. I don't think I will buy the package stuff again. It would work perfectly for your pulled taco beef recipe.

  10. I've been recently diagnosed with Celiacs and am grateful when people make the effort to adjust recipes just for little 'ole me! This recipe is 'da bomb!
    I wanted to share a little tip my friend from Mexico shared with me. She says all "REAL" Mexican food has a dash of cinnamon. I understand completely that this is a regional thing, but just a dash does add a little somethin' somethin' to the dish. You don't taste cinnamon but recognize that there is a little something different. We love it - give it a try and see what you think. :)
    Thanks for the great recipe! I'm using it in your cornbread taco bake tonight. I can't wait to taste that yumminess! Smells divine!

  11. Thank you for the recipe I'm trying it now. So sorry to hear you have lupus I myself have Hashimoto's. I would recommend definitely researching it as I've been told that being gluten-free is pretty much necessity for most autoimmune disease. Anyway happy cooking and thanks again

  12. Very tasty, but too salty for my taste buds. I'll try half the salt the next time. Thanks for sharing!

  13. You can certainly adjust the salt content for your tastes.

  14. I would love to use this recipe but I don't make tacos very often. Would you be able to break this down into a single dinner using 1 lb of ground beef?

    1. You sure can, if you look in the post it tells you how to add per one pound of meat. Hope you enjoy!


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