For quick and spicy weeknight dinners, toss some Old El Paso taco seasoning into the mix! This copycat recipe uses simple ingredients to create a flavorful seasoning you can use on anything.
Old El Paso is a famous Tex-Mex brand owned by General Mills. You can find their tortillas, refried beans, rice, sauces, and taco kits in many grocery stores.
Perfect for Taco Tuesdays!
The brand takes its name from El Paso, Texas. But the “Old” refers to the time when Mexico still owned that land.
Today, the company has outgrown both Texas and the US, and you can find their products all over the world! And one of their most versatile items is taco seasoning mix.
However, it’s really easy to make this tasty mix at home! You just need to stir together a few simple pantry ingredients, so even a beginner can make it.
It’s a good idea to make a big batch because you can store it for over a year. That way, any time your meal needs a little kick, you’re ready to sprinkle on the flavor.
Picking the Best Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Ingredients
Cumin seeds come from a plant related to parsley, called Cuminum cyminum. These delicious seeds are used whole or ground into a powder, and you can find this spice in dishes all over the world.
In fact, while it’s a common ingredient in Latin American cuisine, cooks also use it in India, North Africa, and the Middle East.
While paprika may look like chili powder, it’s not hot! It’s a powder made from Capsicum annum peppers, and this family includes both hot and sweet pepper varieties.
Paprika is bright red, so you can use it for both flavor and color in whatever you’re cooking. Also, you can find it in 3 varieties: sweet, spicy, and smoked.
For this recipe, I like to use sweet paprika because it’s quite mild. That way you’ll get a bit of peppery warmth and a splash of color without overwhelming the other spices.
While not a spice, cornstarch helps give the powder a good texture and keeps it from clumping.
Cornstarch comes from the inside (specifically the endosperm) of a kernel of corn. And you can use it like other starches, such as potato or tapioca starch.
Generally, you use corn starch to thicken liquids, like soup, gravy, or pudding. Or, you can use it for breading deep-fried foods.
Chili powder is the quintessential Tex-Mex seasoning. And it’s not just dried chili pepper, despite the name!
It’s a red mix of spices used in American-Mexican dishes, such as fajitas or chili con carne. In general, it includes cumin, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder.
Often, chili powder also has cayenne to give it a little kick. The amount depends on the brand, but the blend is usually 15% cayenne and 85% other spices.
Every blend will taste a little different, so try out several brands to see which one you like best.
Old El Paso Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
- Prep Time5 min
- Cook Time0 min
- Total Time5 min
- Servings ½ cup
- Yield ½ cup
- Add Ingredients
Pour all of your ingredients into the mixing bowl.
Use the whisk or fork to thoroughly combine all of the powders.
- Store and Enjoy
Seal your mixture in the airtight container and put it away for the next time you cook. Then, enjoy the delicious homemade taco seasoning mix at your next fiesta!
Ways to Enjoy Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
The options are limitless! This tasty taco seasoning recipe works with almost any meal.
- The classic way to use this taco seasoning is to season ground beef or pork for taco meat. You can also make healthier fillings with ground turkey or shredded chicken.
- Or, explore other Mexican dishes by making quesadillas, chicken fajitas, or burritos. A little taco seasoning will add tons of flavor to each bite.
- As well, try taco soup, or stew! A little sprinkling of this Old El Paso taco seasoning mix will improve any broth.
- And don’t just stop at Mexican food: you can add a dash to veggie casserole or baked potatoes. Taco seasoning will add much more flavor than plain red pepper flakes.
The key to preserving this taco seasoning mix is to keep it sealed properly. And you can leave it at room temperature in an airtight container – there’s no need to refrigerate or freeze it.
Properly sealed, this Old El Paso taco seasoning recipe will last for about 2-3 years! After that time it won’t hurt you, but it will lose a lot of flavor.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to try to use it up within a year, so it will taste its best. And I don’t think you’ll have trouble with that because it tastes so good!
Check also this Slap Ya Mama Seasoning Recipe.