January 10, 2011

COOK | Copycat Recipe Review: Taco Seasoning Mix

One of  my favorite ways to save a few bucks in the kitchen while still cooking up all of our usual yummy favorites is to search for and use "copycat" recipes for restaurant items and other name-brand items sold in stores and elsewhere.

As part of my KISS 2011, I'm simplifying my posting schedule; on Mondays, I will post a COOK post.  Last week, I posted my January Menu Plan.  On the second Monday of the month, I'll post a Copycat Recipe Review

Cooking at home is a HUGE way to save big bucks in your pursuit of a more frugal lifestyle.  It's also healthier and creates an opportunity to come together as a family to make and share a meal.  Save money + eat healthy +  family time = win-win-win!  ;-)


Copycat Recipe January 2011

Taco Seasoning Mix

If you've looked at any of my monthly menu plans, you've probably noticed that we have a little tradition going on around our dinner table once a week: Tuesday Taco Night.

My kids love tacos and because there is a wide variety of ingredients in our Tuesday Taco Night menu (taco shells, tortillas, meat, cheese, beans, veggies, salsa, sour cream, etc), everyone can fix their plate the way they like 'em.  My daughter sometimes makes hers into a nacho plate; my older son is a straight up traditional taco dude; my younger son likes to just have a protein feast with a bowl of meat, a side of cheese, and a scoop of beans.  He'll munch on some lettuce, too - feeding his inner rabbit, I suppose.  ;-)

I like that everyone is happy at the dinner table. 

I almost always have all the ingredients on hand for tacos but the one thing I often find I don't have is a packet of taco seasoning spices.  When I can buy it on sale for cheap or free with coupons, I stock up; however, because I usually have a little stockpile of it, I tend to forget to check the pantry before I head to the stores.  Then Tuesday comes and {gasp!} I find I have no seasoning mix. 

This is an easy fix; when I find I'm out of the little taco seasoning packets, I use this recipe to make my own taco seasoning in a pinch.  It tastes great and it's fairly spicy so I only need to use a little bit to season the meat (my kiddos prefer milder seasoning).

Today, I've outsmarted my forgetful self by making a big batch of that recipe (I multiplied by 10 which you can do by adjusting the "Servings" to 100 US) and stashing it in my pantry. 

Here's what the whole process (which took about 5 minutes) looks like:

1. Assemble the ingredients

2. Measure & add to bowl.

 3.  Mix well.

4. Use a clean piece of paper to make a simple funnel into your container; pour mix into container.

5. Label with name & date mix was made.

The jar I used is re-purposed 18 oz glass jelly jar.  You can see that my 10X recipe batch fills about 2/3 of the jar.

Since I generally use only 1/2 of a taco seasoning packet when I make tacos because my kids like the flavor but not too much heat, I'll likely use 1 TBSP of this mix plus about 1/3 cup of water for every 1 lb of cooked and drained ground beef.  I'm thinking that little jar will last us a while!  ;-)

Now a question for you:

Do you have any copycat recipe ideas you'd like me to test in my kitchen for next month? I'd love to hear them!


  1. I like to use http://www.copykat.com when I'm looking for a recipe to try. They've been around for a long time.

  2. Thanks for linking to my recipe, I like to add a little oregano to this to make it taste a little better.



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