Recipe: Mom Woytek’s Taco Seasoning

I’m starting to type-up and share some of the recipes that we’ve been using for a long time. I am getting ready to share what we did for dinner tonight, and this is one of the prerequisites, so here’s the recipe for my Mom’s taco seasoning (and directions on how to use it to make easy beef taco filling). We’ve used this for as long as I can remember, and it’s about 400 times better than any of the store-bought taco seasonings that I’ve tried. It uses simple spices and things that any decently-equipped kitchen should have (if you don’t have these, this is a great way to start a pretty versatile small collection of spices to start playing in the kitchen). Though I would sometimes pre-mix everything and store it in a larger container, I was never happy with how I measured it out of that container. It’s so fast to put together that I just keep the paper copy I have handy for when I need it.

Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion (sometimes called onion flakes or chopped onions)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I use seasoned salt, but regular will do)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch (found in the baking section around baking powder and baking soda and stuff like that)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried red pepper (more if you like things a little spicy)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. This makes enough to season about one pound of ground beef or three boneless chicken breasts.

Ground cayenne pepper can be substituted for the crushed dried red pepper. This measurement can be adjusted up or down to add or reduce spice level. This is the primary source of “heat” in this mixture. I typically use a heavy 1/2 tsp., which keeps it reasonable for Jenny.


Ground Beef Taco Filling

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 recipe Taco Seasoning Mix
  • ½ cu. water

Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Drain excess grease. Add water and seasoning mix, and stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Makes enough filling for about 8-10 tacos.


Jonathan does a lot of stuff. If you ask Jenny, maybe he does too much stuff.