Michelle Jones, Frugal Mom of 4, Founder and Editor of BetterBudgeting
Michelle Jones, Founder
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Michelle's Meals on a Budget
(featured column)

Photo Copyright 2004 by BetterBudgeting.com
Make Your Own Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix - Includes Recipes for EASY BEEF NACHOS, SUPREME NACHOS, TACOS and LOW CARB TACO SALAD

Copyright 2004 by Michelle Jones, editor of BetterBudgeting.com


If you cook often you're likely to already have all the ingredients you need to make my delicious homemade taco seasoning mix.  If not, just continue using a store brand taco seasoning mix until you can gather all the ingredients into your pantry - adding a few at a time.  

 

Some spices and herbs can only be found in the 'expensive brands' available at your local grocery store, but many can be purchased cheap cheap at dollar stores or discount stores, like Wal-mart and Target.  So check there first!

 

Once you have the taco seasoning mix ready, either homemade or store bought, then you can make any of these delicious recipes that I've included below.  They are recipes that I've been making for my family for many years, all you need to do is decide which topping ingredients you prefer.  Or just add them all, like we do!

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Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

I have seen many recipes around for homemade taco seasoning mix, but this is my own recipe.  I even hesitate to share it with you because I know everyone's tastes are different, so what I want you to do is make your own taco seasoning mix -- that is, if you don't just LOVE mine!

To make your own seasoning mix, start with my recipe (it makes a double batch of taco meat; 2 lbs of ground beef).  Brown the ground beef and add the seasoning as directed.  Then, stand by the stove for about 10 minutes adding whatever you think you'd like to taste more of... one ingredient at a time, and in very small amounts, like 1/2 teaspoon.

Whether you want it hotter, sweeter, or saltier... it's up to you!  (Just be sure to make a note of what you've added beside the recipe!!)

Ingredients:

1 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. minced onion
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 red pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. cumin
1 T. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt

Directions:

Mix seasoning ingredients together and store in an airtight container until ready to use.  Two tablespoons of taco seasoning mix equal about the same as a store bought package... minus the preservatives! 

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EASY BEEF NACHOS

This is a great snack (or quick meal), that we serve from leftover chips, cheese and taco meat - when we've recently made Supreme Nachos (recipe below).  I always make a double batch of seasoned taco meat so we'll have extra!

Ingredients:

Tortilla chips
1 lb ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1/2 c. water
1-2 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or a mixture of both)
Jalapeno peppers, sliced (if desired)

Directions:

Brown ground beef over medium-high heat, then drain.  Add 1/2 c. water and 2 T. of taco seasoning mix, stir and simmer for a few minutes.  Set aside to use as needed.

Lay chips flat on a 10x13 baking sheet (edges of chips can overlap a little), top with a thin layer of seasoned beef, then a layer of shredded cheese.  Add several sliced jalapeno peppers here and there, if desired.  Bake for about 6 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serves 3-4

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SUPREME NACHOS

This is a delicious and inexpensive meal our family has enjoyed for many years!

Ingredients:

Tortilla chips
1 lb ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1/2 c. water

Toppings as desired...
1-2 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or a mixture of both)
1/2 lettuce head, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Sour cream

(If you don't like jalapeno peppers, you can use sliced black olives instead.)

Directions:

Brown ground beef over medium-high heat, then drain.  Add 1/2 c. water and 2 T. of taco seasoning mix, stir and simmer for a few minutes.  Set aside to use as needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lay chips flat on a 10x13 baking sheet (edges of chips can overlap a little), top with a thin layer of seasoned beef, then a layer of shredded cheese.  Add several sliced jalapeno peppers here and there, if desired.  Bake for about 6 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Remove nachos from oven and let cool for a minute, then top with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream (and sliced black olives if you didn't use the jalapeno peppers).  

Now your Supreme Nachos are ready to eat!  Place the baking sheet in the middle of the table (on hot pads), and let everyone dig in.  

(Or you can use a spatula to serve everyone an individual plate of baked nachos, placing each topping item in a bowl so everyone can dress their own nachos as desired.)  

Serves 6-8

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TACOS (Hard or Soft)

I know tacos can be pretty cheap at the local Taco restaurant, but these are fun to make and taste even better!

Ingredients:

1 pkg. taco shells, hard or soft (flour tortillas)
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1/2 c. water

Toppings as desired...
1-2 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or a mixture of both)
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Salsa

Directions:

Brown ground beef over medium-high heat, then drain.  Add 1/2 c. water and 2 T. of taco seasoning mix, stir and simmer for a few minutes.  Set aside to use as needed.

Layer a heaping spoonful of seasoned taco meat in each taco shell (or in center of tortillas), then top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Serves 6-8

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LOW CARB TACO SALAD

I don't know how many calories or net carbs my Low Carb Taco Salad has, but it seems to work! 

Ingredients:

(NO SHELL - use a bed of chopped lettuce!)

2 T. taco seasoning mix
1/2 c. water

Toppings as desired...
1-2 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or a mixture of both)
1 tomato, chopped
Salsa
Lite or Fat Free Sour cream
Jalapeno peppers, sliced 

(If you don't like jalapeno peppers, you can add sliced black olives instead.)

Directions:

Brown ground beef over medium-high heat, then drain.  Add 1/2 c. water and 2 T. of taco seasoning mix, stir and simmer for a few minutes.  Set aside to use as needed.

Place chopped lettuce generously around individual plates, then top with seasoned taco meat, cheese, salsa and sour cream.  Top with a few sliced jalapeno peppers or black olives.

Add Serves 3-4

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