I have fond memories of taco night growing up. It always involved the yellow box taco kit, complete with the shells, seasoning mix, and that mysterious red sauce that no one in our house ever used. What was that anyway?? It’s one of the few meals I remember helping to make, and something about being able to customize our tacos with the toppings we liked just seemed really fun at the time.
Shane and I don’t have a taco night at our house but we do make taco bowls (or maybe burrito bowls would be more appropriate) on a regular basis. It started off as a easy way to make use of the huge stash of ground chicken in our freezer, but it’s quickly become one of the meals Shane requests most often! I’m always happy to oblige because it couldn’t be easier to make.
We fill our taco bowls with seasoned meat – most often ground chicken or turkey, but ground beef would be great too – plus cilantro lime rice, cheese, and salsa. Shane stops there, but I like to add tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, nonfat Greek yogurt, and sometimes avocado too. I keep it healthy by measuring out just 4 oz of the meat, using only a tiny bit of rice and cheese, and then loading up on the veggies
When we started making these taco bowls, I also began making the taco seasoning mix from scratch. Honestly, there’s almost no reason not to. It’s as simple as mixing together six spices you probably already have in your pantry anyway! No weird preservatives and a lot less sodium than the store-bought stuff, and it tastes just as good. I haven’t done the calculation, but I would guess you probably save money making your own too. Take 5 minutes to make a batch and you’ll all be set for taco night for months to come!
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
from Annie’s Eats
4 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk all of the spices together until well combined. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
To use: Brown 1 lb of ground meat in a large skillet (I do ground chicken most often, but ground turkey or ground beef would be great too). Sprinkle two tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix over the meat and add 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Use in tacos, burritos, etc.