Make Your Own Taco and Ranch Seasoning Mixes!!

Why, oh why have I been buying these mixes for so many years?! That's the question of the week.

Annoyed (yet again) by the artificial ingredients and all the salt in the store-bought varieties, I googled "homemade taco seasoning." In seconds, I had a recipe on my screen and was surprised to find that I had all the ingredients in my pantry. Chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, pepper, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. I bet you have them too! 

One minute later, I'd made my own seasoning mix and felt like such a big girl for doing it. Here is the recipe. And yes, it's delicious!

Same with the ranch dressing. I had every ingredient on hand and tossed them together in a jiffy. Next morning, I mixed a bit of it with a few tablespoons of sour cream and included it in my kids' lunches to go with their broccoli and carrot sticks. They loved it!

Here's the recipe:

2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste

This can also be used to make a ranch salad dressing. Use mayo and milk (or buttermilk!) instead of sour cream. It tastes remarkably like the Hidden Valley packet.

I doubled the recipes for these and have them stored in zip-top bags, although at some point, I'll buy more permanent storage containers.

Just about everything we buy in the packaged dry goods aisles at the store, we can make on our own for the same price or cheaper--and definitely healthier!!

I made my own salsa last night, but used my own recipe. Best salsa I've ever tasted. Less chunk, more lime juice, just a hint of cilantro, and a dash of red pepper flakes--exactly how I've always wanted but never found. That's the beauty of creating your own recipe!

I pulled out my yogurt maker again too. (See my post on homemade yogurt) Over the months, I'd fallen prey to buying my own again--mostly because of the hassle of finding something to sweeten it up. That problem is solved when you accustom your palate to plain yogurt, which my daughter and I have. I've actually fallen in love with the tart flavor of plain yogurt. That being said, strawberries were on sale at Kroger this week, so I bought a pint, blended half with a teaspoon of sugar, and stored in the fridge. 

I used it on our pancakes (with homemade whipped cream, the leftovers of which I froze in an old Cool Whip container!) and have been drizzling it over our yogurt. Can you say, "yum!"?

What ingredients have you been using that you can make on your own?

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  1. LOVE homemade salsa - haven't made it in SOOO long. Just may have to do that SOON!

  2. You are my hero. I am so impressed with you and your recipes sound amazing. I don't think I have cumin but I might--I'll have to check. I think tacos are on the list for next week anyway.

    And hubby would flip if I could actually make a decent Ranch Dressing packet! He's addicted. Not so much anymore, but he used to drink it straight from the bottle. Blech. lol.

    Please please please make some homemade salsa and bring it to me! lol. My only change might be the cilantro... more of it! I LOVE cilantro. =)

  3. Thanks for sharing. I've had it on my agenda to make homemade taco seasoning, and now I can make Ranch, too. Who knew?!!? LOL! I just need to use up what's in my pantry (or maybe I'll toss it?). LOL!

  4. Joanne: I think I've fallen in love with homemade salsa too! And that's coming from someone who doesn't care for raw tomatoes.
    Michelle: Did you find cumin? Let me know how your taco seasoning turns out! I LOVE knowing I always have what I need to make Mexican. And please tell me you were exaggerating when you said Mike used to drink from the ranch bottle!!
    Sherrie: Toss it! It's full of junk you don't want or need anyway. The ranch needs lots of salt, by the way. At least I think so. I tried to go easy, but nah, it's best with extra. Make sure you mix and set in the fridge for at least 30min before serving so the dried herbs re hydrate. I forgot about that the other day. Yuck!

  5. April, it sounds like we're on a similar back-to-natural kick! I'm so glad to see your recipe--thanks for posting.

  6. How fun, Rosslyn! It's always better to have a fellow nature-freak to be freaky with. LOL You must let me know if you come across any good recipes/substitutions! I'll do the same. It's not easy eliminating all that junk from our diet. Nor cheap! The more brains working at it, the better! Thanks for dropping by!!

  7. I'll have to try this! By the way, if you mix it with plain nonfat yogurt (especially greek yogurt) instead of the sour cream, it's even better for the kids!

    1. Great idea! Will give it a whirl. Thanks!

  8. I'm excited to try your recipes. Thank you for help in getting rid of unwanted and not needed "stuff" in my food without losing flavor!

    1. It's my blessing to share these. :-) Enjoy!


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