Last updated on June 26th, 2023 at 03:26 am
Old El Paso taco seasoning is a classic seasoning blend that is often used to add flavor and spice to tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
While it can be convenient to buy pre-packaged seasoning mixes from the store, making your own seasoning at home is not only easy, but it also allows you to control the quality and quantity of the ingredients used.
In this blog post, we will provide you with an easy-to-follow recipe for making your own Old El Paso taco seasoning.
We will also discuss the benefits of making your own seasoning and provide tips for using and storing it.
So let’s get started and learn how to make this delicious seasoning blend!
Role Of Ingredients In Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
The ingredients in Old El Paso taco seasoning play a vital role in creating the signature taste and flavor of the seasoning blend.
Here’s a closer look at each ingredient and its role:
- Chili powder: Provides a warm and earthy flavor with a mild to moderate level of heat.
- Ground cumin: Adds a nutty and slightly smoky flavor with a hint of bitterness.
- Paprika: Contributes a sweet and slightly smoky flavor, along with a vibrant red color.
- Garlic powder: Adds a pungent and savory taste that complements the other spices.
- Onion powder: Provides a sweet and tangy flavor that balances out the heat and bitterness.
- Dried oregano: Imparts a slightly bitter and herbaceous flavor with a mild aroma.
- Kosher salt: Enhances the overall taste and flavor of the seasoning blend while also helping to tenderize meat.
- Black pepper: Adds a mild level of heat and a subtle spiciness that balances out the other flavors.
- Cayenne pepper (optional): Adds an extra kick of heat and spice for those who prefer a hotter seasoning blend.
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Serving Suggestions For Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
Old El Paso taco seasoning can be used in a variety of Mexican dishes, such as tacos, burritos, nachos, and quesadillas. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Tacos: Use the seasoned beef to fill taco shells or soft tortillas, and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and sour cream.
- Burritos: Spread refried beans on a warm tortilla, add the seasoned beef, top with diced onions, guacamole, and salsa, and roll up the burrito.
- Nachos: Arrange tortilla chips on a baking sheet, sprinkle the seasoned beef on top, add shredded cheese, jalapeños, and black olives, and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Quesadillas: Place a tortilla on a skillet, add the seasoned beef, shredded cheese, and diced onions, fold the tortilla over, and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.
- Mexican rice: Add the taco seasoning to cooked rice and mix well. Serve as a side dish with any Mexican meal.
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Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 1 Chili powder
- 1 Ground cumin
- 1 Paprika
- 1 Garlic powder
- 1 Onion powder
- 1/2 Dried oregano
- 1/2 Kosher salt
- 1/4 Black pepper
- Pinch Cayenne pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using).
- Mix well until all the spices are evenly combined.
- Store the seasoning in an airtight container until ready to use
To use the seasoning:
- Brown 1 pound of ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.
- Drain the excess fat from the beef and return it to the skillet.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of the homemade taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water to the skillet.
- Mix well and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Use the seasoned ground beef as a filling for tacos, burritos, or any other Mexican-inspired dish.
- Your homemade Old El Paso taco seasoning is now ready to use!
How To Store Old El Paso Taco Seasoning?
Proper storage of Old El Paso taco seasoning is essential to maintain its quality and freshness. Here’s how to store it:
- Transfer the taco seasoning mix to an airtight container. This will prevent moisture and air from entering the container, which can cause the seasoning to lose its flavor and aroma.
- Store the container in a cool, dry, and dark place. Exposure to heat, light, and moisture can cause the seasoning to deteriorate quickly. The pantry is an ideal place to store taco seasoning.
- Label the container with the date of preparation. This will help you keep track of the seasoning’s shelf life. Old El Paso taco seasoning can be stored for up to 6 months if stored properly.
- Shake the container before use. This will ensure that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the mix.
Tips And Tricks Of Making Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best Old El Paso taco seasoning:
- Use fresh, high-quality spices for the best flavor. Old, stale spices will not impart the same flavor as fresh ones.
- Adjust the seasoning to your taste. If you like your seasoning spicier, add more cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of chili powder or omit the cayenne pepper.
- Make a larger batch and store it for later use. This way, you’ll always have taco seasoning on hand when you need it.
- Use the seasoning mix as a dry rub for grilled meats or vegetables. It adds a delicious flavor to grilled foods.
- Experiment with different herbs and spices to create your own unique taco seasoning blend. You can add smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or coriander for a different flavor profile.
- Use a food processor or spice grinder to grind whole spices. This will ensure that the spices are evenly ground and will help to release their full flavor.
- Use the taco seasoning mix as a flavoring for dips, dressings, or marinades. It adds a great flavor to many different types of foods.
Alternatives To Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
If you don’t have Old El Paso taco seasoning on hand, or if you prefer to make your own seasoning blend, here are some alternatives you can use:
Homemade taco seasoning: You can make your own taco seasoning using ingredients like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and black pepper. This will give you a similar flavor to Old El Paso taco seasoning.
Store-bought taco seasoning: There are many other brands of taco seasoning available at grocery stores, such as McCormick, Ortega, and Lawry’s. You can try these to find a seasoning blend that you like.
Spices and herbs: You can use individual spices and herbs to create your own seasoning blend. For example, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika are all commonly used in Mexican cooking.
Adobo seasoning: Adobo seasoning is a Mexican seasoning blend that includes garlic, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. It has a slightly different flavor profile than taco seasoning, but it can still be used to season Mexican dishes.
Fajita seasoning: Fajita seasoning is similar to taco seasoning, but it usually includes additional ingredients like red pepper flakes, onion powder, and smoked paprika. It can be used as a substitute for taco seasoning.
Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Vs Other Taco Seasonings?
The main difference between Old El Paso taco seasoning and other taco seasonings is the specific blend of spices used in each seasoning mix.
While most taco seasonings include similar ingredients like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder, the ratios and types of spices used can vary.
Old El Paso taco seasoning, for example, includes a blend of chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (optional).
The combination of these spices creates a distinctive flavor that is often associated with Old El Paso’s brand.
Other taco seasonings may include additional spices like red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, or coriander, which can change the overall flavor profile.
Additionally, some taco seasonings may have a higher salt content or contain preservatives and additives, while others may be all-natural and free from additives.
Ultimately, the difference between Old El Paso taco seasoning and other taco seasonings will come down to the specific blend of spices used and any additional ingredients or additives included in the mix.
How Can I Make Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Less Spicy?
If you find Old El Paso taco seasoning to be too spicy for your liking, there are a few things you can do to make it less spicy:
Reduce the amount of cayenne pepper: The cayenne pepper in the recipe is what gives the seasoning blend its heat. If you find it to be too spicy, you can reduce the amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe or omit it altogether.
Use less seasoning: Another way to make Old El Paso taco seasoning less spicy is to use less of it in your recipe. Start by using half of the recommended amount and then adjust to your liking.
Increase the other spices: To balance out the heat of the cayenne pepper, you can increase the other spices in the blend. For example, you could increase the amount of paprika or oregano to add more flavor without adding more heat.
Add a neutral ingredient: If you’ve already made a batch of Old El Paso taco seasoning that is too spicy, you can try adding a neutral ingredient to help balance out the heat. For example, you could mix the seasoning blend with plain yogurt or sour cream before using it as a topping for tacos.
Nutrition Benefits Of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
Old El Paso taco seasoning can provide some nutrition benefits when used in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here are some potential nutrition benefits:
Spices: The blend of spices in Old El Paso taco seasoning can add flavor to dishes without adding extra calories or fat.
Some of the spices, like cumin and paprika, contain antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Low-calorie: Old El Paso taco seasoning is low in calories, which can make it a good choice for people looking to manage their weight.
One tablespoon of the seasoning contains around 15 calories.
Low in fat: The seasoning blend is also low in fat, with less than 1 gram of fat per tablespoon. This can make it a good choice for people looking to reduce their overall fat intake.
Salt content: However, one potential drawback to Old El Paso taco seasoning is that it can be high in sodium.
One tablespoon of the seasoning contains around 230 milligrams of sodium, which is about 10% of the recommended daily intake.
For people watching their sodium intake, it’s important to use the seasoning in moderation and to look for low-sodium or sodium-free alternatives.
Allergen Information Of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
Old El Paso taco seasoning is a flavorful blend of spices that can add a zesty kick to your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes.
However, it’s important to be aware of any potential allergens in the seasoning blend before using it.
The ingredients in Old El Paso taco seasoning include chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, black pepper, and optional cayenne pepper.
While these ingredients are generally safe for most people, chili powder, cumin, and paprika may be potential allergens for some individuals.
Furthermore, Old El Paso taco seasoning is manufactured in facilities that may also process ingredients containing wheat, soy, milk, and tree nuts.
Therefore, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity, it’s important to read the ingredient labels carefully before using this seasoning blend or any other food product.
To ensure your safety, you can also consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian. Additionally, you can look for alternative seasoning blends that are free of potential allergens or that are specifically labeled as allergen-free.
Remember to always put your health first and make informed decisions about the foods you consume.
Diet Advice For Eating Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
If you’re looking to incorporate Old El Paso taco seasoning into your diet, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you’re making healthy choices. Here are some diet tips to consider when eating Old El Paso taco seasoning:
Choose lean protein sources: When making tacos or other Mexican-inspired dishes with Old El Paso taco seasoning, choose lean protein sources like grilled chicken or fish, lean ground turkey or beef, or plant-based protein sources like beans or tofu.
Watch your portion sizes: Even though Old El Paso taco seasoning is relatively low in calories, it’s important to watch your portion sizes to avoid overeating.
Stick to a reasonable serving size and pair your tacos or other dishes with plenty of vegetables to help you feel full and satisfied.
Use whole grain tortillas: Instead of using regular white flour tortillas, choose whole grain tortillas for added fiber and nutrients.
You can also try using lettuce leaves or collard greens as a low-carb alternative to traditional tortillas.
Limit added fats and sodium: Old El Paso taco seasoning contains salt and some recipes may call for added fats like oil or cheese.
To keep your meal healthy, try to limit added fats and sodium by using non-stick cooking spray instead of oil, choosing reduced-fat cheese, and using avocado or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
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What Do People Think About Old El Paso Taco Seasoning?
People generally have positive opinions about Old El Paso taco seasoning.
Many enjoy the convenience of being able to quickly season their tacos or other Mexican-inspired dishes with a flavorful blend of spices.
Some users praise the seasoning for its balance of spices, noting that it adds a zesty kick without being overly spicy.
Others appreciate the versatility of Old El Paso taco seasoning, noting that it can be used to season a variety of dishes beyond just tacos, such as chili, soups, and stews.
Some users also appreciate the affordability of the seasoning and the fact that it can easily be found at most grocery stores.
However, there are some individuals who may not enjoy the flavor profile of Old El Paso taco seasoning or may prefer to make their own seasoning blends from scratch.
Additionally, some individuals with food allergies or dietary restrictions may not be able to use Old El Paso taco seasoning due to potential allergens or ingredients that don’t fit their dietary needs.
Health Benefits Of Eating Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
Old El Paso taco seasoning contains a blend of spices that can offer potential health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Here are some potential health benefits of eating Old El Paso taco seasoning:
Anti-inflammatory effects: Many of the spices found in Old El Paso taco seasoning, such as cumin, paprika, and oregano, contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Antioxidant properties: The spices in Old El Paso taco seasoning also contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals.
Improved digestion: Some of the spices in Old El Paso taco seasoning, such as cumin and paprika, have been shown to have beneficial effects on digestion. Cumin, in particular, has been shown to help relieve digestive issues like bloating and constipation.
Lowered risk of chronic diseases: Some of the spices in Old El Paso taco seasoning, such as garlic and cumin, have been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How spicy is Old El Paso taco seasoning?
The spiciness of the seasoning can be adjusted by adding or reducing the amount of cayenne pepper used.
Can I use this seasoning for chicken or other meats?
Yes, this seasoning can be used for any meat or protein of your choice.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
The recipe is gluten-free if the ingredients used are certified gluten-free.
Can I omit the salt in the recipe?
Yes, you can omit the salt if you are trying to reduce your sodium intake or if you prefer to add salt to taste later.
How much seasoning should I use per pound of meat?
A general rule of thumb is to use 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat.
How long does homemade taco seasoning last?
Homemade taco seasoning can last for up to 6 months if stored properly in an airtight container.
How do I know if my seasoning has gone bad?
If the seasoning has lost its aroma or flavor or if it appears clumpy or discolored, it may have gone bad and should be discarded.
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Old El Paso taco seasoning is a popular and convenient blend of spices that can add zesty flavor to a variety of Mexican-inspired dishes.
While opinions on its taste may vary, many people appreciate its affordability, versatility, and ease of use.
Additionally, consuming Old El Paso taco seasoning as part of a balanced diet may offer potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects, improved digestion, and lowered risk of chronic diseases.
It’s important to note that individuals with food allergies or dietary restrictions should check the ingredient list before consuming Old El Paso taco seasoning.
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