Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homemade Beef and Black Bean Tacos

Until a few years ago, I didn't make anything from scratch.  I mean anything.  Everything I ate was either from a box, can, or a pouch.  Then I found myself out of school, working 8-5, and with a precious little thing known as free time.  So I started dabbling in making food from scratch.  And I will never go back!  It turns out that food made from scratch usually isn't that time consuming, it tastes better, and it comes without a list of chemicals! 

One of my from-a-pouch meals used to be tacos.  I have always loved tacos, but since I started making my own seasoning mix, I love tacos even more!  I developed my recipe by picking and choosing things I liked from other recipes, and some experimenting.  I just make a batch of this seasoning, store it in an old chili powder bottle with the recipe written on it, and when I get that taco craving, I just whip some up.  Easy!  

All you need to do to make your own taco seasoning mix is to measure out a few spices and stir them together.  That's it. 
Then when it's taco time, brown a pound of ground beef.  While the beef is cooking, chop up an onion.  I like to add a little veggie power to my tacos.  Plus it tastes great!
When your beef is browned, thoroughly drain it.  While it is draining, saute your onion in the fat left in your skillet.  Then add the beef back to the skillet, along with a can of black beans, or 1 1/2 cups of homemade black beans.
Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir it frequently to make sure everything is well coated with deliciousness.  That's it!  I like to serve mine with salsa, low fat sour cream, a little sprinkle of cheese, all on a whole wheat flour tortilla.  It's a little fiesta in my mouth!

Homemade Beef and Black Bean Tacos
For taco seasoning:
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
3 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground oregano
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
For tacos:
1/4 cup seasoning mix
1 cup water
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
To make seasoning, whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.  Reserve 1/4 cup of seasoning and store the rest in an airtight container.
To make tacos, brown ground beef in skillet.  Drain meat and saute onion in fat remaining in skillet until beginning to soften.  Return beef to skillet and add beans, seasoning mixture, and water.  
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes until most of the liquid is gone.  Serve with whole wheat or whole corn tortillas.


  1. So does the taco seasoning mix just make enough for one recipe of tacos?

  2. You can make at least two batches of tacos with this recipe. You can add more or less of the seasoning mix to taste. I like to use a lot. And if you aren't adding the beans (please add the beans!), just use 2 Tbsp of the mix. Of course you could double the recipe, but this amount fits nicely into my container so that's how much I make at a time!

  3. I like your seasoning idea. I've always hated the mixes that you can buy. They just seem like they have way to much chili powder for my taste. I usually just season as I go, but will give yours a try next time! Looks yummy!!

  4. I wonder how this would be for fajita seasoning if you cut out the chili powder and maybe added a tiny bit of chipotle? What do you think? Would you leave out the cayenne if you did the chipotle??

  5. Honestly, I have never made fajitas, so I don't know who the seasonings compare. But I did a quick search and found this recipe for fajita seasoning: I'm sure there's a million ways to make your own.
    Also, my taco seasoning is pretty heavy on the chili powder. I like it spicy! So if you aren't a huge fan of chili powder, you might want to cut back on it a little bit.

  6. Now I'm going to have to try BOTH recipes! LOL The nice thing about making it from scratch is that you CAN cut back on ingredients that don't agree with you. I think it could also make a neat gift if you mixed up a double batch and put it in a pretty container with the recipe attached! I'm making fajitas tomorrow night; I think I'll give your recipe a try. Thanks Amber!