Food Our Pro Cooks Found the Best Taco Seasoning Brands
Taco Bell releases $5 'Build Your Own Cravings Box' and rewards members get early access
Taco Bell has a new $5 "Build Your Own Cravings Box" now available on the restaurant chain's app. There are 18 variations of the limited-time box.The fast-food chain announced the new $5 "Build Your Own Cravings Box," which is available on the Taco Bell app for rewards members starting Tuesday. Other digital customers can build their box beginning Feb. 11.
While there are plenty of uniqueout there for stocking your spice rack, we bet there's one you always have on hand: taco seasoning.
This envelope of spices—including cumin, chili powder, onion and paprika—is the special ingredient you need to transform ainto an easy supper or a container of cream cheese into a tempting .
Yet each time we venture to the store, we look at the aisle full of these spice packets and seem to grab one at random. Since each envelope is priced around a dollar and advertises similar ingredients, it can be really hard to choose the brand that suits your taco preferences and cooking style.
The Best Carbon Steel Pans of 2021
— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Most home cooks are familiar with cast-iron skillets, but carbon steel has eluded the mainstream—for now. As a former restaurant chef, I’m super familiar with these quick-heating, semi-lightweight pans. Many restaurants use them because the pans heat up quickly, and retain heat for a long time after being removed from the stovetop. Like cast iron or multi-clad stainless steel, carbon steel pans can go from the stovetop to the oven, making them a champion for one-pot-cooking.
But you know our Test Kitchen wants to know what's best! So our crew tested nine popular brands.
How We Found the Best Taco Seasoning
To start this test, our pro cooks shopped for the nine most popular brands of taco seasoning out there on the market—the options you're most likely to see when you're out grocery shopping. Then each taco seasoning was used to season ground beef according to the package instructions. Thensampled the taco filling blindly, judging each according to these criteria:
- Flavor: How does the taco seasoning taste? What spices are prominent here? Is the flavor well balanced? Is it too salty? Spicy?
- Sauce: Taco seasonings are designed to create a bit of sauce when mixed with protein and a bit of water. What is the sauce like with the seasoning? Is it thick enough to coat the beef? Was enough sauce created?
Bear in mind that taco seasonings of all kinds usually contain most of the following spices (and sometimes a few additional seasonings): cumin, chili powder, onion, garlic, oregano and salt. And remember—you canat home too!
Taco Bell Is Releasing A Crispy Chicken Sandwich That's Also Somehow A Taco
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Taco Seasoning Brands
Nine types of taco seasoning were sampled and four were deemed worthy of your next Taco Tuesday.
Best Overall Taco Seasoning: Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning Mix
Need a taco seasoning with some personality? You want.
This taco seasoning was a standout in our blind test for its excellent combination of flavors and how well balanced the spices were. Old El Paso delivered when it came to the smoky cumin we look for in tacos, but balanced that spice with a bit of chipotle-flavor, chili powder and a bit of pepper. This sauce had a little kick—but not so much that it would offend picky eaters.
Also worth noting with Old El Paso was the sauce that this mix produced. It made the beef nice and juicy, and it wasn't sloppy to scoop into taco shells or spoon over tortilla chips for. That's a winner in our Test Kitchen's book!
Vegan Popcorn Seasoning
This vegan popcorn seasoning will have everyone wanting more! It is a perfect base for experimenting with your favorite flavorings. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin The post Vegan Popcorn Seasoning appeared first on Taste of Home. Transfer to a large bowl; add melted butter and remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Continue tossing until popcorn is coated.
Best Kid-Friendly Taco Seasoning: Taco Bell Original Taco Seasoning Mix
Got kiddos at home? You'll want to add a few packets of.
This preferred brand got high marks for a good balance of flavors including paprika, garlic and onion, not to mention this packet created a nice sauce for the taco meat.
This taco seasoning, though, did lack that punch of spice that many of us look for. However, if you've got kids at home, you'd likely want to avoid a seasoning blend that's too spicy. So keep this brand on hand when you're making tacos for the kids—or want to try a few.
Best Taco Seasoning for Non-Taco Recipes: Lawry's Taco Spices & Seasonings Mix
It might sound funny, butmakes the best taco seasoning—if you're not making tacos.
While this spice blend doesn't deliver the best saucy tacos, it does deliver the flavors our Test Kitchen looks for when it comes to recipes like, or .
Lawry's taco seasoning is full of smoky cumin, chili powder, paprika and onion flavors—all necessary for these taco-inspired dishes. Our Test Kitchen team especially loved how this spice blend gave a bit of a kick at the finish. You can amp up this spicy flavor with a bit of cayenne or by topping your recipes with sliced jalapeños or other.
Taco Bell is testing a new plant-based 'Cravetarian' protein as it doubles down on vegetarian options
The chain is usually considered a top fast food option for vegans and vegetarians, with black beans and potatoes that can replace meat.The new vegan creation is made of a blend of peas and chickpeas, and comes with shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream in a crunchy shell. Taco Bell says the new dish comes in at 180 calories, comparable to the 190 calories in a standard Crunchy Taco Supreme.
Best Bulk Buy: Tone's Taco Seasoning Blend
If you make tacos frequently (or for large groups), you'll want to snag your taco seasoning in bulk—not the single-batch packets. For regular, our Test Kitchen recommends .
Tone's taco seasoning had a very tomato-forward taste and made a nice sauce when combined with ground beef. It's just the right blend when making big batches of our, or convenient (always a hit with the kids).
Besides tomatoes, you'll also pick up on notes of onion, cayenne, garlic and oregano. These spices are a great mix whether you prefer easy ground beef tacos, chicken tacos or even. The flavors here are very versatile.
How to Use Taco Seasoning
When you have a pound of ground beef or shredded chicken at home plus one of these packets, homemade tacos are never far away. But you already know how simple it is to put together weeknight tacos with this seasoning blend.
What you might not know is that an envelope of taco seasoning is a passport to all sorts of other recipes. Use one of the best taco seasoning brands to spice up youror to season snacks like or .
The blend of cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion works really well with so many dishes, so don't hesitate to reach for this shortcut anytime you want to amp up the flavor. And if you want a bit more heat, try one of theaccording to our Test Kitchen.
Taco Bell Is Testing a New Plant-Based Protein in 'Cravetarian Taco'
The pea and chickpea blend—made in-house by Taco Bell—is being trialed at a single location.
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Taco Bell is bringing back its controversial Naked Chicken Chalupa to get in on the chicken sandwich wars .
The chain announced a Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco earlier this year and hinted at further chicken offerings down the road.The item - consisting of a crunchy fried chicken shell wrapped around lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and avocado ranch sauce -was first introduced as a limited-time menu offering in 2017 after years of testing. That first launch was such a hit that Taco Bell brought it back the next year and launched several other fried chicken products.