Homemade Taco Seasoning, Healthy Mexican Food

Make homemade taco seasoning from dried chilies, cumin, garlic, onion, thyme and oregano. You can customize your taco seasoning by choosing mild, medium or hot chili powders. There are no scary ingredients and you can control the amount of salt. Store bought taco seasoning is more expensive, less flavorful and there are anti-caking agents, artificial seasonings and an over abundance of sodium. This recipe makes enough to season 6 pounds of taco meat.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Homemade taco seasoning with no scary ingredients. An inexpensive and healthy alternative to store bought mixes.
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground California chili
1 tablespoon New Mexico chili
1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf crushed
Combine all ingredients and crush with a mortar and pestle or whiz in a spice grinder until there’s a granular powder. Store in a clean dry spice jar.


Homemade taco seasoning, #tacos, #mexican food /MyBajaKitchen.com

Healthier Beef Taco Meat

One pound of ground meat will go a long way when you add nutritious vegetables. You essentially double the volume while adding fiber and vitamins. I bet the family won’t even notice the vegetables.

Sauté 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup shredded carrot and/or zucchini in olive oil. Add 1 pound of lean ground beef and cook over medium heat until beef is browned. Drain if there’s excess fat. Add 1 tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning and 14 ounces of fire roasted tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust salt.

Feel free to substitute ground chicken, turkey, pork or tofu. I use this taco seasoning on fish tacos too. I add more or less depending on how spicy I want the meat to taste. Play with your food and make this seasoning your own creation.

Build your taco in a warm flour or corn tortilla with meat, any salsa, shredded cheese and lettuce.  My favorite street taco additions are finely chopped cilantro mixed with onions and shredded cabbage.

Homemade taco seasoning, #tacos, #mexican food /MyBajaKitchen.com

Do you make your own seasoning mixes? Common spices are so inexpensive in Mexico and you can buy them in bulk so it just makes sense to mix your my own seasonings. Stay tuned for more seasoning recipes. I use this seasoning in homemade Mexican chorizo ,salmon and chicken tortilla soup.

Homemade Taco Seasoning, #healthy Mexican food, #taco seasoning

Grilled Tri Tip, Smoky Spicy Cherry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Cherry Chipotle Grilled Tri Tip/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Summer happiness is a bowl full of freshly picked cherries and a spicy, smoky slightly sweet grilled tri tip. Best served with a bottle of vino tinto, near the water, with your best friends.

Cherry chipotle barbecue sauce is perfect on grilled beef tri tip. It is sweet and just spicy enough with cumin and smoke jalapeño peppers in adobe sauce. I had a tri tip but any grill worthy cut of beef would be delicious; try round steak, london broil, thick flank steak or even smaller cuts of beef steak. A pork tenderloin would be fabulous with this chipotle marinade and sauce. I think chicken would even sing with this sauce.


Cherry Chipotle Grilled Tri Tip / MyBajaKitchen.com

Adjust the heat to your tastes by using less chipotle and or seeding the peppers.
Don’t skip the smoky adobe sauce. That’s the best part of a canned chipotle. Freeze the remaining chipotle and adobe sauce for another day.

Cherry Chipotle Grilled Tri Tip/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Make-shift cherry pitter, brilliant kitchen hack.

I used a citrus squeezer to pit my cherries. Place 4-5 cherries in the squeezer and compress. Then just pop out the pit. A cherry pitter would also work but I didn’t have one.

Party plan! 

Make the cherry chipotle sauce first and marinate the tri tip 6 hours to overnight with part of the cherry sauce and more olive oil.

Make your side dishes in advance so you have time to socialize. Toss a salad together, make Mexican cauliflower rice or cumin quinoa and bake a batch of brownies before your guests arrive.

When your guests arrive have cold cerveza or margaritas available and heat the grill or start the charcoals. Grill your tri tip to medium rare, which will take about 30 minutes and pour on more warmed cherry chipotle sauce before serving.

I served this with cumin quinoa, salad greens with a balsalmic vinaigrette and fresh melon. We drank a bottle of California Zinfandel and barely had room for bourbon brownies for dessert.

Make ahead barbecue side dishes?

Cumin and cilantro quinoa
Rinse quinoa, sauté a little onion, garlic, cilantro chopped, a dash of salt and pepper and a tablespoon of cumin seeds, add broth or water and cook 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature to rave reviews.

Bourbon Brownies, yes please.
Bake your favorite brownies or a healthy store bought mix. Pour a shot of bourbon over the hot brownies just out of the oven. Delicious and easy.

Cherry Chipotle Grilled Tri Tip
Recipe Type: Grilling
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Tracey Delaplain
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Fresh cherries and chipotle make a smokey, spicy and sweet marinade and barbecue glaze for beef tri tip. Marinade can be used on pork and chicken also.
  • Onion 1/2 cup diced
  • Olive oil 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon, divided
  • Fresh or frozen cherries pitted and rough chopped, 2 cups
  • Orange marmalade 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro chopped 1/2 cup
  • Chipotle in adobe sauce, 1-2 seeded peppers and 2 teaspoons of adobe sauce
  • Cumin seed 2 teaspoons
  • Sea salt 1/2 teaspoon
  • Beef tri tip 3-4 pounds
  1. Sauté onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil 5 minutes until translucent. Add remaining ingredients through salt and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of cherry sauce and 1/4 cup of olive oil with the beef. Marinate 3-12 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat grill to 500 degrees. Remove beef from the marinade and reserve marinade for basting. Discard any remaining sauce after basting. Grill tri tip on high heat for 5 minutes on each side to sear meat. Reduce heat to 400 degrees. Baste tri tip with remaining marinade and grill 8-10 minutes on each side. Remove when medium rare and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Rewarm the reserved cherry sauce. Slice beef across the grain and pour cherry chipotle sauce over meat and serve on a platter.
Allow additional 3-12 hours for marinating beef.

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Grilled tri tip cherry chipotle BBQ Sauce/MyBajaKitchen.com

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos, Baja Style

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

Carne asada tacos are a taqueria specialty in Mexico.
Carne Asada translates to grilled meat. The traditional Mexican marinade includes fresh orange and lime juices, lots of garlic, cilantro, hot chilies and vinegar. I added cumin seed and oregano for a unique Baja twist. Flank steak, skirt, round and sirloin steak are all used to make carne asada tacos. The Ley’s grocery store in Loreto sells paper thin cuts of sirloin that soak up the marinade beautifully and grill in a matter of minutes. I use that cut frequently for carne asada tacos, broccoli beef stir fry and for Korean BBQ recipes.

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

I chose a juicy beef tri tip, which is a thick bottom round cut, for my tacos. I served them with chunky pico de gallo, red onions and avocado slices. You can add crumbled quéso fresco or chihuahua cheese but I prefer them without. I’m taking my tacos to Fiesta Friday to party with my blog amigos.


Carne Asada Tri Tip Baja Tacos

Carne asada, tri tip, marinaded in orange, lime, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin and oregano. Taqueria style tacos filled with juicy grilled beef and pico de gallo. A BBQ crowd pleaser.


Beef Tri tip, 3-4 pounds

Marinade;- 1/2 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup lime juice, 4 Mexican limes

3/4 cup orange juice about 2 large oranges

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 jalepeño, diced

1 tablespoon cumin seed or 3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano


Combine marinade ingredients. Place beef in a ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Marinade at least 4 hours to overnight.

Grill tri tip. Sear each side on high heat, 500 F for 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium 350 F for 10 minutes per pound for medium rare, check meat temperature. Medium rare should read about 130 degrees. Let meat rest 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2 pieces against the grain.

Grill tortillas over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep warm until ready to assemble tacos.  Serve with pico de gallo, pickled red onions and avocado slices.

Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations, it’s a perfect day to be outside for a BBQ. Make carne asada tacos, make margaritas – MAKE FRIENDS. Share this post or pin it and maybe your friends will make tacos for you!

Check out my Taco Tuesday Pinterest Board or Mexican Beef Recipes. Send me an email if you would like to join this group Board.
Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

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