Mexican Essentials: Homemade Taco Sauce

Andy Anderson !


If you like tacos, you will love this taco sauce. It is a snap to put together, and since you are making it from simple ingredients, you know exactly what is going in it. You even get to control the amount of heat you desire.

Use it on tacos, Mexican pizzas, enchiladas, burritos… whatever you want.

Remember, this is not a salsa… that is something different… this is a South-of-the-Border sauce.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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10 Min
15 Min
Stove Top




  • 1 Tbsp
    dried onions (a very important ingredient)
  • 2 1/2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp
    sweet paprika
  • 1 c
    water, filtered variety
  • 2 Tbsp
    apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c
    tomato puree
  • 4 oz
    tomato paste

  • 1 tsp
    chili powder, or to taste
  • ·
    cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1 pinch
    white sugar
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste

How to Make Mexican Essentials: Homemade Taco Sauce


  2. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  4. Take the dried onions and grind them to a powder, and reserve.
  5. Chef’s Tip: You can put the onions into a spice blender, grind them using a Mortar and pestle, or cover them with a paper towel, and whack them with a kitchen hammer… up to you.
  6. Add the dried onions, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika to a saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Cook the dry spices in the pan, until they become fragrant, about 90 seconds.
  8. Chef’s Note: Heating up the spices in a dry pan, is called: Blooming… And it greatly enhances their flavor.
  9. Add the water and vinegar to the dry spices, and whisk to combine.
  10. Add the tomato paste and puree, and then whisk to combine.
  11. THE HEAT
  12. Play with the chili powder and cayenne, until you like the heat level.
  13. Add a tiny pinch of sugar, and kosher salt, to taste.
  14. Allow the mixture to lightly simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  15. After the sauce cools, store in non-reactive containers with tight-fitting lids, and store in the fridge until needed.
  16. Chef’s Tip: This sauce can be frozen for several months (it will never last that long), or it can be canned.
  17. Chef’s Note: If the sauce is too thick you can thin it with a bit of water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have the right consistency.
  19. Use it as a base sauce for tacos, a sauce for Mexican pizzas; even as a sauce for enchiladas, or burritos. Enjoy.
  20. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Mexican Essentials: Homemade Taco Sauce

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Spice/Herb/Seasoning
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tags: Quick & Easy For Kids

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