Looking for an easy taco sauce recipe? This simple, delicious homemade taco sauce will be your new favorite way to top tacos, burritos, nachos and more. Made in a saucepan with simple ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, this is one of the best taco sauce recipes on the internet!
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Are you looking for an easy, homemade taco sauce recipe? Taco sauce is actually really simple to make, and because you’re making it yourself, YOU get to control the ingredients.
You’ve probably noticed that store-bought taco sauce is made with high-fructose corn syrup and other refined sugars and weird ingredients. In this post I’ll show you how to make taco sauce with simple ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.
What do I need to make homemade taco sauce?
- Tomato Sauce – make sure to look for simple tomato sauce with no sugar added.
- White vinegar
- Ground cumin
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Garlic salt
- Chili powder
- Paprika – smoked or regular
- Ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
Why include honey?
Tomato sauce on it’s own is rather acidic. Adding a bit of sweetener, in this case I chose a natural sweetener in honey, to balance the acidity of the tomato sauce and to bring out the true flavors of the spices.
How to make taco sauce:
- To a sauce pan, add all of the ingredients: tomato sauce, water, honey, vinegar and spices. Whisk all of the ingredients together. Heat over low heat until the sauce comes to a low simmer.
- Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes. This will help the sauce thicken in consistency and bring out the true flavors of the spices and seasoning.
- Once done cooking, let the sauce cool completely. It’s ready to enjoy!
How should I store homemade taco sauce?
Homemade taco sauce is best store in an airtight container (like a mason jar with a tight fitting lid) and kept in the refrigerator. It will keep for 2-3 weeks refrigerated in an airtight container.
Wanna change or customize your tacos sauce? These ingredient substitutions are helpful options:
- For a really spicy sauce: increase the amount of cayenne pepper from 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp. Also, adding 1 tablespoon or more of your favorite hot sauce is also an option.
- For a smokey taco sauce: substitute the regular paprika for smoked paprika, and add 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke.
- For a mild taco sauce: omit the cayenne pepper.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of the post. Thanks!
Frequently asked questions about how to make taco sauce:
Taco sauce is made of tomato sauce, vinegar, a bit of sweetener (like honey or sugar) and spices. These spices include ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, chili powder, paprika, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Making your own taco sauce is very easy. However, if you would prefer to buy it, but it’s not available, a good substitute is salsa or enchilada sauce.
No. Taco sauce is made from tomato sauce, vinegar and spices, and then cooked. Salsa is simply chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers, with little to no spices included.
Yes. The flavors will be similar. However, the consistency of enchilada sauce will be thinner (more runny) than taco sauce, which is typically a thicker consistency.
Picante sauce and taco sauce have similar flavor profiles, however picante sauce is typically thinner and more runny than taco sauce. Taco sauce is best for topping solid foods, like tacos, burritos and nachos, while picante sauce is best for soups and stews.
Looking for some other flavorful toppings and seasonings for tacos, burritos, fajitas and nachos? Check out some of these other favorites:
- Classic Pico de Gallo Salsa
- Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- Tropical Pineapple Mango Salsa
- Loaded Guacamole
- Southwestern Corn Salsa
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- How to Make Salsa at Food.com
If you loved this taco sauce recipe, here are some ideas on how to enjoy it:
Check out these other Tex-Mex favorites, that would be great topped with this taco sauce recipe:
- Rotisserie Chicken Tacos – made with this Homemade Taco Sauce
- Taco Cups
- Cowboy Nacho Bites at Real Housemoms
- Sour Cream Enchiladas
- Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Grilled Steak Fajitas
- Healthy Taco Casserole
- Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Taco Mac and Cheese
- 1 (15 oz. can) tomato sauce
- 1/2 c. water
- 2 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika (smoked or regular)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- To a medium saucepan, add all of the ingredients; tomato sauce, water, vinegar, honey and spices. Whisk well to combine.
- Heat the saucepan over low heat until the sauce comes to a simmer. Heat the sauce over low heat, keeping at a low simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- After 20 minutes the sauce will be slightly thicker and reduced down. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Enjoy!
How to store homemade taco sauce:
For best results, store the taco sauce in an airtight container (like a mason jar with a tight fitting lid), in the refrigerator. It will keep for 2-3 weeks refrigerated.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 14Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: <1gProtein: 0g