Alert: Step away from the Old El Paso seasoning packet.
After Chef Carla Contreras showed us how to make Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend at home, we knew we wanted more of her spice mix expertise. Because while Everything But the Bagel Spice does tend to make nearly every meal better, there are plenty of kitchen scenarios where you need a specific flavor profile.
First up: Taco night!
Contreras is a Nutritious Life Certified chef and health coach with a stacked resume—she’s been a private chef for prominent families, ran a meal delivery company, and even competed on Cook Your Ass Off (where she met Nutritious Life Founder Keri Glassman, who was a judge) and season 12 of Chopped.
Taco Spice 2.0
Originally, Contreras wrote this recipe for her sister, since the two loved taco night as kids. You know the drill: hard shells, a packet of spice with ground beef and taco sauce. While she was nostalgic for that version, she wanted to make something healthier and more delicious.
“My homemade version pairs well with one pound of ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken,” she says. “You can also use a teaspoon of the taco spice with canned black beans. This is my favorite! I love taco beans for breakfast with a fried egg, tortilla, avocado, and hot sauce.”
You can even make the beans ahead of time and have them on hand for a quick breakfast on frenzied weekday mornings. Or start planning your next family (or friend!) Taco Tuesday now.
(Images: Chef Carla Contreras)