When it’s taco night at our house, I have to be sure I have some taco sauce in the house too. Hubby gets all sad if I set out a nice spread of taco meat and toppings but no sauce. “What, no taco sauce?” he’ll say and look mournfully around hoping it will appear by magic. Who would serve tacos without first making sure there was some taco sauce in the house? Shame on me.

So this easy homemade taco sauce recipe has been a nice way for me to be able to keep taco sauce on hand and not spend as much money as I would if I was always grabbing the bottle of Ortega Taco Sauce at the store and throwing it in my grocery cart.

This recipe uses tomato sauce as the base, thinned a little bit with water, with vinegar for some tartness and just a little bit of sugar to offset it. Then you mix in a nice assortment of spices and your homemade taco sauce is ready to go. Pretty simple!

Make your own taco sauce by adding spices to tomato sauce

This recipe is my own adaptation of various homemade taco sauce recipes I came across. Hungry Son commented that it needed a little lemon or something (which was pretty perceptive of him as the Ortega ingredient label says Citric Acid which can give a product a lemon citrus taste). So with the addition of lemon pepper to the ingredient list, I think we’ve come pretty close to a good clone for our favorite taco sauce.

homemade taco sauce


Here’s how to do it:



  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper)

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

Combine all ingredients and put in jar or other storage container. Keep in the refrigerator. Best if able to set for a few hours before using to let the flavors mingle.


You might also like these recipes:

 Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning for One Pound of Ground Beef

Simple Salsa Using Canned Tomatoes




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