When tacos are on the menu at our house, I like to be sure I have some of this homemade taco sauce ready to be served with them too. I used to find myself always reaching for the ready-made Ortega Taco Sauce at the store, but now? Well now I very much prefer to make my own version of Ortega taco sauce. Not only does it save us money, we think it tastes better too!
I also love that this homemade taco sauce recipe comes together so quickly and easily and that’s because it all starts with a frugal can of tomato sauce. I use the 8 oz size can of tomato sauce as the base which then gets thinned down with a ¼ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to add some tartness. I add in a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar or agave nectar to offset the vinegar just a bit too.
Then it’s time to add in a nice assortment of spices. I add 1 teaspoon of cumin which provides a nice boost of the Mexican flavor to this sauce. I also add in a ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder. Then ¼ teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne get stirred in too.
And there’s also a ½ teaspoon of lemon pepper in the mixture too which may seem a little unusual but adds just the little “sumthin-sumthin” that makes this recipe a favorite of ours. This ingredient was included after my son tasted one of my first batches and thought it needed a little extra citrus flavor. I got the idea to add in some lemon pepper and it’s been a great addition that’s been stirred into every batch I’ve made since.
And I’ve made many batches! Our homemade taco sauce has become a staple at our house that I’ve been making now for several years and I almost always have some in a little jar in the door of the refrigerator with my other regular condiments.
If you give this recipe a try you might soon discover as we did, that it’s a tasty and frugal alternative that’s worth making again and again. Taco night at our house just isn’t the same without it!
This post was originally published 6/6/11 and was updated 3/21/21.
Easy Homemade Taco Sauce
- 1 Can Tomato Sauce (8 oz size)
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 Tbl White Vinegar
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne (Ground Red Pepper)
- 1/4 tsp White sugar (or Agave Nectar)
- Pour the tomato sauce in a small mixing bowl. Add the water and vinegar and stir to combine.
- Add the remaining seasonings and stir to mix everything together.
- Store your homemade taco sauce in a covered jar in the refrigerator. If possible let the mixture set for a few hours before using to let the flavors mingle.