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Homemade Taco Sauce

Homemade Taco Sauce is quick, easy, and so delicious! All you need is about 20 minutes, tomato sauce, vinegar, and spices you probably already have in your cabinet. Bye-bye, bottled sauce!

Every cloud has a silver lining … that’s what my mom always used to tell me. She was right.

For example, this Homemade Taco Sauce was the silver lining of the cloud that was the time that I made tacos and realized I didn’t have any taco sauce.

I love, love, love, love, love tacos! ? I’ve loved them ever since I was a little kid. When we saw that yellow box with the taco kit in the grocery bag, my sister, brother, and I knew we were in for a real treat.

Taco night was not a weekly or even a monthly event in my house, so it was like a special occasion that we all looked forward to. Good times!

Now that I’m all grown up, I can make me some tacos whenever I want, and I make them often.

My favorite taco is still the one that is just like the ones my mom used to make: seasoned ground meat, cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomatoes on crispy taco shells topped with – my favorite part – lots of taco sauce!

So imagine my dismay when I was right in the middle of making tacos one night and realized I didn’t have any taco sauce in the house.

Now, don’t get me wrong. A taco without taco sauce is still a really good taco, but it’s just not the same. I want my taco sauce!

I live in the boonies, so running to the store for a bottle of taco sauce was not an option. How hard could it be to make? I wondered. So off to the computer I went in search of a quick recipe for homemade taco sauce.

I was hungry and in a hurry, so I tried the first recipe I found over on Allrecipes, making only a minor change or two based on our tastes and the ingredients I had on hand. It took only about 20 minutes.

The result? I was completely blown away. This stuff was so much better than my once-beloved bottled taco sauce!

While we were eating, David, said to me, “What did you do different with these tacos? This time they’re extra good!” He was right. It was amazing how this homemade taco sauce made such a difference.

I have not bought a bottle of taco sauce since!

homemade taco sauce in a jar with a spoonful of sauce being lifted out

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE HOMEMADE TACO SAUCE:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Ground cumin
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TACO SAUCE:

three photos showing steps to make homemade taco sauce with text that says combine all ingredients in a saucepan, simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened
two photos showing the steps to make homemade taco sauce with text that says cool slightly before serving, enjoy

Yep, it’s that easy! And I know exactly what’s in it. And I’m probably saving a few pennies, too. Win-win-win!

This recipe makes about 2 cups of taco sauce. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it for longer-term storage. Sometimes I make a double batch just to put some in the freezer in 1-cup portions for future use.

The ¼ teaspoon of cayenne in the sauce gives it just a mild heat. You can leave it out if you don’t like any heat, or you can add more if you like it more spicy.

two tacos with taco sauce on them and a jar of homemade taco sauce in the background

Use this Homemade Taco Sauce anywhere you’d use the bottled stuff: tacos, taco salad, nachos … the list goes on. In addition to being a taco game-changer for me, it took my Mexican Lasagna to a whole new level of deliciousness!

I hope you try this recipe for Homemade Taco Sauce and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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close up of a jar of homemade taco sauce with a spoon on the side

Homemade Taco Sauce

Homemade Taco Sauce is quick, easy, and soooo delicious! All you need is 20 minutes, tomato sauce, vinegar, and spices you probably already have in your cabinet. Bye-bye, bottled sauce!
5 from 2 votes
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 16 (2 tablespoons each – recipe makes about 2 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 14

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, more or less to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Remove from heat and let the sauce cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • Refrigerate leftover sauce for up to a week or freeze for longer-term storage.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe slightly adapted from Allrecipes.

Recipe Rating




Sara

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Thank you. It was delicious 😋.

Michelle

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Thank you, Sara...so glad you enjoyed it!

Greg Steger

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Made it today. Love it. I will make in the future and add it to my annual canning schedule. Thank you for a simple and great taco sauce.

Michelle

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Thank you, Greg! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

Russ

Friday 27th of November 2020

Just made it and it is fantastic I will definitely make this from now on instead of store bought

Michelle

Friday 27th of November 2020

Thanks very much, Russ! So glad you liked it!

Jesse Starley

Saturday 7th of November 2020

I really liked your post. I shared it on my social media.

Michelle

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Thanks very much, Jesse!