Kids in the Kitchen: Beef Nachos (Homemade Taco Seasoning)

It’s been too long since my last post. I apologize; it’s been a busy few days. Part of that busyness has been positive – I received my new baby last Wednesday (A Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi), so I have been trying to learn my way around it. So far, I’m amazed. Amazed at how easy it is to take a halfway decent photo. My little Olympus Stylus 710 was so limited. I put up with it for a long, long while. It was time, and I finally was able to upgrade, so I did. I couldn’t be happier.

I fully intended on posting this on Saturday or Sunday, but that’s where the not-so-positive part of my busyness comes in. Unfortunately, my laptop took a fierce dive onto the floor, and my hard drive is toast. My loving techie of a husband is working on it, trying to retrieve data off of the hard drive, and replacing it with another one in the meantime. But I was dead in the water this past weekend. Also dead was the recipe for my taco seasoning – it was on that hard drive. I’ve recreated it today, however, to share it with you here. Unfortunately, my not-so-smart self managed to not back up hundreds of photos on that hard drive. I’m learning my lesson – I promise!

Anyway, on to the reason for this post! Brittany wanted to make lunch this time around, and nachos were one of the first things in mind. I was up for nachos – this has to be one of the easiest “Kids in the Kitchen” dishes to date! We were eating within 15-20 minutes of our start time. That’s my idea of a nice, easy lunch!

Brittany liked these – hers were simply topped with taco meat, shredded cheddar, and pickled jalapenos. “Just like I eat at school,” she said. (The school lunches have either improved since I was in school, or her tastes are skewed…I can’t remember a nacho plate, or if there was one, I’m sure it wasn’t appetizing enough to actually eat.) Regardless, these nachos boast real cheddar, lean hormone-free ground beef, and taco seasoning without gluten, preservatives, or sugar. I would consider that a step up from the school lunch.  I topped mine with a mix of cheddar and pepper jack, black beans, tomatoes, and cilantro to add some interest. Nothing fancy, but it was a pretty tasty lunch indeed!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

2 T chile powder (such as ancho or cascabel)

2 T ground cumin

1 T onion powder

1 T garlic powder

1 T paprika

1 T fine sea salt

Mix together, store in an airtight container in a cool place. Use 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning to season 1 pound of ground beef.

To season ground beef: Brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet at medium-high heat, crumbling with a spatula or wooden spoon. Halfway through the browning process, season with 2 tablespoons taco seasoning and mix throughout. Continue to brown until no longer pink. Drain if necessary.

One last thing:

Since the earthquake in Haiti, Lauren at Celiac Teen has been working hard to gather recipes from contributing food bloggers all over the world in an effort to help. She has diligently put these recipes together in an e-book, available for purchase on her blog. All donations received for the e-book will be sent to the Canadian Red Cross (Lauren is Canadian) for purposes of helping victims of the Haiti earthquake. The e-book has many wonderful recipes, and many of them are gluten-free or easily gluten-free adaptable. Read more about how to obtain this e-book and contribute here.


  1. says

    It’s great when you can make your own taco seasoning. So easy to do, but no fillers or hidden “things” in it. :) Congrats on the new camera! I’ve been lookin’ around too, just so undecided. The Pioneer Woman just posted some great posts on understanding some of the manual settings, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should take a look. :)

  2. nutmegnanny says

    I have that same camera! I love it too. In fact for my birthday my boyfriend bought me the macro lens I have been dying to have :) Now these nachos look awesome. I’m such a big fan :)

  3. says

    What a great recipe for kids to make! I am all about kids in the kitchen, as you know! And congrats on the new camera – I am still learning my way around my new Nikon and love it but oh my, there’s so much to learn, isn’t there? Sorry about your hard drive :-(

  4. says

    Sympathies on the computer. We’ve been battling a virus on one of our computers, what a headache. I have become very grateful for my backup flash drive which goes everywhere with me now on my key chain.

  5. says

    Congrats on the camera!! And I hope that you can recover everything on your hard drive. Mine died a few years ago and I was so devastated that I didn’t know what to do with myself.

    The nachos sound delicious! We had nachos at school, but the meat was so sketchy that I usually avoided them like the plague.

  6. says

    Congratulations on the arrival of you “baby” – I got the same one about a month ago and absolutely love it. Why use packaged seasoning when you can make homemade stuff that looks as good as this with little effort.

  7. says

    Hope your husband was able to recover all your files and photos. I lost mine last month. Such a tragic when this happens. Thanks for the taco seasoning. No need to buy store-bought of these. Have fun with your new camera. :)

  8. says

    I think it’s great fun to watch your children’s tastes in food change as they grow up. One day, when our son was about 8 years old, we went to a fish restaurant, and he who previously would only eat fish sticks suddenly ordered a whole trout, with the head on! You can imagine our surprise! And he loved it.

  9. says

    Yikes, a catastrophe for sure with the laptop. Best of luck to your hubby on his very important mission there.

    Woohoo on the new camera! I fried my little Olympus during vacation and the replacement is not as good IMO. Might be time to go to an SLR. My only qualm is the size. I like a camera I can have with me in the canoe and on the back of the motorcycle. 😉

    This plate of nachos is gorgeous, of course. Great seasoning recipe. Good job to you both!

    Isn’t Lauren amazing? Such a fabulous project! :-)


  10. says

    It looks tasty and you always take beautiful photos. I’m sure it’s fun playing with your new camera. I haven’t made taco seasoning in a long time, but I should do it again. Many times they are a little too spicy for use, but when you make your own, you can make it suit your tastes.

  11. says

    Oh man, I am so sorry to hear about your computer! I’d drown my computer sorrows in that plate of nachos… because wow. Just wow. Those look so delicious!

  12. says

    GAH this looks amazing, even when it is 8:45 in the morning hahahaha. I love that you made your own taco seasoning, I am always weary of buying pre packed seasoning…I am going to whip up a plate of these on Friday for the Winter Olympics!!!!! Sad that your laptop took a dive :( Mine use to do that a lot but now has officially retired… Hope everything gets fixed! Beaaaautiful pictures, the quality is amazing.

  13. says

    such a talented kid you have! and just like my husband, your husband comes very handy too when it comes to techy stuff.
    now geeky husband seems to be one of the staple at home. hahaha.

  14. says

    Nachos look out of this world! We love nachos in this house and I think the kids will go crazy over these. These would have been perfect for Super Bowl Sunday, but I’d make this on any weekend we are all together. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your new camera! Super exciting, but I agree, the learning curve is a little steep! Good luck!

  15. says

    Nacho’s are so fun to make, and kids love building these I am sure! The new camera is fun to play with too, be sure to read the manual and keep it near too. Plenty of great information on techniques and tips.


  16. says

    I feel for you with the hard drive. I am now religious about doing my backups. Unfortunately it takes something like that to get us to do it. Congrats on the new camera. I am finally ditching my little one too.

    This looks so much better than the packaged taco mix. A far more natural color than the nuclear orange that comes out of the little envelope.

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