Easy Homemade Taco Sauce

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This Homemade Taco Sauce is an easy way to add flavor to your favorite tacos and quesadillas. It’s similar to the Ortega brand taco sauce and can be made with a handful of staple ingredients.

Tacos being drizzled with sauce.

We absolutely love a good taco and usually, the sauce is what makes it so good. Remember this fish taco sauce? That sauce has been super popular because it truly elevates fish tacos.

While we love that sauce, we needed something for your everyday tacos made with beef or chicken. We used to always reach for the store-bought stuff but decided it was time for a homemade version.

This sauce is super easy and only requires tomato sauce with basic spices. It can be incorporated into your taco meat or simply drizzled over the top of your favorite tacos. Or serve it over rice and beans, nachos, and eggs.

If you love Mexican-inspired sauces, you will also go crazy over our red enchilada sauce, burrito sauce, and quesadilla sauce.

What You Need

Ingredients for homemade taco sauce.


  • Tomato sauce: Look for plain tomato sauce in a can.
  • Water: Thins the sauce slightly so it doesn’t over thicken as it simmers.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar adds a very slight tang to the sauce.
  • Spices: Cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, chili powder, paprika, sugar, and cayenne pepper are the spices of choice for this delicious concoction.
Homemade Ortega taco sauce in a jar.

How to Make Homemade Taco Sauce

This recipe is incredibly simple and takes no time at all.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Add the ingredients to a saucepan.
  2. Simmer over low heat for around 20 minutes.
  3. Use it right away or allow it to cool and store it in an airtight container.
Taco sauce in a saucepan.

Recipe Variations

  • If you want it spicier, add more cayenne or a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Pickled jalapeno brine also adds a tangy spicy flavor. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of lime juice for a bit of brightness.
Spooning taco sauce out of a jar.

Easy Homemade Taco Sauce

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Tacos being drizzled with sauce.
This Homemade Taco Sauce is an easy way to add flavor to your favorite tacos and quesadillas. It’s similar to the Ortega brand taco sauce and can be made with a handful of staple ingredients.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serving Size 32


  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional


  • Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Stir until well combined.
  • Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool slightly. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.


  • Ways to use: Try this sauce on tacos, quesadillas, eggs, and so much more!
  • How to freeze: Allow sauce to cool completely then transfer to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can warm it slightly before using it if desired.
Makes about 2 cups


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.


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