Ditch Those Sodium-Laden Flavor Packets for This Easy Taco Recipe

I’m all for taking the easy route, but if your shortcut is a sodium-laden flavor packet, stop right now! You already have the ingredients in your cabinet to make Mexican restaurant-worthy tacos. Mix your spices ahead of time and store them in a spice shaker for instant seasoning any time you want to rev up a meal. Then pair your tacos with my Mango Margarita and some Cinco de Mayo decorations for a truly festive treat.

Clinton Kelly No Packet Tacos

No-Packet Tacos

  • Serves 4-6
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cayenne (optional)

To serve:

  • taco shells
  • sour cream
  • shredded jack cheese
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • salsa
  • lettuce


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up as it cooks. Once the meat is brown, drain and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Once it’s shimmering, add the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook until the onion and garlic are golden brown and then add all of the spices. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add 2/3 cup water to the pan and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the meat back to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Assemble tacos and enjoy.

#fbf to 1994 (ish) with my buds, @richardwiese and @wendirogerstv Bought that sport coat on sale for about 20 bucks because that’s all I had in the bank. Was 10% wool and 90% “other.” Got caught in the rain with it and smelled like wet dog ass all night.

Nine years ago, I made a vow to live my life based on three guiding principles: Love, Awe and Gratitude. Today, instead of feeling sad, angry or anxious about The Chew’s cancellation, I will look through the lens of Gratitude and thank: My cohosts, @chefsymon and @carlaphall, for being two of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The crew and staff of The Chew for being so dedicated, hardworking and collaborative. Our viewers for allowing us into your homes each day to share a laugh and a recipe — and a cocktail. It’s been a fun run and I am so freakin’ lucky to have been a part of it. Much love, CK ❤️

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