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taco bell red sauce in a bowl with napkin and chips by it

How To Make Taco Bell Red Sauce (Authentic Copycat Recipe)

It is quick and easy to learn how to make Taco Bell red sauce at home. This authentic copycat recipe is just like the red sauce packets you get at the restaurants, mild with a hint of sweet chili seasoning. However, when you make your own, there are no additives that commercial products put in their food.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Seasoning and Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16
Calories 17 kcal


  • 8 ounces tomato sauce Note* Not spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder mild
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • The first step is to place the tomato sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the seasonings, sugar, water, and vinegar. Stir to blend well. Reduce the heat to medium-low heat to get a low simmer.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, string every 10 minutes to ensure that the sauce is not sticking or burning. Stoves heat differently, so keep an eye on your heat setting. If need be, turn it down to the lowest setting. You want to keep your sauce warm but not boiling.
  • Remove the sauce from the stove and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.
  • To store the red sauce, pour it into a glass jar and put on a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate. The sauce will keep for several days until you need to use it.


Serving ideas for homemade taco sauce

Taco Bell’s red sauce is a great addition to a variety of Mexican meals. 
Breakfast: Warm a flour tortilla for breakfast and fill it with scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese. Top with red sauce and roll like a burrito. It's a great breakfast on the go.
Mexican pizza: This taco bell red sauce recipe would be great to use as the sauce on a Mexican pizza. Spread the sauce over the crust, then top with ground beef that has been seasoned with homemade Mexican seasoning. Add red bell peppers, chopped onions, cowboy candied jalapeno peppers, and cheese.
Salad: Drizzle the red sauce on Mexican Rice Salad. It's the perfect budget-friendly salad bursting with flavor and is a hearty dish made with black beans, whole grain brown rice, colorful veggies all tossed in a cilantro lime dressing.
Hint: If you are hosting a Mexican dinner party a fun idea would be to fill 3-Ounce Mini Hot Sauce Bottles and place a bottle at each place setting. Then they can take their bottle home as a gift. How cute is that?


Serving: 1gCalories: 17kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 396mgPotassium: 153mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 238IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
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