Make Your Own Taco Sauce {Ortega Taco Sauce Copycat}

Make Your Own Taco Sauce {Ortega Taco Sauce Copycat} with healthy and natural ingredients. Easy to make with all ingredients in your cabinet already! We’ll show to just how to make it at home and you’ll never go back!

Make your own taco sauce at home with this easy homemade taco sauce recipe

How-To Make Easy Taco Sauce Recipe

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I truly feel like this sauce deserves its own entrance song it is that good. Alright, so hidden food obsession secret about Lindsay #3. We all are very familiar with #1 peanut butter, then #2 roasted broccoli as my hidden food obsession secrets. Well, #3? Ortega sauceeeee! Oh my word Ortega sauce goes well on everything and anything Mexican. Be it, beans, tacos, nachos, just dip chips in it.. Come to think of it I’ve dipped veggies in it before.

So here it goes…

My name is Lindsay and I am a Ortega taco sauce addict.

When I get into my Mexican food kick I could easily go through 2 bottles in a month… by myself…

It is my guilty pleasure. I know the ingredients aren’t the greatest:

Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Water, Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Spices, Paprika, Citric Acid, Green Chile Powder, Onion Powder.

To be exact.

I mean not horrible but also not ideal with modified corn starch and corn syrup as the third ingredient. Pretty mild ingredients compared to other sauces out there, but nonetheless when I’m consuming the amount of taco sauce that I was, it needed to be revamped.

Make your own taco sauce at home with this easy homemade taco sauce recipe.
My mission began when I had just a tiny amount of sauce left. Just a couple drips but I couldn’t let it go to waste. (Roland almost got in trouble for throwing it away with those last little bits of deliciousness.)

How hard could it be to make my own? Turns out, not hard at all.

I took the back of the bottle and went to work. I figured their ‘spices’ are close to the normal spices list for taco seasoning so what wasn’t included in the ingredients list I added. Now I didn’t have green chile powder but I figured cayenne pepper would be a good substitution.

Worked like a charm. I had Roland test it out after I personally had numerous dips with a spoon and then like a lady I finally started using tortilla chips. His response? “It tastes like that taco sauce you love so much”

Booya it sure does.

Make your own taco sauce at home with this easy homemade taco sauce recipe.
Hello party in my mouth. Party on nachos, tacos, taco salad, tortilla chips… It’s party time.

Here in Michigan (aka the polar vortex) we are in another cold snap with -20F° temperatures with the wind chill. Yes, I wrote that right -20F°! Just disgusting. D-day for shoulder surgery is quickly coming, 5 days to be exact. My hope? The two weeks off of work and trying to recover will be the worst of the winter and I can bypass stepping foot outside the entire time.

Seriously, it’s a little disturbing how much of a homebody I am.

My meals planned? Taco Salads with this epic sauce, Vegetable Chicken Meatball Soup, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Oh! And making myself a batch of Skinny Peanut Butter Cookies because if I’m going to subject myself to having my shoulder dislocated, cleaned out, tighten my tendons and re-attached you better believe I’m eating some cookies. Just saying.

See? I don’t need to go anywhere except watch the 10 seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S that appeared on Netflix.

Make your own taco sauce at home with this easy homemade taco sauce recipe.
Besides my pathetic homebody personality there is this delicious sauce to talk about. It is the perfect spice with a hit of sweetness like the original Ortega sauce. Roland has Franks Red Hot Sauce as his lover of sauce choice. I now am practically begged to keep making more batches of the gluten-free buffalo chicken meatballs. Not that I’m complaining, they are pretty darn good. Besides the point though, my sauce lover of sauce choice is Ortega sauce.

Like the original sauce you buy in the store it is slightly runny to be able to pour easily over your delicious Mexican anything food. However, after you store it in the fridge for a week or so it will separate just a little, just stir it back to together before you and your good to go. At first I was a little ‘put off’ by it separating but then realized there was probably a reason why the store bought version doesn’t. (i.e some modified corn starch)

Don’t need to step out on a limb when saying anything with the word ‘modified’ in front of it is the furthest from it’s naturalistic form.

Regardless this copycat sauce it definitely a must make and it is made with simple, ingredients you probably have around the house. Enjoy!

4.7 from 6 reviews
Make Your Own Taco Sauce {Ortega Taco Sauce Copycat}
Prep time
Total time
Make Your Own Taco Sauce {Ortega Taco Sauce Copycat} with healthy and natural ingredients. Easy to make with all ingredients in your cabinet already!
Recipe type: Condiments
Serves: 2 cups
  • 15 ounce tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  1. In a medium bowl add all the ingredients and whisk together until combined.
  2. If it is a little thick add 1 TBS of water at a time until desired thickness.
  3. Store in the fridge or freeze half if desired.

Make your own taco sauce at home with this easy homemade taco sauce recipe.


Make Your Own Taco Sauce {Ortega Taco Sauce Copycat}

If you’re looking for healthy side options, click HERE.

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48 thoughts on “Make Your Own Taco Sauce {Ortega Taco Sauce Copycat}

    1. Lindsay Post author

      Thanks Marina! I hear you on being a salsa addict.. I have similar issues 🙂 Luckily salsa is basic yummy, delicious ingredients too! Nom

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  2. Jennifer

    I just found this recipe and it is fantastic! I like it thicker so I only added about 1 tbsp of water. Il. I like taco sauce but I refuse to buy it because of the ingredients. But now that I have this recipe, I will Never buy store bought taco sauce again! And SO EASY! Thank you!

    1. Lindsay Post author

      Aww thank you for taking the time to post this Jennifer! 🙂

      So glad you like it too! My favorite is pouring taco sauce all over a taco salad. Taco salads must have taco sauce. 😉

  3. Heidi

    I’m so glad there’s someone else out there with this addiction!

    Looking forward to trying my mom’s taco dip recipe with this (and other modifications). Would these proportions be like mild, Ned, or hot?

    1. Lindsay Post author

      Haha you are definitely not alone Heidi! 😉

      This is definitely the mild Ortega version. If you are desiring the Hotter version, which I’ve never personally tried before since my heat tolerance is pretty pathetic. BUT I’d guess that just increasing the cayenne pepper ratio a tad would increase your desire for some extra spice.

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  5. Grace

    This might be a stupid question, but what do you mean by tomato sauce? Like the kind you use for pasta sauce? Thank you so much!

    1. Lindsay Post author

      Robin – this can definitely be tripled. I’ve personally never canned it before but do not see why that is not possible, tomato is acidic and I believe would store well.

      Don’t know why I never thought of canning it before though! Definitely am going to need to try it. 🙂

          1. Robin Henry

            I’m always nervous about canning recipes that aren’t specifically meant for canning, so I emailed an ‘expert’, who said it should definitely not be canned. I tripled your recipe for the freezer and a taco dinner, though, and LOVED it. I shared it with a friend, and she LOVED it as well! So, it shouldn’t be canned, but it definitely should be made and eaten. Thank you!

          2. Lindsay Post author

            Thank you so much for letting us know! I am definitely a nervous betty when it comes to canning things ‘not standard’ so this is VERY good to know.

            So glad you BOTH enjoyed it too! 🙂

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  9. AH

    I was searching for an alternative to Ortega for a recipe and came across this. Thanks for the recipe, I’m looking forward to trying it.
    How do you think tomato puree would work as an alternative to sauce? I never really buy sauce as I find it lacking compared to the other tomato products. If I need sauce, like for pasta, I make my own. I happen to have some tomato puree in the freezer from making sloppy joes, and I’m wondering if I could use that and avoid having to go shopping.


    1. Lindsay Post author

      So glad to have you here!
      Yes you most definitely can use your homemade tomato puree. I generally make my own sauce but when I initially made it we had a blight on our tomatoes that season and had to resort to canned tomatoes that winter. Which, I’ve found Muir Glen brand is pretty decent when in a pinch.

      I’ve since used my own tomato puree making this and it does work great! My only warning (or at least what I experienced) my homemade puree was a little more watery than the standard canned tomato sauce. So, you might not need to add additional water to the batch to make it the consistency you might desire. Hope this helps! I’d love to hear how you like it. 🙂

      1. AH

        Thanks for your quick reply!
        Sorry for the confusion, I meant canned puree vs. canned sauce.
        Like this:
        vs this:

        I find that overall the quality of canned tomatoes is quite good and makes sauces with flavors that people are used to, so I don’t hesitate to buy them. Also kinda hard to grow much of anything in NYC. 🙂

        I think I’ll try it with the canned puree and see how it goes. Thanks again!

        1. Lindsay Post author

          Oh I gotcha! Yes, still the canned puree should work nicely. I’d recommend just adding more water a little bit at a time to the batch until you reach the desired consistency of the sauce.

  10. Jade

    I just made this sauce and it was excellent! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I was wondering if you had any idea how long it lasts in the fridge?

    1. Lindsay Post author

      So glad you love it Jade! 🙂

      I’d say it’s good in the fridge for about 2 months if not more. Truthfully, I go through it so quick I think about 2 months is the longest its lasted in my fridge. 😉 If anything, you can definitely freeze half of the batch and unfreeze when your ready for more. Hope this helps, thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Yiskah

    Excited to try this, with some modifications.
    Just an FYI Ortega does NOT have garlic in it (I’m allergic to garlic and have no problems with Ortega taco sauces). Planning on using canned purée (canned tomato sauce has too many ingredients for my liking) and subbing the spices for my version of Alton Brown’s taco potion. I love Ortega’s sauce, but we’re trying to get away from corn syrup, so can’t wait to try this!

    1. Lindsay Post author

      Thanks for that insight! The garlic can most definitely be omitted from the recipe. Hope you enjoy it though, it’s most definitely better than the traditional sauce off the counter. It’s my favoriteeeee. 🙂

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  15. Sara

    I’m on the Whole30 right now which doesn’t allow honey. I omitted the honey from this recipe and this is still an AWESOME taco sauce. I think it tastes so much like the Ortega. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Lisa

    You are a taco sauce goddess!
    I have been needing to find a recipe for taco sauce for a couple of years now. My husband and I just can not seem to remember if we prefer medium or mild (always wanting the “not too hot version”)
    This last trip to the store resulted in burning tongues, yikes!
    So I was on a mission, I came across your recipe and I have to say we LOVE it!!


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  18. Elizabeth Cattarin

    Oh my God this is amazing. It’s so good. It’s SO. GOOD. I love ortega but it’s kind of expensive and my favorite grocery doesn’t carry it. This is so good. It took like zero minutes. I had all the ingredients. I made enough to cook my dang taco meat right in it, like delicious ortega sloppy joes. I will never be ortega less again. You are a saint.

  19. Sue Eastman

    I have warmed this up to a slight boil and canned it, put in pressure cooker for 30 minutes w/10 lbs pressure. Made 8 PINTS. It lasted for 7 months. This year i will be doubling my batch to last longer. Turned out Great! Everything sealed and had no issues. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Just wanted others to know.

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