Easy Copycat Taco Bell Mild Taco Sauce

When you make Taco Bell Taco Sauce you don’t need to leave the restaurant with tons of little sauce packets in your pockets. You can make this sauce at home.

3 tacos with homemade Taco Bell taco sauce drizzled on top.
Homemade Taco Bell Taco Sauce

You can make flavorful taco sauce at home that tastes just like it does in the restaurant. Homemade hot sauces are just as good as ones you get away from home.

This copycat recipe is made with common ingredients you can find at the grocery store or may already be in your pantry. Soon you will enjoy mild taco sauce made in your kitchen.


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Water
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Dry minced onions
  • White vinegar
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Paprika
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne pepper

Where Did the Taco Come From?

The taco today is a fast-food staple, but you might be wondering how it came about. The taco was most likely invented by Mexican silver miners in the 18th Century.

In those mines, a “taco” was the name of the little charges that were used to excavate the ore. These consisted of pieces of paper wrapped around some gunpowder. These “tacos” were inserted into holes the miners carved in the rock.

Actually, if you stop and think about it, a chicken taco with a good hot sauce is a lot like a stick of dynamite!

A bowl of homemade Taco Bell taco sauce and 3 tacos on a wood platter.

The Role of the Taquería

For a long time, taquerías were in the working-class neighborhoods of Mexico City. Industrialization lured migrants from all over the country, and the women brought with them their regional cooking skills.

Every region in Mexico has slightly different local foods. Mexico City became a huge bubbling stew of all these different foods. This cosmopolitan world of dining was not for the rich and Mexican food as we know it today was born.

When Did the Taco Appear in the U.S?

The taco was probably brought to the US in the early 20th Century when the first Mexican migrants were starting to come to work in the mines and on the railroads. Mexican food was seen as street food. It was associated with tamale street carts in Los Angeles, and a group of women called the Chili Queens in San Antonio.

Tourists came looking for two things in San Antonio – the Alamo and the Chili Queens. Mexico was thought of as a dangerous place, and the Chili Queens provided a way to sample that danger, but minus the risk of being set upon by bandits.

There was a risk though – the food was VERY HOT. People described it as “biting like a serpent.”

3 tacos and homemade Taco Bell sauce on a serving platter.

Glen Bell’s Taco Bell

Glen Bell did not invent the taco. He borrowed all things taco from his Mexican neighbors. What he did do was utilize a U.S. business model called franchising.

Mexican restaurants generally don’t put the word “taco” in their restaurants’ names. Thanks to Glen Bell, Mexican food is much-loved food, and more hot sauces are sold each year than ketchup. You can read more about the history of the taco.

How to Make Taco Bell Mild Sauce

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir well.
  2. Simmer at a very low temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.
3 tacos and a bowl of homemade taco sauce on a wood serving platter.

More Taco Bell Copycat Recipes

Favorite Mexican Fast Food Copycat Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my easy Mexican recipes and the best fast food copycat recipes.

3 tacos with homemade Taco Bell taco sauce drizzled on top.

Taco Bell Taco Sauce

Make your own mild version of the Taco Bell Taco Sauce.
4 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Taco Bell Recipes, Taco Sauce
Servings: 1
Calories: 83kcal


  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Place ingredients in a saucepan and stir well. Simmer at a very low temperature for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove and cool. The taco sauce may be kept in the refrigerator for several days.


Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 2370mg | Potassium: 804mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1585IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Maureen

    3 stars
    This would taste more like Taco Bell with the addition of pickle juice from pickled jalapeños or peperoncini. I compared the made recipe to a bottle of the Taco Bell.

  2. ZippyDSMlee

    Not tried it yet but the thing I have noticed is tacobell sauce is almost a pureed picante sauce, mind you it has less onions and bell pepper but it seems like it has more of a pickled vegetable flavor than Ortega or old elpaso brand sauce. They changed the flavor a few years back(that or my tastebuds died a bit again) almost seems more black pepery, maybe they changed peppers and had to change the dilution of the mix, I tend to go fiery but that had a twang to it I did not like, hot is good enough. I wonder if I could mix pureed picante and Ortega to make a decent tasting sauce, most picante even non chunky seem a bit to onoiny to me, I guess what I want most in a sauce is a mix of pickled peppers and taco seasoning that’s not chunky….I wish they would sale this stuff 5$ for a gallon I get 4-5 bottles a month LOL it goes great with hamburgers and mayo LOL

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