top of page

Copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce

Copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram account  – Or give me a follow on Facebook or see what I am pinning on Pinterest or Twitter!

When striving to recreate Taco Bell's renowned red sauce in the comfort of your own kitchen, it's vital to follow a carefully curated homemade copycat red sauce recipe that incorporates essential ingredients (Seasonings) that make this sauce so distinctive. This DIY red sauce dupe is designed to authentically replicate the exact flavor and spiciness of Taco Bell's iconic sauce, providing comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for creating this restaurant-inspired gem from scratch. By meticulously emulating the original's taste and texture, this homemade clone of Taco Bell's red sauce allows you to savor the familiar and cherished flavors of your preferred fast-food Pintos and Cheese right in your own home, ensuring an indulgent dining experience that mirrors the beloved restaurant version.

You Will Need

  • 1 can (8 ounces) of tomato sauce

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
    (adjust to taste for spiciness)

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt 

Thank you so much for supporting my site

How to make Copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the tomato sauce and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it begins to simmer.

  2. Add the white vinegar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to the simmering tomato sauce mixture.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.

  4. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your preference. If you like it spicier, add more cayenne pepper. If you prefer it milder or sweeter, you can adjust the brown sugar.

  5. Once you're satisfied with the flavor, remove the saucepan from heat and let the red sauce cool down.

  6. Once the sauce has cooled, you can use it immediately or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week.

Thank you so much for supporting my site

Storage Tips for Red Sauce:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover homemade red sauce, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

  2. Freezing: To extend the shelf life, you can freeze the red sauce. Pour it into an airtight container or freezer bags, leaving some room for expansion. Seal well and label with the date. Frozen red sauce can last for about 3-4 months.

  3. Portioning: Consider freezing the sauce in smaller portions, so you can defrost only what you need for future meals, reducing waste.

  4. Thawing: When you're ready to use frozen red sauce, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight to thaw gradually. You can also thaw it more quickly in a microwave or on the stove over low heat.

Thank you so much for supporting my site

The heat level of the Taco Bell red sauce can be adjusted to suit your personal preference by varying the amount of spicy ingredients like cayenne pepper and chili powder.
Here are a few variations to control the heat:

  1. Mild Red Sauce:

    • Reduce or omit the cayenne pepper and chili powder.

    • Use a pinch of paprika for color and flavor without adding much heat.

    • Adjust salt and sugar to taste.

  2. Medium Red Sauce:

    • Follow the original recipe as provided, including the cayenne pepper and chili powder quantities.

    • Taste the sauce while it's simmering and adjust the cayenne pepper to your desired level of spiciness.

  3. Hot Red Sauce:

    • Increase the cayenne pepper and chili powder. Add an extra pinch of each to intensify the heat.

    • You can also add a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

  4. Extra Hot Red Sauce:

    • Double the amount of cayenne pepper and chili powder in the original recipe.

    • Consider adding a small amount of finely chopped or pureed hot chili peppers like jalapeños or habaneros.

Remember, it's always best to start with a smaller amount of spice and add more as needed. You can taste the sauce as it simmers and adjust the heat gradually until you reach your desired level. Keep in mind that the heat can intensify as the sauce cooks, so it's a good idea to start with less and add more if needed to avoid making it too spicy.

A copycat recipe for Taco Bell red sauce can be used to enhance the flavor of a variety of dishes, similar to how Taco Bell uses it in their menu items.
Here are some ideas for what you can use this red sauce for:

  1. Tacos: Add a drizzle of Taco Bell-style red sauce to your homemade tacos, whether they're filled with ground beef, chicken, fish, or vegetarian ingredients.

  2. Burritos: Use the red sauce as a flavorful addition to burritos, whether you're making bean and cheese burritos, beef and rice burritos, or any other variation.

  3. Quesadillas: Serve red sauce alongside quesadillas for dipping, or drizzle it over the top before folding and grilling.

  4. Nachos: Create nachos by drizzling the red sauce over tortilla chips and melted cheese, then adding toppings like jalapeños, sour cream, and guacamole.

  5. Chalupas: Make chalupas at home by topping fried tortillas with seasoned meat, lettuce, cheese, and a drizzle of red sauce.

  6. Burgers: Use the red sauce as a condiment for homemade burgers or sliders to add a spicy kick.

  7. Breakfast Burritos: Add a touch of red sauce to your breakfast burritos for a Southwestern-inspired flavor.

  8. Potato Dishes: Drizzle red sauce over baked or roasted potatoes for a zesty twist on a classic side dish.

  9. Chicken Dishes: Use it as a sauce for grilled or baked chicken breasts or thighs to give them a Mexican-inspired flavor.

  10. Rice Bowls: Incorporate the red sauce into rice bowls with your choice of protein, beans, vegetables, and toppings.

  11. Dips: Mix it with sour cream or Greek yogurt to create a flavorful dip for chips or vegetables.

  12. Sandwiches: Add a kick to sandwiches or wraps by using the red sauce as a condiment or dipping sauce.

  13. Meatloaf Glaze: Brush it onto meatloaf before baking for a spicy tangy glaze.

  14. Pizza: Use it as a pizza sauce for a unique Mexican-style pizza with your favorite toppings.

These are just some ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are virtually endless. Feel free to get creative and experiment with how you use Taco Bell-style red sauce to enhance your favorite dishes.

bottom of page