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Copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce Recipe

Recreate Taco Bell’s iconic red sauce at home with this simple and delicious copycat recipe. Perfect for adding to tacos, burritos, and your favorite Mexican dishes.

If you’re a fan of Taco Bell’s signature red sauce, you’re in for a treat. We’ve cracked the code to bring you a homemade version that’s spot-on. No more stashing away those sauce packets—make this delicious copy cat Taco Bell red sauce in minutes right in your kitchen.

Perfect for Taco Nights

Our copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce is incredibly versatile. Drizzle it over our Taco Bell Copycat bean burritos, tacos, chicken tacos, quesadillas, nachos, pinto beans and cheese, and more. It’s a fantastic addition to your Taco Night buffet alongside sour cream, ground beef, refried beans, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, corn tortillas, flour tortillas, and all your favorite toppings.

Discover more great recipes on our Pinterest Board.

Bowl of homemade copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce garnished with diced tomatoes, with tacos, burritos, cheese, and tomatoes in the background.

Copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce Recipe


  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried 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


  1. Mix Ingredients: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the tomato sauce, water, chili powder, cumin, minced onions, vinegar, garlic powder, garlic salt, paprika, sugar, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Simmer: Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the flavors meld together.
  3. Store: Allow the sauce to cool before transferring it to an airtight container.

Storage Tips

Make a large batch of this sauce to enjoy anytime.

  • Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to a week in a cool, dry place.
  • Refrigerator: Keeps well for up to 2 months in an airtight bottle or jar.
  • Freezer: Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Spice It Up: Recipe Variations

Adjust the heat level to suit your taste:

  • Mild Sauce: Omit the cayenne pepper and chili powder for a milder version.
  • Extra Spicy Sauce: Amp up the heat by adding more chili powder, jalapeno peppers, or habanero peppers.

Single mason jar filled with homemade copycat Taco Bell red sauce, with tacos, tomatoes, and garlic in the rustic kitchen background.

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce Recipe

If you crave the fiery heat of Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce, try this spicier alternative.


  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno slices
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 dash garlic powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Mix well and simmer on medium-low heat, just like the red sauce, until thickened and flavors are well blended.

Enjoy your homemade Taco Bell sauces and elevate your Mexican-style meals with these easy recipes!

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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