Make Some Healthy Mixes. You’ll Save So Much Time and Money! {31 Days of Real Food Reality ~ Day 22}

Make Homemade Mixes With Real Food Ingredients

Once you get the hang of making meals and snacks from real food ingredients, you’ll find that there are all sorts of ways to save time, energy, and money. This site is full of ideas, and all of my favorite, most loved and used ideas are in my book, Oh, For Real: Real Food, Real Family, Real Easy. Having that book means you have all of my best tips and recipes right in your kitchen! Read about the book here.

One of the tasks I do often in an effort to prepare real food in a short amount of time is to make homemade mixes. Everything from salad dressing and dip mixes to homemade bisquik-type mixes are available for purchase, and you can even find healthier varieties of each. But they can be pricey!! Plus, you don’t get to choose the ingredients in those. Making these mixes at home saves a wad of money, plus tastes even better, in my opinion.

Below are the mix recipes I’ve shared on this site. Take some time to put a few of them together and see if you don’t save lots of time and money on these healthy, real foods!

Taco Seasoning Mix

I use the Taco Seasoning Mix for tacos and fajitas, for Taco Potatoes, Taco Corn Fritters, and any recipe I come across that calls for packaged taco seasoning mix.

Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

This one is my favorite! I use Ranch Salad Dressing for salad dressing and dip, of course. But I also use it in Cheddar Ranch Burgers, Turkey Ranch Pinwheels, Ranch Potato Wedges, Ranch Cheese Ball, and many other recipes that call for ranch dressing or ranch seasoning packets.

Italian Salad Dressing Mix

Beyond salad dressing, I use Italian Salad Dressing Mix to marinate meat, to make Italian Cream Cheese Chicken, Italian Pasta Bake, Italian Roast Wraps, Italian Stew, and many other recipes that call for Italian dressing or Italian seasoning packets.

Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

Onion Soup Mix

This Onion Soup Mix is great to have on hand for dips and seasoning, as well as to make this great One Dish Meat And Potato Casserole.

Quick Baking Mix

I can’t say enough good about the Whole Wheat Quick Baking Mix! I love having this on hand for Quick Mix Biscuits, Quick Mix Fruit Pizza, Quick Mix Honey Cinnamon Muffins, Quick Mix Very Vanilla Cookies, Quick Mix Pancakes, and more recipes which call for baking mix. (There are more recipes in my book too.)

Whole Wheat Quick Mix

Having these mixes in my pantry (or freezer) means that all I have to do is grab what I need and throw it in a bowl or cooking pot. In just a few minutes, I have made salad dressing, seasoned my meat, started a meal in the crock pot, or mixed up a batch of dough. So, so easy and yummy.

What mixes have you tried making yourself? Which are your favorites?


  1. says

    I love making homemade mixes because you can customize them to your taste preferences. Also, you can put them in little jars and give them as gifts.

    I make a buttermilk ranch seasoning mix and an all purpose seasoning that I often give to others. I’m frequently asked for the recipes. They taste different from commercially available mixes (maybe because they don’t have MSG or fillers like maltodextrin?). Whatever the reason, loved ones seem to really like them (and so do I).


  2. Jewel Glassman says

    It have an italian blend and a meat seasoning blend on hand. We also like to mix together our own honeymustard dressing to have on hand and I create my own baking powder that is much cheaper and aluminum free!


  3. Karen says

    Do you have a gluten-free quick baking mix that can be substituted in your baking mix recipes?


    Laura Reply:

    I don’t know enough about GF baking to know what flours to substitute in my mix. Maybe someone else will chime in on this one!


    Rebecca Reply:

    Check out she has great basic reliable recipes for gf’rs like us, also a good understanding of different mixes out there as well as make your own blends . You can ‘t however just plug gf flours into a regular recipe and expect them to work the same. Gf flours work differently than wheat based ones. I’ve been gf for 20 yrs and her websit and books are easy to understand and good. They are a nice first stop for people looking for a general gf recipe.


  4. Diane says

    I just this weekend tried your Ranch Dressing mix and it is fantastic! It’s my new favorite! I’ve also made up some of the Italian Dressing mix and plan on making some Italian Pasta Bake this week. I’m enjoying learning how to make my own mixes and use real foods, your book has been a big help as we travel this path.


  5. karli says

    Hi Laura, I was wondering if you have ever tried a Meatloaf Seasoning? My mom made some of the best meatloaf and added a store-bought McCormick’s packet to it… it tastes amazing, but obviously is not very healthy:( Any suggestions or has anyone else done something similar?

    By the way, I have converted most of my husbands family on the homemade ranch recipe—it is the only Ranch they will eat now:) Thanks so much for sharing!


    Jen Reply:

    I would check the ingredients of the packet she used on the McCormick website, and start experimenting. If it was the meatloaf mix the ingredients are: Onion, Dextrose, Spices (Including Paprika, Celery Seed, Black Pepper), Sea Salt, Salt, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Soy Protein, And Wheat Gluten, Garlic, Caramel Color, Malted Barley Flour, And Natural Flour.

    You could get a pretty good start by experimenting with a mix that uses all the recognizable spices, and maybe a little sucanat or other natural sugar to replace the dextrose.


  6. Lori says

    I make Laura’s taco seasoning mix and the ranch dressing mix. I made ranch dip using 2 cups sour cream and 2 T. of the ranch mix. Delicious! I have made the Whole Wheat Quick Mix (pancakes are wonderful) and also the Basic Muffin Mix from her cookbook. My muffins turn out perfect every time. Definite time savers!


  7. heather says

    Laura, I LOVE your ranch dressing mix and italian dressing mix. I have already made my own pancake mix, but might try your all purpose baking mix! I have made my own brownie mix, but not always loving it. I made my own pudding mix too, it’s ok. But I’m going to check out the above links for my own cake mix recipes!!! I actually have a book called “Make a mix” My favorite is the white sacue mix. It does use powdered milk, so it might not work for your blog but I LOVE it. I use it to make white sauce or gravy! or whatever!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *