Some of you might remember I made a one pan Porcupine Skillet Dinner a few weeks ago. It was surprisingly good. It inspired me to see if I could do the same thing with a Mexican style meal. And so my Easy Taco Skillet Dinner was born.
What you have here is all the flavor of tacos cooked along with Mexican Rice and topped with a generous layer of cheese. Two kinds of cheese, btw, all to tempt you to dig in. I love a little heat so used the cayenne and the hot sauce (optional) and a hot salsa, but tone it down by choosing a mild salsa and leaving out the hot sauce and cayenne.
Easy Taco Skillet Dinner is quick and while it simmers away, gently, on the stove, its hands off. Great for a busy night with a lot going on and barely any time to cook. And the clean-up is minimal. Gotta love that!
You can easily change this Taco Skillet up. Just keep in mind the rice needs the liquid to cook properly, and that includes the water and the liquid in the tomatoes as well as the salsa. Other than that, change out the beans, add corn if you’d like. If you don’t have time to measure, use a Taco Seasoning mix.
Add any favorite garnishes – maybe a dab of sour cream or some black olives? Maybe you’d like to serve this with chips or refried beans. It would be fantastic in tacos or wrapped up in a burrito.
Ground Beef goes on special all the time in big packs. Buy it at a low, break down and freeze in quantities your family uses. And rice? Why not go large – and buy in bags (check the Asian or Mexican food aisles.)
Cheese often goes on special; when it’s at its low, buy and chuck it in the freezer. It will be a bit crumbly when it thaws, so it won’t be so good for slicing and eating, but it’s still perfect for cooking with. A quick little cheese trick: Instead of sprinkling evenly over the top of an item like this, concentrate it in several areas. It will seem like more; notice I laid the cheese down in a rather thick ring around the center of the dish.
Easy Taco Skillet Dinner
- 3/4 to 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- lots black pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce, optional
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (may use Rotel)
- 1/4 cup salsa (hot, medium or mild)
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
- 3/4 cup rice
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion for garnish
In a large skillet with a lid, over medium high heat, add ground beef and cook, crumbling as it cooks. As soon as it starts to give up the juices, add in the onion and bell pepper, continuing to cook until the vegetables have softened and the ground beef is cooked through. If ground beef is very lean it may be necessary to add a little bit of oil to the skillet. Add the garlic, stirring for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant. Spoon off excess fat if needed.
Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and briefly stir. Stir in tomatoes with the juice and the salsa and add the black beans and hot sauce. Toss the rice on top and add the 1 1/4 cup of water. Gently stir together, bring to a boil.
Cover with lid and reduce to a bare simmer. Cook for 22 to 24 minutes until rice is just done. If possible, don’t lift the lid or stir until rice is finished.
Turn off the heat and with a spatula, gently turn the mixture from top to bottom. Add cheese to the top. Cover with lid and let sit for five minutes.
Serve garnished with green onion.
Note: To make this quicker, instead of the garlic, chili powder, cumin & cayenne, add a packet of taco seasoning or use my home-made taco seasoning.
I’m sharing this recipe out at Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Petra @ Food Eat Love and Vanitha @ Curry and Vanilla. Stop by Fiesta Friday and explore. Hint: I’m seeing some Halloween posts and Holiday baking!!