In the Kitchen for Taco Night – Recipe Blog

June 17, 2021

Yes, I know it’s not Tuesday the day this post is coming out, but two thoughts come to mind. One, you must have time to prepare and two, can’t every day be Taco Tuesday? In our house, it absolutely can.

This recipe has been modified over the years to become the favorite that it is now. I have both a pepper allergy and a wheat allergy, so this recipe is **GLUTEN FREE** for those of you also watching glutens, like me. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be adapted for small or large meals, or for crunchy or soft tacos or even nachos. I have premade the meat and frozen it before in both a serving dish and a freezer bag for camping.

Don’t worry, I won’t drag this out for you, I’ll get to the point, add in some pictures and tricks to help, as well as add in a savable/printable recipe card at the bottom. Prep takes about 20 minutes, bake for 7-10 minutes, then serve–which means this meal can be on the table in about 30 minutes, less if you prep the meat in advance. So let me share this delish dish with you!

First, let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need for shopping.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning mix
  • your choice of either crunchy shells (I recommend the stand and stuff), tortillas (if you choose flour tortillas, this is no longer gluten free), or tortilla chips (I recommend Tostito’s Scoops)
  • Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, or anything else your family may like!

Next, let’s talk kitchen supplies.

  • frying pan
  • spatula
  • oven (conventional or toaster, either will work)
  • colander
  • measuring cup
  • can opener
  • a baking dish, a 9×13 works perfectly for a 10 pack of stand and stuff shells or soft tacos, or that size or a 9×9 dish for the nachos, depending on how many you are feeding
  • optional-cutting board and knife (for those veggies, if you don’t buy precut!)
  • optional-parchment paper or foil (For lining the baking dish and to make for easy clean up)

Finally, let’s get cooking!

Step 1: Brown the meat, drain, return to pan

Step 2: Add in the seasoning. The packet should have instructions, but a helpful tip I have is to premix the seasoning with water in a measuring cup so it mixes better with the meat. Pour over and stir in. Let simmer for 5 minutes

Step 3: Add the refried beans into the meat mixture. I find this works best by spooning in and mashing it a little, then stirring it together. Let it simmer for another 3-5 minutes until it is thick and all mixes well. I like the beans in this recipe for a few reasons–better flavor, beans are a great source of protein (some may argue better than meat for you, and for the environment), and it doubles the amount of the primary ingredient which is a HUGE cost saver if you are on a budget.

Step 4: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (or 160 Celsius)

Step 5: Prep your baking dish of choice (you do not need to spray or line it, but if you want easy clean up, I suggest lining with foil or parchment paper) and put in your taco shells or tortilla chips

Step 6: Spoon the meat/bean mixture into your shells or chips. I suggest using a tablespoon and I usually put in about 1 1/2 tbsp per taco shell. If you use the 10 pack of the stand and stuff shells, this will leave some left over for a quick nacho lunch the next couple of days, or for a nacho dinner another night this week–maybe even as an addition tonight!

Step 7: Add cheese

Step 8: Bake at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted

Step 9: While that is baking, you can chop your veggies and set the table. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen helper or two, they could be taking care of this while you are doing the other steps before, so you can have a few minutes to clean up and load the dishwasher to have less clean up after dinner. If someone else does that, then enjoy a few minutes to yourself!

Step 10: Serve and enjoy!

If you keep a recipe catalog, book, or file, Here’s a quick recap of the recipe for you!

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