taco meat

Ok, Ok.  I know.  Here is another one of those recipes that came out of the what’s in the pantry moment, but surprisingly it is really warm and comfy and the kids could not get enough of it, so I thought I would share.

I promise I cook more than these wacky on a whim recipes, but they seem fun to share and I’m not going to share all my best stuff, gotta come to dinner for the really good stuff.  Who knows, someday I may want to write a cookbook.

Ooey Gooey Mexi Casserole

6 servings

  • 2 c.  cooked brown rice
  • 2 T   light ranch dressing
  • 1/4 c   fat free sour cream
  • 1 can   fat free refried beans
  • 1 can  diced green chilies
  • 1/2 lb pork loin roast
  • 3 T   taco seasoning
  • 2/3   cup enchilada sauce
  • 3/4   cup cheddar cheese, shredded

While the rice is cooking, prepare taco meat.   See my taco seasoning recipe for guidance if you need it.

Spread the rice on the bottom of a baking dish.

Mix the ranch dressing and sour cream together and then spread over the rice.   It will be a very thin layer.

The Big Book of Casseroles

This recipe will repeat the spread this out over…  routine several times and sometimes it is easier said than done.  I find that if I spoon out small spoonfuls out across the pan and then squish down or spread as best I can that it works out just fine.  With this dish it simply just doesn’t make much difference how pretty it looks because it isn’t really going to hold its form very well out of the pan anyway.

Spread the refried beans over the rice and sour cream mix.

Sprinkle/spread the green chilies

Spread out the taco meat

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or so until heated through. It may bubble around the edges, but also may not, depending on what size of pan you use and how the sauce gets distributed.

Nutritional Information

If you have access to bulk seasonings anywhere near you, then there is no reason to buy packaged taco seasoning or really any packaged seasonings.  Bulk seasonings are so cheap.  It is even worth making a separate trip to a store that you don’t do your regular shopping at just to buy bulk seasonings if that is necessary. You will save a ton of money, I mean a ton.

Herbs and Spices

Anyway, I make my own taco seasoning as I go.  I just toss some spices into the pan with the meat, add a little water and let it stew, just like you would with taco seasoning you buy in a packet.   The best part?  Less salt, no weird chemicals and fresh spices provide more flavor.

Taco Seasoning

This is enough for a pound of meat and works well for any kind of meat you want to use – ground beef, chicken, pork etc.   This is a great way to use leftover meat, by the way.

2 T chili powder
1 T salt   – you can always use less and I recommend starting with less so that you get the right flavor for you.
1 T garlic powder
1 t cumin
1 t onion powder
couple of shakes of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper

Just put all of this in with your meat, add a little water (1/4 cup or so) and turn on, cook until cooked through, water is gone and spices are well incorporated. I tend to add a little more water later and stew for a little bit while I prep the rest of the meal, but this isn’t necessary. If your meat is raw, you may want to brown it first, but I really only do this with ground beef so I can pour off any excess fat.