Friday, January 11, 2013

Taco Night - No Assembly Required!

I love taco night - crispy, cheesy, crunchy, GOOD!  But, I have become increasingly lazy and get tired of making all of the components, and then still having to assemble each individual one at dinner time.  Last night, I started making the ole' taco assembly line and then had the idea to turn it into a bake-ahead casserole.  Okay, well, Ortega gave me the idea and I tweaked it, but it was still delicious!  Another thing that I loved about it was that it helped me use up some of the leftovers in my fridge, like an onion and corn.  It made a TON, too! Plus, you can customize this recipe however you want.  Your family may be more willing to eat certain ingredients (like tomatoes, ahem), if they're baked in, instead of loose in a taco.

Here's how.....

Taco Night - No Assembly Required!!


  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of cooked rice (any kind!)
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce or salsa
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 package taco shells, broken
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/8 cup sliced green onions (optional)


  • PREHEAT oven to 375°F.
  • COOK turkey, onion and garlic until beef is browned; drain. Stir in water, corn, salsa, and seasoning mix. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • LAYER half of broken taco shells on bottom of greased 12 x 8-inch baking dish. Cover with half of meat sauce; then add half of rice, sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat with remaining shells, meat sauce, rice and cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Top with olives, tomatoes and green onions if desired!  You could also add black beans or sour cream.  This is an "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of dish.  Anything could be combined and it would probably be delicious!