Southwestern Skillet Easy To Make, Easy To Clean Up

As a kid, and even as a young adult, I loved those easy-to-make, one-skillet box mixes. All you had to do was brown the ground beef, dump in some powdered  sauce and the pasta, rice or potatoes along with some water. And boom! Dinner was ready. Well, I’ve been an adult for a long time now, but I still love the idea of throwing together a quick meal with an even quicker clean up. As I grew older and learned how easy those dinners are to make from scratch, I’ve made what seems like, a million variations. This Southwestern Skillet is just as easy as the packaged products, but tastier.

Tonight’s dinner came about by necessity of finding a use for some leftover rice. I searched the freezer and decided that I would use the ground beef. I was beginning to have tacos and Mexican-style rice on my mind, but I didn’t have any taco shells. Then I thought stuffed peppers would be good, but I didn’t have enough peppers. As I was running out of ideas, I looked through the pantry and pulled out a few cans of vegetables and my homemade taco seasoning, checked the fridge for some cheese and this one-skillet creation came to life. This would be better with all fresh vegetables but, in a pinch, canned will do.

Southwestern Skillet

Just as easy as the boxed food products, but tastier.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword one-skillet
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 packets taco season **Or 4 tbsp of my mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz whole kernel corn
  • 1 16 oz kidney beans
  • 2 cups Mexican blend cheese shredded
  • 4 cups cooked white rice

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, over medium/high heat, brown ground beef. Drain the fat.

    Southwestern Skillet Ingredients
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add the diced onion and minced garlic, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.

    Southwestern Skillet Ground Beef
  3. Add the taco seasoning to the ground beef with 2 cups of water. Stir until the seasoning is dissolved.

    Southwestern Skillet Seasoning
  4. Drain the liquid from the vegetables then add them to the skillet. Discard the liquids. (I save the liquid from the tomatoes in case my sauce gets too thick, I can add the tomato juice which will have more flavor than adding more water.)

    Southwestern Skillet Veggies
  5. Add the rice. 

    Southwestern Skillet Rice
  6. Add about 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Then reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce will start to thicken.

    Southwestern Skillet Cheese
  7. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top of the mixture. Cover, remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. The cheese will continue melting and the sauce will thicken. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream - optional.

    Southwestern Skillet Cheese 2

Recipe Notes

**Instead of store bought packets of taco mix, why not try my homemade mix. You can find the recipe here.

Did your family rely on the hamburger skillet dinners for something quick? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Hamburger Pie Casserole

I know casseroles aren’t a favorite for everyone, but I love them. They are easy to make, limit unnecessary dishes, they can be made ahead of time and are usually large enough to have leftovers for lunch another day. I have a friend who won’t eat any casseroles. He doesn’t like various foods touching each other. So, I guess I won’t invite him over for dinner tonight because this casserole has ground beef, tomato soup, veggies, mashed potatoes and cheese all mingled together in one dish.

This particular casserole is a version of a favorite dish of an ex-boyfriend. I got the recipe from his mother many years ago. He would probably eat this every night if it was offered to him. The relationship didn’t last, but the recipe lives on with some minor adjustments.

One thing you’ll learn about me is there aren’t many things that I won’t put cheese on. I. Love. Cheese. If I could figure out a way to incorporate cheese with my raisin bran in the morning, I would. This is one of those dishes that doesn’t really “need” cheese, but cheese and mashed potatoes go well together, so it seems obvious to include it.

If you like this dish, for a variation, try substituting the ground beef with shredded chicken. Swap the tomato soup with cream of mushroom and exchange the cheddar for Swiss.  It’s just as easy to make and your family won’t be disappointed.

Hamburger Pie Casserole

This casserole is easy to make, but if you're pressed for time, you can use instant mashed potatoes and save some prep time. 

Course Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 approximately
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cups corn
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 medium potatoes diced
  • 2 10 3/4 oz cans tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 oz cheddar cheese shredded or sliced
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tsp pepper divided

Instructions

  1. Peel, dice and rinse the potatoes. In a medium pot, cover with cold water and add 1 tsp salt. Cover with a lid and, over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

    Hamburger Pie Casserole Ingredients
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  3. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain the fat. Add the diced bell pepper, diced onion, garlic, remaining salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally until onion and bell pepper are tender. Approximately 10 minutes.

  4. Add the corn and tomato soup. Continue simmering and stirring until thoroughly heated.

    Hamburger Pie Casserole filling
  5. Thoroughly drain the liquid from the potatoes. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Add a cold stick of butter to the potatoes and replace the lid on the pot to allow the butter to melt. After the butter has melted, gradually add a little milk at a time. Depending on the density of the potatoes and the desired texture of the potatoes, you may not need the full 1/2 cup of milk or you may need a little more. Mash until no lumps are visible or use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes until they are light and fluffy.
  6. Spoon the ground beef mixture into a casserole dish. Drop spoonfuls of mashed potatoes around the casserole and carefully spread the potatoes without pushing them down into the ground beef mixture. Once you have spread all the mashed potatoes, top the casserole with cheese and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

    Hamburger Pie casserole assembly
  7. If you're making this casserole ahead of time, don't top with cheese until the casserole is almost done baking. You'll want to bake the casserole, covered with aluminum foil, for approximately 45 minutes. You can remove the foil and add the cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking. 

What is your opinion on casseroles? Is a meal untouchable if the foods are touching? Let me know in the comments below.