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.
Just as easy as the boxed food products, but tastier.
- 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
In a large skillet, over medium/high heat, brown ground beef. Drain the fat.
Reduce heat to medium, add the diced onion and minced garlic, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.
Add the taco seasoning to the ground beef with 2 cups of water. Stir until the seasoning is dissolved.
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.)
Add the rice.
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.
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.
**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.