Cooking On A Budget: Taco Salad In Crispy Shells

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Taco Salad In Crispy Shells


I got a brand new kitchen gadget and could not wait to try it out. Prior to this new "toy" I used to make taco shells by frying them in oil using a ladle to press them down and make a flour shape. This taco shell maker allows you to bake the shells versus frying and there is no doubt I love fried foods, but this is obviously the healthier way to make them.

These come four to a package and I got them at Wal Mart for $10.88 for the set.

So you can make a taco salad easily and inexpensively. For mine I used beef; however you could substitute ground turkey or ground chicken in the recipe if you prefer. The spice rub makes more than what you use in the recipe but stored in an airtight container will last for 3-6 months. The beef mixture makes enough for 8-10 people at a per serving cost of $3.12 for eight and $2.49 for ten. I picked up most all of my ingredients on sale.

For the rub:

  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. onion
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Simply combine all of the above ingredients in a small bowl. I whisked the ingredients together. Now on to the rest of the dish.
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 - 16 oz. jars salsa
  • 1 pkg. 10 inch tortillas
  • 1 - 4.5 ox. can chopped green chillies
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
  • 2/3 cup onion - small dice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil (or vegetable)
  1. Start by sweating the onions in a deep skillet over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil. Once the onions begin to soften, turn the heat up to high and add in the ground beef.
  2. Break the beef apart with a wooden spoon, stir and brown the beef.
  3. Add in the can of chopped chillies, 3 tablespoons of the spice mix, slices of fresh jalapeno and the two jars of salsa.
  4. Mix well and cook over low heat for at least 20 minutes to develop some flavor.

Salad additions:

  • 1 head of lettuce - cut in slices
  • 2 tomatoes - cut in wedges
  • 1 small container sour cream for flavor and garnish
  • 1 bag of Mexican blend shredded cheese
  1. Put a good amount of the hot beef mixture in the baked shell. Top with shredded cheese then add in lettuce, tomato and a dollop of sour cream on top. Sprinkle some of the spice mixture on top and you are ready to serve and eat.

I rather over did it on the sour cream, ya think? But I love it and it goes so well with all of the other flavors in this dish.
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