We were very busy, a few weekends ago, with different functions. We had our monthly Dinner Group at our house on Saturday. It was The Pioneer Woman theme night. I will explain this and my menu in another post. I cooked all day Saturday and had a fabulous dinner. Usually on Sunday I cook a meal or two for the blog and also take various meats out of the freezer so I can plan my meals for the week. But by this Sunday afternoon I was beat. I didn’t feel like cooking a big meal. I had yummy leftovers from the night before for lunch and I was full. But the pesky kids always want to eat.
I had a pound of ground beef in the freezer and decided to make taco meat for the kids. Then my mind does what it usually does and I make the ordinary, extraordinary, using just ingredients I have in the house. I made a Mexican Chipotle Layered Bake with minimal effort. I used Herdez Chilpotle Salsa for a smokey taste, but any salsa will do. This dish could also be used as an appetizer party dip if you want. The kids placed the mixture on soft tacos and they loved it. Simple, good and quick!
1 lb lean ground chuck
1/4 cup taco seasoning or 1 package
3/4 cup water
1 can fat-free re-fried beans
3/4 cup Mexican cheese blend (cheddar will also work)
1 jar Herdez Chilpotle Salsa (or a salsa of your choice)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup Cacique Cotija cheese, found in the Hispanic aisle in Kroger. I recommend using this cheese because of the way it melts and the taste. (You can substitute cheddar or the Mexican blend if needed.)
2 green onions, chopped
Flour tortilla or chips for serving
Preheat oven to 400°
In large pan, brown ground beef, over medium heat. Darin off grease. Stir in taco seasoning and water, lower heat to simmer. Cook until sauce has thickened, about five minutes.
Place re-fried beans into microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 90 seconds. This just makes it easier to spread.
Lightly coat baking dish with cooking spray. I used a stoneware tart pan. A glass baking dish would also work. Spread beans in bottom of dish.
Sprinkle Mexican cheese over beans.
Add cooked meat.
Top with salsa, crumbled cotija cheese, tomato and olives.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Top with green onion and serve with flour tortillas or as a dip.