One of the easiest ways to stretch a meal is to make sure you make enough food to feed your family for a second day–and this combined recipe is great for families that love Mexican food! Start out with delicious taco salads (or tacos, if you want to put the same ingredients inside a taco shell), and finish the next day with an amazing taco casserole (one of my personal favorites from my childhood).
Ground Beef (As much as your family will eat in one sitting times THREE!)
Taco Seasoning Packets (enough for your meat)
First, get that ground beef cooking. Make sure you have a large enough pan for all the meat you’ll need. Keep in mind, you’ll want to have quite a bit of leftover meat for tomorrow’s meal, so make sure you have three times as much as your family will eat that night.
Brown the ground beef until it’s halfway cooked, then throw in the chopped onions. Cook this mixture until the beef is fully browned and the onions have gone translucent. Then, drain the grease and add your taco seasoning packets. You can always spice to your liking with your own spices–some good ones to use are cumin, chili powder, and paprika.
Next, put your beans on the stovetop to warm them up. You can use your favorite kind of beans–refried, black, and pinto all work really well. When they’re hot enough for your liking, set the stove to low to keep them warm.
Now, the easy part! Assemble your salads (or tacos) in your favorite order. I usually do the lettuce, then the meats, beans, cheese, avocado, and salsa. For tacos, I do beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, avocado, and salsa inside the shell.
Save your leftover meat for tomorrow. Store it in a container and refrigerate it.
Leftover ground beef
Tortilla chips, crushed
Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
Preheat your oven to 375.
First, crush up some tortilla chips and layer them at the base of your baking pan. If you have a lot of meat and a larger family, use a 9×13 pan. If not, an 8×8 should be fine.
Next, heat up the beans you plan to use. You will only need one can, regardless of pan size, of refried beans or whole pinto or black beans. When the beans have been heated (and drained, if you used pinto or black), layer them on top of the tortilla chips.
Now spoon your meat mixture on top of the beans. Smooth it out and top with a layer of salsa. Use as much or as little salsa as you want. Now, spread a nice layer of the shredded cheese on top of the salsa.
Bake the casserole for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is well-melted and gooey. Let it cool for five minutes before serving.
Then, on each individual serving, add sour cream, avocado, and black olives to taste.