With this super simple recipe a picture is worth a thousand words!!! The recipe itself is very easy to make, I find the most confusing part when giving this recipe to friends is the “putting it together” instructions. I remember I could not comprehend the “putting it together” until my Aunt Ellen once took the time to show me many years ago. Since then this meal has been a staple in our house. It is fast, simple, and makes great leftovers. I know a lot of my extended family has this recipe but I think they are all a bit different. Mine is a cross between my Moms and my Aunt Ellen’s (I think). So here goes, it’s delicious…
Taco Grande Ingredients and Items You Need:
- 1 LB of ground beef
- 1 teaspoon of Salt, Pepper, Cumin, and Garlic Powder (Megan Note: Can sub garlic powder with one clove of fresh squeezed garlic if you prefer, I have done both ways just depends on how many dishes I feel like having)
- 1 1/2 cups of Salsa (12 OZ) (We use home canned; cannot wait to share that recipe this summer when we make it!!!)
- Shredded cheese – a good couple of cups or so
- 1 package of 9 inch taco shells that hold 8 or 10 shells OR you can make them like we do, click HERE, for that recent post!
- A 9 inch or 10 inch pie baking dish
Directions: (Preheat oven to 350 or 375)
Either over the stove in a skillet or in a pampered chef rice cooker combine meat and spices. Cook and drain fat. In the picture below I used my rice cooker this time around, some times I use my cast iron skillet. If you use the rice cooker I usually cook for 3 mins on high, then remove break up the meat with s wooden spoon or my mix & chop, then cook again for another 3 or 4 minutes on high. It is a pretty quick process. Once cooked, add your 1 1/2 cups of salsa. See below.
Next shred your cheese, grab your pie dish, spray a pinch of pam in the bottom, and the layering begins. First put 1 shell in the bottom of the pie pan. Then add about 1/3 of the meat mixture, then top with cheese. See these steps below! Note, if you use the homemade shells make a double batch which will net you 16… but as you are making them make 2 larger shells for the top and bottom so you end up with 14 total homemade shells. You will have around 6 left over after making the Taco Grande. See that post on how to keep and for other eating ideas!
Now we repeat, but we use 3 shells and scallop them over the edges. The store-bought shells will scallop out farther than my homemade ones but you will get the idea. Then add about 1/3 of the meat and top with cheese. See picture below.
Now repeat again. Using 3 more shells cover the meat/cheese mixture, and scallop in different directions. Then top with remaining 1/3 of meat and add more cheese. See pictures below…
Last but not least add 1 shell over the top of the meat/cheese mixture, then top that with a bit more cheese. Bake around 350 or 375 for about 15 or 20 minutes. The idea here is to heat through and melt the cheese in the different layers, because all your meat had already been cooked. Once the cheese on top starts to brown I usually call it hot and done. You should even notice your scalloped edges to crisp up a bit like a chip. See final pictures below!
- Cut and serve just like a piece of pie.
Serve with some extra salsa if you have any.
- Goes great with green beans, rice, or corn as a side. I also usually serve with some of my canned peaches or applesauce.
- If for some reason after you cut it and you notice the middle is not hot enough, just pop that piece in th microwave. That happens occasionally for use because I am usually too hungary and pull it out a bit early.
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions! Enjoy ~ Megan