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Texas Tacos

I created this recipe by combining a bunch of taco ingredients that my kids like. Once it’s ready, I often keep the beef mixture warm in a slow cooker so the kids can quickly fill taco shells after an afternoon of rigorous soccer practice. —Susan Scully, Mason, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1-1/3 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve brown rice
  • 20 taco shells, warmed
  • Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef, red pepper and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking beef into crumbles, 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  • Stir in tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt; bring to a boil. Add rice; heat through. Serve in taco shells with toppings of your choice.

Taco Tips

What do you put in a taco?

When tacos first started to be part of American meals, the ingredients didn’t vary greatly. In the 1970s, a taco usually consisted of seasoned ground beef placed in a crunchy V-shaped tortilla and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese. Since then, regional ingredients and cooking styles have snuck into taco recipes, giving us dozens of variations to enjoy.

What's in a traditional taco?

Throughout Mexico, tacos come with a wide variety of tortillas, fillings and toppings. But generally, if you order Mexican-style tacos at a U.S. restaurant, you can expect to get a warm corn tortilla filled with your choice of meat and topped with chopped onions, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, sliced radishes, grilled or pickled jalapeños, and a choice of salsa.

What other meats can I put in a taco?

The answer is a simple one: Almost anything. The seasoned ground beef mixture in this recipe is a popular option. Fish tacos, once seen only in California, are now on almost every restaurant menu. Other popular options are short ribs, shredded pork, shredded chicken and portobello mushrooms.

Can you freeze taco meat?

Yes; this meat mixture freezes beautifully. Make a big batch and freeze individual portions in plastic bags to thaw on the fly.
Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary
Nutrition Facts
2 tacos: 294 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat.