I made an enormous batch of Indian tacos last week, and we ran out of fry bread before we ran out of the 2 1/2 pounds of taco meat I’d cooked up. And then my husband refused to eat any more tacos, anyway.
Thankfully, the back of the box of my Woodenknife Fry Bread mix contained these helpful words underneath the recipe for taco mix: “Leftover taco mix can be used as a base for chili.”
And I thought: Really? That sounds kinda good ... and, more importantly, it sounded like not-tacos, which was my husband’s requirement. Unfortunately, the box offered no more hints than that. So I made it up. And it turned out, which is always a bonus.
The leftover meat was pretty simple: Originally I’d browned 2 1/2 pounds of taco meat, added a can of refried beans, a packet of taco seasoning and some water and mixed it all together. I had about half of that left, so in to the crock pot it went. To that, I added a can of red kidney beans (undrained), a can of diced tomatoes (undrained), 1 cup of white instant rice, about 2 cups of water, some red pepper flakes and about half a diced onion.
Then I set the slow-cooker to low and walked away. A couple of hours later, I thought to add about half a jar of salsa.
The slow cooker didn’t go its full 8-hour cycle; it was probably only four or five hours later before we ate it. I just double-checked that the rice was done, and it was. I ate mine with cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top and some green onion slices. And warm corn bread (from a box mix — one from-scratch item is my limit for the day).
If you want yours even more chili-like, perhaps add another can of beans.
I really liked how this turned out. The taco seasoning flavor and the salsa made it kind of southwestern. You could maybe add a diced-up green pepper or two, and more red pepper flakes to spice it up to your liking. Or some chili powder.
So the next time your’re staring at leftover taco mixings in the fridge, turn it in to a pot of chili instead of a burrito.