Recipe of the Week: Nacho Taco Meat, by K.M.

My kids LOVE Tacos, and we’ve found a tasty and healthy recipe to extend the family budget while giving them what they want. With a bag of Nacho chips, we’re able to feed a family of five at least 1.5 meals, sometimes two meals (if the boy’s aren’t hungry!)


  • 1 lb. ground meat (beef works for us, but I imagine you could substitute what’s available)
  • 1 8-oz. can red kidney beans, drained (dried work fine, if you care to cook them)
  • 1 8-oz. can black beans, drained (dried work fine, if you care to cook them)
  • 1 8-oz. can crushed tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 8-oz. can/jar salsa (optional)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 cup shredded butternut squash (or similar, optional)
  • Worcestershire sauce,
  • salt and pepper,
  • basil,
  • garlic powder,
  • cumin,
  • paprika,
  • cayenne powder,
  • chili powder,
  • Tabasco sauce,
  • diced green chili,
  • other seasonings, to taste.


  1. Brown onions with a little oil on medium heat until golden.
  2. Add garlic, brown another few minutes.
  3. Add meat, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper; stir occasionally while cooking thoroughly.
  4. Add in the grated squash; it’s a great way to extend the meal, add some nutrition, and the kids will never know it’s there. Grate it using a food processor, or we typically chunk it up then send it through the cheese-grater by hand. Mix well with the meat, and cook another 5 minutes until tender.
  5. Add all canned ingredients (though dried beans must be thoroughly pre-cooked), including liquid from the tomatoes. (You can substitute a cup of Spaghetti sauce or similar, if kids cringe at tomatoes, but an acidic sauce component is important to help break everything down. Add a splash of ketchup, if nothing else.)
  6. Simmer for 10-30 minutes to drive off some of the liquid, or as long as needed, season to taste with all (or any chosen) seasonings to taste. (I like spicy, flavorful food. I dump in the cumin and basil and garlic, and liberally dash w/ the peppers and sauces until my eye’s start to water.)
  7. Simmer with seasoning for 15 minutes on low. Add a pinch of brown sugar to cut some of the spice. (Maple syrup and honey work well, too. Just a dash of sweetener will help cover some of the heat.)

Can be spooned over nacho chips, rolled up in a soft shell, or add a couple cups to a block of cheese in a crock pot for some seriously incredible meaty nachos cheese sauce.

There’s a pre-packaged 1 lb. block of ground beef from our local beef-farmer defrosting in the fridge right now. Guess what my kids are eating tomorrow? LOL!

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