Taco Dippers


Taco Dippers make for a fun appetizer, snack, or meal, served alongside salad, veggies, or fruit!


Mother Nature had one last trick up her sleeve before starting to crank out the snow, sleet and suffering this winter…a 74 degree day.

On November 1st!

I could hardly believe it! I cranked the dusty AC in my car on the way home from work, cursed my programmable thermostat which had started heating the house to a too toasty temp around 4pm, and sweat bullets on my quick and dirty 3.5 mile run in the late afternoon sunshine.

The trail was packed – everyone trying to soak up what was probably the last, remarkably warm day of the fall. I feel like I’ve been saying that about every warm day the past month or so, but this time I mean it, dangit!

Dinner was equally as thrilling. No-fuss, make-ahead, fun and tasty Taco Dippers!

There are no step-by-step photos needed for this recipe – it’s so simple. All you do is you simmer some taco friendly ingredients like ground beef, black beans, savory spices and tomato sauce with a little rice and water in a big ‘ol pot.


The flavors mingle and meld on the stove top, and 30 minutes later it’s time to dunk in the dippers of your choice.


Through a mountain of shredded cheddar cheese, of course!


Taco Dippers

Serves 5-6


Taco Dippers make for a fun appetizer, snack, or meal, served alongside some salad, veggies, or fruit!


  • 1 pound 93/10 ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
  • 3 cups water (could use beef broth for even more flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat. Drain and return beef to the pot.
  2. Add water, oregano, chili pepper flakes, cumin, sugar, salt, chili powder, tomato sauce, tomato paste and black beans to the pot. If you are making ahead, cool the pot a bit and place into the fridge. Otherwise, add the rice and bring the entire mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Serve with freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese and dippers like tortilla chips and apples.


Slightly adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


Obviously the smoky, slightly spicy taco dip was bomb digg with tortilla chips, but it was amazing with cold slices of Honeycrisp apple.


I got this idea from 1 Cup Awesome, whose ideas are well, awesome, after I recently saw them top turkey chili with chopped apples. Ummmm, brilliant!


Full and satisfied to the max.



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  1. Apples with taco dip? What the? LOVE THIS IDEA!

  2. I love simple meals like this! So comforting, easy and delicious.

  3. Lauren 11.01.2011

    The weather is crazy here too! On Saturday, we had 2 feet of snow. Today, it was all but melted with temps back near 60. So weird!

  4. Love it! We are so addicted to apples and tomato based dishes right now! We hadn’t thought of taco dip yet. Totally trying this. Totes…Magotes.

  5. Karla 11.01.2011

    I adore this idea, the new “Pin it” button and the fact that someone’s getting warm, awesome weather still! :) Can’t wait to hear about the trip ahead, Kristin!

  6. Hope 11.02.2011

    This taco dip looks amazing! I would never think to dip apples in that. Hmm..I’m going to have to try it! I’m open to trying new things. Have fun on your trip! I can’t wait to hear about it :)

  7. I love eating nachos for dinner :) We used to do it all the time in college as “taco tuesdays”

  8. I could eat a HUGE bowl of this stuff–yum!

  9. Ooh chili on apples…hmmmm! this looks good, and I’m always a fan of dumping things in a pot and coming out with a great meal ;)

  10. Imwaytoobusy 11.02.2011

    Apples and taco dip? I would have never thought of that. That’s officially on my “things I must try” list ;)

  11. Meredith 11.02.2011

    I absolutely LOVE your new “Pin It” button! I pin so many of your recipes on Pinterest, this makes it so easy! I was planning on making tacos tonight, but I think I’ll make your Taco Dippers instead! :)

  12. Melodie 11.02.2011

    I just saw your brother on the Today Show! He won a Kathie Lee Giffords CD LOL! Haha I was jumping up and down shouting “OMG, that’s IGE’s brother!” My co-workers thought I was nuts, but now they’re following your blog (and love it, naturally) – which is the BEST!!!!

    One of your many GA fans,

  13. i would never think to use apples as a dipper! genius.

    another beautiful IGE recipe :)

  14. I am so jealous of your warm temps and your trip! It is 15* here this morning!! I need a trip outta here!!

  15. Meme 11.02.2011

    Yum!! I love that you don’t use a packet of taco seasoning. I have to try it with the apple :)

  16. Kacy 11.02.2011

    Looks great!
    I’m so with you on the self pedis. My hamstrings make it so difficult. I am so envious of flexible people.

  17. Lindsey 11.02.2011

    Ok, I am going to have to try the apple with the taco mixture. That sounds crazy!

  18. Tuesdays have traditionally been “taco Tuesdays” at our house – ever since my husband and I got together, really. (The man LOVES tacos). For the past month or so I’ve been making this recipe as our taco filling and we both love it! I sub 1 whole can of refried beans for the black beans and it’s so smooth and creamy and delish!

    I love that it stretches a pound of ground meat (I use beef, turkey, chicken, whatever is in the freezer) – and stretches the serving portion so I get more for fewer WW points.

    Great recipe. Love it!

  19. Courtney Knabe 02.06.2012

    I am seriously getting ready to go make this, cause it looks so easy to make and really yummyyummy.:)don’t know about the apple thing, defintely makes me think Uhm…thanks.

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