Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper is hearty yet much healthier than the boxed version. Made in just 1 skillet and ready in 30 minutes!
Happy Monday, everyone, did you have a nice weekend? I got back from Seattle yesterday afternoon and spent the remainder of the day snuggling the heck out of Ben and Lincoln. I missed them terribly but had a fabulous time out west. Per usual with these girls, we ate, saw, and explored a TON in just a few short days, and lucked out with the most fabulous weather. I’ll tell you all about it later this week!
In the meantime, if you had a busy weekend like I did and weren’t able to hit up the grocery store, I’ve got a winner of a quick
chicken ground beef dinner for you. Inspired by one of my most popular recipes on IGE to-date (Homemade Cheeseburger Helper) Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper is ready in 30 minutes, made in one skillet, and uses fridge and pantry staples. It also has just 7 ingredients compared to the boxed version’s 27 (I counted!)
If you’ve been reading IGE for any length of time than you know that one of my favorite things to do is remake processed, packaged foods like the aforementioned Homemade Cheeseburger Helper, Creamy Garlic Shells, and Creamy Chicken Pasta to make them healthier (notice I didn’t say healthy. But healthier – YES!) After today Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper is joining the ranks. Heck it may even be the new captain. All aboard!
Ok, that was cheesier than this dish, which actually doesn’t have that much cheese and is still yummy even if you want to leave it out.
Ground beef is browned then seasoned with homemade taco seasoning and then simmered with long grain white rice and chicken broth until the rice is tender. Freshly shredded cheddar cheese is stirred in at the end then the whole dish is topped with taco-inspired toppings like salsa, avocado, and green onions.
Oh and, as the name implies, a little (or lots) of crunch, aka crushed tortilla chips. Or corn chips like Fritos. I buy the ones from Trader Joe’s and like to pretend they’re healthy as I’m stuffing my face because they’re organic. I know. Send help.
At any rate, if your family likes quick, easy and satisfying meals, then they will absolutely gobble this one up!
Start by browning 1lb lean ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 chopped large shallot (or 1/2 small onion.) Drain then return to the skillet.
Next add 1 batch homemade taco seasoning, or a taco seasoning packet. Add the whole thing but don’t use the water that’s called for in the seasoning recipe or on the packet.
Now add 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa. My all time favorite store-bought salsa is Tostitos Restaurant-Style Salsa. It is…so good. I have been known to eat half a jar in one sitting. Right. Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica is also really good.
Pour in 1-3/4 cups chicken broth then turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
Once the liquid is boiling stir in 1 cup long-grain white rice (either basimati or jasmine) then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid is nearly absorbed. Mine took 15 minutes, but yours could take a few more.
By the way, I have not tested this recipe using brown rice but if I were to do it I’d probably start with at least 2 cups chicken broth then add up to a 1/4 cup more near the end if it needs it.
Remove the skillet from the heat then stir in 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese until melted. Place a lid on top then let the rice continue to steam for 5 minutes.
When time is up, scoop the homemade taco hamburger helper onto plates then add your toppings and dig in!
Crunchy Taco Homemade Hamburger Helper
1lb lean ground beef
1 large shallot, chopped (or 1/2 small onion)
1 recipe homemade taco seasoning or 1 taco seasoning packet, don’t add water
1/2 cup salsa
1-3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup long grain white rice (basmati or jasmine rice)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Toppings: crushed tortilla chips, salsa, sliced avocado, chopped green onions
- Brown ground beef with shallot in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then return to the skillet. Add taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth then bring to a boil. Add rice then place a lid on top and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender then remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Place lid back on the skillet then let sit for 5 minutes before serving with toppings.
Just think of how much better you’ll feel serving this hearty, totally yummy meal to your friends or family knowing it didn’t come from a preservative-filled box, right? And it was so easy, too – like I said, 30 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy!