Yes. Tacaritos are a thing. Why are they a thing, you ask? Why not just make really excellent tacos? Or enchiladas? Or hey, a burrito?
In my mind, making dinner looks like a beautiful apron tied around my waist, a glass of red wine next to the stove, and me peacefully taking in the scent of whatever deliciousness I have magically and spontaneously pulled together on the stovetop. Fresh bread is baking in the oven. The children are playing happily with legos in their room and they joyfully pick up every last blasted one before coming to dinner so that I don’t step on a stray lego in the middle of the night and start saying un-motherly-like things under my breath. I digress. But this. This is what I dream about. I think about the sun setting in the sky and open windows ushering in the fresh air.
But that’s not Thursday. You know I’m right. Thursday looked like this:
Ike standing directly in front of the TV (that is on) while holding a random wooden spoon. Me griping at him that he’ll go blind because my mother used to say it to me and I still believe her.
Anna playing with legos. NONE of which get picked up. All of which end up permanently embedded in my tender bare feet in the middle of the night. Lots of unmotherly-like sayings under my breath.
It’s the third night in a row that I’m feeding children alone. Not because of anything crazy, it’s just been that kind of week. Sickness, work, tennis, etc.
So I needed a win. I needed something to come together quickly that would survive the “Isaac Puke Test”. What is the IPT? It’s Ike’s new way to communicate that he doesn’t approve of a meal in which he casually vomits at the table. I’m not kidding. I wish I was. This too shall pass.
SO….enter tacaritos. My mother named them (I think). It’s the best of tacos, enchiladas, and burritos all rolled into one delicious baked dinner. I have made a few tweaks of my own, mostly because I never have everything I need. You can make this dish with mostly canned foods or you can make this dish almost entirely from scratch. Customize til you’re pleased as punch.
*Side note: this recipe is doubled, and I’ll tell you why later. For now, just know that the pictures reflect twice the normal amount of food.
Start by chopping an onion (if you have one that you need to use before it goes bad. Otherwise, skip this because chopping onions is too much work for Thursday night shenanigans). Brown some ground chuck with your chopped onion.
Drain. Or don’t. This seemed like too much work for me tonight and I knew the taco seasoning would want some liquid to mix with. That brings me to the next step: add taco seasoning. I know this will completely surprise you but I was out of those magic little pouches. The ones that the internet now tells you only bad moms use because they are full of terrible things, like MSG. I don’t think everything needs to be that difficult, but whatever. I did end up making my own taco seasoning, but not because I’m terrified of the chemicals in the pouch. It just seemed WAY worse to drag both kids to the store in FEBRUARY (right?!? WHEN WILL FEBRUARY BE OVER?!?!).
I should also mention that making your own taco seasoning really only involves stirring some spices together from your cabinet. Here’s the link I used to make mine. It was delicious.
Now just start throwing stuff in together. Brown rice (you can use whatever rice you want but brown rice makes me feel like a responsible parent. Winning.). If you really want to drag out your steamer, go for it. I microwaved this glorious pouch of ready rice and moved on with my life.
Other things that get added: sour cream, enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, and black beans (or refried beans but we have a major obsession with black beans in our house). Stir.
The result is a creamy, delicious mixture ready for packaging in a tortilla shell. I use whole wheat tortilla shells. When I’m really trying to win at parenting, I make my own. When I’m just out of my mind proud of myself, I make them out of flour I grind myself. None of that happened tonight. Just a good ol’ plastic bag of tortilla shells from SAM’s. Roll up the filling in 8-10 tortilla shells and place seam side down in a greased baking dish. Top with a little enchilada sauce. From. A. Can. It’s THURSDAY. This isn’t Monday, people.
And here’s my helpful food prep tip:
I always double this recipe. When I have a disposable foil pan, I simply roll up the tacaritos and top them with sauce and cheese and place covered in the freezer. They can go directly from the freezer to the oven (covered with foil) at 375 for 60-75 minutes for an easy dinner without any work.
I had no such pan but I did have ziplock bags. I placed the small amount of enchilada sauce I had leftover for batch #2 in a tiny bag and the rest of the filling in a gallon size bag and froze them both flat. In another week or so, I’ll set them out or dunk the bags into hot water to thaw and then simply roll in tortillas and bake. Done and done.
If you didn’t catch it above, top with cheese before placing in the oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Yum. Both kids approved and are now in bed. Asleep. That dear friends, is winning.
- 1 lb. ground chuck
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 packet taco seasoning or 1-2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (depending on how spice you like your food)
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheese plus more for topping
- 1 14 oz. can enchilada sauce
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 8-10 tortilla shells (I typically use burrito size)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- Brown the beef and onion together in a skillet or pan. Drain.
- Add the taco seasoning and all other ingredients, except the tortillas and toppings
- Mix well and then divide between each tortilla shell. Roll and place seam side down in a greased 9X13 baking dish
- Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.