This dish is a family favorite for a variety of reasons. It tastes great, is easy to prepare and makes use of all of the leftover broken chips at the bottom of a bag of Tostitos (or whichever chips you like to eat). The recipe serves about 5 people, but we often make double or triple the amount so we can have meals prepared for a few days. And the best part? One recipe costs less than $7!
The key to this meal is advanced preparation. First, make sure you’ve saved enough tortilla chips. We usually store multiple leftover bags of chips in large ziploc containers until we’re am ready to use them. Additionally, we make our own taco seasoning mix, adapted from a recipe by Eliason, Harward & Westover, from the Make a Mix cookbook. Below is the recipe for the seasoning, and the pie itself. Enjoy!
Taco Seasoning Mix (adapted from Make a Mix)
Yield: 6 packets (about 2 T each)
3 T dried minced onions
2 T Kosher salt
2 T chili powder
1 T cornstarch
1 T dried minced garlic
1/2 T dried oregano
1 T ground cumin
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Spoon onto 6″ cut squares of aluminum foil. Fold in the edges to make a small, flat packet and store in a container in a cool, dry place. For an additional money-saving tip, fold up the foil after you use the packet and store it back in the container to be used again the next time you make the mixture.
Adapted by Emily’s mom, Karen
1 ¼ lbs ground meat (I prefer to use turkey or chicken)
4 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
½ cup water
1 can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can red or black beans, rinsed
1 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 ½ cups leftover tortilla chips, crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add the ground meat. Break up the meat into small pieces and cook until brown. If necessary, drain extra fat from the pan. Spread the taco seasoning mix evenly over the meat and add the water. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. Finally, add the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for a few minutes.
Grease a casserole pan with cooking spray. Begin by evenly layering the pan with half of the meat mixture, followed by the beans, chips and cheese. Repeat each layer, in the same order, one more time. Insert into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the chips start to brown and the cheese has melted. Serve warm.