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Beef Taco Skillet

Beef Taco Skillet

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When we come home with a couple of days between projects, we try to cram in that home feeling by cooking comfort food, running errands and hoping to see people we care about.  Needless to say, we had this comfort food recipe for Beef Taco Skillet five days in a row while I perfected it, and I am happy to say it is GOOD.

beef taco skillet

We have been on the road for the past two months and have dying to get home to nest a bit.  By nesting I mean cooking and baking, not having a baby.  Even cleaning the house sounds perfect.  Lenny mentioned over a glass of wine at yet another hotel bar, that while it is nice that we get to travel together, that sometimes it feels like just coming back to a rental instead of our home.  That resonated with me.  I completely got it.  One of the things we each look forward to when traveling alone is the coming home part and seeing the one we love.  You know the “ole absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  How to change this?  Definitely going to ponder on this for a bit. 

Let’s talk about the new recipe.  I have seen a lot of one skillet recipes floating around, and have been curious as I usually never use just one skillet to make a meal.  Guess what, after making this about five times, I am going to say it turns out way better by using two skillets.  One skillet for making the base of the recipe, and one pot for cooking the elbow pasta.  

I tried adding the dry pasta to the skillet along with all the ingredients, and it came out gummy and the leftovers absorbed all of the extra liquid and became a brick.  The verdict two pots – sorry folks you need to get your partner or kids to wash the dishes for you.  I cooked everything except the pasta in the skillet, then I cooked the pasta, cooled it off, drained really well and stirred into the skillet.  It came out perfect and the leftovers were exactly like the very first time!

beef taco skillet


  • Skillet
  • Large Saucepan


  • Cook the base of the recipe and the pasta separately to prevent the pasta from becoming gummy and absorbing all the liquid from the base.  Way better than using one skillet!

Recipe:  Beef Taco Skillet


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 package Frontera taco skillet seasoning packet or your favorite taco seasoning (about 2 – 3 tablespoons)
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, including liquid
15 ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained well
1/2 cup dark Mexican beer or beef stock
1 cup elbow pasta
green onions for garnish
cilantro for garnish
cotija cheese, for garnish

How To:

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package but undercook by 50%.  Example, if the directions say to cook for 10 minutes, only cook for 5 minutes.
Pour the pasta into a colander, then rinse with cold water and strain again.  Let sit while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a large, deep frying pan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, stir and cook until soft.  Then stir in the garlic.
Add the ground beef, stir to break up the meat and cook over medium-low heat for 8 minutes.
Stir in the taco seasoning, can of diced tomatoes, kidney beans, beer or stock, then cover with a lid.
Lower the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.  Stirring every so often.
Stir in the cooked pasta and cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Garnish with onions, cilantro, and the cheese

More Skillet Recipes to serve at the dinner table:

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Chris David

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Really a very informative blog I have read since long Thanks Denise for taking the time to write the blog.. and really this is useful for everyone and a thumps up by my side to subscribing to your blogs to get the same forever and enjoy the reading.

ESpecially cooking meat at the home and I love Beck & Bulow foods and the test is really the ultimate must-try and they Have e.g: Meat boxes, elk meat, boar meat, lamb ground, lamb french rack, etc.

Aldean Edwards

Wednesday 12th of October 2016

Should the diced tomatoes be drained? Also - the onion, diced, sliced, chopped?


Denise Woodward

Wednesday 12th of October 2016

Great question and catch! Toss in the entire can, and dice the onion and mince the garlic. Hope you enjoy.

Cate O'Malley

Wednesday 28th of September 2016

You had me at grass-fed...


Tuesday 27th of September 2016

Two pans/pots is totally doable, especially if the results are more delicious.

I love warm, comforting soups and casseroles for fall. Anything with fall/winter squashes = perfection for me.

Jane, The Heritage Cook

Tuesday 27th of September 2016

I love your Taco Skillet and that might become my favorite, but I love any slow braised meats, pulled pork or beef, short ribs, chicken, etc. They are tender and unctuous - OK, now you have me drooling, LOL.