Mexican Haystacks: a smorgasbord of delicious taco flavors simmered together in a tasty sauce and served over rice (or quinoa) with all the toppings your heart desires. Easy, fast, yummy!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I published this eCookbook.

If you missed the launch last year, the book is filled with over 30 recipes dedicated to making your life easier in the kitchen (think: simple weeknight dinner menus!).

A white plate of cooked rice topped with a Mexican beef and corn mixture, tomato, olive, avocado, and sour cream.

Even better, 100% of the proceeds from the eCookbook still directly benefit the amazing women and men in the Mentors, International microloan program in Ghana, Africa (more details about my trip to Ghana last year here).

In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a very, very amazing and tender update with details on the difference all of your donations over the last year have made.

It has humbled and inspired me beyond words.

As for the eCookbook, it continues to be a staple in my kitchen as I continue to make the recipes in that fun, little book over and over.

And today, I decided to share one of our huge family favorites from the book.

Top view of a white plate of cooked rice topped with a beef and corn mixture and taco toppings.

Mexican haystacks, I’m looking at you!

A more lively cousin to the popular creamy Hawaiian Haystacks recipe, this Mexican-inspired version is so fast, so easy, and so delicious.

Recipes like this are hard not to love.

Loaded with customizable toppings, this meal is bound to please even the pickiest of eaters (hint: smother it with cheese – it’s the best tactic to stall complaints from selective palates).

Even more lovable is the fact that the flavorful sauce is made start to finish in one skillet and doesn’t require any fancy cooking methods or ingredients.

And yet, you still get a delectable, homemade sauce loaded with black beans and juicy corn nibbles and tender meat and zesty spices in 30-minutes or less.

It’s down home haystack goodness at it’s finest.

A fork taking a bite of Mexican haystack off a white plate of topping-covered haystack..

I certainly didn’t feel good about the world only having the aforementioned classic chicken haystack version to eat for the rest of forever.

And while you could certainly refer to this saucy, tasty meal as something like: Taco Rice (yawn) or Mexican Gravy over Rice (snore), I think we can all agree that Mexican Haystacks is much more fun to say.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve served up this meal for company. Not only is it easy to make, but served over brown rice or quinoa, it is hearty and nutritious.

Just like any good Mexican-themed meal, those toppings make this into a homerun meal as everyone can customize their own.

If you are looking for your next weeknight dinner salvation, put these Mexican Haystacks high up on the make-right-now list.

What to Serve With This

One Year Ago: The Best Homemade Barbecue Sauce {BBQ Sauce}
Two Years Ago: Amazing and Simple Greek Feta Dip
Three Years Ago: Chicken Curry in a Hurry
Four Years Ago: Double Cruncher Cookies with Fudge Filling
Five Years Ago: Curried Nachos with Mango Salsa


Mexican Haystacks

4.82 stars (109 ratings)


  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth, if using regular broth, cut down the salt in the recipe
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, no need to thaw
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)
  • Hot cooked rice or quinoa for serving
  • Taco toppings: lettuce, sour cream, cheese, olives, etc


  • In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef or turkey, salt and pepper, and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until cooked through. Drain excess grease, if needed.
  • Stir in the paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder and flour. The mixture will be crumbly. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the meat and spices are fragrant and sizzling.
  • Whisking quickly and constantly, slowly add the beef broth and tomato sauce about 1/2 cup at a time, letting the mixture thicken and bubble between additions before adding more.
  • Stir in the black beans and corn. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  • Serve the sauce over rice (or quinoa) with lime wedges and taco toppings of your choice.


Nutrition Facts: the nutrition facts for this recipe were calculated based on the haystack mixture (but do not include the optional toppings as those are added based on personal preference). 
Chili Powder: different brands of chili powder will have varying levels of heat. If the chili powder you are using is overly spicy, keep that in mind and dial back the amount, if you don’t want the overall dish spicy.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 1253mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted just slightly from the eCookbook I published last year)

A white plate of cooked rice topped with a beef Mexican haystack mixture topped with taco toppings.