These taco salad dippers are a one-pot wonder! Beef, seasonings, tender rice, and hearty beans thicken to a wonderfully dippable taco meal.

white bowl of taco salad beef mixture with all the toppings around the side

A one pot wonder. That’s what this meal is.

Deliciously simmered, lean beef or turkey combines with flavorful seasonings, tender rice, a tomato base and hearty beans. The rice plumps up perfectly and the mixture thickens to a wonderfully dippable taco meal.

What To ServeThis could be served in a myriad of ways – we used classic taco garnishes and scoopable tortilla chips. I prefer to crush up my tortilla chips, top them with the yummy taco mixture and load it all up with sour cream, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes – a taco salad of sorts. My kids and husband filled up a bowl and used their tortilla scoops to dip away. They were in heaven.

Filling, simple, healthy and tasty – this meal is sure to please! (Thanks, Alicia!)

top view of a white bowl with taco salad mixture and lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and chips around the side

One Year Ago: Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguine

Taco Salad Dippers

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup rice (white or brown)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained


  1. In a large pot, brown the ground beef or turkey with the onion and garlic and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain any accumulated grease. Add the water, rice, seasonings, tomato sauce, tomato paste and beans. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, watching to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot (if you are using brown rice, it may need to simmer for up to 60-70 minutes). The mixture will seem very watery at first, but after simmering, it will thicken to perfection as the rice absorbs water and all the ingredients meld together.
  2. Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping and other taco garnishes. I have successfully frozen the leftover meat/rice mixture to defrost and reheat later.

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Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Alicia, a reader