Love Mexican food? My family of five loves tacos, so we have regular tacos about once a week. If a dish is in any way taco-like, we also love it. So, to mix things up, one day I came up with a very easy, quick, delicious taco based recipe of baked filled taco boats. Tacos are a very versatile meal for a split-table family like mine where some are vegetarians and others eat meat. I call this type of recipe a hybrid recipe. This recipe is quick and simple with zero chopping up of vegetables, which is something my busy family needs. I’ve made these taco boats several times and my family adores them. I love how quickly I can pull the meal together and then just pop it in the oven to cook. My husband and I have three boys and we are very busy, so we often need simple meals that are also delicious.
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I was inspired to make this recipe when I saw the boat taco shell Fiesta Flats in the store. I literally thought up this simple easy recipe while I was shopping. So, I just walked along the aisle and picked out ingredients after adding this boat type taco shell to my cart. This recipe is easy, versatile, quick prep, and ingredients could be easily swapped out for something else. Sometimes I plan on the fly if possible, especially if I didn’t have much time to build a grocery list prior to stepping foot into the store, which happens more than I care to admit.
This recipe works great as a dinner or lunch, but it could easily work as a snack or appetizer as well.
Taco Boats are a Perfect Hybrid Meal
What’s a hybrid meal? Well, it’s a term I made up for recipes that work for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. The recipes are based on a way of preparing a meal that can accommodate both diets, so only one meal is made for the split table. I have many recipes on my site that satisfy this diet conundrum (scroll down), and I even have a cookbook with hybrid recipe ideas. I started to cook this way to reduce the number of separate meals I was preparing to feed my family. I’ve been doing this type of cooking for years, so I’ve come up with ideas, tips, tricks, and recipes that work. I just wanted more one recipe meals to feed all of us to reduce the work of feeding a family of multiple diets, so I pulled some recipe ideas together.
To learn more about tips to cook for a split table family for dinner party guests, read this post.
To view my cookbook, click the image below.
Ingredients Needed to make Taco Boats:
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The ingredients needed to make this easy recipe are so simple, straightforward, easily manipulated, and easy to find (in the US anyway). There is no chopping needed at all to make this recipe so it’s easy and quick to make. Basically, you need a can opener, a bowl, a spoon, and a cookie sheet. That’s it.
- 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilis, drained
- 4.5 ounce can of chopped green chilis, drained
- 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped jalapeños from a jar
- 1/2 cup creamed corn, or corn kernels, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup ground chicken
- 1/2 ounces of taco seasoning (about half of a packet)
- 1/3 c. water
- 10 Tbsp. sour cream (topping)
- 10 Fiesta flats flat-bottom taco shells by ®Ortega
- 1/3 cup smooth taco sauce (topping)
Brown 3/4 cup (just less than half of a pound) ground chicken in a frying pan. Add about 1/3 c. water and 1/2 ounces of taco seasoning (about half of a packet). Set aside. I often do this step the day before.
Open all the cans: diced tomatoes and chilis, chopped green chilis (drained if possible), jalapeños, creamed corn (or drained corn kernels), and black beans (rinsed and drained) and combine in a bowl. Add shredded cheddar cheese. Stir to mix. Split the mixture into two bowls, keeping one half a bit larger for the vegetarian taco boats. To the smaller half, add the 3/4 cup of ground chicken browned in taco seasonings.
The key is to drain the ingredients well so as not to soak the taco shell boats with liquid. But, even if you don’t and they get a bit soggy, the boats are still yummy. I recommend using a spatula to scoop them off the pan.
To finish, top each boat with drizzles of taco sauce and a tablespoon of sour cream. I usually only top the ones we are eating, if some will be saved as a leftover, I don’t add the toppings until they are going to be eaten.
Black beans are awesome for vegetarians. They pack 7 grams of protein per serving, plus, they are a good source of protein. They make these taco boats hearty and delicious.
This easy recipe would be great for an appetizer or a meal.
I hope you and your family enjoy this easy recipe for a family dinner. This recipe is loaded with fiber and protein, which makes it a healthy meal idea. It’s also a perfect customizable meal for a family or group of people with different diets where some want meat and others do not.
It works well as a leftover too, it’s just that the shell gets soft, but it still tastes delicious leftover.
Eat well and enjoy life!
Looking for more hybrid meals?
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