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Let’s taco ’bout Mexican food for just a minute here, y’all. My husband and I can seriously throw down when it comes to Mexican. Enchiladas, quesadillas, chalupas, #4 chicken taco supreme combo with a large coke, etc. It makes no difference to us. You name it, we love it! And if you throw some queso and jalapenos into the mix? Have mercy!
And because we love it so much, we try to make it a point to prepare these types of meals at home on a regular basis. I’m telling you, as soon as my daughter is old enough to start eating the food that I prepare (she’s only 11 months), I’m establishing non-negotiable Taco Tuesdays in this house. It’s definitely happening.
I absolutely love to cook, and if you’ve been following my posts you know that I love to share recipes that tend to be Southern inspired. This post is no different, other than the fact that this one is really, really Southern. Like, South-of-the-border southern. Oh yeah mis amigos, it’s gonna be good!
I love to prepare meals that are quick and easy to put together. As I mentioned earlier, I love to cook, but I really don’t love having to spend FOREVER to prep the meal. It’s one of those things that kind of sucks the joy right out of the meal, and that’s definitely no bueno!
So for this week’s family Mexican meal, I wanted something that I could just toss into a pan and go. I also wanted something that would have a really nice, fresh and healthy element to it. The wheels in my head started turning, and I knew I just had to make my 7 layer Mexican Fiesta dip. Mmmm, I get excited just typing it!
So off to Walmart I went to gather what I needed to create this fabulous fiesta inspired meal! I had a few key ingredients in mind that I knew would help me create the bold flavor I was looking for without sacrificing my time in the kitchen.
My first stop was to pick up a can of Rosarita refried beans to use as the base of my dip. (You can find a full list of ingredients below.) I got a little tripped up finding them as I thought they would be in the “canned beans” aisle, but they were actually in the “beans” aisle. I’m not sure that it is this way at every Walmart, so just keep that in the back of your mind when you go pick up your ingredients. 😉
I went over to the next aisle and grabbed a can of Hunt’s diced tomatoes. I love Hunt’s because of the freshness factor. I could have told you that the tomatoes in this dip were fresh and hand diced, and I guarantee you’d believe it! I also think a can of Rotel would work perfectly in this recipe. The added chilies in it would make for a little extra Mexican flare!
I hopped on over to the produce aisle to find something that would really bring this dish to life, but wouldn’t cause me to spend much time prepping. I picked up an avocado, a lime and some cilantro for topping. SO yum!
Finally, I picked up a package of quinoa. Isn’t is just gorgeous? If you aren’t familiar with quinoa and all of it’s health benefits, do yourself a favor and read up a little on it. It’s a fabulous source of protein that I try to incorporate it into my family’s diet as often as I can.
Aside from this dip being a huge hit with my family as far as taste goes, the biggest win lies with how simple it is to make. Just scramble a little meat, prepare your quinoa (see below), open up your favorite ConAgra canned veggies, add a few toppings and BOOM – instant yummy in your tummy. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!
Here’s what you’ll need to make all 7 lip-smackin’ layers of this deliciously divine dish:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 can Hunt’s Diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 can Rosarita refried beans
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 small can green chilies or jalapenos, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- Additional toppings as desired (I used fresh cilantro, avocado, lime and sour cream)
In a large skillet, cook ground beef and drain. Stir in taco seasoning packet. Set aside.
Prepare the quinoa. Until recently, quinoa was never something I got to incorporate into the meals that I threw together on the fly. If I was in any hurry at all, I had to skimp on my beloved quinoa because it always takes so long to cook. Not any more, folks! I learned how to cook this incredible super food in the microwave of all things, and it has cut down the prep time drastically!
This time-saving kitchen hack creates a perfectly cooked bowl of quinoa every single time! Here’s how I do it:
- Rinse the quinoa. Remember, you’re using 1 cup of dry quinoa in this recipe. If you don’t have a fine strainer that will catch the tiny grains, don’t worry! You can use a coffee filter inside a colander to easily rinse it off.
- Pour the rinsed quinoa into a large, microwave safe bowl. Add in 2 cups of water and stir. Cover with microwave safe lid (or a plate).
- Microwave for 6 minutes and stir. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Allow the quinoa to sit in the covered bowl for roughly 10 minutes until all of the water is absorbed.
- Voila! Perfectly cooked quinoa in just 8 minutes of cook time!
Note: For the dip recipe, I wound up having a little more quinoa than my particular baking dish could hold. If that’s the case, just store the extra quinoa in a sealed container and put it in the fridge. It will keep for a few days so it can be enjoyed later!
Break out an oven safe baking dish or skillet and start layering! There’re really no right or wrong way to do this. It’s totally up to you! I put the two heaviest ingredients at the bottom, as you can see below. From there I just added each of the ingredients one at a time. One thing I recommend doing that I did not do is to add an extra layer of cheese somewhere in the dish. It’s totally fine without it, but who doesn’t love an extra-cheesy dip? Am I right?!
Tip: Make sure your canned tomatoes and chilies are completely drained. You don’t want any extra water in your dip because it could make it a tad soupy. 😉
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 F for roughly 15-20 minutes, or until dish is completely warmed throughout. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or your favorite cracker.
Dig in and fiesta like there’s no mañana, y’all! 😉
Yes You CAN!:
Do you enjoy creating and eating Mexican inspired dishes with your family as much as I do? If so, I encourage you to check out these fabulous recipe ideas to help keep the family fiesta going in your house! There’s lots of yummy foods being served up there, plus more tips that prove you CAN combine fresh and canned items to create quick, easy and delicious meals!