Sometimes, I throw leftovers in a pot or skillet and check how it goes. You can’t get it wrong using the ingredients I chose to use this time. The Beef Taco Skillet isn’t that innovative of a recipe. Still, it was delicious and offered plenty of potential for personalization, and I figured it was the perfect “easy fix” meal to serve. Make sure to save this Beef Taco Skillet recipe in your bookmarks, as I believe you’ll get a lot of usage out of it!

I had half a pound of ground beef in the freezer. I purchased a cup of grape tomatoes for something else but never used the never-ending half-patch of green onions in my fridge and an assortment of tortilla chips. All were put in the skillet with the help of my Taco seasoning recipe and a bit of cheese over it (I always have a few small blocks of cheese in my refrigerator), and I ate an effortless and delicious dinner.


The tortilla chips absorb the flavors in the skillet and become somewhat soft, similar to what they are in the chilaquiles, migas, and Taco soup. It’s not a problem, IMHO. If you’re not a fan, complex tortilla chips could smash into the top of your skillet before serving it to make it more of taco salad (minus the salad portion).


As I stated in the introduction, this recipe is well-suited for customization. You can add all of the ingredients you may have in the pan. Anything you’d like to put in a taco, taco salad, or even in the form of a burrito is suitable to use in the skillet. Make sure to check your freezer, fridge, and pantry for these ingredients and throw them in the mixture:


The pickled onions

Sour cream

Corn kernels

Cumin lime coleslaw


Corn salsa

Pico de gallo

Finely chopped lettuce (like an upside-down taco salad!)




If you don’t have all the ingredients and spices required to make the homemade taco seasoning in the recipe below, you can replace one packet of store-bought taco seasoning.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)

1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)

One teaspoon of ground cumin ($0.10)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano ($0.05)

1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

14 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper ($0.02)

Skillet Ingredients

1/2 lb. ground beef ($2.85)

1 15oz. container of black beans ($0.89)

1 pint grape tomatoes (or one large tomato) ($1.49)

Four oz. tortilla chips ($0.50)

2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese ($0.42)

$1 green onion ($0.11)


Mix the ingredients for this homemade taco spice in a bowl of small size (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano salt, and pepper).

Slice the green onion in half and reduce the grape tomatoes to half (if you’re using one large tomato, cut it into smaller chunks).

Place the ground beef in an oven-proof skillet and cook on medium until completely brown. If you’re using a higher percentage of fat-rich meat (20 percent or more), remove any excess fat before moving into the following step. If you’re using very slim ground beef (<10 percent fat), you might need oil to prevent the meat from sticking to the skillet.

When the steak is ready to cook, wash and remove the black beans. Add the beans to the pan and the taco seasoning you’ve prepared. Continue stirring and cooking on medium heat for approximately 2 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Incorporate the tomato mixture into the pan and allow to cook at medium-low heat, stirring regularly until the tomatoes fall apart (about three minutes).

Add your tortilla chips. Stir along with other components in the skillet.

Add the cheese that has been shredded, then place the lid over it, and let it cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sprinkle the chopped green onions on top just before serving.