One-Pot Taco Skillet

I love to cook.  But I don’t always want to cook.  Don’t we all have those kinds of days?

Some days I am out and about all day doing mom stuff and the last thing that I want to do is come home and make food.  And then there is winter, when we often have a number of friends visiting. It can happen that we are  at the beach all day and I’m too sunned out to cook when everyone is starving from laying around in the sun. Please don’t hate me for that: it’s kind of like your long summer days when you just want to relax and not do a thing except drink refills.

I had a part-time job up until my daughter was born in the early 2000’s.  By that time we lived in Bolton, about 30 minutes north of Toronto.  I drove into the city with my young son to my mom’s, dropped him off, and took public transit into the heart of the city.  On a good day, this took only an hour and a half.  How many days are good days for traffic in Toronto? Not many.  Mostly, this trip took about two hours each way.

I was fortunate, sometimes my mom would hand me dinner when I picked up our son saying “There, now you don’t have to cook when you get home.” But of course, she had a life, and was watching a very active toddler all day for free, so some nights I (gasp) had to cook for myself. It’s those nights that I needed a meal like this.

We almost always have chicken and ground beef in the freezer.  Either one can be concocted into a yummy weeknight meal under 30 minutes.  And while I didn’t have as many taco nights when I lived in Canada, we sure have a lot of them now.

This is by no means authentic Mexican.  Not even close.  You will never see ground beef for tacos on the menu here on the Mayan Riviera.  It’s most commonly beef or pork that has been sliced, diced, shredded, you name it.  This is a family friendly meal that you can change up a million different way depending on what you like and what’s in your pantry. 

We have to have some heat in it so I either shake in some hot sauce or a can of chipotle in adobo sauce.  We can’t buy here what you in Canada and USA commonly use as taco seasoning.   I guess to the locals it would just be called seasoning!  You can omit all my seasonings and add some of your local taco seasoning if you want instead.  We have eaten this alone or served with rice or tortillas. Or you can make it a fully loaded one pot meal and add 1 1/2 cups cooked rice or 250 grams noodles of your choice. 

One of the reasons it’s so great is how easy and versatile it is.

Enjoy! And let me know how you adjusted it for your family!


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 poblano or green pepper, diced
  • 1 – 26 oz/796 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn
  • 1 TAB chili powder (in Mexico I prefer dired ancho, or guajillo)
  • 1 TAB hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 TAB red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack or a mixture)
  • green onions, diced for garnish


In a large skillet, brown ground beef.  Add onion, garlic, and pepper and cook about 5 minutes or until slightly softened.  Add canned tomatoes, corn, seasonings, and any water needed to add more moisture if so desired (or even some tomato sauce).  Combine well and simmer for 10 minutes or so Add cheese and stir until melted.  Turn off heat.  Add green onions to garnish. 

**Serve alone or with rice or tortillas. Or, you can add 1 1/2 cups cooked rice or 250 grams noodles of your choice for a one pot meal!

Serves 8.

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