One of my favorite ways to make taco night a little different at my house is to make taco chili. I have a gluten free recipe that is spicy and hearty and we eat it all year long. I either make it in my crock pot or on top of the stove.
Tacos are one of my son’s favorite foods, so I have been making them once a week at least lately. Almost every time I ask him what he wants to have for dinner, he will say tacos. My husband gets sick of eating the same things each week (Even I might be ready for a break from my spaghetti). So I figured I would make Taco Chili to switch things up some. Yes I know, we are really living on the edge over here. However, the second thing that my son says that he wants to have for dinner besides tacos is chili or soup, so this meal is a big hit at my house.
I brown my ground beef with staples from the pantry, including either a taco seasoning packet or homemade taco seasoning, pinto beans, chicken broth, tomato sauce, chilis, diced tomatoes and some black olives. Many Chili or Taco Soup recipes include cans of corn and black beans – and that is completely fine – but I wanted my chili to have the same ingredients that I eat with or in my tacos. If I am eating at a restaurant it includes refried beans, and I absolutely love black olives so I include those. They are an absolute game changer on a pizza!
Every bite of my Taco Chili really tastes the same as biting into a taco, but it is also hearty and thick so it is the perfect thing for us to eat at this time of the year to get all warmed up on a chilly (no pun intended!) night. To each bowl I add all of my favorite taco toppings, which includes sharp cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and crushed tortilla chips for mimicking the taco shell crunch.
Another thing that I really like about my Taco Chili recipe is that it is crock pot friendly. Sometimes I simmer the chili on top of my stove for 30 minutes, or I just put all of the ingredients into my crock pot and then slow cook it for 5 to 6 hours. Either way it tastes absolutely delicious, and the leftovers just keep getting better every day, like most chilis do. We also like to eat for lunch at my house.
When I am making the chili in my crock pot, first I brown 1 pound of ground beef along with 1 chopped onion. Then I put this into my 6 quart crock pot along with a taco seasoning packet or 2 1/2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning, a 3.8 ounce can of sliced black olives, green chilis (I use Hatch brand since Rotelisn’t verified as gluten free), 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes, 15 ounce can of tomato sauce, 15 ounce can of rinse and drained pinto beans, and 2 cups of gluten-free chicken broth. Then I cook it on low for 4 to 6 hours. When i am making it on the stove, I just brown the onions and beef, and then add in the other ingredients and then cover and simmer it for around 30 minutes. I stir it occasionally.
Both methods are actually really easy. When we are in a hurry to eat, I use the stovetop method, but the crock pot method lets me get everything set up and then cook when I have other things I need to do or I am going to gone for part of the day.
Once my chili is ready I just scoop it into bowls and then put our favorite taco fixings on top. I love plenty of green onions and sharp shredded cheddar cheese, along with crushed tortilla chips. It is so delicious and my whole family absolutely loves it!