I had been in the mood for tacos, but kept forgetting to buy hard taco shells at the store! So I used some of my regular fix-ins' for tacos - cheese, lettuce and tomatoes and turned it into a layered salad...or dip? This dinner came together in no time at all.
We ate this by scooping it up with tortilla chips even though I had added seasoned tortilla strips to the top of the salad (you can usually find them in the aisle with the croutons). Which is why I thought of it as a dip or a salad. I used chicken because I don't eat ground beef, but you can very easily substitute it. I also tossed in the black beans to cook a bit with the chicken when I added the taco seasoning.
This is a great dish to customize to your family - choose a different meat or add other toppings such as black olives or chopped green pepper. We also would have topped it with sour cream and salsa, but I didn't have either of those on hand - and now you can see how desperate I was to have tacos even though I didn't really have all of my usual suspects for the toppings! I'll chalk that up to another pregnancy craving...
Layered Chicken Taco Salad
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 cup Santa Fe tortilla strips (optional)
sour cream and salsa (optional)
In a medium skillet over medium, heat the olive oil and add diced chicken. Cook until browned, add the black beans, taco seasoning and water. Simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon chicken and black bean mixture onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Top chicken with lettuce, followed by tomatoes, cheese and tortilla strips. Dish out to individual plates or bowls (or scoop right out of the pan with a tortilla chip!). Serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.