Aren’t appetizers great? I love that you can make an entire meal out of a dozen different foods. Not that I’ve ever done that before. Before Sweet Pea was born, Tom and I used to have “appetizer nights” at least once a month where we would bake up an assortment of egg rolls, pizza rolls (ugh, I still can’t believe we ate those things), soft pretzels (at least these were homemade), and this awesome dip.
By all means, experiment with this dip! If you don’t have the same veggies or salsa, don’t freak out. Just use what you have! It’s great for using up that lone green pepper left from your CSA or those tomatoes you bought last week but can’t muster up the energy to make marinara sauce. I’ve even added diced radishes to give it a little more crunch.
The key to making this taste great (and be dairy free!) is to make your own taco seasoning. It’s super easy, and you probably have most if not all the ingredients already in your pantry. I often triple or quadruple the recipe and keep it in a container in the pantry for adding into taco meat, tortilla soup, or enchilada casserole. Please use homemade instead of the yucky full-of-chemicals packets at the store! Your tummy will thank you.
This taco dip is super flexible. You can eat it as it with tortilla chips, you can serve it on top of lettuce and crumble chips on top for an awesome taco salad, or you can spoon it into tortillas for soft tacos. So many tasty options!
Don’t mind my hand in the following photo. Do you know how hard it is to photograph dip? And not make it look like a glob in a casserole dish? This was the best I could do. And it still looks like a glob on a chip.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander (optional, but it’s really good!)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp. cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. To make seasoned taco meat, sprinkle seasonings over meat and add 2/3 c. water. Stir until water is absorbed and meat is evenly seasoned.
Baked Fiesta Taco Dip
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 small onion, diced
1 recipe Homemade Taco Seasoning, above
2/3 c. water
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off, or one (11 oz.) can of no-salt-added corn
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced, or one (14.5 oz.) can diced no-salt-added tomatoes (with or without green chiles!)
1/2 c. of your favorite salsa
1 c. Daiya cheddar shreds or shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook meat, onion, corn, and green pepper until meat is browned. Add taco seasoning mix and 2/3 c. water. Stir until the water is absorbed and the meat is evenly seasoned. Pour mixture into a small casserole dish or 7×11″ baking dish. Top with diced tomatoes, salsa, and shredded cheese of your choice. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until everything is heated through and cheese is melted and browned. Serve as a dip with chips, as a filling for tortillas, or as a topping for taco salad!