October 4th is National Taco Day! While it isn’t on a Tuesday this year, this year seems like the perfect year to try Taco-inspired dishes to celebrate that aren’t actually Tacos.
- Number one is a nod to all those who have been stationed in Okinawa – Okinawa Taco Rice. This dish in Okinawa got its start in 1984 when an Okinawa restaurant owner created the mashup at his restaurants right outside Camp Hansen on the island. Taco Rice stands abound on the island, and are a frequent dish in restaurants with American and Okinawan influence including KFC Japan! Taco rice is easy. It’s plain white rice on the bottom of the dish and whatever taco meat and toppings you desire.
- Mexican Greek Stuffed Green Peppers. Another mash-up, these are sort of a taco where the shell has been replaced with the green peppers, but it mixes it up enough with the feta cheese that it is different.
- Taco Skillet. Take the taco shell out of the mix with this easy one pan taco skillet. It’s taco meat with all the toppings all in one pan. The beauty of it is that there is one pan to clean after everything is done. Score!
- Taco Soup. It is fall in some parts of the United States, and with the cooler weather, soup is definitely on the menu. A hearty taco soup is a delicious and warming way to get all the flavors and taste of a taco into a soup bowl. Bonus that this is a slow cooker recipe so you can dump it and let it cook all day, then at the end of the day enjoy a glorious smell and prepared dinner.
- Taco in a Bag. This is what it sounds like. Taco meat and toppings, but this time put into a bag of corn chips. Shake it to spread out the flavor, and eat it on the go. Clean up is a breeze because all you do is toss the bag. Older kids can cook the taco meat, and little ones can do all the assembly of pre-chopped items. Dinner is done! It’s all that and a bag of chips!
- Taco Pie. This one was a big one for leftovers growing up. Using either press in dough or ready-made pie shells, dump in left over taco meat, beans, onions, crushed chips, cheese and bake!
- Seven Layer Taco Dip. This is a classic dip that usually makes an appearance at unit functions and get togethers. While it may be associated with parties, it is essentially salad with meat and beans, so it could serve as a lunch or dinner. Consider dipping into it with veggies like peppers or carrots to mix it up.
- Taco Dip. A perfect meal for watching football or a movie as a family, this dip provides all the cheesy goodness of a stick-to-the-ribs kind of meal with the flavors of Taco Tuesday but on Monday Night Football. It’s a dip that can cook and sit on warm in the crockpot as well, which means the food can be prepped and sit ready for when you are ready to eat.
Now you are ready to celebrate National Taco Day with non-taco recipes.