Like most families, once a week we have Leftover Night. We take whatever foods are leftover from earlier in the week and either heat them all up and have a mishmash dinner or I try to use the leftovers to create a whole new dish. This process not only helps keep our food waste down, but also gives me a creative kitchen challenge. I can pretend that I’m on Iron Chef or Chopped and try to use whatever is on hand to wow the judges, er, my family.
On one such leftover night, we only had taco flavored beans, greens, some baked potatoes, and a lone zucchini and avocado left in the fridge, and the count down to dinner was on. I sort of haphazardly re-heated the beans and potatoes, tossed it all together and the end result was really surprising. Hearty and delicious, these Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes are the savory little brother of my Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. The kids and Husband declared that it was a new favorite and requested that I make it again, which, when you have small children in the house, is a greater achievement than winning Iron Chef.
Because I totally know what it’s like to win Iron Chef.
If you wrap the potatoes in foil and put them in the slow cooker in the morning, this meal will come together in less than 10 minutes! You can even bake up the potatoes and season the beans on your meal prep day, meaning a 5 minute re-heat and assemble dinner. Now tell me, can you go through a drive thru any faster than that? I don’t think so!
In remaking this recipe for all you lovely readers, I have added some pizzaz in the form of some cilantro and lime juice to make a quick guacamole (instead of just the sliced avocado that I had originally used), but note that if you are in a rush, it’s not necessary. Sometimes simpler meals are more satisfying, but my inner chef couldn’t resist the extra flavor punch.
Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can black beans and 1 can pinto beans)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1-2 dashes hot sauce (optional)
- 1 5 oz container of greens (spinach, baby kale, baby chard, etc.)
- 1 zucchini
- 1-2 avocados
- 1 lime
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Alternately, you can place the foil-wrapped potatoes in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours until fork tender. You could also have the potatoes pre-baked and just reheat them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes (taking care to poke holes in them with a fork before microwaving).
- While the potatoes are baking, add the beans, chili powder, cumin, and (optional) hot sauce to a pan on the stove. Warm over medium heat for 5 minutes until warm.
- While the beans are warming, take the flesh from the avocados and using a fork, mash it in a bowl along with the juice of the lime, the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Spiralize or thinly slice the zucchini and set aside.
- When all of the components are ready, use a knife to cut the potatoes open and season the insides with salt and pepper to taste. Add a large handful of the greens, 1/4 of the zucchini, 1/4 of the beans, some salsa, and some of the guacamole. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
What is your favorite leftover dinner make over? Share with us in the comments below!