The Country Cook: Crock Pot Taco Joes

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crock Pot Taco Joes

When I was a kid, there were a few meals that we had on a regular rotation. My Mom worked a full-time job and my Dad was in the Navy and was often gone for long stretches at a time. Our meal rotation often stayed the same though no matter everyone's work or school schedules. It's just as I got older, I was able to help cook more of those meals like Sloppy Joes, Spaghetti, Chili, Tacos, Taco Salad or Lasagna. My folks had pretty exhausting jobs so supper was usually kept simple, but hey, we all loved those simple meals! So when I come across recipes like the one I'm sharing today, it automatically feels comforting to me because it reminds me of a childhood meal.
And it's a slow cooker recipe! Y'all know how much I enjoy crock pot cooking. It comes from Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook, '101 Super-Easy Slow Cooker Recipes'. Well, ya know when the words "easy" and "slow cooker" are involved, I am all in. I've been a Gooseberry Patch fan for a long time and I've always felt that I can rely on the recipes in their books. All the recipes come from regular homecooks like me. In the last couple of years, GP has started producing these photo cookbooks. Each and every recipe has a photo along with the recipe! Love that!
This cookbook is spiral-bound. And I mention that for one reason: it lays flat! So you can flip to the recipe that you are making and it stays flat on your counter. It's the small things, ya know? This cookbook is broken down into cooking times so you can make the call on how fast or slow you want something ready.  They even included slow cooker desserts! I'll be sharing a few recipes from this cookbook over the next few weeks so stay tuned. AND there will be a giveaway for one too!
This recipe immediately caught my eye. This stuff was so good! We all loved it. This makes a great filling and not just for these taco joes. I made this to use in tacos and taco salad and it was amazing! Make taco night just a little more extraordinary!
3 lbs. ground beef
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
25 hot dog buns
Garnish: shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes
First you gotta brown and crumble your ground beef. Note: I recently bought one of those Ninja cookers. I'm in love with this thing, y'all. I can brown my meat and cook it low and slow all in one cooker! This is not a paid or sponsored post. I bought this on my own just cause I wanted one. I had a few folks on Facebook ask me to let them know how I was liking it so far so that's why I'm throwing in these added notes. 
 It has a stovetop setting. I just flip that on high then brown and crumble the ground beef with the lid off. This saves on having one more pan to wash!
This produced a lot of grease!
 Drain excess grease.
 Pop the ground beef back in the slow cooker and stir in the refried beans, enchilada sauce, taco seasoning and salsa. Stir together well.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Note: On the Ninja, I just flip the switch to the slow cooker side and set the timer. After four hours, it will automatically stop cooking and go to a warming setting. This is wonderful if you are at work or out of the house and need this to stay warm for ya! 
 Then it's time to dig in! Spoon the filling into hot dog buns.
This filling is so good and it will make 25 of these Taco Joes.
Garnish with your favorite toppings. 
 This makes amazing taco and burrito filling or on taco salads. So good!! I love that this makes a generous amount. You can keep the filling in the slow cooker and let your family and friends serve themselves. And if you have some leftover, it freezes well.


  1. OMG Brandie....I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Ninja Cooking System!! As soon as I saw it I thought, WOW..she has one too! Oh yea, food...This looks like another one to try. Pinning!! Thanks!!

  2. This sounds delish Brandie! I'm also loving the Ninja cooker idea, where would I shop for one? Thanks for another great post!

  3. Hi Brandie, great recipe, thanks!And good to see that you love the Ninja cooking system...that has been my "next to buy" item for a long time now. Can't wait til I get it...:)

  4. That looks delicious! A must try!
    One suggestion, if you use a more lean hamburger it will produce less grease, we usually use a 80/20.
    thanks for the recipe!

  5. I am going to be looking for a Ninja cooker--its sounds wonderful!!

  6. Hi Sue! I actually purchased mine at Wal-mart. They only sell one style right now. You can order it online too. :)

  7. Kim, I think I'm going to use it even more in the summer. I try to keep the stove and oven use to a minimum in the summertime!

  8. Love the idea of using hot dog buns:)

  9. This looks great and I plan on making this week! Just a question though, are the beans really obvious tasting in it? I love beans but my husband isn't a fan, I just want to try and sneak them in and hope he doesn't notice if I can! ;)

  10. Thanks Michelle! I wasn't sure how I would like it in buns but it was REALLY good! And Erin, the beans are not super obvious. I usually have to hide them from my son too. LOL. You could even mash them up even more before putting them in but they really add amazing flavor to this. Hope that helps!

  11. I made this last night with hot dog buns imy family of 4 loved it, my bean-hating husband didn't even mind them :) I love how much this makes! I made a pan of enchiladas with the leftovers and still have enough left over for one more meal! Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. I found your site from a link at the SouthernPlate. I love your site and will check back often for more recipes.... I'm sure you have a cookbook out, and I will be looking for it too!!!

    Thank you for the simple, homestyle cooking that we love and can actually use daily!!


  13. Well I am so glad you found me! Hope you find many recipes to try and love!

  14. This sounds yummy! Will have to try it. Thanks for sharing


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