Quick Fix Taco Salads Version 2.0

It was one of THOSE days. Not enough time to even think about dinner. But, a quick glance in the fridge and pantry and I was able to throw together a plan. Quick fix taco salads it would be. And you know, they turned out great! Crunchy shells, crunchy lettuce, and all of our favorite salad toppings.
quick-fix-taco-saladsI used chopped grilled chicken to top these salads, but any cooked meat (or no meat for that matter) would be great too. Like chilled cooked shrimp. Or warm taco beef crumbles. Just because these taco salads are quick to fix doesn’t mean that they are low on flavor.

Also try my quick fix shrimp tacos.

Quick Fix Taco Salads

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Suggested toppings

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black olives sliced or chopped
  • Cooked chicken beef taco meat, or shrimp
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sweet corn kernels
  • Tomatoes diced
  • Avocado diced
  • Green onions sliced
  • Crispy tortilla strips

Instructions

  • Place chopped salad into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with dressing.
  • Add desired toppings and toss lightly to coat.
  • Spoon into taco salad shells and serve.

Quick Fix Shrimp Tacos

It was one of ‘those’ days. I was just way to busy too cook up a fancy dinner. Or even a marginally fancy dinner. So, quick fix shrimp tacos to the rescue. I had everything on hand already. A box of shells, some pre-cooked frozen shrimp, a bag of salad, and spicy salad dressing. That’s all it took to make light, crunchy, tasty quick fix tacos for dinner. Nothing fru-fru, just good and fast. Ok, I did add a few tortilla strips for color and more crunch, but that’s all.
Quick Fix Shrimp TacosYou can of course substitute soft tortilla shells if hard shells aren’t your thing, but I like the crunchy contrast. But don’t get fancy. That’s not what we’re doing here.

Also try my original quick fix taco salads and my even easier new recipe.

Quick Fix Shrimp Tacos

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 tacos
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Warm the taco shells or tortillas per package instructions.
  • Place the shrimp and chopped salad into a large bowl and toss to combine.
  • Add the dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing if desired.
  • Place the shrimp mixture into shells. Sprinkle with the tortilla strips and serve.

Quick Fix Asian Fries

Since I was grilling up a few Asian pork burgers for dinner, I needed some fries to go with them. Something with a bit of Asian zing to it. So, I grabbed a bag of frozen fries out of the freezer, baked them up, and tossed them with a few Asian ingredients. In no time, my quick fix Asian fries were on the table, ready to be devoured.
Quick Fix Asian FriesThese quick fix Asian fries do have a bit of a spicy kick to them, which is probably why we loved them so much. Get your fries good and crunchy. If they sit for long in the sauce they might get a bit soggy. They really won’t last long so it’s not much of a worry.

Also try my quick fix seasoned tater tots.

Quick Fix Asian Fries

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen French fries

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 green onions green parts finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger or substitute a pinch of dried ginger

Instructions

  • Cook the fries as per package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, create the sauce by placing all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine.
  • When the fries are done transfer them to a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the fries with the sauce and toss lightly to coat. Serve.

Quick Fix Copycat McDonald’s Chicken Sandwich

I love cooking meals from scratch. But sometimes reality hits and I have to throw something together that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. That’s where this quick fix copycat of McDonald’s chicken sandwich comes in. In less than 30 minutes I get to enjoy a rather tasty chicken sandwich. Heck it even has fresh toppings on it and a rather tasty (but incredibly simple) sauce. Hey, it’s not bad when you’re in a crunch, and I often find myself making little changes to mix things up a bit.
quick-fix-copycat-mcdonalds-chicken-sandwichAdd a little kick to your quick fix copycat McDonald’s chicken sandwich by substituting Tyson’s spicy chicken patties, adding a slice of pepper jack cheese, and adding Sriracha instead of onion powder when making the sauce.

Also try my copycat of McDonald’s addicting French fries.

Quick Fix Copycat McDonald's Chicken Sandwich

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the McChicken sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 dash onion powder

Instructions

  • Heat the chicken per package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking together the ingredients.
  • Toast the buns if desired. Slather both bun halves with the sauce.
  • Add the heated chicken patties, lettuce and tomato (and onion if using) and serve.

Quick Fix Homemade Breakfast Sausage

I’ve made homemade breakfast sausage from scratch before. I picked up a few pork shoulders, trimmed them, ground them (twice) and added seasonings. But I don’t always have the time (or energy, really) to do all that work. That’s when my quick fix homemade breakfast sausage comes in handy.

I use a great seasoning mix from A.C. Legg’s that I picked up on Amazon. It has just the right blend of spices without having too much sage or black pepper.
quick-fix-homemade-breakfast-sausageI cook the quick fix homemade breakfast sausage as soon as I make it. I crumble it and freeze it in batches so I can make breakfast cups for Anita’s breakfasts during the week. You can also form it into patties. I also love smoking breakfast sausage for a fantastically different flavor.

Quick Fix Homemade Breakfast Sausage

I use a mixer to combine the meat and seasonings. You can use your hands if you wish, just make sure the meat and the bowl you are using for mixing are very cold before mixing.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 pound
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • Note: You can scale this recipe up to use as much pork as you need.
  • 1 pound quality ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon or slightly more breakfast sausage mix (I use A.C Legg's seasoning)

Instructions

  • Place the pork into your mixer bowl and place into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix.
  • Place onto mixer using the bread hook and mix for 5-10 minutes.
  • If this is your first time making the sausage I recommend that you take a small handful of the mixed sausage and cook it in a skillet. Taste it after it cools (while cooling place the uncooked meat mixture into the freezer in case you need to mix more). If you need to, add more seasoning and mix well.
  • Freeze or cook the sausage. You can also form it into patties if you wish.

Quick Fix BBQ Ranch Dressing

A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients (such as crumbled cooked bacon) to make it different for different dishes, such as for dipping onion rings or chicken wings.
This quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing isn’t just for salads, that’s for sure. I squirted it on a big plate of French fries. I dipped grilled chicken wings in it. Just make sure you start with good, quality BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing. And don’t hesitate to use a spicy BBQ sauce, or one with a bit of smoky flavor to it.

Also try my dill Ranch dressing.

Easy BBQ Ranch Dressing

Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Embellishments optional (crumbled cooked bacon, chili powder, cayenne, Sriracha, hot sauce, chopped fresh parsley, etc)

Instructions

  • Whisk together the two ingredients.
  • Add any embellishments and stir to combine.

Quick Fix Pickle Relish

I just made a big batch of my quick fix spicy pickles. Man, they are good! But making them left me with a container full of dill pickle pieces. Ends, small pieces, little chunks. The parts that didn’t cut the mustard so to speak. So, what to do with those pickle scraps? Make quick fix pickle relish! I not only loved it, I thought it was much better than the store-bought stuff.
Quick Fix Pickle Relish
For a spicy version of this quick fix pickle relish, just add a few good pinches of dried red pepper flake. You’ll want to let the relish ‘get happy’ in the fridge for a few hours before using it so that it gets good and spicy. Stir every once-in-a-while to help speed things along.

Quick Fix Pickle Relish

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced dill pickle
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pickle brine from the pickles
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dried dill, to taste)

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

Quick Fix Seasoned Tater Tots

Ya know, it just doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. I’m a big time tater tot addict. I have been since I was a kid and I remain so to this day. Back then all I needed was butter on my tots. Yep, butter. Now, I want a little more flavor, but without going crazy. So I just grab some seasoning mix out of the pantry, do a little sprinkle or two (or three) and it’s time for more grown-up tater tots.
seasoned-tater-totsSome day I will tackle making my own tater tots from scratch. They’re really not that difficult to make, from what I can tell. Why have I waited so long to try it? Well, I have to say, I’ve been making seasoned tater tots for many, many years, and I sure would hate to mess with tradition. There’s a lot of memories in those bags of potatoes.

Also try my copycat of Primanti Brother’s Terror Tots. For fast easy, you can’t beat my quick fix Asian fries.

Seasoned Tater Tots

Course Side
Cuisine American
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Seasoning (pick one)

Instructions

  • Bake the tater tots per package instructions.
  • Transfer tots to a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the desired seasoning and gently toss to coat.
  • Transfer tots to a serving plate and serve.

Quick Fix BBQ Beans

Why grab a can of pre-made BBQ beans at the store when you can make your own in no time at all. Sure, I’ve made scratch baked beans before (on the smoker and they were fantastic!). These aren’t those beans. Quick to fix, these BBQ beans still pack in the flavor.
quick-fix-bbq-beansYou can make these beans taste however you like just by changing which BBQ sauce you add. From smoky to spicy, you can’t go wrong. And speaking of spicy, for a little extra kick add a few sliced jalapenos. And for extra crunch, chop half of a medium sweet onion and toss that in too. You really cannot make a boo-boo when you make these beans.

If you have more time, try making my best BBQ beans on the planet (really, they are), Dinosaur-style BBQ beans, Peach BBQ beans, and Tangy Pit Beans.

Quick Fix BBQ Beans

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large red or green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Combine all ingredients and pour into an 8" x 8" baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before serving as the sauce will be very hot.

Quick Fix Tex-Mex Corn Chip Chili

This may well be Anita’s favorite chili. I have to admit, it’s mighty good. This quick fix Tex-Mex corn chip chili is definitely quick fix. The only way you could make a chili any quicker is if the entire dish came out of a single can. Served over crunchy corn chips, it has all you need in a no-time-to-waste chili. Beans, beef, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro. Oh and a bit of cheese.
Quick Fix Tex-Mex Corn Chip ChiliI prefer fire-roasted green chiles any time a recipe calls for green chiles. The roasting adds a nice caramelized flavor and texture. Same goes for canned tomatoes, I prefer fire-roasted. Both make this quick fix Tex-Mex corn chip chili fantastic.

For a little kick use spicy pinto beans instead, substitute pepper jack cheese, and add in a minced roasted jalapeno.

Also try my Tex-Mex bacon cheeseburgers.

Quick Fix Tex-Mex Corn Chip Chili

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, undrained
  • 1 15 ounce can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 10 ounce can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
  • 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese plus more for garnish
  • Fritos I used Chili Cheese Fritos

Instructions

  • Crumble the beef into a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until browned.
  • Add the onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the undrained beans, tomatoes and chiles. Stir and bring to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes.
  • Season and then stir in the cilantro and cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve over corn chips topped with more cheese and cilantro.