Recipe Box

One Skillet Taco Bowls

Taco bowls are a hit in our house. They are quick and easy and can be thrown together with pretty much any vegetables you may have in your fridge. You can add a can of pinto or black beans and throw in some chicken, ground beef, or ground turkey. These are so customizable that everyone can have their way for dinner, whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian, or vegan.

First, I decided to use pearled barley as the base of these taco bowls. You could also use brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes pair with these flavors so well!. To make the barley, I brought one cup of barley and three cups of chicken stock to a boil. You can use any stock you prefer or just use water. I then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered until almost all the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender. That takes about 40 to 50 minutes. This step can be done ahead of time to save time.

I chose to chop up a yellow and orange pepper, onions and cherry tomatoes for ours because that’s what we happened to have in our fridge that night.


The great thing about this is it can all be cooked in one pan. If you are adding meat you would want to cook it first. I had grilled chicken left over from the night before that I used. So, all I had to do was saute the veggies, add the spices and cooked ingredients, add the stock and let it simmer a few minutes, and done! So fast and easy.


Now, just top it off with your favorite taco toppings! Some of our favorites are avocado, cilantro, and romaine lettuce. My husband likes to add sour cream and cheese to his, and for a little crunch, crushed tortilla chips. So this meal really can accommodate everyone’s needs and wants!


And, as always, this recipe was kid approved! Delicious, healthy, and easy!

Turn the leftovers into a taco salad and take with you the next day! Just add some lettuce and whatever toppings you enjoy. It is just as delicious cold as it is warm.

One Skillet Taco Bowls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 cups cooked barley
  • 1 lb meat of choice
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 tbsp Taco Seasoning *(adjust to your flavor preference, we like ours a little bold)
  • 1/2 cup stock (or water)
  • salt and pepper to taste

*You could use a packet of taco seasoning but I prefer homemade seasoning over packets. A few reasons are, less sodium, less additives, and i can control the flavors to fit mine and my families taste preferences.


Heat a Cast Iron Skillet and cooking oil over medium-high heat.  Season meat with salt and pepper and cook through. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil if needed and saute onion, peppers, and garlic until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Saute for another minute. Add cooked barley, cooked meat, beans and stock. Let simmer for a minute or two until the liquid is gone. Top with your favorite taco toppings! Enjoy!

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