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Are you having a busy day, but still find yourself in the mood for some sort of Mexican delicacy? Look no further than the southwestern skillet dinner! This dinner is as easy as it gets for at-home Mexican cooking and it will be devoured, savored, and appreciated by everyone in your family!

Whether you are in the mood for some deconstructed nachos or some tacos that do not fall apart after one bite, the southwestern skillet dinner is exactly what you should be looking for. From the many variations you can provide with this meal, everyone will find their own favorite version of the southwestern skillet dinner.

Mexican Skillet Dinner

The southwestern skillet dinner is one of the go-to meals of the Mexican realm of cuisine. Ground beef, salsa, corn, chili powder, and cheddar cheese are the main ingredients for this recipe, but there is so much experimentation available there, just as there is in Mexican dishes on the whole.

Salsa comes in so many different variations that you can allow yourself to choose your favorite flavor. You can also opt for some other similar substitutes, including pico de gallo and Picante sauce. If you are feeling really adventurous, why not see what happens when you add guacamole and sour cream to the mix?

Additionally, the cheese department of this Mexican skillet dinner is definitely one area that allows for a lot of open trial and error procedures. Obviously, a southwestern blend of cheeses would suit this skillet well, but there are many who prefer to keep it simple with cheddar cheese. The recipe is in your hands now, though, and you can choose whatever cheese you want.

On top of all of these potential variations, you can also opt to not even eat this southwestern skillet dinner in the standard manner of including it on a tortilla. You can opt to instead serve it on top of Mexican brown rice or even just with tortilla chips, rather than the wrap itself. However, for people who prefer less messy tacos, they can use this skillet as a taco filling to keep the ingredients as congealed as possible for eating.

One-Skillet Meals

Obviously, this meal can serve as an excellent one skillet dinner. Not only will you not have to worry about putting together the meal with its simple ingredients and straightforward cooking process, but the only dish you will need to worry about cleaning afterward is just the one skillet. With only one skillet being used, you will take no time to engage in the clean-up process that can always feel like such a drag after a stressful day that was topped by a delicious meal. After all, there is nothing better than eating something that tastes out of this world and then finishing it all up with a dishes routine that will take you fewer than five minutes.

That is the beauty of the one-skillet meal, after all, and it is why this southwestern skillet dinner is so popular among people who are constantly busy. It is the southwestern equivalent of a casserole dinner, but it does allow for a change of pace in terms of the flavor experienced when eating a casserole. Instead of worrying about the base of pasta, the southwestern skillet dinner uses beef as the base and allows for the flavors of the other ingredients to take precedence.

Just because it is not quite a casserole, however, that does not mean that it is any more challenging than making a casserole. It takes the same amount of time, it just requires a slightly different cooking procedure. Regardless, it is an easy meal to make if you have just spent an entire day on the go.

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out our Easy Mexican Lasagna and our Oniony Beefy Nachos.

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Southwestern Skillet Dinner

  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Total Time: 22 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 jar (16 ounce) thick and chunky salsa
  • 1½ cups frozen corn
  • ¾ cups shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Cook ground beef in large skillet over high heat until well browned, about 8 minutes; drain.

2. Stir in chili powder; cook 1 minute.

3. Add salsa and corn; bring to boil.

4. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 4 minutes.

5. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook until cheese melts.

Serving suggestion: Serve with rice and tortilla chips. Or, serve as a taco filling.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 Minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Sauteeing
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: mexican skillet dinner, one skillet meals