Mexican Stack-Es, Also Known As…

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I’m not sure what took me so long to figure these out. I recently chatted with my friend in OH who made the “Polynesian Buffet” for us (now, years ago…where does the time go!). After our chat, I was remembering that dinner and decided that we needed to do something similar here, but with all the fixins for tacos.

We shall call them “Mexican StackEs” or “Mexican Haystacks.”

I made them using the taco meat that we had in the freezer from my “stock the freezer” cooking list. Used canned beans and corn from the pantry. Shredded cheese from the freezer. Tossed some rice in the rice cooker, and cut up an avocado and cilantro. The perfect “pantry staple” meal.

All in all…a super simple meal that I was able to throw together with a newborn nearby!

Other toppings ideas (not shown): green chilies, salsa, diced tomatoes…what else would you include in your StackEs?

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Mexican Stack-Es

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 25 minutes


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning or 1 small packet of store bought seasoning
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 15 oz can corn, drained
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed or cooked black beans, about 1 cup
  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • About 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 cup of brown or white rice, as side dish


  • Cook brown or white rice as directed. Note: brown rice can take up to 50 minutes to cook so plan accordingly.
  • Cook ground beef with chopped onions and 2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning in a large skillet over medium.  Drain, if needed. (Or thaw and heat frozen taco meat!)
  • Drain corn.  Drain and rinse black beans, if using canned.  Heat up both in a small sauce pan.
  • Prepare guacamole by mashing avocado with the ground cumin and lime juice, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Layer plates with rice, taco meat, beans, and corn.  Add guacamole, cheese, and salsa to each plate.
  • Serve Mexican Stack-Es with a cilantro garnish.

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  1. Denise B says

    We have a similar dish that comes from my in-laws called Taco Mountains. Basically, a bed of rice topped with Taco meat, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, diced bell peppers, onion, sour cream, salsa or whatever you want.

  2. Kara M says

    My family loves Stack-E-Up-E’s since I got the idea from your site way back when when you first had that post. (My youngest daughter even wrote a long story about an imaginary village called the Stack-E-Up-E village.)
    We do something similar to this, but in a cup and call it Tacos in a Cup—did I get that from you too? Anyway–love these easy and simple meals that everyone can find something they like!!

  3. Dee Johnson says

    Our family does this, but we call it Mexican Fiesta. We layer rice (brown), Taco meat (I like to add canned diced tomatoes, refried beans (to help stretch it) and taco sauce (if I have it) to the meat mixture), lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, and corn chips (fritos are best). I learned about it from my M-I-L and my whole family of 9 love it. :) We don’t like things too spicy, so I only use 1 pkt taco seasoning (or portion, if homemade) to 2#’s ground meat (usually ground beef and ground turkey, 1# each). Just talking about it makes me want to make it for dinner tomorrow! :)

  4. Julia says

    In Texas and New Mexico, we call this Mexican Pile On. These are great for gatherings. Everyone brings a part of it. Options: Tortilla chips, fritos, doritos, Brown rice, White rice, spanish rice, chili w/ beans , chili w/o beans, Taco Meat, Taco Beans, cheese, shredded lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, guacamole, avocados, sour cream, onions (green, red or sweet), cilantro, black olives, fresh roasted green chiles, salsa, ranch dressing, pico de gallo, jalapenos, coconut, pecans, raisins.


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