Chuck Wagon Skillet Dinner

Cover recipe-  Pillsbury One Dish Meals Cookbook, Chuck Wagon Skillet Dinner: Copyright 1999

The full title of this cookbook being reviewed today is Pillsbury One Dish Meals Cookbook:  More Than 300 Recipes for Casseroles, Skillet Dishes and Slow-Cooker Meals.  I’m pretty sure I got this as a Christmas present at some point in my young, married life.  It’s the sort of cookbook that home cooks who are looking for family-friendly, comfort food dishes will find useful.  The recipes call for using shortcuts like instant rice, jarred sauces, canned goods and frozen vegetables.  I’ve never really used a lot of shortcuts, so this cookbook hasn’t seen much action in my kitchen.  I did try the Easy Taco Casserole a while back, which my family liked a lot.

The cover recipe showcases the Chuck Wagon Skillet Dinner, a very simple dish utilizing taco-seasoned beef, instant rice, canned tomatoes & corn and fresh zucchini.  A sprinkle of melted cheese tops it off.

Check out my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe…

Print Recipe

Chuck Wagon Skillet Dinner

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 cup)

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 20 min


1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
One (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
One 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese


1.  In large skillet, brown ground beef and onion until beef is thoroughly cooked.  Drain.  Stir in seasoning mix, water, zucchini, corn and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in rice.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
2.  Remove from heat.  Fluff mixture with fork; sprinkle with cheese.  Cover; let stand 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.  If desired, garnish with diced red bell pepper and jalapeño chiles.


*I tested out this recipe using ground turkey and instant brown rice.
*I didn't like the stewed tomatoes in the dish... I think petite chopped tomatoes might be better.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories per serving: 390
Fat per serving: 17g
Saturated Fat per serving: 8g
Sugar per serving: 4g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">850g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 21g
Cholesterol per serving: 65mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 37g

The results:

This was a very simple recipe to make.  I’d say it’s a good choice if someone is looking for a family-friendly dinner.  Kids can pick out the zucchini easily enough if they won’t eat it, but if it’s tucked under that melted cheese then perhaps they won’t notice it. I thought it was pretty good for a quick and easy meal.  My family enjoyed it with a little sour cream added on top.  For leftovers, my son suggested tucking the mixture into some corn tortillas for tacos (add lettuce, sour cream, guacamole).

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes.  Although it doesn’t represent my style of cooking, it’s a good example of  the types of recipes the reader will find as they explore the rest of this cookbook.  One caveat… I really hate the name that they gave this recipe.  I’m pretty sure I could have come up with something better.