Yes, these taco bowls were crafted by me. Want to know my secret? Not so hard to do, even a 2 year old can help you make these…. not considering the oven part… but yes, they are that simple.
I found this recipe many many ions ago, when I was still very much of baby from my Sunset Magazine Annual Cookbook. It was for a potluck lunch party with my girlfriends and these bowls were a huge it – so I did add this my go-to entertaining dish and did many get-togethers, but did not know the recipe by heart. But long story short, I lent the book to a co-worker and never got it back so my recipe was lost and so was my book. I was super sad and decided to not to lend my cookbooks anymore. I did not remember the year the annual was published so I never did enough research to find a replacement to my book and there was no facebook or google at the time. Then few months ago I came across the book in a used book store. I was ecstatic to be able to find my long lost book and bring back my recipe. So here it is!!! I need to share it with the world.
For those of you who have been following my blog know that I am not a huge fan of repeating recipes, but yes I do time to time like to come back to my favorites, or the huge crowd pleasures.
These taco bowls are a much healthier alternative to tostada salads since they are baked in the oven and not deep fried. The seasoning and spices work very well together and the marinade that is used for the chicken also works well for the salad and can work well with other meats as well.
Some additional notes:
I do think it’s okay to play with the recipe a little and get the right combination of citrus/salt level for you. Some prefer more citrus and some prefer more sugar… I suggest to taste the dressing to see what is lacking for you. I love to make double than what’s called out here just in case I need to add more. I love to have an extra dressing on hand.
You can also make these bowls by using tortilla molds or the cheaper and more fun route with cans. I have done both versions and honestly like using the cans more than the molds. It gives more room for imperfection. The tortillas can be made in advance an can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
My Very Own Taco Bowl Salad with Grilled Chicken
adapted from Sunset Magazine Annual Cookbook, 1996
- 6 flour tortillas
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
- 1 ¼ cups fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup mince shallot
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried hot chili flakes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 red onion
- 2 to 3 can beans (red/pinto/black) – based on your preference
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 lettuce, chopped
- 2-3 avocados, diced
- fresh cilantro
- sour cream
Preheat oven at 450 degrees
I prefer the larger tortillas (12 inch) since you have more room for a filling, but smaller will work great and will be ideal for entertaining.
Set two can on a baking tray apart from each other. Cover with foil square over top of each can.
In a separate rimmed container or pan, fill 1/2 inch water and add 1/4 teaspoon of oil.
Immerse 2 tortillas quickly in water mixed with oil and lay it over each can. Bake tortillas in the oven until lightly browned and firm enough to hold shape for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the hot tortillas and lift off the cans using potholders and set them cup sides up on a safe platter/pan. Repeat this cycle until you have enough bowls made.
Combine orange juice, lime juice, shallot, sugar, chopped cilantro, chili flakes, cumin and garlic.
In a bowl or zip lock bag, season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add 1/2 cup of the orange juice dressing to marinate in the fridge for up to 1 day.
In another bag or bowl combine onions with 1/3 cup of the orange juice dressing and let it marinate in the fridge for up to 1 day.
Add reserved dressing to the drained beans and let it marinate for up to 1 day.
Drain dressing from onion into a measuring cup and and add it to the bean salad.
Drain and discard dressing from chicken and grill both the onions and chicken for about 6 minutes on each side using a griddle. (If do not have access to grill, baking will work as well.)
Once ready to serve, fill each tortilla bowl with lettuce, bell peppers, adding layer of the bean salad, chicken, onions. Top with cilantro, sour cream and avocados.