Tex-Mex Inspired Sandwich Filling (When Lunchtime Creeps Up on You and You Start to Panic…)

I have spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks unpacking. It seems like it’s taken For.Ev.Er. because we did two weeks of painting and carpet removal before the furniture and boxes even arrived, then we went out of town to celebrate my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary, and since then I’ve had two weeks to actually unpack. We aren’t finished, but I think I am!

During a day when I was really focused on making progress emptying boxes, lunch time kind of crept up on me. The freezer hadn’t been organized yet and the pantry was still mostly boxed up, but thankfully inspiration struck and I pulled together these Tex-Mex Inspired Sandwiches with homemade (from scratch, no less!) fry bread. You can bet I was especially thankful for the Lord’s blessings as I sat down to eat that day!

A Tex Mex Inspired Sandwich on Homemade Fry Bread is an easy, healthy meal to make from shelf stable ingredients on one of those days when lunch time creeps up on you! | A Chat Over Coffee

A Tex Mex Inspired Sandwich on Homemade Fry Bread is an easy, healthy meal to make from shelf stable ingredients on one of those days when lunch time creeps up on you! | A Chat Over Coffee

The filling was super-quick to pull together because I used canned goods from the pantry. The fry bread took a bit longer, but since I mixed up the dough in my food processor (Yay for contained mess and no hand kneading!) it came together quickly and made it seem like I’d spent a lot more time and effort on the meal than I actually did. After lunch, the dishes went in the dishwasher and I went back to unpacking. Lunchtime crisis averted!

Besides being quick, easy, and satisfying, this sandwich filling is made entirely from shelf stable ingredients that are easy to keep in the pantry. Even the fry bread could be made from shelf stable ingredients if you use a basic dough recipe that requires only flour, salt, water, and yeast. And thankfully, all of the ingredients are basic and inexpensive, making this a healthy, affordable way to feed your family.

If you’d like to try my sandwich filling but don’t care to mess with the fry bread, it would be good served over mixed greens for a taco salad, or over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla, or with tortilla chips. Here are the specifics of how I put it together. I’ll also share some alternate ingredients that I think would be just as tasty.

Tex-Mex Inspired Sandwich Filling (A Panic Lunch)

from A Chat Over Coffee

What you’ll need:

  • 15 ounce can no bean chili (or a pint of home canned ground beef, drained + 1 tablespoon Bean-Zing, or a pint of home canned chicken, drained & shredded + 1 tablespoon Bean-Zing, or a pint of home canned beef, drained & shredded + 1 tablespoon Bean-Zing, or about 2 cups leftover taco meat or other seasoned meat of your choice)
  • 15.5 ounce can mild chili beans, drained (or hot chili beans for more heat, or about 2 cups of cooked beans + 1 tablespoon of Bean-Zing)
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (or fire-roasted salsa tomatoes for more heat)
  • 15.25 ounce can corn kernels, drained (or about 2 cups of cooked corn, drained)

What to do:

  • Open the cans and make sure you drain off all of the liquid (it gets messy if you don’t, like in the picture).

    Tex Mex Inspired Sandwich Filling | A Chat Over Coffee

    Tex Mex Inspired Sandwich Filling | A Chat Over Coffee

  • Dump the food into a medium-sized sauce pan and warm it up, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve in a sandwich with homemade fry bread, or over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla, or with tortilla chips.

These Tex-Mex Inspired Sandwiches are messy to eat, but really good! My husband particularly loved them. My daughter loved the fry bread, but I guess runners need their carbs! I kept the filling relatively mild but put some condiments on the table to make it easy for my spice-loving husband to heat up his sandwiches to his heart’s content.

Where’s the Fry Bread Recipe?

I can’t give you my make-in-the-food-processor pizza dough recipe since it’s from a cookbook and plagiarism isn’t nice, but the basic idea of fry bread is to roll out a dinner-roll-sized piece of yeast dough until it’s flat as a tortilla, then fry it in a pan glazed with cooking oil over medium-high heat, flipping it during cooking so it’s browned on both sides. The bread will puff up as it’s cooking, giving you a nice, hearty sandwich wrap. I use a pizza dough recipe but any yeast bread recipe should work, as should pieces of frozen bread dough or frozen dinner rolls, as long as you thaw the frozen dough before you roll it out.

THANK YOU for making this the most-clicked post at Healthy Living Link Party #81! | A Chat Over Coffee

THANK YOU for making this the most-clicked post at Healthy Living Link Party #81! | A Chat Over Coffee

What do you like to fix when lunch time creeps up on you? Feel free to share a link to a recipe from your blog!

I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.

Update: This post was shared at Taco Tuesday #4  and featured at Taco Tuesday #5.

12 responses to “Tex-Mex Inspired Sandwich Filling (When Lunchtime Creeps Up on You and You Start to Panic…)

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