We’re sort of, kind of what you’d call taco fiends in this house. Bet you could already guess that.

Melon Mojito Fish Tacos. Check.
Mole Tofu Tacos. Check check.
Tandoori Chicken Tacos. Checkity-check-check. (Ben’s all-time fave.)

And yet nowhere do I spy the classic we all picture for taco night: crispy corn tortilla shells, spicy ground beef sautéed with onions, and a pile of lettuce, sour cream and salsa.

What can I say? I shirk the traditional. Except when it comes to deconstructing the normal and putting it back together in some other sort of, kind of crazy form.

I first made this recipe almost a year ago, but it somehow never made it to the blog. (Blame it on the lack of delicious pics.) But with a little push from Kitchen PLAY and  California Ripe Olives, I was psyched to bring it back.

I love a frittata because it’s an excuse to use my beloved cast iron skillet, and I can fill it with just about any meats and/or veggies for a protein-rich, quick and easy meal. Ben loves frittatas for all of the above plus the fact that he gets to bring leftovers for lunch the next day. Win!

And while I can’t think of a time I’ve had regular ol’ beef tacos since living with my parents, I totally welcome the flavors in this hearty egg-bake. It starts with well-seasoned beef sautéed with onions and garlic. Then I add savory black olives, sweet corn tortillas, and a whole bag of spinach. Yes, spinach. You know I’m utterly incapable of sticking to the norm and there’s going to be an extra veggie or two mixed in somewhere, right? Eggs are the magical binder pulling it altogether, and of course, what taco would be complete with a sprinkling of cheese?

You could even top it with lettuce, sour cream and salsa if your taste buds desire, but we find it pretty darn perfect as is.

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Beef Taco Frittata

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Frittatas are one of my favorite things to make for dinner because they are quick, easy, and can be stuffed with whatever fillings I like for a healthy, protein-rich meal. This one packs all the flavors of the classic taco - seasoned ground beef, garlic, onions, fruity black olives, sweet corn tortillas, and of course, cheese.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1lb 93% lean ground beef
1 6oz package baby spinach
1/4 cup sliced California black ripe olives
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1" pieces
4 eggs
6 egg whites
3 oz (3/4 cup) reduced fat shredded Cheddar cheese (or non-dairy cheese)

shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Heat olive oil in a 10" cast-iron skillet or other oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes, until onions are translucent and softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one more minute.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add seasonings and ground beef. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat. When the meat is browned and crumbly, start add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring to wilt. Stir in the olives and corn tortilla pieces.

Whisk the eggs, egg whites and cheese in a medium bowl. Fold in the cheese. Pour the mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and transfer to skillet to oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through in the center. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 314.2
Total Fat 15.3 g
Saturated Fat 4.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 166.7 mg
Sodium 466.0 mg
Potassium 381.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 28.2 g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com

Would you like to join me in celebrating National Taco Day?

California Ripe Olives is leading the pack! Start by following @MissCAOlive on Twitter and liking California Black Ripe Olives on Facebook. Then join Kitchen PLAYCalifornia Ripe Olives and some of your favorite food bloggers for a Twitter Party on October 16th, 7:00 PM EDT. Learn about this tasty, nutritious and versatile food. Have fun testing your olive knowledge. Win great olive prizes! Register here.

Beginning October 1, read all ten posts at Kitchen PLAY celebrating National Taco Day with California Ripe Olives for clues. Each post contains an “olive fact” that may appear as a trivia question during the Twitter Party. A new post and fact will be revealed each day, Monday through Friday, until October 12.

My CA Ripe Olive fact:  California produces both black ripe and green ripe olives.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by California Ripe Olives, but the recipe developed and opinions expressed are entirely my own. A big thanks for California Ripe Olives for including me!