Mexican Haystacks | The Recipe Critic

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These fresh and tasty Mexican haystacks are a fun twist on taco night, layered with juicy ground turkey, tangy salsa, and fiery chilies. Pile them high with everyone’s favorite toppings, from creamy avocado to crunchy tortilla strips, and wait for the rave reviews to come in!

Fresh and hearty Mexican recipes have my heart. Here are a few more that you can load up with all of your favorite fixings! Chicken burrito bowls, stuffed sweet potatoes, and enchilada pie for something that feeds a crowd!

Top-down view of a Mexican haystack on a black plate.

Mexican Haystack Recipe

We had Hawaiian haystacks for dinner all the time growing up, and everyone was always thrilled. They’re still something I make for my family pretty often! My kids love to pick all of their toppings. But because taco fixings are so delicious, (and I usually have some left over in my fridge) I thought we would try the ‘haystack’ concept with Mexican-inspired toppings instead. Let me tell you, it’s a winner!

It all starts with a bed of white rice. (You could even use Mexican rice if you want to spice things up.) Then your Mexican haystacks are topped with seasoned ground turkey for a boost of protein. From there, the sky is the limit! Add salsa, tortilla strips, pico de gallo, chopped jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, you name it!

All the Toppings

This is just a suggestion of all that you can add! Mexican haystacks are easily customizable and a great meal for any leftover taco meat you may have in your fridge.

  • Ground Turkey: Lean and juicy, it’s the protein powerhouse that gets browned to perfection. (Feel free to swap for ground beef if you prefer!)
  • Taco Seasoning: A blend of warm spices like chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Used for seasoning the turkey meat.
  • Canned Green Chilies: Mild and tangy, they add a subtle heat and texture to the mix.
  • Salsa: Use your favorite kind!
  • Rice and Shredded Lettuce: These both create the base of the Mexican haystacks. For a high-protein, low-carb version, skip the rice and just use shredded lettuce.
  • Black Beans: Drained and rinsed, these protein-packed bites add delicious texture to the haystacks.
  • Avocado: Creamy and delicious, sliced avocados are a must-add!
  • Cheddar Cheese: Shredded for cheesy, salty goodness in each bite.
  • Tomato & Mango: For a burst of freshness.
  • Cilantro: Freshly chopped so your Mexican haystacks have an extra boost of flavor.
  • Tortilla Strips: My kids’ favorite part. We all love the crunch!

How to Make Mexican Haystacks

Really, all you have to do here is assemble a taco station with all of the different toppings. Mexican haystacks are so easy to prep in advance. And they’re always a hit, there’s something for everyone!

  1. Brown the Ground Turkey: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground turkey. Cook until no longer pink.
  2. Season: Then add the green chilies, taco seasoning, and salsa. Stir so everything is combined and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add to Rice or Lettuce Base: Serve the meat mixture over rice or shredded lettuce.
  4. Finish With Your Favorite Toppings: Add desired toppings and then enjoy!
3-photo collage of the ground turkey and toppings being prepared.

Delicious Ways to Switch Things Up

Mexican haystacks are so easy to customize and make your own. Here are a few ideas to start you out with:

  • Spice Things Up: Bring the heat with a fiery salsa, chopped jalapeños, serrano peppers, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
  • Make Them Meatless: Swap the meat for crumbled tofu or black beans for a protein-packed vegetarian option.
  • Different Rice: Try brown rice, quinoa, Mexican rice, or even cauliflower rice for a lighter twist.

White rice topped with turkey taco meat.

Storing Leftovers

Simply store the cooled meat mixture and toppings separately in airtight containers in the fridge. The meat will stay good for up to 3 days, while the fresh stuff like lettuce and avocado is best enjoyed within 24 hours.

A lot of the toppings can be served straight from the fridge for a quick and easy meal, anytime!

A Mexican haystack- layers of rice, taco meat, vegetables, avocado, and tortilla strips.

More Toppings for Your Mexican Haystacks

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  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground turkey. Cook until no longer pink.

  • Add the green chilies, taco seasoning, and salsa. Stir to combine and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Calories: 119kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 19gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 392mgPotassium: 417mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 625IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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