Special Needs Children Cook: Terrific Taco Stew

A taco shell bowl has lettuce, tomato, terrific taco stew, and shredded cheese in it.
Terrific Taco Stew can be served in a taco salad.

Special Needs Children Cook: Terrific Taco Stew is an easy slow cooker recipe that can be used in many different ways and suit many different diets.  Terrific taco stew can be served as a soup with some shredded cheese on top, as a stew if you serve it over corn chips or rice, as a filling for soft or crunchy tacos, as a topping for a taco salad, and pretty much any other kind of Tex-Mex meal that needs a filling.  Just drain any extra liquid if you don’t want it for that dish (for example, tacos).  You can use a meat substitute if you need it to be vegetarian or use ground turkey if you do not eat beef.  If you don’t like the kind of beans I list, use different ones.


  • 1 can light red kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans with liquid
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 pound ground meat or meat substitute (beef, turkey, etc.)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 chopped onion

This recipe involves two different activities, browning the meat &  onions and then adding everything to the slow cooker.  You need to decide if your child is ready to work on the stove and do the browning.  You can always do that yourself.  If you want to have him do the browning, go to our basic cooking skill article on that at http://lifeskillstrain.com/2013/02/08/special-needs-children-cook-browning-meat-and-onions/.  Even the youngest child can add the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir, so that activity is for everyone and those instructions follow.

A white slow cooker pot is shown on a tea towel.
Set your slow cooker pot on a towel to keep it from sliding.
Image shows a tray with 4 opened cans of beans and tomatoes, a bowl filled with cooked ground meat and onions, a packet of taco seasoning, and a large spoon.
Set out all the ingredients for Terrific Taco Stew on a tray for your child.

Adult:  As always, please set up the ingredients and supplies on a tray for your child.  Set your slow cooker pot on a dish towel so that it won’t slide easily and break.  Have your child follow along with the picture gallery to learn to cook.

Child:  Click or tap on the picture to move to the next one.

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This recipe is modified from one given me by Betty Vanderford.  Thank you!

© 2013, Margaret. All rights reserved.