Mexican Haystack Taco Tuesday Recipe of the Week

Layered Taco/Salad


Mexican Haystack Taco Tuesday Recipe of the Week is a layered taco/salad. It is replicated from the popular Hawaiian Haystack or the ever popular Mexican restaurant style of layering rice, beans, seasoned meat atop lettuce and a tortilla.  One thing to note, this recipe has layers of flavor and your family will love the options of adding ingredients to their personal taco to make it uniquely their own.

It is a a recipe I developed for Pantry Friendly Mexican Cooking cookbook and has been a popular cooking class featured recipe.  It is easy to make.  It can be customized for your family.  If you prefer more lettuce and vegetables, it is. If you prefer it to be a taco, it can be. If you prefer to wrap it up like a burrito, that can happen too.  The sweet sauce can use either pork or chicken and any number canned, fresh or frozen fruits. It is also a great way to use up leftovers from another meal. It is very trendy to re-purpose leftovers and this is a great recipe to do just that. If you are needing to save money on your food budget this is another great way to stretch the dollar without impacting the flavors of your weekly menus.

We love to serve Mexican Haystacks at graduations, birthday parties, reunions and the list goes on. So if you need a great tasting recipe for a crowd this one will be a family favorite.  It tastes good at room temperature so it is a perfect get together food. Customizable buffet will please many palettes, appetite sizes and the need to keep the budget low. 

Mexican Haystack Taco
Serves 12
A flavorful layered taco/salad similar to those served at popular Mexican restaurants.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
342 calories
46 g
15 g
16 g
5 g
3 g
188 g
336 g
24 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 342
Calories from Fat 140
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 336mg
Total Carbohydrates 46g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 24g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. Fruit Sweet Sauce
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup red cider vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  5. 4 cups chopped fruit (apricots, peaches, mango pineapple) no berries
  6. 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  7. 2 cups shredded chicken or pork
  8. Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
  9. 1 cup buttermilk dry ranch packet
  10. 4 tomatillos
  11. 1/2 bunch cilantro
  12. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  13. Juice of 1 lime
  14. 1 jalapeno, seeded and stem removed
  15. 1 tsp vinegar
  16. 1 cup mayonnaise
  1. Fruit Sauce
  2. Cook sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce sauce over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit and simmer until mixture thickens. Add green chiles. Stir in meat and heat through.
  3. Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
  4. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  1. Suggested layers
  2. Crispy corn or flour tortilla, lettuce, cabbage, diced tomatoes, diced onion, shredded cheese, cooked black beans, cooked rice, sweet fruit rice and topped with tomatillo ranch dressing.
Adapted from Pantry Friendly Mexican Cooking
Adapted from Pantry Friendly Mexican Cooking
Pantry Friendly Cooking
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LeAnn teaches cooking classes throughout the Salt Lake City area. Recently featured in Taste of Home Magazine, runner up in the Cache Valley Cheese Signature dish contest and Winner of Better Recipes Best Blogger Potluck Recipe. Created customed recipes for Hi Grade Meats to use in their promotions, She has been a frequent guest on Good Things Utah, featured chef on Studio 5, the CW 30 and at the Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Show. She recently auditioned for the Fox 13 show Master Chef. She hopes her passion and love of cooking will inspire you to cook from your pantry and create your own cuisine traditions. Her cookbook "Pantry Friendly Mexican Cooking is available at She is currently working on a 2nd book titled Pantry-Friendly Anti-Aging Cooking and a video series called Cook Away Hunger.


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