Image Courtesy Grace Hallenbeck

Out of necessity, with last minute friends stopping by, came this invention!  It was such a success that it has become a snack, and sometimes meal in our home now!  Try this and let us know what you think!

Note: measurements of ingredients not given, as it is dependent on the size of your platter.

There are a number of optional ingredients. Sometimes I add a little of all! Whatever you like. Whatever you have available works!


  • 1-pound ground beef, or beef cubes, or chicken cubes, or a combo!
  • Onion, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Olives (optional), sliced
  • Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • Can of your favorite beans, drained well. Kidney beans, white beans, black beans, your preference (optional).
  • Cheddar, Monterey jack, or pepper jack cheese, freshly grated from chunk more flavorful than store-bought grated
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Guacamole or Avocado slices (optional)
  • Small can diced tomatoes (optional)


Brown meat in a pan with onion and olive oil.

When almost browned, sprinkle taco seasoning generously on the meat, add a little water and mix in well. Finish browning and set aside.

Line a microwave safe platter with tortilla chips, leaving no gaps.

Pile as high as you like, or make 2 layers beginning with chips again:

Cover chips with browned ground or cubed beef or chicken.

Add thinly sliced onions to top.

Add salsa to top.

Add olives to top (optional).

Add mushrooms to top (optional).

Add beans (optional).

Cover generously with grated cheddar, Monterey jack, or Pepper jack cheese.

Repeat if adding a second layer, beginning with tortilla chips.

Microwave until cheese melts.

Remove from microwave, top with dollops of sour cream, guacamole or avocado (optional), and diced tomatoes (optional) and serve.


Option Two

More recipes by Grace Hallenbeck can be found here.

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Grace currently hails from the shores of North Carolina, a trial retirement location, where she programs and broadcasts a weekly local news show on (all-volunteer) Radio Hatteras. Homesickness overwhelms her many days. A 50-year resident with a heart for Frederick, Grace attended West Frederick Junior and Frederick High Schools. A de facto paralegal from the days when legal secretaries did much research and writing, Grace worked in private law firms. Other employment included IBM, radio, band music, Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, and a long term position with the Montgomery County Council where she retired as a facilities manager. Grace was a minority practical conservative in a liberal charter government. Notwithstanding that environment, Grace is a resourceful, logical, thrifty, innovative, and independent thinking woman--and a great cook! She has been described as “thorough and meticulous.” Having cut her teeth in local government for 28 years, she is well acquainted with the workings of charter government. Grace will share writings of her amusements and observations...and, yes, recipes!