Who loves Mexican flavors? I DO!!
This creamy Taco Casserole is a fabulous dish that will please the kids and the grownups, everyone loves it! With a few ingredients, that we usually have at home, you will be able to create a crowd-pleaser feast, for your family and friends. If you are not a fan of spicy food, no problem!
You can easily leave the chilli out and still have the same result. I can guarantee that you will love this dish for its flavors and practicality!
TACO CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES
Taco Casserole ingredients are easy to find and you will be surprised to find most of them in your pantry.
If you want a vegetarian version, you can substitute ground beef for peeled, chopped aubergines, soy ground beef, canned chickpeas, or any vegetables that you like, I also like to add the sweet corn.
Tomato salsa can be substituted by 2 TBSP tomato paste or a can of drained plum tomatoes, chopped.
If you can’t find canned pinto beans, any other beans will work the same; there are plenty of other options in supermarkets. Also, if you can’t find cheddar or similar, you can use grated mozzarella as a substitute.
Cumin, garlic, onions, black pepper, and oregano are the soul of this dish; they all together will give the characteristic flavor of what Taco Casserole is so well known for.
Chilli and red peppers are opposites from each other; one gives the extra punch that most Mexican dishes have and red pepper with its sweetness and crunchy texture will refresh the palate and balance out any hot sensation.
To finish, fresh cilantro leaves and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) will give the final touch to this delicious dish, giving plenty of freshness and those praises that every good cook deserves!
HOW DO YOU MAKE TACO CASSEROLE?
To make a delicious Taco Casserole you have to:
- First, preheat the oven to 350℉(180 Degrees Celsius).
- Then, coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil and set aside.
- In a large pan or high-sided skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, over medium-high heat.
- When shimmering, add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through around 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the meat to a plate, and then drain any fat from the skillet.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, when shimmering, and add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Return the beef to the pan and stir in the beans. Add the tomato paste, chilli powder if you want, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the salsa and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, probably about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with lettuce and tomato, and serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream. Sprinkle it with the cilantro to finish.
CAN IT BE FROZEN?
You can freeze Taco Casserole in a sealed container for 2 months. To reheat it, make sure it has defrosted completely, in the fridge, before putting it in the oven.
Reheat it for 15 minutes at 350℉ (180 Degrees Celsius). Or microwave for about 5 minutes in the medium. Enjoy with sour cream and fresh cilantro leaves on the side.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for the baking dish
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 15 ounces tomato salsa
- 1 1/2 cups shredded, mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
- 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving
- A handful of chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350℉(180 Degrees Celsius). Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with oil; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate, then drain any fat from the skillet.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pan and stir in the beans. Add the tomato paste, chilli powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the salsa and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and casserole is heated through about 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with lettuce and tomato, and serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream and cilantro to garnish.