Mexican Casserole

Must start with something completely unrelated - tomorrow is the big "reveal day" for our little one; it's our anatomy scan with the OB and I am so anxious and excited first of all to hear baby is healthy and growing well, and secondly to hear if we're having a boy or a girl!! I'm so excited and cannot wait to hear, so we can start thinking about names and working on our registry and getting the nursery set up... I talk to baby bunny frequently and think of them all day long, but the idea is still a little abstract at this point. I think having a gender and picking a name will make it much more "real" for me. Especially after being a surrogate for my last three pregnancies, it's been a lot different for me mentally this time, just in how I think about this little one, and this pregnancy. I'm so INCREDIBLY excited to practically be at the half way point already, and am ready to enter our third and final trimester and count down the days until we get to meet this little one in person! I can only imagine how surreal and emotional that day is going to be, and can't wait to share it with my loved ones. :)

So, back to the food! I saw the inspiration for this one on Recipe Shoebox (love all the great meal ideas I've found there)! Her Turkey Taco Casserole looked wonderful, but I decided to use ground beef since that's what we already had available.

Kent was on "kitchen duty" for this one, and he was kind of being spastic while he was making it and forgot several steps, didn't pay attention to how he was supposed to layer it, and he left the salsa off the top layer! However, none of that really mattered. This is a very forgiving recipe. It was still hearty, warm, had great flavor, and was a yummy week night dinner. I think this would be one you could definitely prep the night before, refrigerate, then pull out to cook for a quick dinner.

If you're sensitive to spice, start with maybe 3/4 - 1/2 of the called for chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper and add more to taste.

This one reheats pretty well, and my hubby liked it mixed together with tortilla chips.

Mexican Casserole adapted from Recipe Shoebox

1 lb lean ground beef
1 TBS chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies
1 (16-oz) can refried beans
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
2 flour tortillas cut into 1" strips (12 total strips)
1/2 cup salsa, plus more for serving
Suggested toppings:  Sour cream sliced avocado, additional salsa, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.  Drain, and then add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well (taste, adjust seasonings if needed). Add the Rotel tomatoes; stir and continue cooking until everything is well combined.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a greased 8x8-inch square baking pan, spread about 1/3 of the beef mixture along the bottom. 
  4. Then spread about 1/3 of the refried beans over the top.  (You can warm them in a bowl briefly to make it easier to spread).
  5. Next, layer 1/2 cup cheese, and four of the tortilla strips.
  6. Repeat layers twice more (beef, refried beans, cheese, tortillas), spreading salsa over the last layer just before adding the last of the cheese. 
  7. Cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow casserole to cool and set for about 10-15 minutes before serving. 
  8. Serve warm with desired toppings.


  1. Paws khrossed for a girl puppy of khourse ;-)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe -

    I've got a package of ground turkey in the freezer that will be PERFECT for this!

  2. Aww thanks for the paw khrossing! :D

  3. We totally left the salsa off the top layer the first time we made it too. :) Glad your family enjoyed it!


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