Easy Tex Mex Casserole

Our Easy Tex Mex Casserole gives you the cheesy goodness of a taco soup combined with the flavorful boldness of authentic Mexican Rice. It’s the perfect winter warmer and is great for feeding a hungry family after a long day. Nothing hits the spot on a chilly day like a bowlful of Easy Tex Mex Casserole. Seasoned ground beef and cooked Mexican Rice smothered in cheesy saucy goodness. But wait, here’s the best part! It comes together in just 30 minutes, and cleanup is a breeze.

Ready to take your taste buds on a flavorful journey? Our Easy Tex Mex Casserole recipe is a crowd-pleaser. It brings together the heartiness of ground beef, the zest of cooked Mexican Rice, tomatoes as well as a delightful mix of spices.

This dish is packed with flavor and easy to make. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or when you’re craving something comforting. Gather your ingredients, and let’s create a meal with everyone asking for seconds!

Why You’ll Love This Easy Tex Mex Casserole Recipe

Simple preparation steps make this Easy Tex Mex Casserole a dream for anyone who loves to cook but doesn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. The ingredients list is filled with readily available items you likely already have in your pantry or can easily find at your local grocery store.

Whether you’re hosting a family dinner, a friendly get-together, or just need a comforting meal on a busy weeknight, this casserole is versatile enough for any occasion. And the best part? It’s a hit with adults and children, ensuring everyone at the table is happy and satisfied. Give it a try; it might become your new go-to recipe!

Ingredients Breakdown

Every ingredient in this Tex-Mex Casserole plays a pivotal role in creating the ultimate comfort dish filled with flavor. Here’s a breakdown of each component, its contribution to the meal, and possible substitutions to cater to all tastes and pantries.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: To sauté the onions, olive oil adds a subtle flavor and helps prevent sticking.
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion: One small onion adds a delicious sweetness to the dish, balancing out the rich flavors of the other ingredients. If you prefer a milder taste, opt for white onions instead.
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef: The star of this casserole, ground beef, brings protein and heartiness to the dish. You can substitute it with ground turkey or chicken for a healthier option.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced: Garlic adds depth and a delicious aroma to the casserole.
  • One (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes: These add flavor that balances out the sweetness of the dish.
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of tomato sauce: Tomato sauce adds a thick and rich base to the dish..
  • 1 (4-ounce) can of chopped green chilis: These add a subtle heat and tanginess to the casserole. If you prefer a spicier dish, feel free to add more.

Seasoning for Easy Tex Mex Casserole

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt: This essential seasoning enhances the flavor of all ingredients.
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder: A classic Tex-Mex spice, chili powder adds heat and depth to the dish. You can use a store-bought blend or make your own by combining cumin, paprika, and oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin: Another classic Tex-Mex spice, cumin adds an earthy flavor. You can substitute it with chili powder if needed.
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika: This spice adds a smoky depth to the dish. If you haven’t smoked paprika, regular paprika will do.
  • 1 (7-ounce) can Mexicorn: A mix of corn and peppers, this ingredient brings texture and a pop of color to the casserole if you can’t find Mexicorn, regular canned corn works just fine.
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans adds protein and texture to the casserole. You can use canned beans, such as pinto or kidney.
  • 2 cups cooked Mexican Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend: The ultimate finishing touch, shredded cheese adds a melty and gooey layer to the top of the casserole.

Instructions

Before cooking, prepare all ingredients for a smooth process. Dice onion and mince garlic for the casserole base. Drain canned tomatoes, sauce, chilis, Mexicorn, and beans. Measure spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Grate Mexican cheese blend if needed. Prep ahead for a flavorful dish.

Now that you have all your ingredients ready let’s dive into the simple steps to create this Easy Tex-Mex Casserole:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by greasing it with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook the ground beef: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onions and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add in the ground beef. Cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients: Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilis, salt, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, corn and black beans and rice. Stir to combine.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer and Top: Transfer the mixture to your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top.
  • Bake: In the oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Serve: Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with desired toppings such as cilantro, green onions, or sour cream. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips for Perfecting the Easy Tex Mex Casserole

To ensure your Tex-Mex Casserole turns out delicious every time, consider these expert tips:

  • Layering: While mixing all ingredients creates a unified flavor, consider layering your ingredients in the baking dish to create distinct textures and tastes throughout the casserole. Start with a layer of the meat mixture, then a layer of rice, then cheese, and repeat.
  • Spicing It Up: For those who love a kick, don’t hesitate to add more chili powder, cumin, or even a dash of cayenne pepper. Adjust the level of spices to suit your preferred heat level.
  • Toppings Galore: This casserole’s versatility allows for various toppings. Besides cilantro, green onions, and sour cream, consider diced avocados, chopped tomatoes, or a dollop of guacamole for extra flavor and color.
  • Cheese Varieties: While a Mexican cheese blend is recommended for its authentic taste, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. A combination of pepper jack, cheddar, and Colby jack can add a layer of cheesiness and flavor.
  • Resting Time: Allowing the casserole to rest for 5-10 minutes after baking will enable it to set, making it easier to cut into portions and ensuring that the cheese doesn’t run off as soon as it’s served.

By following these tips, you can elevate your Easy Tex-Mex Casserole to a new level of flavor and enjoyment.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

Making the perfect casserole doesn’t just happen by chance. Here are some suggestions to ensure your Easy Tex Mex Casserole is not only flavorful but also perfectly baked every time, along with tips to avoid common casserole pitfalls:

  • Enhancing Flavor: To make your casserole more flavorful, consider sautéing your vegetables (onions and garlic) with a pinch of salt before adding them to the meat. This process, known as sweating, helps release the natural sugars in the vegetables, deepening the dish’s overall flavor. Additionally, using fresh spices can make a significant difference. Spices lose their potency over time, so using fresh spices can elevate the taste of your casserole.
  • Achieving the Perfect Bake: Ensure your oven is correctly preheated before baking for an evenly baked casserole with a beautifully melted cheese topping. Placing the baking dish in the middle rack allows for optimal air circulation and even heat distribution. If the top is browning too quickly while the inside remains undercooked, loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from burning.

Serving Suggestions

Easy Tex Mex casserole in a white casserole dish

To elevate the dining experience of the Easy Tex-Mex Casserole, consider pairing it with sides that complement its rich and spicy flavor profile. Here are some recommendations and creative serving ideas:

  • Cilantro Lime Rice: A refreshing and zesty side that balances the heartiness of the casserole. Its lightness and hint of citrus provide a perfect counterpoint to the dish’s spiciness.
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob: Grilling corn brings out its natural sweetness, offering a smoky flavor that pairs wonderfully with the Tex-Mex spices. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with chili powder and cotija cheese for an extra touch.
  • Avocado Salad: A simple salad made with diced avocados, tomatoes, onions, and a squeeze of lime juice can add a refreshing and healthy element to your meal. The creaminess of the avocado pairs well with the textures in the casserole.
  • Homemade Tortilla Chips: Serve the casserole as a dip with crispy, homemade tortilla chips. It’s a fun, interactive way to enjoy the meal and ensures a satisfying crunch accompanies every bite.

Creative Serving Ideas for Easy Tex Mex Casserole

  • Individual Casserole Cups: Bake the casserole in individual ramekins for a personalized touch. This makes serving easier and adds a special touch to your presentation.
  • Casserole Tacos: Spoon the casserole filling into soft tortillas and serve as tacos. Top with sour cream, cheese, and fresh cilantro for a fun twist on taco night.
  • Buffet-style Toppings Bar: Set up a toppings bar with various items such as chopped cilantro, diced onions, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, and shredded cheese. This allows guests to customize their portions according to their taste preferences, making the meal more interactive and enjoyable.

By incorporating these serving suggestions and creative ideas, you can transform the Easy Tex-Mex Casserole into a memorable and enjoyable meal that satisfies various tastes and preferences.

Customization Ideas

For Vegetarians or Vegans

Adjusting this Tex-Mex Casserole to accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets is straightforward and does not compromise on taste. Replace the meat with a plant-based alternative such as cooked lentils, black beans, or a vegan ground beef substitute. For the cheese, opt for a vegan cheese blend readily available in most supermarkets. Ensure that any additional toppings, like sour cream, are substituted with vegan-friendly versions to keep the dish fully plant-based.

Adding Extra Ingredients for More Variety

To introduce more variety and textures into the casserole, consider incorporating roasted bell peppers for sweetness, black olives for a salty contrast, or even corn kernels for freshness. For an extra layer of flavor, a scoop of green chilis or a sprinkle of smoked paprika can make the dish even more enticing.

Adjusting the Spice Level According to Preference

The beauty of this Tex-Mex Casserole lies in its flexibility, especially regarding spiciness. For those who prefer a milder taste, halving the chili powder and cumin while omitting the cayenne pepper will create a more subdued flavor profile. On the other hand, heat enthusiasts can dial the intensity by adding extra chili powder, a few dashes of hot sauce, or even some diced jalapeños for that extra kick.

By tailoring the casserole with these customization ideas, you can create a dish that fits various dietary needs and caters to personal taste preferences, ensuring everyone at the table enjoys a hearty, flavorful meal.

Storage and Leftover Tips for Easy Tex Mex Casserole

Maximizing the shelf life of your Easy Tex-Mex Casserole while preserving its taste and texture is simple with the right storage methods. Here are some tips to ensure your leftovers stay fresh and delicious:

  • Refrigeration: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before covering it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also transfer portions into airtight containers. The casserole can last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, the Tex-Mex Casserole freezes well. Divide it into serving-size portions and place it in freezer-safe containers or bags. This method preserves the casserole for up to 3 months and makes reheating individual servings convenient.
  • Reheating: To enjoy the casserole at its best, reheat refrigerated portions in a 350°F oven until thoroughly warmed. It’s best to thaw frozen portions in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the microwave, but cover the dish and rotate it periodically for even heating.
  • Revitalizing Leftovers: If you find the casserole a bit drier after storage, a splash of broth or a dollop of salsa over the top before reheating can help reintroduce moisture and bring back the vibrant flavors.

Following these storage and leftover tips will help ensure your Easy Tex-Mex Casserole remains as delightful and flavorful as it was when freshly made, allowing you to savor the dish for days or months after its initial preparation.

Conclusion

In sum, the Easy Tex-Mex Casserole stands as a testament to the versatility and adaptability of Tex-Mex cuisine. It also effortlessly blends flavors and textures into a comforting and hearty dish that’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser. This casserole exemplifies how simple ingredients come together to suit modern tastes and lifestyles.

Whether served at a family dinner, a casual get-together, or as a flavorful weekday meal, it’s a recipe that invites experimentation and personalization, making each rendition uniquely satisfying. Remember, the essence of cooking lies not just in following recipes to the letter but in using them as a canvas for your culinary creativity.

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Happy cooking and bon appétit!

Easy Tex Mex casserole in a white casserole dish

Easy Tex Mex Casserole

homemadefoodfromscratch
This cheesy casserole uses several flavorful ingredients, ground beef, beans, corn, Mexican rice and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10

Equipment

  • 1 9×13 casserole dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cooked Mexican Rice
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can corn
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Thinly sliced green onions optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Break the meat into crumbles and drain.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, beans, corn and seasonings. Add cooked rice.
  • Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle shredded cheese blend on top.
  • Cover and bake at 375° until bubbly, 25-30 minutes.

Optional

  • If desired, top with sliced green onions and crushed chips.

Notes

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 449kcal  Carbohydrates: 40g   Protein: 33g   Fat: 17g  Saturated Fat: 10g  Cholesterol: 86mg  Sodium: 502mg   Potassium: 708mg    Fiber: 6g   Sugar: 3g                  Vitamin A: 546IU   Vitamin C: 6mg   Calcium: 324mg  Iron: 4mg
 
Keyword easy tex mex casserole

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