Taco Casserole (Just in Time for the Super Bowl)

 
We decided on Friday we’d like to try to make more casseroles since they usually make lots of leftovers, but we’d like to make recipes that use fresher ingredients than the canned/frozen ingredients that usually come to mind when you think of casseroles.

We found a delicious-looking taco casserole recipe on the Food Network, which says a lot about the combination of ingredients given that taco anything generally doesn’t appeal to me. The salsa and other seasonings added to the ground beef in this recipe are what make the difference in making this one appealing to me. That said, we made several changes, including swapping out ingredients and simplifying the steps to something more sustainable for a weeknight meal, so I’ve written up our version below. We loved it, and we enjoyed the leftovers just as much as when we made it (which also says a lot about this recipe; tip:serve the leftovers with more tortilla chips to add some of the original crunch back). 

Coincidentally, I just realized it’s Super Bowl Sunday, so this recipe would also make a great party dish if you’re still looking for something to serve/bring. Enjoy!

 

Taco Casserole

See original recipe on The Food Network

    Ingredients:

    • Olive oil
    • Baking spray (or more olive oil)
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • A few shakes/grinds of coarsely ground salt and pepper
    • 3 T chili powder
    • 1.5 t ground cumin
    • 1 t dried oregano
    • 1.5-2 lb lean ground beef
    • 1 15-oz can black beans, strained and rinsed
    • 2 C Arriba fire-roasted Mexican Chipotle salsa, medium heat (about 1.5 jars)
    • 1 12-oz container fresh pico de gallo, medium heat
    • 1 bag yellow corn tortilla chips
    • 3 C shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack shredded cheese blend
    • Sour cream
    • 1 pint plum tomatoes, diced
    • 2 large avocados, diced
    • Chives

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Oil or spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with baking spray.
    3. Sauté the garlic, onions, sat, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano in olive oil until the onions are soft.
    4. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, stirring occasionally to break up large chunks of beef.
    5. Add the beans, salsa, and pico and bring the mixture to a simmer, cooking until it thickens and/or the meat soaks up most of the liquid.
    6. Layer the baking dish in the following order: tortilla chips (enough to coat the bottom of the dish), meat mixture (half of the total), cheese (half of the total), tortilla chips (enough for a solid layer), meat mixture (the other half), cheese (the other half).
    7. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the cheese melts.
    8. Serve topped with sour cream, diced tomatoes and avocados, and chives. Accompany with additional tortilla chips if you’d like some extra crunch.
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