Mexican Casserole


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Are you on the hunt for a dinner recipe that’s both easy to make and bursting with flavor? Look no further than this delightful Mexican Casserole. Not only is it a crowd-pleaser, but it’s also highly adaptable to suit your dietary preferences, including options for ground turkey and low-fat dairy products without compromising on taste. Perfect for any day of the week, this casserole serves up beautifully with chips, salsa, and a fresh green salad, making it a complete meal that everyone will love.

Ingredients You’ll Need

1 pound of lean ground beef (or ground turkey for a lighter option)

1 can of Ranch Style beans

1 10-12 ounce bag of tortilla chips, crushed (adjust the amount to your liking)

1 can of Ro-tel tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, divided (low-fat cheese can be used)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 can of cream of chicken soup (look for low-fat versions if preferred)

1/2 cup of water

Sour cream and salsa for serving

Step-by-Step Directions

1. Prepare Your Ingredients

Start by gathering all your ingredients. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover tortilla chips and any ground meat you have on hand. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees to ensure it’s ready for baking.

2. Cook the Meat Mixture

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until it’s no longer pink, then drain any excess fat. To this, add the Ranch Style beans, Ro-tel tomatoes, chopped onion, taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and water. Stir well and let the mixture simmer on medium-low heat until everything is thoroughly combined and heated through. This melding of ingredients infuses the dish with its signature Mexican flavors.

3. Layer Your Casserole

Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish to prevent sticking. Begin by laying down a foundation of crushed tortilla chips. Next, add a layer of your meat and bean mixture, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over this layer. Repeat these layers once more to build up the flavors and textures that make this casserole so irresistible.

4. Bake to Perfection

Cover your casserole dish with foil to keep the moisture in and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the casserole is heated through. The anticipation of uncovering this bubbling dish from the oven is part of the dining excitement!

5. Serve and Enjoy

Allow the casserole to sit for 5-10 minutes after baking. This rest period makes it easier to serve and helps the flavors to settle. Serve generous portions with a dollop of sour cream and a side of salsa for that extra kick. Don’t forget the chips and a green salad to round out the meal.


Serving and Storage Tips for Mexican Casserole

Serving Suggestions:

  • Garnish Galore: Elevate your Mexican Casserole by garnishing it with fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or a sprinkle of lime juice for an added zest. These fresh touches not only enhance the flavor but also add a vibrant contrast to the dish’s rich texture.
  • Side Dishes: Pair your casserole with a side of refried beans, Mexican rice, or a crisp corn salad to create a fuller meal. These sides complement the flavors of the casserole and make for a more satisfying dining experience.
  • Customize Your Toppings: Set up a topping station with various options like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and olives. This allows guests to personalize their servings and adds an interactive element to your meal.

Storage Tips:

  • Cool Before Storing: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before storing to prevent condensation inside the container, which can make the top layer soggy.
  • Refrigerating: Transfer the cooled casserole into an airtight container or wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Properly stored, the casserole can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, the Mexican Casserole freezes well. Slice it into portions and wrap each piece tightly with plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Label the container with the date to keep track of its storage time.
  • Reheating: To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. You can warm it in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through, about 20-30 minutes. If reheating individual portions, a microwave can be used, heating for 1-2 minutes or until hot. For a crispier top, consider finishing it off under the broiler for a few minutes.

Additional Tips:

  • Prevent Sogginess: If you prefer a crunchier base, you can bake the first layer of tortilla chips for a few minutes in the oven before adding the rest of the ingredients. This helps to keep them from becoming too soggy.
  • Batch Cooking: This casserole is excellent for meal prep. You can make two batches, serving one immediately and freezing the other for a future meal. It’s a time-saver on busy days, ensuring you have a delicious and home-cooked meal ready to go.
  • Nutritional Considerations: For those watching their intake, consider using low-sodium versions of canned ingredients and leaner meat options. You can also increase the nutritional value by adding a layer of cooked vegetables, such as bell peppers or spinach, between the layers.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy your Mexican Casserole to its fullest, ensuring it remains delicious and safe to eat whether served immediately or enjoyed as leftovers.


1. Can I make Mexican Casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare Mexican Casserole ahead of time, making it a convenient option for meal prep or entertaining. Assemble the casserole as directed up to the baking step. Instead of baking, cover the assembled casserole tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, remove it from the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and then bake as directed. Keep in mind that the cold casserole might need a few extra minutes in the oven to heat through completely.

2. Is Mexican Casserole suitable for vegetarians?

The basic recipe for Mexican Casserole includes ground beef, but it can easily be adapted for vegetarians. Instead of meat, you can use a plant-based ground meat substitute or increase the variety and amount of beans and vegetables, such as black beans, corn, and bell peppers, to keep the dish hearty and filling. Be sure to check that the other ingredients, such as the cream of chicken soup, are vegetarian-friendly or find suitable substitutes, like cream of mushroom or celery soup.

3. How can I make this casserole spicier or milder?

The beauty of Mexican Casserole is its adaptability to different taste preferences, including the level of spiciness. To make the casserole spicier, you can add diced jalapeños, use hot Ro-tel tomatoes or a spicier taco seasoning blend, or even incorporate a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce into the meat mixture. For a milder version, choose mild Ro-tel tomatoes and taco seasoning, and consider adding a can of drained corn or more beans to dilute the spice level without losing the dish’s flavor complexity.

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Casserole

This Mexican Casserole recipe isn’t just about the ease of preparation or its delicious taste; it’s also about flexibility. You can easily substitute ground turkey and use low-fat dairy products to lighten it up. It’s a testament to how adaptable and forgiving casserole recipes can be, catering to various dietary needs without losing its essence.

Perfect for busy weeknights, potlucks, or a cozy family dinner, this casserole promises a satisfying meal with minimal fuss. It’s a recipe that invites you to make it your own, experimenting with different levels of spice or adding your favorite ingredients.

So, the next time you’re pondering over dinner options, consider this Mexican Casserole. It’s a testament to the beauty of simple ingredients coming together to create a dish that’s heartwarming, flavorful, and endlessly adaptable.

📖 Recipe

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Mexican Casserole

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8


Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this easy Mexican Casserole recipe. Perfect for busy weeknights, this dish combines simple ingredients into a flavorful and satisfying meal.


1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)

1 can Ranch Style beans

1 10-12 ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed (use to preference)

1 can Ro-tel tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (low-fat optional)

1 package taco seasoning

1 can cream of chicken soup (low-fat optional)

1/2 cup water

Sour cream and salsa for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. In a large skillet, brown the meat and drain off excess fat.
  3. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup, and water. Simmer until well combined.
  4. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Layer half the tortilla chips, meat mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with sour cream and salsa.


Substitute ground beef with turkey for a lighter version.

Use low-fat cheese and soup to reduce calories.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or lime juice for added freshness.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Mexican Casserole, Easy Casserole Recipe, Ground Beef Casserole, Family Dinner Ideas, Comfort Food, Weeknight Meal, Mexican Dinner, Tortilla Chip Casserole

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