What could be better than layers of taco meat, tortillas, beans, and cheeeeese – because let’s face it, this casserole is all about the cheese? A Taco Casserole that’s made with healthier lean ground chicken, can be made ahead for your busy schedule, and can feed the entire family with leftovers for another night. Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about! This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheeeeese, and then more cheeeeese. Then topped with cheeeeese. Did I mention there was cheeeeese?
When Dave and I were first married, I started making my enchilada casserole with shredded chicken breast and cheese. I have made this casserole for years. But when I had kids, I started adding pasta to it to bulk it up and appease their love for pasta. Then, when I started the Talking Meals Blog, I wanted to make my casserole more interesting, so I added chorizo because, well, everything is better with chorizo, am I right? Check out my Chicken & Chorizo Enchilada Casserole and my most recently created, White Enchilada Casserole with Chicken & Veggies. Clearly I have a Mexican Casserole addiction so this new Ground meat Taco Casserole is just the next progression and I am owning it!
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PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR TACO CASSEROLE
You are busy, so these are the steps you can do a day or two in advance to prepare food ahead! (See the recipe below for more details)
Ready for the bonus for this recipe? This entire casserole can be made ahead on Sunday and then cooked in the oven for 30 minutes on Monday or Tuesday. Then you can reheat the leftovers again on Wednesday or Thursday – so great, right?
There are 3 main steps to this recipe:
1. Make the Meat, Tomato, Bean filling – this is simply browning the meat with spices and seasoning, and then adding in the tomatoes, green chilis, and beans. I love to use Free Bird Organic 98% Fat Free Ground Chicken Breast, Raised without Antibiotics.
2. Mix tomato sauce with the cumin, chili powder, and salt
3. Now, assemble the casserole! There will be 3 layers of tortillas, so make sure that you have about 3-4 tortillas per layer. To start, cover the bottom of the casserole dish with 4 corn tortillas. Then layer on half of the meat and bean mixture, sprinkle 1/4 of the scallions, then the add 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
Do this again for the second layer. Then top with a third and final layer of tortillas, the tomato sauce, and the remaining cheese.
At this point, you can either store the taco casserole in the fridge covered or cook it.
COOK YOUR TACO CASSEROLE:
To cook, simply bake in the oven 350F degrees for 30 minutes! Then serve with sour cream and garnish with remaining scallions.
Enjoy! 😍 Carrie
Healthy-ish Taco Casserole with Ground Chicken & Black Beans
What could be better than layers of taco meat, tortillas, beans, and cheese? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
Ground Chicken and Beans
- 1 lb Ground Chicken
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 15 oz Black Beans
- 15 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 4 oz Canned Green Chilis
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Salt
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 12 Corn Tortillas, 6"
- 3 Scallions (green onions)
- 12 oz Shredded Cheese Cheddar or Taco Blend
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 Tomato, large
This entire casserole can be made on Sunday and then cooked in the oven for 30 minutes on Monday or Tuesday. Then reheat again on Wednesday or Thursday.
Thin Slice the scallions. Most will be used in the casserole, but save some of the greens for garnish.
Preheat a large skillet on high. Add the olive oil to coat bottom and then add the ground chicken. Break it up, but let it sit to sear and cook for about 5 minutes. Then mix so that all sides of the chicken cook for another 5 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, green chilis, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
Open the can of black beans and before adding them, smash them a bit in the can using a fork. Then add them to the chicken. Stir to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes to cook down.
Mix the tomato sauce with the Chili Powder, Cumin, and Salt.
Assemble the Taco Casserole - You will need a 9x9 or 10x10 casserole dish.
There will be 3 layers of tortillas, so make sure that you have about 4 tortillas per layer. To start the first layer, cover the bottom of the casserole dish with 4 tortillas.
Next add 1/2 of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the Scallions.
Then top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat! Cover with tortillas, then meat mixture, scallions, and cheese.
Then the final layer of tortillas and then cover with tomato sauce and the remaining cheese and 1/4 of the scallions. The remaining scallions are for garnish.
Bake your Casserole
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
Bake the casserole covered for 30 minutes until hot all the way through. While the casserole is cooking, dice the tomato.
Plate, drizzle with sour cream, sprinkle with diced tomatoes, and garnish with scallions.