Taco Casserole

Close up side view of taco casserole piece on plate with sour cream drizzled on top and diced tomatoes and scallion on top. What could be better than tacos? 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.

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?

Extreme close up picture of top of taco casserole with red sauce topped with melted cheese and scallion slices. What could be better than tacos? 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.

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!

Piece of Taco Casserole on a white plate with sour cream drizzled on top with diced tomato and scallion. Casserole dish to the left on counter. 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.

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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.

Organic 98% Fat Free Ground Chicken Breast. 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.

This Skillet Ground Chicken Tomato Sauce with Ricotta is a delicious and simple one pan meal.  Ground chicken is seared until it gets a super browned, flavorful crust.  Then garlic, vegetable broth and tomatoes are added and cooked down into a delightful sauce that really lets the tomato shine with a meaty bite from the chicken.  After pasta is mixed in, creamy Ricotta Cheese is dolloped on and fresh basil added to garnish.  It's perfection! Bellissimo!

Meat, tomatoes in skillet. 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.

Meat, tomatoes in skillet. 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.

Meat, tomatoes, black beans in skillet. 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.

Meat, tomatoes, green chilis, and black beans in skillet. 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.

2. Mix tomato sauce with the cumin, chili powder, and salt

Tomato sauce in clear bowl on counter with spices on top: chili powder, cumin, and salt. 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.

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.

4 Corn Tortillas covering bottom of casserole dish. 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.

Casserole Dish with tortillas and ground meat, black beans, tomatoes, and scallions on top. What could be better than tacos? 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.

Do this again for the second layer.  Then top with a third and final layer of tortillas, the tomato sauce, and the remaining cheese.

4 Corn Tortillas covered with tomato sauce over casserole in casserole dish. 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.

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

Extreme close up picture of top of taco casserole with red sauce topped with melted cheese and scallion slices. What could be better than tacos? 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.

Close up side view of taco casserole piece on plate with sour cream drizzled on top and diced tomatoes and scallion on top. What could be better than tacos? 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.

 

 

Taco Casserole

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 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.  

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword casserole, ground chicken, healthy recipes, taco
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Cook Meat

  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 16 oz Ground Chicken, Free range No Antibiotics
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 15 oz Diced tomatoes, 1 can 14-16oz is fine
  • 4.5 oz Green Chilis, 1 can
  • 15 oz Black Beans, 1 can 14-16oz is fine

Tomato Sauce

  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Make Casserole

  • 12 Corn Tortillas, 6"
  • 3 Scallions (green onions)
  • 12 oz Shredded Cheese Cheddar or Taco Blend
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tomato, large

Instructions

Prep Ahead

  1. 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 - so great, right??

  2. Start by slicing the scallion and put aside until assembling the casserole.  Drain and rinse the black beans.  Open the green chilis and tomatoes cans so they are ready to be added.

  3. Make the tomato sauce by mixing in the chili powder, cumin and salt.  Set aside until assembling the casserole.

  4. Add the ground chicken to a preheated large skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil that has been spread to coat the pan.  Add the salt and spices, then break up the chicken to spread around the pan, but then let it sit to really sear and brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Once the bottom has really browned, break up the meat again and mix it up to brown all sides of the meat.  Cook until all pink is gone from the meat, about 3-4 minutes more. 

    This Skillet Ground Chicken Tomato Sauce with Ricotta is a delicious and simple one pan meal.  Ground chicken is seared until it gets a super browned, flavorful crust.  Then garlic, vegetable broth and tomatoes are added and cooked down into a delightful sauce that really lets the tomato shine with a meaty bite from the chicken.  After pasta is mixed in, creamy Ricotta Cheese is dolloped on and fresh basil added to garnish.  It's perfection! Bellissimo!
  5. Add the canned tomatoes, the green chilis, and the beans.  Mix to combine and cook together for another 5 minutes.

    Meat, tomatoes, green chilis, and black beans in skillet. 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.

Make Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.  You will need a 9x9 or 10x10 casserole dish.

  2. 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.

    4 Corn Tortillas covering bottom of casserole dish. 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.
  3. Next add 1/2 of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas.  Sprinkle with 1/4 of the Scallions.

    Casserole Dish with tortillas and ground meat, black beans, tomatoes, and scallions on top. What could be better than tacos? 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.
  4. Then top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.  Repeat!  Cover with tortillas, then meat mixture, scallions, and cheese.  

  5. 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.

  6. Bake 350 F degrees covered for 30 minutes until hot all the way through.  While the casserole is cooking, dice the tomato.

    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.
  7. Plate, drizzle with sour cream, sprinkle with diced tomatoes, and garnish with scallions.

    Piece of Taco Casserole on a white plate with sour cream drizzled on top with diced tomato and scallion. Casserole dish to the left on counter. 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.

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