Simple Mexican Ground Beef Casserole

Seems like we can never have enough ways to cook ground beef in our house, especially since I keep a stock pile in the freezer. Tacos, mac ‘n cheese casserole, enchiladas – we eat ground beef at least once a week.

This particular casserole is kind of like marrying crunchy tacos with a seven layer Mexican dip. And, for further proof that this casserole rocks (in case the taco/dip combo wasn’t enough), my husband had two giant platefuls for dinner, announcing, “I’m getting another round!” and our two year old said, “That’s yummy in my tummy!”

How are those for some slick testimonials? Especially the cute one from the tot – good, right? Would kittens and puppies help?

I believe the refried beans would have been good as another layer cooked in the casserole, but since hubs hates anything that even remotely sounds like “bean,” I served mine on the side. No complaints from him or me – they worked well as a platform for my serving to be plated on.

Simple Mexican Ground Beef Casserole

Easy Mexican Beef Casserole

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, diced – reserve 1/8 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes – reserve 1/4 cup
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 13-ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can refried beans


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the crushed tortilla chips into a 9×11″ baking dish and set aside. Warm the refried beans over low heat.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions (saving 1/8 cup for later) and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium-high, add the ground beef to brown, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes. Drain.

Throw the beef back into the skillet and add the tomatoes (saving 1/4 cup for later), chili powder, parsley, mustard, garlic salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Let simmer for 10 minutes and then pour the meat mixture over the crushed tortilla chips. Spread the sour cream on top, followed by the reserved onions and tomatoes. Add the cheese on top, sprinkle with a little parsley, chili powder and garlic salt.

Simple Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
Bake for 20 minutes in a 375°F oven, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Simple Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
Serve atop a spoonful of refried beans. Makes enough for 4 to 6 people, depending if you want leftovers.

Final Note: If you don’t have all the spices to season the ground beef, a taco seasoning packet from your grocery store will work great as a substitute.

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  1. says

    Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it is everything you’ve been wishing for.

    This looks like it would be very popular with one of my daughters. I’ll have to pass it on to her.

  2. says

    Oh my! That looks yummy. I don’t use ground beef so much anymore since I stopped being able to get 90 and 93% lean for $1.99/lb on sale… but I just read that you can cook down, drain and rinse higher fat grinds and reduce the fat… if I feel inspired, this will be one of the first I try!

    Happy SITS Day!

  3. says

    Thank you everyone!

    @Southern – if you don’t use ground beef, try ground turkey or chicken. The tomatoes (with liquid) should keep it from getting too dry. Interesting about rinsing fat off…sounds like a lot of work. :)

  4. says

    I had to follow up and tell you I tried this tonight. My family loved it too! I took your suggestion on the taco packet because I didn’t have all the spices and I didn’t have the chopped tomatoes, so I used tomato sauce (my kids don’t like tomato chunks) and I also added the beans as a layer. It was great! Thanks for sharing!! I will be making this again!

  5. says

    I got to make this last night and it was a huge hit. Great flavor. Made a few changes to fit our family. Added corn & cilantro. Husband cannot eat beans. Since not doing beans may do less chips on bottom. Want to add one more can of tomatoes too. Very good! My 14 month old daughter also had more than one serving! Will be checking out other recipes. Thanks for this one which become one of my go-to quick recipes.


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