I just love, love, love easy casserole recipes…you know, the ones that take a few minutes to prepare, but when they come out of the oven, they give you that warm, comfy feeling of home? Comfort food at its finest!
Unfortunately, many easy casserole recipes aren’t actually that tasty. I’ve tried many different recipes over the years and oftentimes, I am disappointed with the results. Either thrown together with overly salty canned soup, or just bland and flavorless, I’ve not had much luck in making a delicious casserole like my grandma used to make.
Luckily, I saw this recipe for Southwestern Layered Beef Casserole in a recent issue of Cook’s Country magazine and hit the jackpot! Full of flavor, with easy-to-find, whole-food ingredients, this casserole was a huge hit with my whole family!
To make it more kid-friendly, I adapted the ingredients a bit. The original recipe calls for Rotel tomatoes, but I found that even the mild version was way too spicy for my little ones (and for me too!).
What makes this an easy casserole recipe?
For a busy mom, there’s nothing worse than having multiple steps to a recipe that takes several pots and pans to put together. Nobody has time for that many dishes! 😉
Although there are a few steps to this recipe, you only use one skillet and a baking dish. The rice and meat cook together in the baking dish, meaning that you don’t have to clean a pot for rice and another skillet for the beef.
How to make the Southwestern Layered Beef Casserole
To begin, you’ll want to toast some rice in a skillet. Cook it for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until it looks golden brown.
Put the rice into the baking dish, adding canned tomatoes, broth, and salt and pepper and mixing well.
For the main beef layer, cook some ground beef together with diced bell pepper and onion. When the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, add canned tomato sauce and some seasonings. (This beef mixture by itself makes a great taco meat for Taco Night!)
Pour the beef mixture on top of the rice/tomato mixture, topping it with canned pinto beans, shredded cheese, and canned or frozen corn.
Bake the casserole in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about an hour. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Here’s how I put it together:
Looks easy, right? 😉
Easy Casserole Recipes: Southwest Layered Beef Casserole
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- 3/4 c. rice
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 c. chicken broth
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 T. chili powder I use McCormick, which is mildly spicy
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 t. cumin
- 1 t. coriander
- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 15 oz. can pinto beans drained
- 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese cheddar or Monterey Jack
- 1 c. frozen corn
- 3 scallions sliced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet, add rice and cook until golden brown. Transfer to baking dish and add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
- In skillet, add pepper, onion and beef and cook for about 5 minutes, until beef is cooked through. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour beef mixture on top of rice/tomato mixture in baking dish. Top with pinto beans, then cheese, then corn.
- Cover with foil which has been sprayed with non-stick spray and place in oven for approximately 1 hour.
- Let dish sit out of oven for 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle with scallions, if desired.
Serve this easy casserole with sour cream and add a green salad for a full meal.
The leftovers from this Southwestern Layered Beef Casserole are even better the next day! And any friends that are in need of a meal will certainly appreciate something so yummy on their doorstep 🙂
Need more dinner ideas? You’ll want to try these Easy Dinner Recipes for Families!