Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Turkey Taco Casserole

I've got cookies on the brain today, but instead, I'm going to taco to you about casserole. Ha ha. I know, that was bad. I absolutely could not resist :)

Initially, this casserole came into being because ground turkey was on sale and I had all the other ingredients on hand. I'm not sure why, but I never expect casseroles to be outstanding. I don't know why I think this, because I've had some amazing casseroles. My favorite food as a child was my mom's Green Bean Casserole. I adore Shepherd's Pie. This Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti is one of the best things I've ever made. Yet every time I go to make a casserole, I throw it together and expect it to be... eh.  Once again, I'm reminded that that notion is malarky. This casserole was amazing! I've never made Mexican Lasagna, but I'd imagine this casserole could be close to it. The best part? It got better every day after I made it. It didn't matter if I heated the leftovers in the oven or the microwave. I found both methods comparably favorable.

Another thing I love about this casserole is that it's make-ahead. It's also freezable. Talk about convenience! You could always get really crazy and double the recipe to make 2 casserole's to freeze.  Heat the frozen casserole in the oven until the cheese is bubbly, and you have easy, homemade Mexican goodness from the freezer to the table.  The recipe is pretty simple though, so it really didn't take long to assemble. The bake time wasn't bad either. I made this on a weeknight, and the whole she-bang took about an hour and a half, and that's even with a 20 minute rest time coming out of the oven. The casserole was even man-approved.

So... I'm stuck at home again. Argh! I'm not sure why, but Kentucky decided to do no road maintenance yesterday. This is the first time all winter that the roads haven't been plowed and salted, and I'm justifiably annoyed. It is the work week, people basically have to be on the roads. They are usually so on top of winter weather, I'm just surprised with the complete lapse this time. While I keep a lot of pantry staples on hand, fresh produce is impossible to stockpile. Since it's been a week and a half since I last made it to the grocery store, it's going be freezer food tonight. I'm just hoping the roads look better tomorrow, because if the dogs run out of carrots, we might have a mutiny on our hands!

Happy Tuesday!

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilies
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 flour tortillas, cut into 1-inch thick strips (lengthwise- if your tortillas are more oval than round)
1/2 cup salsa, plus more for serving
sour cream for serving
sliced avocado for serving (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375º. Coat a square 8-inch pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When warm, add turkey. Brown the turkey, stirring to crumble. Once slightly browned, add chili powder through cayenne pepper. Mix to combine. Cook until turkey is browned completely. Add 1 can of green chilies and the diced tomatoes to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is heated. Remove from heat.
3. To assemble casserole- spread a layer of the turkey mixture on the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of refried beans, a layer of chilies, a layer of cheese, and then 4 of the tortilla strips. Repeat until you've used all the turkey mixture. Top casserole with any leftover cheese and 1/2 cup of salsa. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Cut casserole into squares and top with more salsa, sour cream, and avocado (if using). 

*If preparing casserole to freeze, complete layering process and top with cheese and salsa. Tightly cover pan with aluminum foil and store in the freezer. Bake frozen casserole in a preheated oven at 375º for 1 hour, or until cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run.
Linked to: Weekend Potluck


  1. I no taco you anymore Senorita. Uh oh. Racist, huh? Well, back to sensitivity training.
    Good recipe. Your bro will be eating it this coming Friday.

    1. Oh, how I enjoy a bad pun now and then :)

      You'll have to let me know how you guys like the recipe!

  2. Jessica this is my cup of tea!! Looks super duper yummy. Would love to have this with garlic bread!

    1. It was super yummy, I highly recommend it! You can't go wrong with this one :)