I don't know about your family but mine loves anything which remotely imitates a taco. The best part about this recipe is that you don't have to fry up all those tortillas to get that taco-ey taste!
Cook together in a large pan (I used a 5.5 quart pan like this) :
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 c. onion, diced
- 1/2 c. bell-pepper, diced
When beef is cooked through (and no longer pink), add the following ingredients to your pan (and do not drain the liquid, that is a key player in the taco-taste):
- 2 c. cooked beans, undrained (pinto, black or kidney) (We use and love black for this.)
- 2 c. tomatoes, diced
- 1 c. corn, frozen or canned
- 1 package of chili seasoning
- 1/2 c. water
Meanwhile, grease a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish and sprinkle about 2 cups of coarsely crushed tortilla chips at the bottom (very flexible, I even threw in some leftover random corn chip crumbs that my husband brought home from a road trip).
Once the beef and bean mixture is finished simmering, layer and spread evenly over the chips, the following ingredients in order:
- beef/bean mixture from above
- 2 c. shredded cheese (I used mozzarella but you can use your favorite.)
- 1 c. coarsely crushed tortilla chips
- 1 c. (more) shredded cheese
- 1 small can of sliced or chopped olives (Black is prettier and preferred but I used green because it is all we had at the time.)
- optional: fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (uncovered) until bubbly on edges and cheese on top begins to brown (like photo shown below).
Serve with a green salad or a platter of ranch dip and veggie sticks.
Optional: Garnish each serving with a dollop of guacamole, sour cream, fresh parsley, cilantro and/or chives (or just enjoy as is!).
Divide recipe into (2) 8 by 8 pans and freeze the extra casserole prior to baking for a future meal if you have a smaller family.
As this is a very flexible recipe, you could use less cheese, more cheese, less chips, more chips, etc. according to your family tastes or dietary needs. Here are some other suggestions to prepare this recipe using some of the ingredients you may have on hand:
- Use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef.
- Use a can of diced tomatoes (with juice) instead of the fresh tomatoes (and omit the water in the recipe).
- If you like really spicy food, try replacing two cups of salsa for the fresh tomatoes.
- Try one packet of taco seasoning instead of the chili seasoning packet.
- Use 1/3 cup of homemade chili/taco seasoning in lieu of the purchased seasoning packet.
- Use corn chips to replace tortilla chips (just make sure it is a corn-based chip to get good results).
Simply click on the link HERE to download your recipe (then save and/or print out the recipe from there). Also, if your family enjoys these types of meals, you may also like to try our Chili Cheese Fries!
"A good dinner sharpens wit, while it softens the heart."
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