This super easy weeknight Taco Casserole is extremely affordable and is fast and easy to throw together on a busy night.
This is one recipe that I like to make things even easier by substituting freeze dried food from Shelf Reliance for ingredients that I don’t have on hand or don’t want to take the time to prep. Before you get scared off by the idea of freeze dried food, I promise you it’s nothing weird. It tastes just like fresh and has the same nutritional content. It’s a great time and money saver!
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- Taco seasoning
- 1/2 diced onion (or 1/4 cup Thrive freeze dried onion)
- 1 diced green, yellow, or red bell pepper (or 1/4 cup Thrive freeze dried red and green peppers)
- 1 cup of chopped spinach (or 1/2 cup of Thrive freeze dried spinach)
- Flour tortillas
- Cheddar cheese
Cook the ground beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink then add your taco seasoning according to the directions on the package. I like to add a bit of extra to give this a bit of kick.
Drain and rinse the can of kidney beans. You can use any variety of bean in this I just love the flavor and color you get with the kidney beans but black beans would be delicious in this as well.
Add your beans and veggies to the meat mixture. If you are using freeze dried veggies, you’ll need to either rehydrate them before hand (by soaking them in cold water for about 5 min.) or add a bit of extra water to the mixture. I throw all the freeze dried veggies into a bowl of water together, strain most of the water out, and dump it in with the meat. Don’t leave out the spinach. It’s delicious and even non-veggie loving kids won’t notice it in this dish.
I used my Le Creuset enameled cast iron pan for this because I love how evenly it cooks.
Spread the meat mixture evenly in a 9 x 13 pan. This mixture makes a killer taco filling by itself if you want to stop there and it’s packed with nutrition with all the extra veggies.
Tear your tortillas into large pieces and lay them across the meat mixture. This is a great step to include your kids on if they want to help.
Pour the jar of salsa over the top of the tortilla layer. We like a nice medium salsa so that everyone in the family is happy but feel free to customize this to your family’s tastes.
Top the casserole with cheese and bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350° or until the cheese is melted and it’s heated all the way through.
If the cheese starts to get too toasty, loosely cover the casserole with foil until it finishes baking.
I love this dish served with a green salad or a side of lightly cooked veggies. If you need to satisfy any picky eaters, serve this up with some tortilla chips and let your kids dip them in the casserole for a fun twist.
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