Taco Casserole


    • 1 pound ground beef
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
    • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced (1 1/2 cups)
    • 1 medium white onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
    • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    • 4 cups yellow corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed
    • 1 1/4 cup freshly shredded Monterey jack cheese (3 ounces)
    • 1 1/4 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
    • Thinly sliced radish, thinly sliced jalapeno, sliced black olives, sour cream, and fresh cilantro leaves for serving


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up meat, until meat is browned, 10 minutes. Transfer beef to a colander to drain. Discard excess oil.

  • Step 2

    Wipe out skillet, add oil, and return to heat. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and browning, 7 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add back reserved beef, chili powder, oregano and cumin, tomatoes (with liquid), pinto beans, and 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 3

    In a large bowl, combine tortilla chips, 1 cup Monterey jack, and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Top casserole with chip mixture followed by remaining 1/4 cup each of Monterey and cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 3 minutes. Serve with radish, jalapeno, olives, sour cream, and cilantro.


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