What we define as “Mexican food” is not usually traditional but shares many traditional ingredients. These days, Mexican food is more of an amalgam of flavors, ingredients, and cooking methods.
Are you looking for amazing taste but dealing with time constraints because of busy work or family life?
Luckily, casseroles have become invaluable in saving time and delivering full, delicious meals.
Any single type of dish doesn’t define casseroles; in fact, they’re limited by the literal dish itself. Utilizing a deep pan or dish, casseroles are baked in an oven.
Depending on what ingredients you’re looking to use, you can make the process as simple or as complex as you’d like. Often, prep time is pretty short, and you can throw all of the ingredients into one dish, at one temperature, for a set amount of time – including meat!
Casseroles have become associated with funerals in pop culture and TV shows, but that’s only because they’re easy to make and quick to heat back up!
So how do Mexican food and casseroles fit together?
There are countless recipes for Mexican casseroles out there, all of them packing a punch when it comes to flavor and easy to make.
If you’re looking for dinner ideas to wake you up from traditional, heavy food and add some spice to your life, you’re in the right place!
The name says it all!
Living with kids can often be a circus of navigating who eats what and doesn’t like certain veggies or textures. Luckily, this casserole is easy to adapt for everyone.
Substitute out different meats, veggies, and even cheeses to switch up the flavor profile.
Ground beef is relatively heavy; for lighter meat, try ground pork or chicken. Spice it up a bit with your favorite hot peppers, or tone it down by leaving out the green chiles!
Whatever you decide to do, this recipe is held together by the cream of mushroom/chicken soup and the corn tortillas.
The soup adds a rich creaminess that will make your mouth water!
Pro tip – don’t switch out the flour for corn tortillas, as they’ll get soggy and create a mess in the dish.
Usually, pork is the main meat associated with Mexican cuisine, but chicken is a great healthy alternative as it’s low in saturated fat and high in protein.
This dish takes only 30 minutes to bake in an oven.
Want to know the secret to meal prepping casseroles? If you’ve got a long day ahead of you, throw all of the ingredients together in the morning and keep the casserole dish in the fridge.
Once you’re home, preheat the oven and put the casserole right in. Dinner will be ready in no time!
The colors in this casserole are stunning. Tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapenos give it a bright and fresh look.
The tortilla chips do a great job of adding crunch and acting as a vehicle to get this food right to your mouth!
This recipe is a hearty take on, essentially, taco ingredients! Although this recipe is labeled a casserole and can be made in a casserole dish, it’s also possible to make in a skillet, if that’s your preference.
This dish is classic and filling, layered with beef and rice, topped with gooey cheese, and flavored with a mix of veggies. It goes great with side salads or can stand alone as its meal.
Although it does call for a packet of taco seasoning, you can easily make your own with spices like chili, cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and more.
Top with fresh tomatoes, scallions, and onion to lift this dish!
Some things go together perfectly, even if you don’t expect them to. Mexican cuisine and lasagna – traditionally Italian – are great examples.
Layers are what hold this dish together. Tortillas, ground beef, beans, taco sauce (homemade or store-bought), and cheese – all delicious on their own and explosive together!
One of the best things about this casserole/lasagna is that it is freezer-friendly, meaning that you can make it in large quantities and freeze it into single-dinner portions.
Perfect if you have a small family or like to bring a homemade lunch to work now and then.
To add even more luscious flavor, serve with guacamole and pico de gallo – both easy to make at home and full of fresh ingredients.
Are you surprised to see a vegetarian option on our list? Don’t be! Mexican food isn’t all about meat and can be enjoyed on veggie-only terms.
Meat is rarely the main event in Mexican cuisine, and this recipe proves it.
Here the focus and flavor are on fresh bell peppers and corn. This isn’t a light meal; the secret ingredient is cream cheese, making it thick and hearty!
Fresh lime juice and enchilada sauce also kick up the flavor.
If you’re looking for a vegan variation, switch out the dairy products for vegan-friendly and dairy-free options. The texture will differ slightly, but the taste is still there.
We officially have something for everyone with this gluten-free brown rice bake.
Brown rice is surprisingly nutritious, whole grain rice full of protein, fiber, and manganese. If you need a little extra nutrition in your life, gravitate toward this dish.
You can customize this recipe by adding fresh ingredients such as sour cream (a fan favorite), avocado, tomatoes, or cilantro. And for those sensitive to gluten, they can enjoy a creamy, cheesy, filling meal with the whole family!
OTHER CASSEROLE RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
Alright, this might not be the healthiest recipe on our list, but it’s one of the most delicious.
The Dorito casserole dives right in with layers of crushed Dorito chips, salsa, cheese, and ground beef – although the latter is optional if you’re not a fan of red meat.
We don’t need to tell you what the secret ingredient is here.
When making this casserole, make sure you don’t over-crush the Dorito chips, or they’ll turn into mush. Nacho flavored is a popular option, but you can choose any Dorito chip to switch up the flavor.
If you want to spice things up a bit, try a hotter salsa and some diced-up hot peppers.
Are you looking for more Mexican ground beef casserole recipes? Look no further.
As with other casseroles, this is a one-pan meal that doesn’t involve too much prep. It does have a slightly longer cook time at 45 minutes, so plan if you know you’re going to be starving later.
This casserole goes great with other Mexican sides like corn salad, Mexican slaw, or street corn (elote).
Leftovers are good for 3-4 days, or you can freeze the casserole in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
This recipe warms up beautifully and doesn’t lose any of that flavor and goodness.
Enchiladas are delicious – mouthwatering, savory ingredients rolled in tortillas and topped with a creamy sauce.
Unfortunately, they can also be very time-consuming to make, and there are many ways they can go wrong.
This casserole gives you the same savory flavor with less work. Surprisingly, none of the taste is lost in casserole form. The key ingredient, one you can’t do without, is enchilada sauce.
You’ll have to have a top layering form for putting this casserole together. It’s essentially the same ingredients as an enchilada recipe would call for but deconstructed.
Stuffed peppers are delicious on their own, but they’re rarely enough to make a meal and can often be tough to pair with sides.
This taco stuffed pepper casserole recipe uses flavorful homemade taco seasoning and all of the delectable components of stuffed peppers!
If you’re short on time, you can use a packaged taco seasoning from the store and prep the ingredients ahead of time.
If you want to stretch this recipe out, consider using multiple-colored peppers (red, green, orange) to mix flavors and adding other veggies to make an even healthier version!
Toppings that go great with this recipe are sour cream, guac, and fresh herbs.
Not sick of Mexican ground beef casseroles yet? Perfect, because we’re adding another to the list!
This casserole can be made in under an hour and uses extra lean ground beef to cut down on the oiliness and keep things healthy.
Unlike other recipes, this one sprinkles the tortillas last, with the beef right on top. To lower the sodium content of this dish, use frozen corn instead of canned and no-salt-added beans.
It’s easy to sub your favorite beans in place of the black beans; kidney and pinto beans are both great options that add creaminess to the layers!
Chicken is the perfect meat for families looking to eat a satisfying but healthy meal.
Are you looking for a bit of a challenge? As we mentioned earlier, enchiladas are no walk in the park when making them in the kitchen. And although a casserole version is easier, you’ll still be putting in the work!
That means this recipe is probably not the best for those short on time. But if you’re ready to dog into a delicious dish, give the chicken enchilada casserole a try.
Due to the serving size, this meal works perfectly for large families or gatherings such as potlucks.
You can throw all ingredients together, uncooked, and keep the casserole frozen and ready to throw in the oven for up to a month.
One ingredient we haven’t seen yet that’s a staple of American cuisine is potatoes. Luckily, they blend wonderfully with Mexican casseroles!
The tater taco casserole is a mix of taco meat, corn, beans, and cheese – and you guessed it, the secret ingredient is tater tots!
While this might seem a bit ridiculous, you won’t be laughing when you realize how delicious and crunchy the tater topping is.
It has a bit of a kick to it, so if you’re not one for spice, forego the green chiles.
We couldn’t possibly make casseroles any easier, right? Wrong!
This recipe utilizes everyone’s favorite time-saving kitchen appliance, the pressure cooker!
You can make this casserole in an Instant Pot or any other crockpot/pressure cooker device you have at home.
It’s as easy as throwing all the ingredients in (prep time is about 15 minutes) and cooking on high for just three minutes!
The addition of pasta in this recipe – egg noodles or whatever noodles you prefer/have on hand – makes it extra filling and brings together all of the ingredients.
Lastly, we’re going to round out this round-up with the easy Mexican casserole, perfect for anyone looking for simple Mexican casserole ideas.
To make a healthier version of this recipe, you can swap out the ground beef for turkey or pork and use low-fat or vegan dairy products. These substitutions don’t cut down on the flavor!
Customize with your favorite salsa and tortilla chips, and serve on its own or with a side salad.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 c salsa
- 1 (16 oz) can chili beans
- 3 c tortilla chips
- 2 c sour cream
- 1 (2 oz) can sliced black olives
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- ½ c chopped fresh tomato
- 2 c shredded Cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the ground beef in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until there is no pink; about 5-7 minutes.
- Add salsa in with the meat and simmer on low for 20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Stir in beans and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Spray or grease a 9x13 baking dish. Spread crushed tortilla chips on the bottom and pour the beef mixture over the layer of chips.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread sour cream over the beef mixture and sprinkle olives, onion, and tomato on top.
- Layer evenly with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbling.