Cheesy Beef & Black Bean Casserole

This casserole is loaded with veggies and flavor! Roasted fajitas make a delicious topping and up your vegetable count even more! Although, I wouldn’t say no to some sour cream if I had it on hand. This is a great make-ahead meal, and who doesn’t love a night off from cooking?

Cheesy Beef & Black Bean Casserole

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

Cheesy rice layer:

  • 4 cups cooked rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower (find it pre-riced in the frozen vegetable aisle)
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup milk, I used 2%
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 7 oz can fire roasted green chilies
  • 8 oz American cheese

Beef and black bean layer:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 7 oz can fire roasted green chilies

For assembling casserole:

  • 8 oz Taco Bell mild border sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

Cheesy rice layer

  1. If using riced cauliflower, add it to a pot and cook until there is no excess water. Remove cauliflower from pot and turn heat to low. 

  2. Add remaining ingredients in cheesy rice layer to pot (leaving rice, quinoa, or cauliflower to the side).

  3.  Cook on low, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in your rice, quinoa, or cauliflower.

Beef & black bean layer

  1. Add oil to a separate pan or pot. Heat over medium-high heat. 

  2. Brown ground beef in the oil. It does not need to be cooked through, just browned. 

  3. Add remaining beef and bean layer ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally 3-5 minutes until the peppers and onions are cooked and the mixture has thickened.

Assembling casserole

  1. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour the cheesy rice in the pan and spread it in an even layer. Top with half of the taco bell sauce. Add the beef and bean layer and spread it evenly. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.

I love Mexican food! This casserole is a quick and delicious way to get your Mexican food fix. You can pair it with your favorite bean, rice, or veggie recipe. Or just load it up with toppings. I chose to top this casserole with roasted fajitas and I don’t regret it.

Mexican casseroles are such an awesome way to food prep! You can put this casserole in the freezer or fridge to bake later. But my favorite way to food prep is to cook up the casserole and divide it into ready-to-go lunches. Convenient pre-made lunches? Yes, please!

This has a yummy cheesy-rice layer which you can make with rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower. I happened to make this one with a mixture of brown rice and quinoa but I’ve made it with cauliflower and it was delicious! For a short-cut, you can find pre-riced cauliflower in the frozen vegetable section of your grocery store! If you do use cauliflower make sure you cook it until you don’t see any liquid in the bottom of the pan. You don’t want your cheesy-rice layer to be runny.

To achieve cheesy perfection you need to use American cheese. Public service announcement: American cheese and Kraft Singles are not the same thing! (Thank you for listening.) You can find American cheese at (almost) any grocery store deli. It is a lot firmer than Kraft Singles, but still has a delightful melty quality.

My 3-year-old reminded us over and over not to put any peppers or onions on hers. “Mom, don’t forget I don’t like peppers. I don’t like those. I don’t like those onions or peppers.” Yes, I didn’t forget. Fortunately she’s in a phase where she’ll eat most Mexican food if you put sour cream all over it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any sour cream on hand, definitely a rarity in our house. Still delicious.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Beef & Black Bean Casserole – Get Hooked on Cooking – This casserole is loaded with veggies and flavor! Roasted fajitas make a delicious topping and up your vegetable count even more! Although, I wouldn’t say no to some sour cream if I had it on hand. This is a great make-ahead meal, and who doesn’t love a night off from cooking?

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