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Mexican Taco Casserole, a Taco Alternative

Vegetarian

This Mexican taco casserole is always a favorite in our house! It's super filling, freezes well, and tastes delicious!


“Healthi formerly iTrackbites is an alternative to Weight Watchers. “


Satisfy your takeout cravings with Mexican Taco Casserole

If you are missing Taco Tuesdays, look no further! This zesty recipe will satisfy your taco cravings in a healthy way!

Benefits of beans

This Mexican taco casserole is wonderfully full of protein and the beans are a big part of that. Black beans pack in 15 grams of protein in a serving. In addition, there are 15 grams of fiber. Protein and fiber work to fill you up, so you get more bang for your buck in this meal. Black beans can also help reduce the spike in blood sugar that comes after a meal. This helps reduce the risk of diabetes and weight gain.

A glass dish with a layer of tortillas covered in cheese and black beans

Have it your way, customize your Mexican taco cassserole

One of the things I love about casseroles such as this, is that you can customize it to your tastes. I'm not one for spicy foods, so I tend to cook flavorful foods without much spice. But if spicy is your thing, you can throw in some jalapeños. You can also add chili powder or cumin or red pepper flakes to feel the burn. Cinnamon will also add some spice and a bit of a different flavor profile.

The original recipe for this didn't have corn, that was my add-on and was a stellar choice, if I do say so myself. Next time I think I will also cook up some onions first and add them into the ground beef. Cilantro would be another wonderful add on to this dish.

If you wanted to make this vegan or vegetarian, simply swap out the ground beef for tofu crumbles or additional black beans. This would be a great idea if you want to go for a Meatless Monday meal as well. In a casserole like this, it's easy to hide that you're not serving ground beef.

Not a beef eater? Still want a meat protein? No problem! Simply use ground chicken or ground turkey in place of the ground beef.

A silver pot with some tomatoes in it. In front of that is a tortilla that's puffed up, held by black tongs.

Heating up the tortillas

The instructions call for you to heat up the tortillas on the racks of your oven. They say to do it for 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them. The first time I made the Mexican taco casserole, I didn't do that, I just put them in right out of the bag. The second time, I followed the directions. The picture above was one of my tortillas. If you chose to heat them up, keep a close eye on them. They can start to expand and turn into tortilla balloons rather quickly. It's not a huge deal, but you have to break them open if that happens. Since you are cooking them anyway, I really didn't notice a difference and likely won't heat them up next time.

Let's Taco About It with a cartoon of a smiling taco under it

Final touches and sides for your Mexican taco casserole

The recipe calls for a topping of a thinned out sour cream. While I adore sour cream, I used that more for dipping and topped mine with a cup of cheddar cheese. You can omit both, add both or pick one or the other, depending on your dietary needs.

For sides, this tomato rice salad would pair wonderfully. A simple side of rice is always a good choice too. I cook mine in my Instant Pot.

This recipe is one that I have incorporated into a more healthy eating lifestyle. I am using Healthi formerly iTrackbites to help keep me on track.

  • cost: Healthi formerly iTrackBites costs $36 for the year (using this link for 40% off makes it $36 – use COACH_SMILEY to save!!), WW is $20+ for the month, and it's the same formula and less options
  • choices: I can choose PointsPlus, Freestyle, or any other plan I want with Healthi formerly iTrackBites. Even with the new WW changes, they only offer 3 plan options (not PointsPlus).
  • logs: You can export your tracker data by the week, month, or quarter with Healthi formerly iTrackBites. WW does not give you access to quarterly data.
  • accuracy: I've found inaccurate info in the WW app due to members submitting and not paying attention to the right numbers. With Healthi formerly iTrackBites, I know if I see the green check, it's been verified as accurate. This puts my mind at ease!

BLUE PLAN: 6 Points – 8 Points if you top with 1 cup of cheddar cheese

GREEN PLAN: 8 Points – 10 Points if you top with 1 cup of cheddar cheese

PURPLE PLAN: 6 Points – 8 Points if you top with 1 cup of cheddar cheese

Print
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Mexican Taco Casserole

Mexican Taco Casserole


  • Author: Sara

Ingredients

Scale

8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
16 oz tomato sauce
4 garlic cloves
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can black beans
1 can corn – drained
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
neutral oil
apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
kosher salt & ground pepper


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450º. Place the tortillas directly on the oven rack to warm while the oven is preheating. This should take 5-10 minutes, but keep an eye on them.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning with 1 Tbsp of flour. Whisk in the tomato sauce, 1¾ cups of water, 2 Tbsp of oil, and 2 tsp of vinegar. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and a pinch of salt. Cook until the meat is browned thoroughly and drain off the excess fat.

Add 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic (I use the garlic press for this) to the beef and 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning. Cook for about a minute. Stir in the black beans with their liquid, and the drained corn. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the liquid starts to reduce a bit.

Spread ½ cup of the taco sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish, about 2-3 quarts.

Place 4 tortillas on the bottom of the dish, on top of the sauce. Cover with half of the meat mixture. and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat this, then pour the remaining sauce over the top of the tortillas, spreading it to make sure it covers the entire top.

Bake the casserole for 15-18 minutes. Then let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

In a small bowl, thin out the sour cream by adding 1 tsp of water at a time and stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the top of the casserole and serve!

 

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