This Mexican casserole packs in ground beef, rice, peppers, onions, pinto beans, and Mexican inspired flavors for an easy one-pan meal.
Love casseroles? Us too! Try the best chicken casserole or our yummy hamburger casserole next.
The Easiest Mexican Casserole
Start your week off right and make this super easy Mexican casserole for dinner! We are all about ground beef recipes. There are so many different meals that you can whip up in a hurry with ground beef.
Some of our favorites are these ground beef nachos, this yummy Mexican skillet recipe, these easy ground beef tacos, and our favorite beef chili recipe. You just can’t go wrong.
all the reasons we love this Mexican casserole
- You only need to dirty one dish!
- You can throw everything into a casserole dish, mix, and bake.
- It is a great weeknight meal that packs a ton of flavor.
- This Mexican casserole leaves great leftovers. It is a great meal prep meal for the week.
- It lasts in the refrigerator and there are many different ways to serve it!
Ingredients You’ll Need
The ingredient list for this casserole is full of all-star ingredients that are pantry staples! Check out everything you’re going to need.
- Ground beef- We used 93/7% fat content for our ground beef, but you can use whatever ground beef you’d like.
- Minced garlic– Whether you use garlic cloves or pre-minced garlic, don’t skip it!
- Bell peppers– The bell peppers in this Mexican beef skillet add both vegetables and great crunch. We used red and green peppers, but use whatever color you’d like!
- White onion– Onion adds a great base and onion flavor.
- Instant rice– Yes, Instant rice! You can use white or brown instant rice. We use instant rice instead of regular rice to keep the cook time down! We do not recommend using regular rice in this recipe.
- Beef broth– You need a bit of liquid to help cook the rice. We love using beef broth because it has amazing flavor
- Tomato sauce– We love saucy ground beef tacos and the tomato sauce in the Mexican casserole adds that traditional taco flavor you love.
- Green chilies– These chiles add a little extra kick to your beef casserole!
- Pinto beans– Add a little protein to this Mexican beef casserole with some pinto beans!
- Sweet corn– Another great veggie add.
- Spices– We basically use the same spices in this Mexican casserole that we use in our DIY taco seasoning. Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt!
- Shredded cheddar cheese– You sprinkle a little cheddar cheese towards the end of this casserole bake time for a delicious cheesy topping.
Delicious Topping Options
This delicious Mexican casserole has layer after layer of delicious ingredients. One way to really elevate this recipe is to add some toppings when you serve this casserole to the family.
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- chopped cilantro
- crushed tortilla chips
Don’t have everything on the ingredient list for this Mexican casserole? Have no fear, here are some great ingredient swaps!
- Ground beef —> try ground turkey or ground chicken!
- Bell peppers—> you can use any color of bell pepper! If you like things spicy, try adding in jalapeños or poblano peppers!
- White onion—> any color onion will work for this recipe.
- Pinto beans—> not a pinto person? Try black beans!
- Canned corn—> hominy would also be a great addition or substitute for corn in this casserole recipe.
make it easy
Print Your Own
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How to Make this Mexican Beef Casserole
This Mexican casserole really is so easy to make. Here’s how you do it!
- Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Fully cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat before adding it to the greased casserole dish.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the cheese) to the casserole dish and mix.
- Bake the casserole for 45 minutes at 375ºF and add cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes.
different ways to serve this Mexican casserole
Looking for other ways to use this Mexican casserole? You can eat this casserole all by itself and scoop it up with some chips, but here are a few more fun ways to eat this casserole if you are meal prepping it for the week!
- Make a burrito! Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of this casserole to a large tortilla along with some salsa, guacamole, cheese, and Greek yogurt.
- Try a Taco salad. Throw some spinach or massaged kale in a bowl and top it with some of this Mexican casserole.
- Make a burrito bowl. Make an at home burrito bowl and add this casserole to a bowl with greens, a coleslaw, guacamole, and salsa!
You can store this Mexican casserole in an air tight container for up to 5 days! Just be sure the casserole is cooled completely before placing it in the fridge.
Can I freeze this?
Yes! You can freeze this recipe. Let the casserole cool completely before placing it in a gallon sized bag, remove the air, and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1 lb. ground beef we used 93/7% fat
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 large green pepper diced
- 1 large red pepper diced
- 1/2 large white onion diced
- 1.5 cups minute white/brown rice* THIS is the brand we used. Either white or brown will work
- 2 cups beef broth chicken broth works too
- 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 4-oz. can green chiles
- 1 15-oz. can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz. can sweet corn drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheddar cheese
- Prep: First, preheat the oven to 375ºF and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Brown Ground Beef: Place ground beef in a frying pan and cook over medium/high heat until fully cooked. It will take around 7-10 minutes. If you used a fattier beef, drain the excess fat from the beef.
- Mix: Transfer cooked meat into the casserole dish and add the rest of the ingredients (minus the cheese) into the casserole dish and mix to combine.
- Bake: Cover casserole dish with tin foil and bake at 375ºF for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, mix, and sprinkle on cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Let the casserole sit on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes to further thicken up.
Tips & Notes
- As your leftover casserole sits in the fridge overnight, it will thicken.
- On March 26, 2020, we slightly reduced the amount of beef broth from the feedback we received from readers.
Oh my gosh so good! For personal preference I subbed impossible grounds, veggie broth and violife cheese and followed the rest as is and it turned out amazing!!
Great substitutions, Kayla! So glad you enjoyed this casserole 😀
This was delicious!!!!!!!!! I made it exactly as directed and it was perfect. YUMMERS!
My grandma made this and it is so good!
Can I use regular rice instead of instant rice? Is it the same measurements?
Your grandma rocksssss! I wouldn’t use regular rice because the measurements will for sure be different! Instant rice is 1:1 liquid to rice and regular rice is 2:1. But, regular rice takes longer to cook.
I have only made it and eaten it same day – and yes, you DO need to let it set so that it is not soupy. I am wondering if it can be made the night ahead and cooked the next day, or just cooked, refrigerated and reheated the next day? Appreciate knowing what has worked for others. I would like to make this for a church potluck and reheat when I get to church.
Hey Jim! You can absolutely prep this the night before and cook it the next day!
Do I cook the rice before adding it to casserole?
No you do not!
So I was under the impression that this casserole was a literal one dish wonder.
Not exactly true though, because of course the first thing the instructions tell you to do is brown the ground beef in a seperate frying pan before adding it to the casserole dish with all the other ingredients.
So I thought I’d give a little tip on how to make this a true one dish casserole and it’s really easy.
Make it in a large cast iron skillet. Start it on the stove top and finish it off in the oven.
Easy peasy ! ! ! !
What size cast iron skillet would you recommend using? Also, thank you for such a wonderful idea!
This looks so good but only me to eat it
In the tips and tricks section, I noticed it said this particular dish is able to be frozen. I do this for my mother as she lives alone as well.
Hope it helps for such a wonderful dish.
This was DELICIOUS! So good, and will definitely be making it again. I also had the issue with it being very liquidity, even after letting it sit for 15 min out of the oven. I used brown rice, so maybe it’s not as absorbent? I don’t know. But it was still great! Next time I think I’ll scale back the beef broth a bit. Thanks for the recipe!!!
Thank you for sharing Sam! We just updated the recipe to use 1/2 cup liquid less than it calls for! We just tested it and it was perfect, thank you for the note and we’re so glad you still like it 🙂
Any insights on how to adjust if we want to use grains that are already cooked? Just reduce/cut out the broth? Sub it with something less liquidy? Gotta clean out the fridge and this looks delicious 🙂
Made this tonight and it was delicious but had a lot of liquid still at the end. Did you cook the instant rice before adding it to the mixture or was it added uncooked to absorb the broth ?
Weird! Usually if you let it sit for 15 mintues it all absorbs. How is it on day 2?
Well my boyfriend took it for lunch and he just said it is “banging” and thickened up! We didn’t let it sit last night…too hungry 🙂 I’ll try to have some patience next time!! Regardless it was delicious and I’m definitely making it again! Thanks for the recipe!
I will add something to the notes about letting it sit. Thanks for confirming with the BF 😀
Somehow I got two pans but the more the merrier. I think it was because of how big my peppers were and I added a jalapeño to it as well. Soooooo yummy! I added quad on the side and some chili cheese Fritos for crunch and my daughter added sour cream to hers…this is absolutely delicious!! Thank you!!