This easy and delicious Mexican ground beef casserole is a hearty and filling meal that’s packed full of fun Tex-Mex and Mexican flavors. Dig into this beefy casserole for an easy weeknight family meal or as an alternative to taco night.
Today we’re making some tasty Mexican ground beef casserole. Whether you want to call it Mexican casserole or Mexican lasagna, this flavor-packed meal is beefy and super filling. It’s layered with taco-seasoned ground beef mixed with fillings like corn, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, layers of tortillas, refried beans and a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
This easy-to-make casserole with simple ingredients is also very versatile so you can change your fillings as needed; make it as mild or hot as you want and pick your favorite taco fixings to top it off before serving. I’ve mentioned many times how hearty and filling it is because it’s a very deep dish casserole and will stretch much longer than your average 9×13 casserole so expect a lot of leftovers.
For a chicken version with slightly different flavors, you might also like this chicken enchilada casserole. If you’re in the mood for regular tacos, try these slow cooker shredded beef tacos, carne asada or shredded chicken tacos, an instant pot chipotle chicken tacos, or some warm, baked cheesy chicken tacos.
Ingredients in Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
MEXICAN GROUND BEEF CASSEROLE RECIPE TIPS
- Beef – The leaner your meat, the less fat you have to drain after browning. I used 97% lean and still had a lot of grease to drain. While browning ground beef or sausage, I like to use a meat masher to break up any clumps.
- Onions and garlic – Try to use fresh onions and garlic but you can substitute them with onion and garlic powder. I went with a modest amount of onions and garlic but if you want a stronger flavor, feel free to add more.
- Taco seasoning – I used a packet of taco seasoning mix but you can use your own taco spice mix if you have a go-to recipe. There are plenty of pre-packaged seasoning brands to pick from like Taco Bell, McCormick and Old El Paso. Old El Paso has a few more flavors like chicken tacos, chipotle chicken, cheesy tacos and Al Pastor.
- Tomato paste – This enhances the beef flavor significantly. I like using the Cento brand of tomato paste that comes in a tube so it stores easily and you can reuse it when needed. It’s less of a hassle than dealing with canned tomato paste.
- Diced tomatoes – I used Rotel for more flavor but any kind of diced tomatoes should also work. Rotel combines diced tomatoes with green chiles so if you end up substituting, add a 4 oz. can of green chiles to the mix. Rotel also has a ton of flavors to experiment with like original, mild, hot, fire-roasted, Mexican-style lime and cilantro. Make sure to fully drain the can of tomatoes so the beef mixture isn’t watered down.
- Corn – I used a can of regular whole kernel corn but you can substitute it with southwest corn, fiesta corn, or Mexicorn for more flavor.
- Black beans – I used Bush’s Best black beans for this recipe. Some recipes use pinto beans instead. Make sure to drain the cans fully before adding in the beans.
- Chili powder – Chili powder is added here more as a flavoring spice mix instead of adding some heat.
Chili powder is more of a spice blend than straight-up ground chili powder. It is mild to moderately spicy, depending on how much cayenne there is in there. It’s usually a blend of savory spices such as cayenne, cumin, oregano, onions and garlic to give you the perfect flavor profile for Mexican or Tex-Mex recipes. There is a hint of spice but the chili powder mostly adds an earthy, mildly spice and smoky flavor.
- Tortillas – This recipe works with both corn and flour tortillas. I used the Mission brand super-size yellow corn tortillas.
- Refried beans – Refried beans are one of the base layers of the casserole to mimic the flavors of a burrito. One 16 oz. can of refried beans was more than enough for the whole casserole. If you’re not a fan of refried beans, you can skip this.
- Spoon portions of the refried beans on the tortillas and use the back of a spoon to spread them.
- Cheese – Two 8 oz. bags or blocks of cheese is more than enough for the two layers in this casserole. This recipe uses a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar but you could also go for a Mexican cheese blend which is usually a mix of Monterey Jack, cheddar, Asadero, and Queso Quesadilla, or even throw in some mozzarella in there for some cheese strings.
- Storing – The casserole will keep up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Reheat in the oven – Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes until warmed through or for individual servings, reheat in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
- Add more flavor – Add more flavor with some ground chorizo.
- Add more layers – Try adding a layer of rice to add more substance.
- Make it spicy – Spice it up with fresh jalapenos, poblanos, chipotles, or a few dashes of ancho or chipotle chili powder.
And that’s about it. I hope you enjoy this filling beefy casserole and it keeps everyone fed and happy for many days. Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made and what you paired it with in the comments below!
This post was originally published on July 3, 2013 and updated on September 18, 2022.
MORE MEXICAN-INSPIRED RECIPES TO TRY
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
- Slow Cooker Carne Asada
- Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Tacos
- Cheesy Baked Chicken Tacos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas