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Beef and Hashbrown Mexican Casserole

I’ve got another casserole recipe coming your way today. A Mexican casserole, to be exact!

A popular mis-conception about casseroles is that they aren’t healthy. This may, in fact, be true depending on the kinds of ingredients you plan to use. But here on Simply Writeous, I really strive to share good and healthy dishes you can serve your family without guilt. Doesn’t mean I always hit the mark – but this one surely does!

This particular recipe was adopted from a recipe posted by The Midnight Baker on her blog. In true Simply Writeous fashion, I changed it up a bit by adding and omitting ingredients from the original.

One of my favorite things is the cheesy, bell-peppery, hashbrown topping. My picture doesn’t reveal this bit of detail but it’s got just a bit of wonderful crunch. A texture I’m never mad at when it comes to casseroles.

Let’s gather some ingredients and get the ball rolling!

Beef & Hashbrown Mexican Casserole: Ingredients

1.5-2 lbs ground beef or turkey
Small onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
Small can red enchilada sauce (or home-make your own, following this recipe by Skinny Taste, to avoid preservatives)
Small can diced tomatoes, drained (straight out of the pantry, home-canned from the garden)
1 can corn
1 can black beans
2 cups cheese, shredded (any variety cheddar, or Mexican blend will do)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 bag frozen, shredded hashbrowns, thawed

Beef & Hashbrown Mexican Casserole: Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 and spray casserole dish with cooking spray
Brown hamburger (or turkey) with chopped onion and half of the chopped bell peppers (1/4 cup each, green & red)
In large bowl stir together hashbrowns, melted butter, remaining bell peppers, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and 1 cup cheese.
Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and 1 cup shredded cheese to browned meat. Stir until it’s all mixed together
Pour meat, etc. mixture into casserole dish
Top with hashbrowns
Bake for 20-25’ish minutes at 375 degrees
Switch oven over to broil for 5 additional minutes to really brown and crisp up the top layer of hashbrowns
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and serve!

Serve alongside some chips and guac…and a nice margarita if you’re feeling especially saucy!

And, you guessed it! This dish can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to warm (you’ll want to tack on 5-10 more min to the warming time). It can also be prepped as a freezer meal.




Comfort Food Casserole

Casserole - CopyEarly this week a co-worker of mine suffered a tragic loss. Of course, those in our office rallied together and put together a meals on wheels type of plan to ensure that she wouldn’t have to worry about planning, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.

When a team pulls together on a mission like this, is sorta restors your belief in humanity.

I chose this quick and easy casserole that is packed with flavor. This recipe can take on various forms, but I’ll share with you how I made it this time around.

Keep in mind that this is comfort food, not diet food, and don’t shutter at the thought of cream of mushroom soup, tater tots, and cheese…because it’s delicious.

Here’s the story for this time around:
Brown 1 lb hamburger with some chopped onion – I used about 1/2 a medium onion and seasoned the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Drain hamburger, return to pan and add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of corn (drained)
Transfer the mixture into a tossable container (this is meals on wheels where clean up shouldn’t be necessary)
Top with tater tots & shredded cheese
Include instructions that the dish should be heated through at 375 degrees, 30-45’ish minutes, and then eaten in copious amounts because those grieving “need to keep up their strength”.
Note: This dish can also be frozen so it makes for a great “after the chaos of the situation dies down” option.

Some other variations on this dish:
Addition of different veggies – I’ve used french cut green beans, carrots as well as corn
The potato topping can change…homemade or frozen hashbrowns, mashed potatoes…the sky is the limit
I haven’t ever done it but I bet some thinly sliced potatoes mixed right in would be wonderful.
Sub hamburger for ground turkey or chicken or bison or lamb or….

How else might you jazz up, or change up this dish? Comments are appreciated, and I’ll probably try it, unless you suggest something that’s just confusing…like blueberries.

Happy Wednesday! The weekend will be here before we know it, or that’s what I keep telling myself anyway!!