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This Fiesta Casserole comes together in a snap, doesn’t take any special ingredients, and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Case in point: my dad even liked it, and he’s not a casserole guy or a taco seasoning guy.
If you’ve been following my blog for long, you know that I love leftovers. Why not? You get twice the amount of food for the same amount of work! This recipe makes enough for two meals for our family of 6. Don’t want to eat it twice? I bet you could freeze any leftovers and reheat at a later date when you need supper in a jiffy! Another option would be to make a half batch and bake it in a 9″x13″ pan for a thinner result or a 7″x11″ for a thicker result.
This casserole isn’t that spicy at all, so feel free to add some spice in the form of jalapenos if you so desire. I’m not a big spice fan (it makes my nose run, which is rather inconvenient when I’m trying to enjoy my food).
Side Dish Suggestions:
I served this casserole with green beans and cauliflower sautéed in butter in the skillet I used to fry the meat. I seasoned the cauliflower with chili powder, cumin, dill weed, and garlic salt for something special!
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Need more easy meal ideas? Check out my cookbook!
- 3 lb. ground beef
- 1 med. onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. each chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 2 c. cottage cheese
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ c. half and half
- 2 tsp. each cilantro, dill weed, nutritional yeast
- 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
- 1 6-oz. can black olives, drained, sliced
- Additional shredded cheddar cheese for topping
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain it well and chop it fine, then return it to the skillet. Add the chopped onion and seasonings and stir to combine. Divide the meat into the bottom of a greased 9"x13" pan and a greased 8"x8" pan.
- Mix the cottage cheese, shredded cheddar, half and half, and seasonings together with a hand mixer. (This breaks down the cottage cheese without making it too runny.) Spread the mixture over the meat in both pans.
- Drain the tomatoes and olives very well, slice the olives, and divide these veggies over the cottage cheese mixture in both pans.
- Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until the casseroles are hot and bubbly. During the last ten minutes of baking, sprinkle the top of both pans with shredded cheddar cheese to melt. (You'll probably need to remove the casseroles from the oven to do this, just sayin'.) I like to add enough cheese that I don't quite cover the tomatoes and olives, a) so as not to obscure the beautiful vegetables (well, olives are actually a fruit), and b) so as not to totally overdo the cheese. Once the casseroles are hot and the cheese is melted, let them cool on the counter for 10 minutes before serving to solidify. Eat 'em plain or top with sour cream and salsa.
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