Tag Archives: spice

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

Some parts call this a casserole, others call it a hot-dish..but I simply call it goodness!  Growing up we ate many a meal where you would add meat, a cream of something soup, cheese and vegetables mixed in and it was always good.  However, it was always the same.  Same, same, same.  So now that we live in a more foodie inspired world (I know, the word “foodie” would gasp to hear her name in regards to a casserole), I thought we could take the standard, cream of mushroom tater tot casserole, up a notch or 5!

Like always, feel free to tweak to your likeness.  Swap out the beef for ground turkey or chicken, the pinto beans for black beans and corn, or change up the cheese a bit!  Just don’t change it too much or you will no longer have that comforting classic we all grew up with and loved!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb ground beef, lean
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 4oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 pckg Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 1 pckg tater tots, enough to cover evenly

Spices (You can also easily use a taco seasoning packet)

  • I used a mix of cumin, chili powder, coriander, mexican oregano, salt, chipotle chili powder and whisked together.

Garnish (optional)

  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeños
  • Black olives
  • Green onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Salsa



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking dish (9×13 or similar) with non-stick spray.  Place on top of a baking sheet to catch any sauce drippings or melty cheese!
Next, bring a large skillet to medium/medium-high heat and add in the ground beef, chopped onion and the seasoning packet/spices, followed by the minced garlic for the last minute.  If necessary drain the grease from here.  I, however, used a very lean beef to avoid this one extra step. 😉  Cook through.

To that same skillet with the now cooked ground beef, add in the pinto beans, green chiles, half of the cheese and half of the enchilada sauce.  Stir to combine and then carefully pour into the casserole dish. Top with them taters!

Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce overtop the taters and place in the oven (uncovered to get crispy) for 40-45 minutes.

Time is up, so sprinkle on that last bit of cheese overtop and allow to melt in the oven, about 3-5 minutes.  You can even broil it if you like that extra crispness!  

Once to your liking remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes…this thing is HOT!!!

Finally top with the garnishes of your choice and serve up!  Enjoy!  **I recommend the sour cream once served as it’s quite hot and will melt quick! 😉 

Texas Taco Joes

This is another FUN meal that the entire family will love!!  A spin on the classic “Sloppy Joe” with an open-face, TexMex twist!  

The meat topping can be made to your desired heat level (or use ground turkey, pork or chicken if you’re not a beef fan) and then the toppings can range to what I listed below or can go waayyyy beyond that!!

*If your grocer doesn’t carry “Texas Toast” in the bread aisle…move.  

… Just kidding 😂, you may check the freezer section OR buy a large bread loaf in the bakery and just slice it at least a good 1-1/2″ thick!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, “Mexican Style lime & cilantro” (don’t drain)
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Texas toast 

Garnish (optional)

  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chopped onion
  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Black olives    

Heat a pan up to medium with the ground beef and the chopped onion *add about 2Tbsp of EVOO if using a very lean meat.  Cook until the onions are translucent and the meat is browned. 

 In that same pan (draining grease IF necessary), add in the taco seasoning along with the can of Rotel tomatoes, green chili’s and water.  Stir, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.   Cover the mixture and walk away till thickened *about 15 minutes. 

     While the meat mixture is thickening, we’ll toast those fat slices of bread.  Aka “Texas Toast”.  Now you can do this as you wish, oven or toaster, but I layed a bunch of slices down on a baking sheet and popped it under the broiler of my oven for just a minute till toasted!

The fun part has arrived!!  Preparing your own Texas Taco Joe with the toppings of your choice!  I’m a fan of “the works” and add everything but the kitchen sink to mine, but to each their own!!  Enjoy! 

 

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