One dish dinners are my jam and this Mexican casserole is a family favorite! I love how simple our Spanish Beef and Rice Bake is to throw together for a quick and filling meal.
If you are anything like us, Mexican food is a weekly thing on our dinner menu.
If you have a busy night ahead of you, you could easily make this ahead of time. I will sometimes prepare it in the morning, then heat it up for dinner if I know I am going to be gone all day.
I can throw it together in the morning real quick, and have it all ready by the time everyone gets home. It is the perfect meal for reheating.
The flavors of this are delicious! I promise that your entire family will love it.
Ingredients in our favorite Mexican Casserole:
This Mexican Casserole is a simple and quick recipe. It doesn’t require any expensive or weird ingredients. It’s simple, basic, and delicious.
- lean ground beef (you can also use ground turkey)
- green bell pepper
- canned diced tomatoes
- uncooked long grain rice
- chili sauce (you can find this next to the ketchup at the grocery store)
- brown sugar
- ground cumin
- Worcestershire sauce
- canned refried beans
- shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped fresh cilantro
- cherry tomatoes
How to make spanish beef and rice bake:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, lower heat to medium low heat. To brown ground beef, place it in a pan and use a spatula to cut it up and flip it. I do this until there is no pink color on the beef left and the meat is diced up into small bits.
- Stir in the onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, water, salsa, rice, chili sauce, salt, brown sugar, cumin, Worcestershire sauce and ground black pepper.
- Let this simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then transport this to a 9×13″ casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Press the mixture down firmly into the pan, then spread refried beans on the top and sprinkle with the shredded Cheddar cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped tomatoes.You can also garnish with your favorite taco garnishes. I love putting a little salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on mine. You can really add any of your favorite toppings to it, and it will taste delicious.
How could I make this recipe healthier?
This recipe for our Mexican Casserole is already pretty healthy, however there are a few things you could switch out, to make it even healthier.
–Switch the ground beef out for ground turkey. This is just a simple exchange, that is less greasy, and less fat. I use ground turkey in almost every recipe that calls for ground beef.
It does taste a little lighter, but it is also a little easier on tender stomachs.
Ground beef is definitely a cheaper alternative, but to me, a few dollars, is worth a happy stomach, and less meat grease.
-Substitute the Brown Sugar for Honey. This is an easy switch that won’t have much of a different taste in this recipe. You could even take out the brown sugar completely without replacing it.
It is only a small amount of brown sugar (1 teaspoon), so it won’t make much of a difference. Honey is still a sweetener, but it is a little more natural, so I feel better about it. Again, the brown sugar is totally optional.
-Use brown rice instead of white. Brown rice is also a little more natural than white rice. It contains all parts of the grain, while white rice has no grain, fiber, or much nutritional value at all.
What to serve with Spanish Beef and Rice Bake:
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 20 Minute Skillet Refried Beans
- Easy Baked Taco Fries
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Easy Black Beans
- Copycat Chili’s Salsa
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Looking for more mexican inspired dishes?
Spanish Beef and Rice Bake Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef (can also use ground turkey)
- 1/2 onion minced
- 1 green bell pepper minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (14.5 ounces)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 can refried beans (15 ounce)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, lower heat to medium low heat. Stir in the onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, water, salsa, rice, chili sauce, salt, brown sugar, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
- Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Press down firmly into the pan, then spread refried beans on the top and sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and diced tomatoes.
- Large Skillet
- 9×13-inch Baking Pan
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