A Make-Ahead Burrito Casserole to Freeze for the Holiday Rush

published Dec 8, 2021
Eat
Burrito Casserole Recipe

This super-cheesy casserole is the ultimate make-ahead meal.

Serves6

Prep15 minutes

Cook38 minutes to 42 minutes

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a burrito casserole with tomatoes, sliced avocado, jalepeno and sour cream on top.
Credit: Lauren Miyashiro

Flip the script for taco night and make this cheesy burrito-inspired dinner! Ground beef, cheese, beans, and tortillas are layered to give you all the Tex-Mex vibes in one hearty, lasagna-like casserole. Bonus: It makes amazing leftovers.

There are no rules when it comes to a burrito casserole, so feel free to switch things up according to preference. Ground chicken can be substituted for ground beef. Or make it vegetarian by omitting the beef and adding chopped tomatoes, corn, more beans, and peppers. For another pop of spice, use shredded pepper Jack in place of the Mexican cheese blend.

Can I Make Burrito Casserole Ahead of Time?

To make this ahead of time, fully assemble the casserole, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  Bake according to instructions. Because it will be cold, additional oven time may be needed. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

How to Freeze Burrito Casserole

To freeze this casserole, store it (baked or unbaked) in a freezer-safe dish. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for up to three months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or let sit at room temperature for two hours before baking according to recipe instructions if the casserole is unbaked. If the casserole is already baked, throw it in the oven until it’s warmed through.

Credit: Lauren Miyashiro

Burrito Casserole Recipe

This super-cheesy casserole is the ultimate make-ahead meal.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 38 minutes to 42 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium red onion

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper

  • 1

    medium jalapeño, or 1 (4-ounce) can drained diced green chiles

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 8

    (about 6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

  • 1 pound

    lean ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can

    black or pinto beans

  • 1 tablespoon

    taco seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 (8-ounce) can

    tomato sauce

  • 12 ounces

    shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 3 cups)

Serving options:

  • Chopped tomato

  • Fresh cilantro leaves

  • Sliced avocado

  • Pickled jalapeño slices

  • Sour cream

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375℉.

  2. Dice 1 medium red onion. Core, seed, and dice 1 medium red bell pepper and 1 jalapeño if using. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Cut 8 (6-inch) tortillas in half.

  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound lean ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate, then pour off any fat from the skillet.

  4. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño or 4 ounces drained diced green chiles, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and rinse 1 can black or pinto beans.

  5. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  6. Spread 1 tablespoon tomato sauce from an 8-ounce can in the bottom of an 8x8-inch or other 2-quart baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce into the ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season with kosher salt and more cumin as needed.

  7. Arrange 5 tortilla halves in a single layer in the baking dish, overlapping them as needed. Spread half of the ground beef mixture over the tortillas, then top with half of the beans and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded Mexican cheese blend. Repeat layering 5 more tortilla halves, the remaining meat mixture, the remaining beans, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining tortilla halves and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese.

  8. Cover the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Cheesy Beef Burrito Casserole