Refried Bean Casserole

This is one of my husband's favorite meals from childhood. I got the recipe from his mom when we were dating, and first made it in his college apartment kitchen. Since then, it has made a regular appearance at our table. One caveat: it doesn't re-heat very well, so cutting it in half to minimize leftovers is what we try to do. A half-recipe yields 2-3 servings, a full recipe feed about 6.

The story: Last night I was going to make a half-recipe of this dish, and proceeded to brown a whole pound of meat, with the expectation I would freeze half of it, having a handy taco meal later on. We got a call just as I started this from 3 friends wanting to hang out. Because I had everything on hand, I decided to make the full recipe & feed everyone.
(Warning: I'm writing this from memory, rather than actually having the recipe in front of me)
Refried Bean Casserole

Tortilla chips
1 lb ground meat (beef is traditional. I used ground turkey)
taco seasoning(I used a packet, though next time I want to try this recipe.)
14 oz (or 2 8-oz cans) tomato sauce
1 can refried beans
1 C shredded cheddar cheese

- Preheat oven to 350
- Brown ground meat. Mix with taco seasoning & 3/4 the tomato sauce.
- Cover the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish with chips.
- Layer the meat mixture on top of the chips.
- Spread the refried beans on top of the meat mixture.
- Spread the rest of the tomato sauce on top of the beans.
- Bake 20-25 minutes.
- Top with chips & more cheese, and put back in the oven to melt the cheese (just a few minutes)

Cost breakdown:

ground turkey: about 90 cents
taco seasoning: about 30 cents
tomato sauce: about 80 cents
tortilla chips: $1 per bag- I didn't use an entire bag.
refried beans: about 50 cents
cheese: about 70 cents

Total: about $4.20
Per serving (6 servings): 70 cents


Cutting the recipe in half is easy, except for using half of a can of refried beans. I will save the other half of the can, and have bean-and-cheese rollups or quesadillas for lunches.


Larissa said...

I'm guessing that the reason it doesn't reheat well is because of the chips. What if you left out the chips to make a sort of dip you can scoop with the chips? Or maybe you could bake half the way you are supposed to and use the other half (and therefore the rest of the beans) to make it as a dip.

Joanna said...

Basically, yes- the chips on the bottom get soggy & rubbery. The rest of the casserole reheats fine.

tegdirb92 said...

My family loves mexican food. thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

Stephanie said...

This sounds like a recipe we would go for too! We would need the full size version! :)

gail said...

i just found your blog from stop the ride! i made this recipe for the first time last nite and it was a huge success. it was called the lazy mexcian casserole in the cookbook i got it out of. and you're so right, its a total keeper.

where do you live that you can get ground turkey so cheap??? i want to move to where you live.


Joanna said...

Gail- At my Aldi (In Indianapolis, Indiana), the ground turkey comes in frozen 1 lb tubes for 89 cents, so it's not "fresh from the deli" or anything, but it works well!