Ground beef/turkey is one of those proteins that I can only think up so many main dish recipes for off the top of my head before I'm forced to be creative or end up in a slump of preparing it the same way all the time. You can only make meatloaf, tacos, and spaghetti so many times before it's time to start thinking outside of the box. That's how I came up with this Mexican casserole recipe – it's a great way to incorporate.
Since my husband is genetically plagued with high cholesterol, I try to swap out ground turkey for ground beef whenever possible. And honestly, most of the time I can't really tell a difference. If you use quick cooking brown rice, this recipe can also be prepared pretty quickly which makes it great for a last minute, weeknight meal.
My husband was skeptical about this recipe since it's quite a bit healthier than a lot of other Mexican dishes and doesn't have nearly as much cheese. But we were both pleasantly surprised at how delicious this turned out despite not adding any additional spices or seasonings and how filling it was.
- 1.25 pounds ground turkey
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can Rotel
- 2 cups brown rice cooked
- 1 can black olives sliced
- 2 tbsp. cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup reduced fat Colby Jack cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup reduced fat Colby Jack cheese shredded
- Optional: serve with low-fat sour cream and/or salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray/oil.
- Saute onions until browned, about 5 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for another minute. Add ground turkey to the onion/garlic mix and cook until meat is no longer pink.
- Combine turkey/garlic/onion mix, beans, Rotel, rice, olives, cilantro, and 1/4 cup of cheese together in prepared dish.
- Top with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven or until cheese is melted.
For more tasty food creations, check out my other quick and easy recipes.