Mexican Beef and Bean Casserole

This was our Cinco de Mayo dish…we didn’t actually get too festive though because I completely messed up our dinner schedule by thinking our 6:30 baseball game was at 5:00. Oh well…it was still a tasty dish.

1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) pinto beans
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup mild chunky-style salsa
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
Sour cream and salsa, garnish
Rice or tortillas

Heat the oven to 375°.

Cook the beef in the skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain.

Rinse and drain the beans in a strainer. Mix the beef, beans, tomato sauce, salsa and chili powder in the ungreased baking pan.

Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake 40 to 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until hot and bubbly. Carefully remove the lid, and sprinkle cheese over the top. Continue baking uncovered about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

The boys had this on tortillas. I melted a little cheese on the tortilla like a quesadilla and then added the beans and meat. You could also serve this over rice with a little salsa and sour cream and that would be good, too.

Did I change anything? I baked it just as the recipe says to, but I think you could totally skip that part and save yourself about 40 minutes. Just put everything in the skillet and heat it up that way. Just put the cheese on at the end in the skillet…it will still melt, but you don’t have to wait for it to bake in the oven.

What did the family think? Well, we didn’t get to all eat together (which is VERY rare in our house) because I messed up the baseball game time. 3/4 of us still ate what I made for dinner and everybody ate it…even our youngest. He picked out the beans, but he still ate it without any fuss.

from Betty Crocker

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