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Whether you plan to host friends for dinner or need to feed your family on busy weeknights, using your Crock Pot is the way to go. This Mexican casserole with ground beef is one of my favorite slow cooker meals to serve my kids, and I know you’ll love it, too. 

This Mexican casserole dish has simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand, and the directions couldn’t be simpler to follow.

layers of slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef topped with sour cream, fresh jalapeno and cilantro in a crockpot ready to serve

It’s a fabulous main meal that you can serve with rice or corn chips as an ultra-easy side, or you can dress it up with your favorite toppings (which is really the best part). It’s savory and flavorful, and there are so many ways to make it your own. I love serving it for Taco Tuesday, and it has quickly become a family favorite. 

Mexican Casserole For A Crowd

If you’re looking for an easy menu idea for hosting guests at your next Mexican Dinner Party – this recipe is perfect. It’s a crowd-pleasing meal that can economically feed a lot of people. Best part is, Slow cooker recipes are amazing for having company since they keep you out of the kitchen and be with the people you love.

I’m a fan of having dinner ready ahead of time when I have guests over, and the slow cooker keeps everything hot until we’re ready to eat. There’s no agenda or pressure to serve the meal at a certain time, and it also cuts down on dishes. 

Love Mexican Food? Be sure to try some of my reader’s favorites. Tex-Mex Chicken Taco Soup Recipe, Mexican Vegan Tomato Soup, Pollo , Mexican Brown Rice Salad Verde in the Crock Pot, Easy Mexican Appetizers, or 50 Mexican Party Theme Ideas and Recipes.

Easy Mexican Casserole Recipe 

What I Love About Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole 

  • Simple Cooking Method: The Crock Pot is easily one of my favorite kitchen appliances – I really think everyone who loves hosting should have one! More visiting and less time in the kitchen? Yes, please! A good slow cooker makes getting dinner on the table super simple, and it’s so great for beginners.
  • Quick Prep Time: This easy recipe comes together super fast. It takes just about 15 minutes to prepare and 4 hours in the Crock Pot. If I know I’m going to have a busy day or if I just need to plan ahead for guests, this dish is one I reach for often. I usually have most of the ingredients in my pantry, and I know exactly how long I need to make it, so it’s perfect for when my day is full. 
  • Great For Crowds: Crockpot Mexican casserole is a flavorful and perfect meal for hosting new friends or a group from church. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like tacos, and this casserole is always a hit. When I’m hosting, I always make sure to have a few different side dishes as well so that there’s something everybody likes on the table. 
  • Inexpensive Kitchen Appliance: A good slow cooker can last a lifetime in your kitchen. My Crock Pot guide can help you learn how to use it properly to keep it alive for many years of casseroles, appetizers, and tons of other Crock Pot recipes

Mexican Casserole Ingredients

To make this savory Mexican casserole recipe, you’ll need a few basic ingredents that are easy to keep on hand.

ingredients for layers of slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef
  • Ground Beef – For almost all of my recipes, I use 80/20 ground beef. I think it has the best flavor without being too fatty. 
  • Rotel tomatoes and green chilies – Using different flavors of Rotel is a great way to change up the casserole. Rotel is a combination of chopped tomatoes and chile peppers. It comes in a mild version if you don’t like spice, but it also comes in an extra-spicy variety if you want to turn up the heat. 
  • Taco seasoning – You will need 2 packets of taco seasoning, and you can use any brand. Sometimes I use the packets, but I often reach for my homemade taco seasoning instead. 
  • Canned beans – For this recipe, I like to use pinto and black beans. Any brand is fine, but make sure you drain the liquid from them and rinse them well before you add them to the casserole – that liquid can be very salty. 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – I like to buy shredded cheese at the store. It makes the recipe come together super quickly and saves me a step. For this recipe, I use my favorite melting cheese, Queso Quesadilla Cheese.

What is Queso Quesadilla?

queso quesadilla cheese and bag
  • What is it? Queso quesadilla, also known simply as quesadilla cheese, is a type of cheese commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It’s commonly used for making quesadillas, but has other applications as well. It is a mild melting cheese that becomes dreamily smooth and creamy when heated. Queso quesadilla cheese provides the most incredibly gooey, stretchy texture when melted, so it’s especially ideal for using in soups.
  • How is it made? This cheese is often made from cow’s milk and has a pale yellow or white color. It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and complements a variety of fillings in quesadillas and other Mexican dishes. Queso quesadilla cheese can also be used in enchiladas, fajitas, and tacos, and for an extra treat, melt it over nachos.
  • What if I can’t find it? In recipes, you might see it referred to as “queso quesadilla” or simply as “quesadilla cheese.” If you can’t find it or want something simpler from your grocery store’s dairy aisle, try using Oaxaca or Asadero cheese, or stick to the basics like Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend. 

How to Make Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef  Step-By-Step

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned.
  2. Use a wooden spoon or meat chopper like mine to break up the beef into small crumbles as it cooks. Turn off the heat and tip the pan so the grease drains to one side. Use a large spoon to remove it, or pour it out and use the spoon to keep the meat in the pan.
cooked ground beef in black skillet with fat drained to side
  1. Next, use a few pieces of paper towel to absorb any excess fat. 
cooked ground beef in skillet with paper towels sopping up grease
  1. Return the pan to the heat. Add in the diced onion, green bell peppers, and minced garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is translucent.
cooked ground beef with garlic, onions and peppers on top in a skillet on the stove top
  1. Then, stir in taco seasoning and the beef broth. 
slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef cooked with veggies and seasoning on top
  1. Next, add the can of Rotel, corn, black beans, pinto beans, and red enchilada sauce and stir to combine.
slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef in black skillet with corn, black beans and tomatoes being stired in.
  1. Lightly grease the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or an oiled paper towel to prevent sticking. If you prefer, you can use a slow cooker liner.

Tip: I found it was easier to use my round slow cooker. The tortilla shells fit perfectly. However, if you only have an oval crockpot, don’t worry. Allow the tortilla shells to overlap each other a bit.

coconut oil spray being sprayed into a slow cooker liner crock
  1. Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with 2 flour tortillas, ensuring they cover the entire surface (it’s fine if they overlap). Spread about a few spoons full of the beef mixture evenly over the tortillas.
slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef being spooned into a slow cooker
  1. Next, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the meat mixture.
slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef being layered into a round slow cooker
  1. Repeat the layering process. You should end up with about 5 layers. Do not put cheese on the top layer. We will do this in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef ready to to cook in a round slow cooker
  1. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and set it to cook on low heat for 4 hours before serving. I suggest you do not cook on high heat. The lower heat is better for melting and softening the tortilla shells.
  2. During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, remove the lid and sprinkle some of the cheese on top. Replace the lid and finish cooking.
  3. To serve, you can add toppings to your slow cooker and let your guests serve themselves. Or you can dish it out onto a serving platter or individual plates.
layers of slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef topped with sour cream, fresh jalapeno and cilantro on a plate

Mexican Casserole Topping Ideas

There are lots of taco toppings that would be great on top of the casserole. To serve, place them in small bowls on your table and encourage everyone to help themselves.

  • Shredded lettuce 
  • Sour cream 
  • Cilantro 
  • Slice green onions
  • Salsa 
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sliced radishes
  • Hot sauce 
  • Oven Roasted Jalapenos, fresh chopped jalapenos, or Cowboy Candy (pickled jalapenos)
  • Tortilla chips

Variations When Making This Mexican Casserole Recipe

This is an easy recipe to make it fit your family’s own taste preferences.

  • Meat: You can substitute the ground beef with ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer. You’ll want to brown it in a little bit of olive oil since it’s much leaner than ground beef. 
  • Cheese: Queso quesadilla is my preference for cheese in this casserole. However, you can use a variety of shredded cheese, such as Monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, or a Mexican cheese blend if you prefer. 

Smart Shortcuts

If you have a busy day, this slow cooker casserole can be made ahead the day before and then cooked a few hours before you need to serve it. Cook and assemble the crock pot Mexican casserole. Store it in your refrigerator until you are ready to start cooking it.

You can save yourself some time and a few dirty dishes by purchasing pre-chopped onion and green pepper from the produce or freezer section at the grocery store. 

How to Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
  • Freeze: You can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to two months. 
  • How to reheat: I like to reheat this casserole in the microwave. If the casserole is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave defrost setting before you heat it on full power. You can also heat the casserole in the oven at 350°F until it’s hot all the way through. Top with shredded cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking.
  • How to use up leftovers: You can enjoy the casserole as it is, or you can serve it on top of french fries or Fritos. It also is great with tortilla chips as a dip.

Make It A Meal

While this dish is perfectly delightful on its own, here are a few simple side dishes you can add to the meal to spice it up.

Serve a side of Mexican Coleslaw for a fresh, crunchy side salad. Add pinto beans and rice, and of course, you can’t have a Mexican dinner party without chips and salsa.

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layers of slow cooker mexican casserole ground beef topped with sour cream, fresh jalapeno and cilantro on a plate
5 from 1 rating

Layered Cheesy Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef

Prep Time: 15 minutes
4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Layered Cheesy Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef is a delicious crockpot taco casserole made with taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, ground beef, and black beans, all layered in gooey cheese. It's an easy-to-make tortilla casserole recipe that is budget-friendly and always a big crowd-pleaser.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

hand showing you to tap on the ingredient to add to your walmart and target list.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds ground beef, 80/20
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced (white or yellow)
  • ½ cup bell pepper, diced (green)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, Make my homemade taco seasoning or store-bought packets of taco seasoning equaling 2 tablespoons.
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 20 ounces tomatoes and green chilies, Two 10 oz cans, mild or spicy
  • 15 ounces corn, can, whole kernel, drained
  • 15 ounces black beans, can, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces pinto beans, can, rinsed and drained
  • 28 ounces red enchilada sauce, can
  • 10 flour tortillas , medium-sized
  • 16 ounces Queso Quesadilla, shredded

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned.
    2 pounds ground beef
  • Use a wooden spoon or meat chopper like mine to break up the beef into small crumbles as it cooks. Turn off the heat and tip the pan so the grease drains to one side. Use a large spoon to remove it, or pour it out and use the spoon to keep the meat in the pan.
  • Next, use a few pieces of paper towel to absorb any excess fat.
  • Return the pan to the heat. Add in the diced onion, green bell peppers, and minced garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is translucent.
    1/2 cup onion, ½ cup bell pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic
  • Then, stir in taco seasoning and the beef broth.
    2 tablespoons taco seasoning, 2 cups beef broth
  • Next, add the can of Rotel, corn, black beans, pinto beans, and red enchilada sauce and stir to combine.
    20 ounces tomatoes and green chilies, 15 ounces corn, 15 ounces black beans, 15 ounces pinto beans, 28 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • Lightly grease the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or an oiled paper towel to prevent sticking. If you prefer, you can use a slow cooker liner.
  • Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with 2 flour tortillas, ensuring they cover the entire surface (it’s fine if they overlap). Spread about a few spoons full of the beef mixture evenly over the tortillas.
    10 flour tortillas, 16 ounces Queso Quesadilla
  • Next, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the meat mixture.
  • Repeat the layering process. You should end up with about 5 layers. Do not put cheese on the top layer. We will do this in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
  • Cover the slow cooker with the lid and set it to cook on low heat for 4 hours before serving. I suggest you do not cook on high heat. The lower heat is better for melting and softening the tortilla shells.
  • During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, remove the lid and sprinkle some of the cheese on top. Repace the lid and finish cooking.
  • To serve, you can add toppings to your slow cooker and let your guests serve themselves. Or you can dish it out onto a serving platter or individual plates.

Notes

Tip: I found it was easier to use my round slow cooker. The tortilla shells fit perfectly. However, if you only have an oval crockpot, don’t worry. Allow the tortilla shells to overlap each other a bit.
This is an easy recipe to make it fit your family’s own taste preferences.
  • Meat: You can substitute the ground beef with ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer. You’ll want to brown it in a little bit of olive oil since it’s much leaner than ground beef. 
  • Cheese: Queso quesadilla is my preference for cheese in this casserole. However, you can use a variety of shredded cheese, such as Monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, or a Mexican cheese blend if you prefer. 
Serving: 1person, Calories: 847kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 51g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 1779mg, Potassium: 1092mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 1238IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 550mg, Iron: 8mg
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Main Dish
Author: Gina Dickson

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