Southwestern Casserole Recipe
Southwestern Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Southwestern Casserole Recipe

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I've been making this mild family-pleasing casserole for years. It tastes wonderful, fits nicely into our budget and, best of all, makes a second one to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + freezing
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + freezing
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or beef
    With Johnsonville Italian Sausage.

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  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 340 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 588 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 25 g protein.


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.
  2. Transfer to two greased 2-qt. baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through. Serve one casserole. Cool the second casserole; cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Cover and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Originally published as Southwestern Casserole in Quick Cooking September/October 2001, p58

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 340 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 588 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 25 g protein.

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Reviewed Nov. 23, 2014

"I can see why this is such a popular recipe. It makes quite a bit of food, is fairly inexpensive to make and the flavors can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Next time I make it I would add more cheese and amp up the spices, and we served with sour cream on the side. I would very much consider making this a go-to potluck dish, or one to bring as a meal gift for friends."

Reviewed Jul. 17, 2014

"Very good. Easy to make. I like that it makes two: one to serve immediate; one to freeze. I like serving this with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole."

Reviewed Oct. 1, 2013

"Very good. I might try different cheeses just to try different flavors but I thought it was good as is. I definitely would not add more cheese."

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2012

"Have made this for our family several times and they love it! With 5 growing boys we are always looking for inexpensive meals that fills their bellies. This does the trick!"

Reviewed Oct. 11, 2011

"Great inexpensive casserole. With our large family I just made this into 1 big casserole. Family really enjoyed it! Added a dab of sour cream and cilantro when serving. This and a green salad make a great easy dinner!"

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