Back to Southwestern Casserole

Print Options


Card Sizes

Southwestern Casserole Recipe

Southwestern Casserole Recipe

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 YIELD:12 servings


  • 2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 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


  • 1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in next eight ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 375°. Transfer macaroni mixture to two greased 2-qt. baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes longer. Serve one casserole. Cool the second; cover and freeze up to 3 months.
  • 3. To use frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°, 20-25 minutes. 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.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 321 calories, 15g fat (7g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 673mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein.

Reviews for Southwestern Casserole

Sort By :
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2015

"Easty, simple, quick and delicious! Nice heat and flavor. Makes wonderful leftovers."

Reviewed Nov. 3, 2015

"I love this recipe! Since my hubby had a heart attack I've been making food to freeze for lunch. Although the cheese doesn't make it all that healthy, I can control the amount of sodium and it's so much healthier than the fast food he was eating before. It's my go to recipe!"

Reviewed Sep. 23, 2015

"Very good! I did add some thawed out frozen corn and left out the jalapenos but that is the only change. I made it in my big roaster instead of two casserole dishes. This is a keeper. We had sour cream with it also! Thank you for sharing!"

Reviewed Aug. 17, 2015

"Easy to make and VERY tasty!! Even my picky husband ate it (But plucked out the beans like a little kid, Lol) !"

Reviewed Jul. 6, 2015

"Simple to make, hearty and delicious!! My family loved it!"

Reviewed Jun. 3, 2015

"delicious,have made several time s ,friends loved it, substituted chillies with chipolte peppers"

Reviewed May. 30, 2015

"I made this but did not add the beans. I also added a few more spices and more cheese. Substituted the chiles with bell pepper and added a tad of lItalian dressing too was an added gem.'easy and simple. My family loves it. No,leftovers here.."

Reviewed May. 18, 2015


Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Reviewed May. 9, 2015

"It seemed a little dry. If I make it again, I will add more liquid."

Reviewed Mar. 23, 2015

"Great casserole. Used black beans instead. Frozen one tasted great."

Reviewed Mar. 15, 2015

"It was good. Easy to make and something different than the usual stuff."

Reviewed Feb. 19, 2015

"This is a great dish for a potluck. I increased the spices a bit as we like a bit more heat in our food. This is a definite crowd pleaser."

Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015

"This is an excellent base but it's rather bland. I used mild chilis and doubled those and the beans. Then to give more flavor, added my own taco seasoning. We're a little sensitive to spicy so I omitted the jalape?os."

Reviewed Feb. 7, 2015

"This is a fantastic weeknight meal filled with protein and flavor! A busy mom's best friend for when everyone is hungry and there is little time!"

Reviewed Dec. 9, 2014

"It was easy to make and my family loved it!!"

Reviewed Nov. 30, 2014

"Very easy!"

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!"

Reviewed Oct. 7, 2011

"I added a can of green bean and Mexicali corn. Next time I will double the chili powder and cummin. Love that you can freeze the second casserole."

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2011

"The only thing I did different was substitute Ro-Tel for the diced tomatoes and the green chilies. The only thing I'll do differently next time is add a little more cheese."

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2009

"quick and easy, flavor is great, we used pepper jack cheese"

Reviewed Nov. 7, 2009

"This was a wonderful casserole! I would surely make it again. I didn't freeze half but served all of it. It was great leftover. I love the cheesy topping. Very good."

Loading Image