Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Super Fast Mexican Casserole (Naturally Gluten Free)

Yesterday at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, I was encouraged to ask my husband what I could do for him this week to demonstrate love and respect.  When I did his first reaction was to say "I don't know" but after further discussion he asked me if I would make him something Mexican for dinner one night..  Making something Mexican is no real sacrifice because I LOVE Mexican food so I was more than happy to oblige. 

I'm sure plenty of people have a recipe like this in their arsenal but this is my twist on it.  It's actually fairly healthy if you don't use too much cheese : ) and you serve it in lettuce wraps rather than tortillas.  It's also a naturally gluten free dish.  I was going for speed last night, I had an incredibly dirty kitchen (please don't judge me) and only half an hour of T.V. time left.  (I tend to be the television police in my house, the girls are very lucky if they watch much more than an hour a day.) Based on the random Mexican type things I had in my pantry I made this casserole, which I cooked in a foil lined pan so hopefully I don't let my dishes pile up quite so high this week.

All I did was start with a layer of cooked rice, then piled everything else on top.  I cooked it at 300 degrees for an hour and a half.  I tend to base my cooking times on when I get a chance to make dinner and when my husband is getting home.  I typically only have one shot in the kitchen while the girls are occupied sometimes two hours before my husband get's home sometimes half an hour sometimes 10 minutes.  Needless to say my food never cooks at the same temperature from one night to the next.

These were the layers I used, but feel free to omit or add anything you'd like I'm pretty convinced this is a fool proof recipe. I did season half way through, then I seasoned the top layer with pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic, paprika, and very light chili powder (I was hoping my toddler might try some ha ha ha...) Serve by itself, in lettuce wraps, corn tortillas wraps, wheat tortillas, (if you're not on the gluten free band wagon.) or over corn chips.

If you have a gluten intolerance double and triple check canned ingredients, sometimes companies will change their recipes and start adding wheat starch.  This is uncommon for the ingredients used in this recipe but it has been known to happen.
  • Cooked Rice (can be leftovers)
  • Can of Drained Tomatoes (I used no salt added)
  • Can of Corn ( I did not add any additional salt to my recipe because the corn had plenty)
  • Can of Drained and Rinsed Kidney Beans
  • Cook and Seasoned Ground Beef ( I purchased  Gluten Free ready made taco mix because with 2 little ones I know there are nights when this will make my life infinitely easier, I also generally keep freezer bags of browned ground beef around so I can make quick meals like this.)
  • Frozen Bagged Pepper and Onion Blend.  (This is my favorite Kroger brand discovery, it has red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, and onions.  I buy it when it's on sale for a $1 making it so much cheaper than it's fresh counter part! I use these veggies in a ton of different recipes especially because the prep work is already done)
  • Cheddar Cheese (Added during the last 10 minutes of cooking, feel free to add it sooner if you know you'll be busy towards the end of your cooking process but it does change the taste of the cheese when you do things this way.)
Making it Healthier (In general this is a very healthy dish, but here's some more ideas if you're trying to loose weight or watch your sodium intake)
  • Omit the beef for a vegetarian dish.
  • Make sure your canned food is "no salt added."
  • Serve in lettuce Wraps or Low fat No salt added Tortilla Chips
  • Warm corn tortillas in the microwave rather than frying.
  • Omit or use light cheese
Hope you enjoy, we sure did!


  1. This is a great quick and easy dish - so adaptable and it sounds delicious!

  2. New follower here! That looks FANTASTIC!! Thanks so much for posting the recipe :)



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