Tex-Mex Casserole starts with budget-friendly ground beef and is loaded with a mixture of vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini. Shredded, seasoned sweet potatoes top this off, making one of the healthiest casseroles you’ll find on the internet!
This was a top recipe on my former blog, Popular Paleo, for several reasons. You guys loved how many vegetables were combined into a single dish without tasting like… well, a hot salad. You loved that it was a budget-friendly way to feed a lot of people. And you loved the leftovers it made!
Between you and me, I’m pretty sure that was my favorite part too. Warmed up Tex-Mex Casserole topped with fresh avocado, chopped cilantro, and sliced scallions and finished with a runny fried egg on top is beyond good.
Here’s why you’ll like this recipe.
It sounds like a lot of us are looking for new ways to increase our vegetable intake outside of making yet another salad. Tex-Mex Casserole is nutrient-dense, affordable, and has the ability to stay squeaky clean Paleo (it’s a lifesaver on a Whole30!) yet can be modified easily to meet your personal needs and preferences.
- Don’t want to fuss with shredding all those sweet potatoes? Try topping it with Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash instead.
- Add cheese and sour cream and serve with tortilla chips, if your priority is just to stay gluten-free.
- No dietary restrictions at all and are just looking for something in the clean-eating realm? This is awesome served burrito bowl style, spooned over your favorite recipe for Spanish Rice.
- Wanna go nuts? Skip the sweet potatoes and opt for a layer of mixed shredded cheeses and crushed tortilla chips as a casserole topping instead.
You’ll love making Tex-Mex Casserole because it has a very healthy foundation and can be adapted for most diets… or no diet at all.
So how’d it go?
I’d love to hear how you made this recipe! Did you stick to the original recipe or do any modifications? Are you following a Paleo approach to your diet or just looking for recipes on the healthier side to weave into your meal plan? Comment below and let’s swap ideas!
For the Casserole
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 medium-sized carrots diced
- 1 yellow onion medium
- 1 zucchini about 6 inches, diced
- 2 cups bell peppers red or orange, diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 1 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
Sweet Potato Topping
- 3 sweet potatoes (yams) large
- ½ cup coconut oil (solid, not melted)
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- fresh cilantro chopped
- green onion thinly sliced
- avocado sliced
- hot sauce to taste
Start the Casserole Base
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (195°C)
- In a very large skillet or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, warm the avocado oil. Add the spinach, carrots, onions, zucchini, bell peppers, and garlic. Season with sea salt, stir and cook until the vegetables are just about fork-tender–about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside for later.
- In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and warm. Crumble ground beef into the pan, top with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning, and stir to combine. Cook until the beef browns, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Prep the Sweet Potato Topping
- While the ground beef browns, grate enough sweet potatoes or yams to yield 5 cups into a large mixing bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil and pour over the shredded sweet potatoes while it's still warm. Toss immediately since the coconut oil will start to solidify again as it cools. Once coated, mix in the onion powder, chili powder, and coriander.
Complete the Recipe
- Add the cooked vegetables plus the diced tomatoes to the ground beef. Mix carefully to combine and simmer for just 3 more minutes to help flavors meld.
- Transfer everything in the pan to a large casserole dish (I use 13-inch by 9-inch). Top with the seasoned sweet potatoes, and cover with foil.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Then remove the foil and broil on the lowest setting available for about 5 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have browned and crisped up a bit; eyeball it.
- To serve, top with fresh cilantro and sliced green onions. Maybe have some avocado slices and hot sauces available on the side as well.