Recipe: Touchdown Taco Casserole

Recipe: Touchdown Taco Casserole

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Casey Barber
Jan 30, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

When it comes to Super Bowl snacks, you've got a great excuse to bring in the big guns — and by big guns, I mean all the processed cheese you're too ashamed to eat any other time of year. This taco casserole takes your typical bubbly oven dish one step further with the addition of cheddar cheese soup. Oh yes, I went there.

Like a running back who also happens to have a killer passing game, this cheesy rice and beef dish straddles the line between dip and casserole. It's scoopable with a fork or spoon, should you want to pretend it's an entrée, or scoopable with an edible vessel of the tortilla or corn chip persuasion, should you want it to be a finger-food appetizer.

You can even go ahead and make it up to two days in advance of your party and then just throw it right back in the oven before everyone settles in on the couch. What a party MVP.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Touchdown Taco Casserole

Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups water
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (10-ounce) can RO-TEL diced tomatoes with green chiles, or diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
Scoopable corn chips or tortilla chips (such as Fritos or Tostitos Scoops), for serving

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Meanwhile, cook the rice.

Cook the rice in the water on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir the cheese soup into the rice until completely incorporated. Transfer the mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread into an even layer, and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned and cooked through, breaking it into small chunks as it cooks.

Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne if using. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices and beans and cook until the beans have absorbed some of the spice and juices, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the beef mixture over the rice and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve with corn chips or tortilla chips for scooping.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The casserole can be made up to 2 days in advance; cover tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator, then reheat the covered dish in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes until warmed through.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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