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Edenville. Burrito Casserole.

$8.10 recipe / $1.35 serving

I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing when I make a recipe that is so good that I want to keep eating past the point of full. On one hand, if it’s that good I can eat the leftovers for days in a row without ever getting tired of it. On the other hand it’s SO hard not to go back for seconds or thirds when I know I don’t need them. What a problem to have, right? 😉 Well, this Beef Burrito Casserole is definitely one of those recipes. So simple, yet startlingly good.

This casserole is another version of my favorite combo: beans, rice, salsa, and cheese. What makes it a little extraordinary is the secret layer of cream cheese in the middle. I didn’t use a lot, but just a few dollops give every couple of bites an extra tangy and creamy flavor. Best idea EVER.

beef-burrito-casserole

As per my style, I made my Beef Burrito Casserole very basic, but there are tons of options for customization or upgrades. Just think about the toppings bar at Chipotle or your favorite burrito place. Anything you like in your burrito or on your nachos can be incorporated into this casserole. You can use any type of cooked meat you have on hand (rotisserie chicken, pulled pork) or even go meatless. You can add in corn kernels, jalapeños, a drizzle of taco sauce, black olives, or maybe some hatch chiles. I happened to have some guacamole in my fridge today, so I added a dollop to my leftovers and almost died and went to heaven. Sour cream, crushed tortilla strips, or even some shredded ice berg wouldn’t even be a bad idea (okay fine, they’d be a GREAT idea).

It’s excellent as written below, but have a little fun with it! The leftovers reheat well, so you can eat well all week. And, if for some reason you don’t devour it all within a few days, you can freeze a couple portions for later. 😉

INGREDIENTS
    • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
    • ½ lb. ground beef $1.99
    • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
    • Pinch of salt $0.02
    • 4 cups cooked rice* $0.75
    • 15oz. can black beans $0.89
    • 16oz. jar salsa $1.00
    • 4 green onions, divided $0.44
    • ½ Tbsp chili powder $0.15
    • 4oz. cream cheese $1.00
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar** $0.75

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INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the cooking oil, beef, garlic, and a pinch of salt to a skillet. Cook the beef over medium heat until fully browned. Drain the excess fat, if necessary.
  2. Rinse and drain the canned beans in a colander. Slice the green onions. Add the beans, half of the green onions, cooked rice, browned beef, salsa, and chili powder to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Coat a 3 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread half of the rice and beef mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish. Add small dollops of the cream cheese evenly across the surface, then cover with the remaining rice and beef mixture.
  4. Cover the dish with foil to prevent the rice from drying out while baking, and bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven. After 25 minutes, remove the foil and top with the shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Top with the remaining sliced green onions just before serving.
NOTES
*This is a great use for leftover cooked rice. Chilling the cooked rice before using it in the casserole helps keep it from becoming sticky or gummy while incorporating it in with the other ingredients.

**When the bags of shredded cheese go on sale at the store, I stock up and toss them in the freezer until I’m ready to use them!

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