What’s for Dinner Wednesday: John Wayne Casserole

22 May
This was a great Mexican dish that we were able to make using many nonfat ingredients.

This was a great Mexican dish that we were able to make using many nonfat ingredients.

My family enjoys eating Mexican foods. I make a good Taco Bake, we eat quesadillas, tacos and a yummy nacho bake. We’ve had to tone down our menu to make it more fat-free or at least low fat, but it’s easy to do with most of those items by changing just a few key ingredients.

Today’s recipe is one that was sent to me by my father-in-law a couple of weeks back. The title of the email said, “Looks good.”  And indeed, it did look good.

I was able to use the recipe by making the following substitutions:

Ground turkey instead of ground beef

Nonfat sour cream instead of regular

Nonfat cheddar cheese instead of regular

Light mayo made with olive oil instead of regular

I also had to cheat a bit and use salsa instead of the fresh onion, tomato and pepper, because I thought I had a pepper here and when it came time to make dinner, I did not.  If I make this again I’d do the fresh veggies instead, but the salsa did work fine.

Of all people, Alexandra was the kid who loved this the most. She’s by far the pickiest eater. Caroline liked all but the top and Liz liked it well enough. Don and I loved it. I even ate it leftover and it was just as good.

It did make a lot, and I think the next time I’d cut it in half, and use an 11×7 dish rather than a 9×13 dish.

Don even said he’d throw the corn right in the layer with the meat. It was definitely a hearty dish and a tasty one! If your family enjoys Mexican meals too, I’d recommend this!

The recipe as my father-in-law sent it, is below.



2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained
1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco seasoning
4 ounces sour cream
4 ounces mayonnaise
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cups biscuit mix
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 (4-ounce) can sliced jalapeno peppers


1. Heat oven to 325. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and water, according to packet instructions; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, and half of the onions; set aside.

3. Stir biscuit mix and water (directions on box) **our box said to use milk so I did and it was skim**to form soft dough. Pat dough on the bottom and one-half-inch up the sides of an 9 x 13 in. greased casserole dish.

4. Saute remaining onions and bell peppers until slightly tender.

5. On top of biscuit mix, evenly distribute ingredients in the following order: ground beef, tomato slices, green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and end with remaining shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until edges of dough are lightly browned.

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