Healthy Taco Casserole

This healthy taco casserole is made with all of your favorite Tex-Mex ingredients in a lightened-up way that will leave you satisfied without weighing you down.

healthy taco casserole

This taco casserole is perfect when you’re craving taco flavors but you want something light and filling. Plus, it makes a big pan, so it is great for leftovers.  It reheats well, so it’s great for packed lunches!

Once you try this recipe, if you are still craving some Mexican, be sure to check out my salsa chicken tacos with avocado cream or my loaded plant based nachos with vegan queso, and then pair them all with a watermelon margarita

Healthy Taco Casserole Ingredients:

  • Refried beans – this is our first layer.  You can buy canned refried beans or make your own out of pinto beans and spices!
  • Plain greek yogurt – this gives us a little tang.  You can also use light sour cream instead, or a dairy-free yogurt.
  • Chunky salsa – grab your favorite salsa to make sure you love this layer!
  • Ground turkey – I use 99% fat-free lean ground turkey, but you can use any kind you like, you could even use ground beef if you prefer.
  • Taco seasoning – we cook the turkey with some taco seasoning to flavor it up
  • Onion – this will also be cooked in with the turkey.
  • Cheese – I like using a Mexican blend but you can use any type you prefer, and you can also use vegan cheese for a dairy-free option
  • Tomatoes – one Roma tomato is all you need for this recipe!
  • Olives – I buy canned olives pre-sliced, but if you want to slice your own, feel free!
  • Tortilla chips – I like using baked tortilla chips, but any will do!
  • Lettuce & cilantro – for a nice refreshing crunch and some good flavor on top, some shredded lettuce and fresh cilantro finish off our casserole.

And that is it!  You can also buy tortillas if you want to make this into tacos, or even put the tortillas down as the first layer if you want a hearty base.

How to Make Taco Casserole

Tips for the Best Healthy Taco Casserole

This is almost like making a 7 layer dip, except it is more dinner-style. You can buy refried beans already made in a can, just check the ingredients and avoid beans made with lard.  If you want to, you can also make your own by just pureeing a can of pinto beans!

Next is your greek yogurt.  You can use greek yogurt or light sour cream.  I like plain greek yogurt because it is higher in protein and lower in fat – but it does harden just slightly when you cook it.  It still tastes amazing, and you don’t even notice it, but if you are insistent on it staying nice and creamy, go for the sour cream.

Then I added a bit of salsa for extra flavor!  Don’t do a pico de gallo, you want some “sauciness” to it- but I like to get chunky salsa!

Then add your turkey! I like using 99% lean turkey since you aren’t making it into burgers.  But that is your call!

Then it is the cheese – the best part!  You can add as much or as little as you want.  You can even use vegan cheese if you want! Totally up to you.  I like a Mexican blend best, but cheddar will also work.

Then after you bake, you add your other toppings – I used lettuce, olives, tomatoes, and some crunchy tortilla strips.  The crunch is great.  You can also kind of eat it as a dip and scoop it with chips instead of putting them on top.  It is great both ways!

Lastly- be sure to cook it in a big dish that you can cover.  I used my 4 quart Le Creuset, but a 9×13 dish would work well too! 

healthy taco casserole

How to Reheat Leftovers

I recommend reheating individual portions as needed. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute increments until heated through. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

What to Serve with Taco Casserole

This is a great one-dish meal that has all the taco fixings! But you could serve this with tortillas if you want to turn this recipe into tacos or you can serve it with chips as a dip. You could also pair it with rice such as cilantro lime rice, if you want to make this recipe more filling.

In addition to the listed ingredients, you will need:

  • a large dish
  • a pan to cook turkey
  • a spatula
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Healthy Taco Casserole


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9×13 pan 1x
  • Diet: Low Fat

Description

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Option

Tex-mex flavor without the tex-mex guilt! This ACTUALLY healthy taco casserole is made with all of your favorite Mexican ingredients in a lightened-up way that will leave you satisfied without weighing you down.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 yellow onion – diced
  • 1 (16oz) can refried beans
    • OR make your own with 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
    • OR light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chunky medium salsa
  • 23 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1.5-2 cups Mexican blend cheese
    • OR any cheese you prefer 
    • OR any vegan cheese substitute!
  • 1 Roma tomato – diced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced olives
  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup tortilla chips (plus more for serving, if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cook the turkey and onion on the stove over medium heat until no pink remains in the turkey and the onion is soft.  Add in the taco seasoning and a little water to mix if necessary.
  3. In your baking dish (I used my rectangular 4 quart  Le Creuset but you can also use a 9×13 dish) spread your refried beans evenly as your first layer.
  4. Then top with a layer of greek yogurt (or sour cream), and then the chunky salsa.
  5. Add your turkey/onion mixture on top of that, and then sprinkle on the cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes, olives, and tortilla chips and then bake for 8 more minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, add lettuce, and serve!

Notes

You can also make this ahead of time by doing steps 1-4, letting your turkey cool and adding it in the pot, and then refrigerate until you are ready to go.

Dairy Free Option – use a non dairy plain yogurt or sour cream and a non dairy cheese! lots of great brands out there 🙂

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Category: Taco
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup

↓PIN ME FOR LATER↓

healthy taco casserole

12 Comments

  1. It was easy to follow your step-by-step instructions with images. I enjoyed the process.






  2. I made this on the weekend to take to a superbowl party. Everyone really enjoyed it, so I know I will be making this one again.






  3. What a great recipe! Cooked this for dinner and even my toddler grandson loved it! Our new Taco Tuesday Go To recipe for sure!






  4. Ground turkey is my favorite so I loved this healthy casserole! So good.






  5. This was sooo good! We used sour cream and some extra refried beans. Served to some friends we had over this past weekend and everyone loved it.






  6. It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.






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