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.
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!
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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