I am always looking for new ways to use ground beef for dinner. I love this Beefy Taco Casserole and I will be making it often in the months to come. The hardest thing is waiting with the amazing aromas coming from the kitchen!
The filling is as easy as making ground beef tacos just adding a couple extra ingredients to boost the flavors. I added cumin and a touch of chipotle powder – just enough to give it a touch of smokiness that I love with a little heat. Feel free to leave it out if you prefer.
If possible, use 90/10 burger for this recipe. That means it is a blend of 90% beef and 10% fat. The standard blend you find in stores is 80/20 giving off a lot more fat that has to be drained. If you use 90/10 it will make it much easier to remove the smaller amount of fat from the meat.
Most commercial taco seasoning blends contain gluten, so be very careful in your selection. If you want, you can make your own homemade taco seasoning blend which gives you complete control of the flavor profile, guaranteeing the blend is gluten-free, and is economical. Here is a recipe from the wonderful Samantha at Five Heart Home for you to use if you like.
The topping is a gluten-free version of a slightly sweetened cornbread that balances the spices and herbs in the savory filling. Similar to the topping of a tamale pie, it is the perfect counterpoint to the taco-seasoned filling.
This dish comes together really quickly once you start, so be sure you have all the ingredients assembled and prepped in advance.
The next time you are staring at a package of ground beef with no new ideas of what to make with it, I hope you give this Beefy Taco Casserole a try. It is wonderfully easy, comforting, filling, and kid friendly. The perfect meal for any day of the week!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Gluten Free Beefy Taco Casserole:
- Taco seasoning mix, cumin, cayenne
- Ground beef, onion, bell pepper, water, corn
- Cornmeal, GF flour, sugar, baking powder
- Baking soda, salt, buttermilk, butter, eggs
Most homemade taco seasoning blends do not contain cornstarch which helps the sauce cling to the meat. If your blend doesn’t contain it, add 1 tsp of cornstarch and mix in before adding to the cooked meat. If you cannot have corn, you can use tapioca flour, potato starch, or arrowroot.
How to make Gluten Free Beefy Taco Casserole:
- Combine the taco seasoning with coriander and cayenne
- Brown the beef, breaking up clumps; drain excess grease
- Add spice blend, water, and corn, cooking until most of the water is evaporated and sauce is thickened; spread in a 9-inch square pan
- Whisk together the dry ingredients for the topping in one bowl, and combine the wet ingredients in another bowl; pour the wet into the dry and whisk together until evenly mixed
- Spread the topping over the meat mixture and bake until golden brown and set, about 15 to 20 minutes; cool 15 minutes before serving
Be sure you cook the meat mixture completely before starting to mix the cornmeal topping. Don’t forget to melt the butter! You don’t want it to inflate too much before spreading it over the filling.
Don’t forget to let the casserole rest 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. It will be bubbling around edges and needs time to firm up some before cutting and serving.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife or paring knife
- Cutting board
- Large skillet
- 9-inch square baking pan
- Offset spatula
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams of my favorite gluten-free flour blend per cup. This recipe was written using this flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 1 packet gluten-free taco seasoning mix (or use 2 tablespoons of a homemade version)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle, to taste
- 1 pound ground beef, preferably 90/10
- 1/2 small onion or 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- Pinch each of kosher salt and ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3/4 cup water (or according to package directions)
- 1/2 cup (78 g) gluten-free cornmeal
- 3/8 cup (45 g) gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
- Pinch kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Make the Filling: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the taco seasoning with the cumin and chipotle. Set aside.
- In a skillet, brown the ground beef until beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes, breaking up clumps. If there is a lot, drain the excess grease. Stir in the onions, bell pepper, and corn and sauté until the onion has turned translucent. Then add the taco seasoning blend and water to the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beef is evenly coated, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Spread evenly in a 9-inch square baking pan.
- Make the Cornbread Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix it together by hand with a spoon or spatula. Don't over mix.
- Immediately spread the cornbread topping over the meat mixture smoothing the top with an offset spatula.
- Bake the Casserole: Bake until the topping is set and the crust is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan before serving.
- Recipe Source: The Heritage Cook
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 594Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 914mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 37g
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