Mexican Skillet Casserole

Lately I’ve been trying to cook with ingredients I already have on hand. The Hubs and I have occasional family budget meetings, and the most recent one revealed that we could maybe cut back on some of our grocery costs. Whoops. That over-spending obviously falls in my lap, but not to worry, there are plenty of ways to creatively use what you’ve already got in your pantry and fridge. Trust me. I’ve been down this road before  and consider myself somewhat of an expert in meal mash-ups.

I first read this recipe in the latest Cooking Light cookbook I received, Real Family Food. I thought to myself, “hmmm. I have all that stuff, or at least suitable substitutions. Let’s do it!”, and thus, my own Mexican Skillet Casserole was born. In addition to a SUPER easy meal, it also brought about inspirations on what other kinds of things I could throw together in a skillet and call dinner.

Mexican Skillet Casserole recipe adapted from Cooking Light: Real Family Food

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil 
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 T Gourmet Garden chunky garlic
  • 2 serrano chilis, diced
  • 1 1/4 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes 
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini  beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup) 

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, garlic and chilies; sauté until soft. Add turkey and cook until browned. Drain, and return to pan. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add tomatoes, and beans; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 1 minute or until cheese melts.

NOTES: The original recipe calls for rice which I do not eat. I omitted it and found the finished product to be a bit runny. Next time, I would add 1/4 c. of uncooked quinoa to soak up those extra juices. The original recipe also called for black beans which I did not have. You can almost always substitute bean for bean in any recipe. 

I served this with fresh avocados and extra salsa for my spicy food loving Hubs. I must say, not too shabby for a meal mash-up. I’ve still got 2 1/2 lbs of ground turkey in my freezer. What should I make next?


  1. says

    this looks delicious AND healthy. great way to break in my new cast iron skillet. i might try a handful of hominy along with the quinoa you suggested…great recipe, thanks for the post.

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