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Bring the family together around the dinner table to enjoy this warm and comforting Cheesy Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole! It’s sure to become a meal they request over and over again!
As a busy mom of four kids, three of whom are in school now, I have a whole new understanding of the word “busy”. In the evening hours, there’s homework and projects to be done, lessons to be had and church and other extracurricular activities to attend. It seems there is barely time to breathe as soon as they walk in the door and remove their backpacks. Everyone seems to go their separate ways and do their separate things. One parent with these children and the other with those. We have to divide and conquer, after all, in order to get it all done.
It seems that the world is moving faster and faster. There is so much to keep us occupied! But there is one thing that, no matter how full our schedule is, I make sure is a priority in our home. And that is dinner, with all six of us present, around the table.
Because, despite all the chaos of the evening, there should be at least one single moment where we can push the pressures of life aside and sit together as we talk and bond. Whether it’s as a family, as friends or even as a community…dinner is the perfect excuse to do just that!
In my growing up days, my siblings, parents and I typically gathered around a cheesy, creamy casserole during the six o’clock hour. There were lots of us and casseroles are known to feed the masses! We’d laugh and sometimes tease or goof off, but what I remember most is that we were together. Every evening, rain or shine.
Now, I get the warm fuzzies every time I think of casseroles, and not just because of how yummy they are. I associate them with the feelings of joy that come when family members happily coexist for a purpose, such as this hearty, Cheesy Mexican Beef and Rice Dish.
Because I’m passionate about family dinners, I connect closely with dairy farmers and the Undeniably Dairy campaign in their belief that good things happen when we just come together over a meal, share in the great taste and sustenance of dairy, and share our time…with each other.
In fact, they’re setting out across America from the coasts to the heartland, to help bring strangers, friends and families of all kinds together around a great dairy-based meal while answering questions and discussing misconceptions about where their food comes from, how it’s sourced, and the farmers who create it.
For instance, did you know that one gallon of milk today is produced with 90 percent less land, 65 percent less water, and a 63 percent smaller carbon footprint than in 1944? Dairy farmers are on a constant quest to become more efficient and wiser in their use of resources to create a sustainable future for all of us. Dairy farms recycle water an average of 3 to 5 times! For more interesting facts and information about Dairy, please make sure to visit the Dairy Good Website!
We’re big on dairy at our house, so I love to incorporate it, in various and limitless ways, into our family meals. It definitely makes our dishes flavorful and satisfying!
I’m a huge fan of the fact that dairy foods are nutrient-rich, easy on the budget and come in many varieties that please even my four picky eaters! Dairy foods are natural, wholesome, and fresh—so they’re one of those “no-brainer” choices that just makes sense!
This casserole contains three different forms of dairy, including shredded Colby Jack cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream! Mmmmmm….!!!! It got two thumbs way up from every member in our clan, which almost never happens. 🙂 I know you’re going to love it too!
Here’s how to put it together:
I’m all about easy, tasty meals and this is definitely one of them! We couldn’t wait to dig in!
Cheesy Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1/2 large yellow onion or 1 whole small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 c. cooked white rice about the equivalent of 2 c. uncooked rice
- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles drained
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 c. sour cream
- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 c. cottage cheese
- 2 1/2 c. Colby Jack or cheddar cheese grated (divided)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook rice while you're putting together the other portion of the casserole. In a large skillet over the stove top, cook ground beef with green pepper, onion and garlic, until beef is no longer pink and the peppers are tender. Drain the fat.
- Stir in cooked rice, diced tomatoes and green chiles (drained), salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, sour cream, tomato sauce, cottage cheese and 1 c. shredded Colby Jack or cheddar cheese.
- Spread into a lightly greased 9x13" baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melty and casserole is warmed through.
What are your favorite family meals? You know, the ones that everyone gets excited about!
I can’t wait for you to try this!