This John Wayne casserole recipe is loaded with flavor. It combines taco seasoned ground beef with peppers and onions, and then all of that deliciousness is layered on top of a buttery biscuit-like crust and topped with a creamy cheesy mixture. Honestly, it might be one of the most delicious casseroles you ever make!
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The Best John Wayne Casserole
Ok, so first off, you might be wondering why this recipe is called John Wayne casserole. Well, the initial version of the recipe was created by John Wayne himself, and he actually shared it in a cookbook back in the '70s called "Cooking with Love from Cara and Her Friends".
Now, since then, there have been several takes on the casserole, and this is ours. We like to think that this is an elevated - and even more delicious - version of the cheesy casserole Wayne shared all of those years ago.
I mean, this recipe is just jam-packed with flavor. It starts off with a buttery biscuit layer, followed by a layer of spiced taco meat and veggies, and then all of that deliciousness gets topped off with a layer of creamy, melty cheese.
Gah, it's just so good!
You can think of it as almost like a taco casserole, but it's so much better. And that's saying something because taco casseroles are pretty darn good.
Why This Recipe Works
Easy to make. Just 3 steps are all it takes to get this casserole baked to perfection and on the table for a big family dinner.
Simple ingredients. This casserole packs a ton of flavor, but it's actually made with just a handful of common ingredients, and you might have some at home already.
Crowd favorite. This is one of our most popular easy casseroles on the blog, and everyone always loves it. So you'll have a guaranteed winner whether you're serving this on busy weeknights or if you're hosting a dinner.
As I mentioned above, the ingredient list here is pretty simple. Check out all of the ingredients you'll need to make this John Wayne casserole recipe:
- 2 cups Biscuit Baking Mix
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Green Pepper, dcied
- ½ Onion, diced
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 2 tbsp. Taco Seasoning
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Pretty simple stuff, right?
By the way, you can use a lot of these same ingredients to make this Johnny Marzetti casserole and Doritos casserole next! So, if you end up having some extras, I definitely recommend giving those easy casserole recipes a shot.
How To Make John Wayne Casserole
1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC) and grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Make the biscuit crust: Mix the biscuit baking mix with water in a bowl until they fully combine. Spread the biscuit batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
3. Cook the veggies and beef: Pour olive oil into a large skillet and cook onions and peppers for about 10 minutes until they're soft. Add the ground beef and break it apart as you cook it until it's browned on all sides. Add the taco seasoning with a splash of water to the pan and stir to coat the browned ground beef, onions, and peppers in the seasoning.
4. Assemble the casserole: Spread the ground meat mixture over the biscuit crust, and top it with diced tomatoes and green chiles. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Top the casserole with the sour cream mixture and sprinkle more shredded cheese on it.
5. Bake and serve: Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown on top. Let it cool for a minute, serve warm, and enjoy!
Tips To Make the Best Recipe
- Use a rubber spatula or a sheet of parchment paper to spread the biscuit mix evenly in the casserole dish.
- Add jalapeno peppers and use pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar for a spicier casserole.
- Add anything that you'd put in a taco to the casserole mixture for a different flavor.
- Use more or less of the ingredients to adapt the casserole to your taste buds, there are no wrong answers here.
How To Store John Wayne Casserole
In the fridge: You can either put a lid on the casserole dish or transfer everything to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
In the freezer: If you want to store this John Wayne casserole for even longer, then you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Reheating: Put the casserole dish back in the oven at 350°F and heat it for about 10 minutes or until the casserole is fully warmed through. You can reheat single portions of your casserole in the microwave in 20-second increments until the cheese has melted and it reaches your desired temperature.
FAQS About This John Wayne Casserole Recipe
What is the story behind the John Wayne casserole?
Marion Robert Morrison, known as John Wayne, was an American actor in a number of popular television shows and movies. The John Wayne casserole was created by himself and featured in Cara Connery's cookbook in 1979 "Cooking With Love From Cara and Her Friends." The casserole has since been adapted, and there are multiple versions of it that exist today.
What was in the original casserole?
The original John Wayne casserole was made with biscuit dough, chopped onions, red bell peppers, jalapenos, ground beef, and tomatoes covered in a creamy topping made from mayonnaise, sour cream, taco seasoning, and cheddar cheese.
Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the casserole and assemble it in the baking dish. Then cover it with a lid and store it in the fridge for a day or so. When you want to serve, just pop it in the oven and bake.
More Casserole Recipes
If you're looking for more easy to make casserole recipes - just like this John Wayne casserole - we have a ton on the blog you can try out next!
Here are some of our most popular ones:
- Million dollar chicken casserole
- Cheddars broccoli cheese casserole
- Chicken divan
- Ground turkey casserole
- Crack chicken casserole
- Corn casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
- Grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Mix the biscuit baking mix with water and spread in the bottom of the baking dish.
- In a skillet, add olive oil and cook onions and peppers until soft - about 10 minutes. Add the beef and cook until browned. Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine.
- Spread the meat over the biscuit mix, and top with diced tomatoes.
- In a bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise and cheddar cheese.
- Top the casserole with the cheese mixture and bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbly.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 21g