This John Wayne casserole recipe is loaded with flavor. It combines taco seasoned ground beef with peppers, onions, a buttery biscuit-like crust, and a rich creamy cheesy topping that's to die for. Plus, this casserole is so, so easy to make. In fact, just 5 steps are all it takes to put it together.
Ok, so first off, you may be wondering why this recipe is called John Wayne casserole. Well, the initial version of the recipe was created by John Wayne himself. He actually shared it in a cookbook back in the '70s called "Cooking with Love from Cara and Her Friends."
Since then, there have been several takes on the casserole, and this is mine. I'd 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 some creamy, melty cheese. It's almost like a taco casserole, but I think it's so much better.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
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 made with just a handful of common ingredients. You even have most - or all - of them at home already.
Crowd favorite. This is one of the most popular easy casseroles on the blog - everyone always loves it. You'll have a guaranteed winner whether you're serving this on busy weeknights or hosting a big get-together.
- Biscuit Baking Mix- or any biscuit baking mix.
- Olive Oil
- Green Pepper- diced into small pieces.
- Onion- diced into small pieces.
- Ground Beef- I used an 80/20 split for the best flavor.
- Taco Seasoning
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- Sour Cream- Greek yogurt works too.
- Mayonaisse- for the delicious creaminess.
- Cheddar Cheese- shredded for topping the casserole.
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 too.
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: In a bowl, mix the biscuit baking mix with the water until they fully combine. Spread the biscuit batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
3. Cook the veggies and beef: Pour the 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 so it doesn't stick to your hands.
- Add jalapeno peppers and use pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar to make it spicier.
- Use anything that you'd put in a taco to give the casserole a different flavor.
- Let the casserole rest for a couple of minutes before serving so the filling can thicken up.
How To Store and Reheat This Casserole
In the fridge: You can either cover the casserole dish or transfer everything to an airtight container, and it will remain fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
In the freezer: If you want to store this Bisquick beef casserole to last even longer, you can freeze it. Just transfer it to an airtight container, and it'll stay good in there for up to 6 months.
Reheating: To the casserole just put it back in the oven at 350°F and heat it for about 10 minutes or until the casserole is fully warmed through.
Alternatively, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 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 ahead of time. Just make it following the first 4 steps I listed above, then, cover it with a lid, and store it in the fridge for a day or so. When you want to cook it, just pop it in the oven and bake it following my instructions in step 5.
More Casserole Recipes
- Million dollar chicken casserole
- Cheddars broccoli cheese casserole
- Chicken divan
- Ground turkey casserole
- Crack chicken casserole
- Corn casserole
- Chicken enchilada 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