Taco casserole is family-friendly, fast


Christy Jordan has written the cookbook for anyone who has ever asked “What’s for supper?”

A busy mom who founded www.southernplate.com, Ms. Jordan wanted to encourage families to eat dinner together every night. Her new cookbook, Come Home to Supper ($16.95, softcover, Workman), reflects her philosophy that, “If you really want to make the world a better place, end the day by coming home to supper.”

The book is filled with more than 200 quick recipes that are family-friendly, budget-conscious, and easy to make, like this Taco Casserole.

Taco Casserole

¼ cup butter (½ stick)

½ cup milk

1 packet (1.25 ounce) taco seasoning mix

2 cups instant mashed potato flakes

1 pound ground beef

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 can (15 ounce) refried beans

½ cup barbecue sauce

Favorite taco toppings, such as shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomatoes, diced onions, or sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning. Remove from the heat and stir in the mashed potato flakes. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of an ungreased, 10-inch ovenproof pie plate.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, sprinkle it with the salt and pepper, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it into small, crumbled pieces, until fully browned, about 10 minutes. Carefully drain off and discard the grease. Add the refried beans, barbecue sauce, ¼ cup water, and the remaining taco seasoning to the skillet and cook, stirring until the mixture is bubbly, 10 minutes.

Turn the beef mixture out into the prepared crust. Bake, uncovered, until the casserole is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cut the casserole into wedges and serve with whatever taco toppings you enjoy.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: Recipe is easily doubled to be made in a 9-by-13-inch pan.