If you like nachos, you’ll absolutely love this Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole. I made it with a delicious spicy meat mixture with rice, two cheeses and sour cream. Then, I finished it off with additional cheese, tortilla chips, and an incredible nacho cheese sauce! It’s not only easy to make, but also can be made ahead of time and produces awesome leftovers.
Ingredients for Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole:
I used the following ingredients: Ground turkey (you could also use ground beef), olive oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, freshly ground black pepper, all-purpose flour, tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chilies, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, corn starch, chopped green chilies, evaporated milk, and sliced green onions. I know that this sounds like a lot of ingredients, but the casserole really does come together easily!
Making the Meat and Rice Mixture for Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole:
First, I browned the ground turkey in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Then, I transferred the ground turkey to a colander, and rinsed it with hot water to remove as much grease as possible. While the turkey was draining, I sautéed the onion over medium heat in the same skillet with some olive oil. It took about 5 minutes for the onion to soften. Then, I added the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. I continued cooking the mixture for a minute or two to allow the spices to bloom. Next, I added the garlic, and continued cooking the mixture for about 30 seconds until the garlic was fragrant.
During this time, I rubbed the browned turkey between my hands to break up any large pieces. Then, I added it to the onion mixture, and stirred to combine everything. I sprinkled on the all-purpose flour, and stirred to combine. Finally, I added the tomato paste which I had mixed with the tomato sauce, and the diced tomatoes. I brought the mixture to a boil, and then lowered the heat to medium low. I simmered the meat sauce, covered for about 45 minutes, until the onions and turkey were nicely tender.
When the meat sauce was done, I removed it from the heat. I added the rice, some of the Cheddar cheese, the Monterey Jack cheese, and the sour cream. There was a lot in the pan, so I carefully folded in all of the ingredients until things were evenly incorporated.
Finishing the Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole:
Since it was just the Master Taste Tester and me, I spooned part of the meat/rice mixture into a small casserole dish. I portioned the rest into individual servings which I refrigerated. I sprinkled on shredded Cheddar cheese, and crushed tortilla chips. Then, I popped the casserole into a preheated 375° F oven for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the casserole was bubbly, and the top, golden brown.
Making the Nacho Cheese Sauce:
While the casserole was baking, I made the nacho cheese sauce. First, I mixed the corn starch with the shredded Cheddar cheese in a small saucepan. Then, I added chopped green chiles that I had drained, and evaporated milk. I whisked the cheese mixture over medium heat, until the cheese had melted, and the sauce had thickened. That’s it!
Serving the Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole:
After I removed the casserole from the oven, I sprinkled on some sliced green onion tops. I finished the casserole by pouring the hot nacho cheese sauce over it.
Talk about good. The Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole was incredible with the perfect blend of ingredients. The leftovers were just as good. Yum!
Easy Cheesy Nacho Casserole
- 1 pound (16 ounces) ground turkey, 93% lean
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 16 ounces tomato sauce (2 8-ounce cans)
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops
- Brown ground turkey in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up pieces. Transfer to colander; rinse will with hot water and drain. When cool, break into small pieces by rubbing between hands. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add minced garlic; cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add browned turkey; stir to combine. Add flour; stir to combine.
- Whisk together tomato paste and tomato sauce. Add to turkey mixture, along with diced tomatoes and green chilies. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium low. Cover pan and simmer for 45 minutes, or until meat and onions are tender.
- Remove from heat. Add rice, 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and sour cream; stir to combine. If mixture seems too thick add 1/3 to 1/2 cup water.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Transfer meat mixture to 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle on 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and top is golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the nacho cheese sauce. Combine remaining 2 cups of Cheddar cheese and corn starch in a small saucepan. Add drained chopped green chilies and evaporated milk. Whisk over medium heat until cheese melts, and mixture thickens. Keep warm.
- Remove casserole from oven, garnish with sliced green onions. Pour nacho cheese sauce over casserole and serve.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings.