Taco salad casserole is made with a base of ground beef, pinto beans and lentils. It's loaded with delicious vegetables, rice and shredded cheese to create a healthy balanced meal. This casserole recipe will easily fill up a hungry family.
In a skillet over medium high heat, add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil and ½ diced onion. Cook until onion turns translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the ground beef and break into small pieces. Cook until ground beef turns brown and is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Mix together. Add the pinto beans and lentils.
Add the spices: chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together, and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Pour mixture into casserole dish and spread out evenly.
Add cooked rice on top and and spread evenly.
Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top.
Add toppings in strips: shredded lettuce, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, and crumbled nacho chips.
Dish into bowls with a large spoon and serve with extra nacho chips and salsa (optional).
This dish can be served cold (as it is now) or reheated in the oven or microwave.