Layered Taco Casserole

Layered Taco Casserole

Think lasagna, but Mexican.. and low carb…! With delicious layers of cheese, beans, corn, and spicy taco meat the layered taco casserole is a favorite for those of us who are concerned with caloric intake, and those of us… like our kids.. who just do not care!!

This recipe is a mix between a yummy taco dip and a deconstructed taco. It is the best of both worlds if you think about it. Why? Because, you can add it into a taco shell if you want, or dip in some toasty tortilla chips. Or if you want to get super fancy, you can build a burrito bowl and add it to a bowl of rice. But best of all, you can just have it all on it’s own! I like to do all of the above, or make it into a big taco salad!

 

So what do you need to make the layered taco casserole?

Extra Lean Ground Turkey: Ground turkey gets a bad rep for being too dry, or lacking in flavor. I feel like this is often because it is not prepared correctly. I love to make recipes with lean ground turkey. To prepare it, rather than breaking it up into small crumbles right away, break it into 4 larger squares first, brown both sides, then break it up and cook it all the way through. This way of cooking stops the water from the meat escaping right away leaving you with dry meat. Make sure you have the proper seasonings for this recipe too or it won’t take as it should!

 

Cumin, Paprika, Chili Powder, Garlic: These are the spices I use most of the time when I am cooking some type of taco dish. You can definitely use a prepared taco seasoning but they usually have added sugars and that means added calories! It is much easier to just create your own, and more macro friendly! Plus, what spice cabinet does not have these in it? 

 

Onion: I love cooking with onion, a little chopped onion does wonders to so many recipes! The trick here is to cut it up finely, sauté it first, then cooking the ground turkey in the same pan that you used to cook the onion! It adds a great flavor, even more so when you mix it all together!

 

Fat Free Cheddar: Another one of my favorite things to cook with, fat free cheese is so tasty, and the macros can’t be beat! I hear from a lot of people that they are not able to find fat free cheese around them, if that is the case you can just use a low moisture, skim cheese, in place of the fat free cheese!

 

Black Beans: Just canned black beans! These mixed with the corn are such a great addition to the casserole, but if you like a lot of other people, do not like beans, or just cannot tolerate them, you can omit them from the taco casserole recipe.

 

Corn: Just canned corn, unless you want to cut some fresh corn off the cob… be my guest. The sweet, crunchy corn in this recipe may just be my favorite part!

 

Low Fat Cottage Cheese: Even if you do not like cottage cheese plain, do not omit this! When you add it into the bake it adds a creamy cheesy flavor, and more protein! It is so good.

 

Fat Free Sour Cream: You will use this to make the layers of the casserole along with the cottage cheese, I would recommend buying a larger container so you can also top the finished casserole with more when serving! Again, if you cannot find fat free sour cream, you can buy reduced fat, it will work just fine. 

Okay, so now that we know all of the ingredients for this recipe, let’s go into how to make it.

How do you make layered taco casserole? 
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a large rectangle baking pan with cookie spray.
  2. Finely chop up the onion, add it into a sprayed pan, and sauté over medium until fully cooked.
  3. Remove the onion, place into a bowl, and set aside.
  4. In the same pan that you cooked the onion, cook the ground turkey with the spices. Refer to the note above to make sure your ground turkey is not dry!
  5. Once the turkey is done cooking, add into the bowl with the onion. Drain the canned corn, and canned beans, and add. Fold together.
  6. Pre measure the sour cream and cottage cheese into separate bowls, this is not necessary, but it will help when it comes time to assemble the casserole.
  7. Spoon some of the ground turkey mixture into the baking pan, just enough to cover the bottom.
  8. Now top with a layer of cottage cheese, and sour cream (do not use all of it, you will repeat this step a few times).
  9. Top with more of the ground turkey mixture, then layer with more of the cottage cheese, and sour cream. Do this until you are out of both.
  10. Top with the fat free cheddar, and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy.

Pretty easy right? Like I said, it is a taco lasagna without the pasta and the carbs! And very versatile to make into whatever you want, or good enough to enjoy on its own.

This recipe makes 5 servings.

How do you track this recipe if you track macros?

For easy tracking you can search HNFit Layered Taco Casserole in My Fitness Pal to find the recipe and the macros!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is this recipe high in protein?

Yes, this recipe makes 5 servings, and each serving is 35 grams of protein!

 

How do you serve layered taco casserole?

You serve the taco casserole warmed, and I recommend topping it with salsa, and fat free sour cream. You can dip tortilla chips in it as well. I like to make my own chips by toasting Mission extra thin corn tortillas, breaking them up, and dipping!

 

Can you use ground beef instead of ground turkey?

Yes, if you prefer to keep your tacos strictly beef this recipe will be just as yummy made with ground turkey, just note that the macros will vary quite a bit per serving!

 

Do you have to use cottage cheese?

I highly recommend that you do not omit the cottage cheese, it adds a cheesy and creamy layer, and once it is baked I promise you will not even recognize the texture or taste of it!

Full layered taco casserole recipe is below. If you like this recipe you will also love our healthy ground turkey green chile bake.

Layered Taco Casserole

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5
Calories 248 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 garlic
  • 1/2 chili powder
  • 1/2 medium onion 187 grams
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese 56 grams
  • 3/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese 170 grams
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream 60 grams
  • 1 package extra lean ground turkey 598 grams
  • 1 can black beans 277 gram
  • 4.4 ounce can of corn 276 grams

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a large rectangle baking pan with cookie spray.
  • Finely chop up the onion, add it into a sprayed pan, and sauté over medium until fully cooked.
  • Remove the onion, place into a bowl, and set aside.
  • In the same pan that you cooked the onion, cook the ground turkey along with the spices. Refer to the note above to make sure your ground turkey is not dry!
  • Once the turkey is done cooking, add into the bowl with the onion. Drain the canned corn, and canned beans, and add. Fold together.
  • Pre measure the sour cream and cottage cheese into separate bowls, this is not necessary, but it will help when it comes time to assemble the casserole.
  • Spoon some of the ground turkey mixture into the baking pan, just enough to cover the bottom.
  • Now top with a layer of cottage cheese, and sour cream (do not use all of it, you will repeat this step a few times).
  • Top with more of the ground turkey mixture, then layer with more of the cottage cheese, and sour cream. Do this until you are out of both.
  • Top with the fat free cheddar, and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 225 grams
Servings Per Container 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 248 Calories from Fat 22.5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.4g 2%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5.5mg 2%
Sodium 452.2mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 18.5g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3.3g 13%
Sugars 5.4g
Protein 35g 70%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Keyword easy meal prep, high protein, high protein recipes, macro friendly recipes, meal prep ideas, taco casserole

 

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