Have you ever unearthed half of a bag of stale tortilla chips from the back of the pantry? What happens if you find a partial jar of salsa in the fridge and a bit of leftover corn from dinner last night? Don’t toss these seemingly random ingredients in the trash! You can utilize these odds and ends from your kitchen to make a new dinner for your family called Cowboy Casserole.
Cowboy Casserole Recipe
- 9-Inch Casserole Dish
- Medium-Sized Skillet
- 1/2 pound Ground Beef
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Canned Corn
- 15 ounces Black Beans from a can
- 1 cup Salsa mild, medium, or hot, your choice
- 1/4 cup Sliced Olives
- 1 cup Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 5 1/2 cups Tortilla Chips
- 2 cups Shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a two-quart casserole or a nine by a thirteen-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set it aside.
- In a medium-sized skillet, brown the ground beef and chop it with a spatula until it is broken up into small bits.
- Drain the fat from the meat and add the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, and onion powder. Drain the liquid from the cans of corn and black beans. Stir the one cup corn, the can of black beans, and the salsa into the skillet with the ground beef.
- Return the pan to the heat to warm this mixture for a few minutes. After the mixture is warm, take the pan off of the heat and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cottage cheese and the sour cream until they are completely blended.
- Reserve ½ cup of the tortilla chips and put the remaining five cups of the tortilla chips in a large zip-top storage bag and crush them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. They do not have to be crushed into a powder. It is perfectly fine if some larger chunks remain.
- Take half of the crushed chips and line the bottom of your prepared pan. Top this with half of the meat, beans, and corn mixture.
- Create the next layer by scooping small dollops of the sour cream/ cottage cheese mixture over top of the meat mixture.
- Gently, with the back of a spoon, spread half of the cottage cheese and sour cream in a thin layer. Top this with one cup of the shredded cheese.
- Create a new later of tortilla chip crumbs, followed by the remaining meat and another layer of the cottage cheese and sour cream. Do not put the final layer of cheese on top.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil or, if your casserole dish has a lid, put the lid on top of it. Put the covered pan in the oven and bake it for about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and take off the covering.
- Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top of the casserole and top the cheese with a scattering of black olives.
- Take the reserved tortilla chips and put them around the outer edge of the casserole dish standing them on edge to create a decorative edging to the casserole.
- Return the casserole to the oven and bake it for about five more minutes to melt the cheese topping and lightly toast the tortilla chips. Pay attention to the casserole so that you do not scorch the tortilla chips.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and let it sit for about ten minutes before scooping it into bowls to serve it.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.