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30-Minute Healthy Taco Casserole

This 30-Minute Healthy Taco Casserole is the ideal weeknight dinner solution. It takes hardly any time to throw together. It’s on the lighter side yet tastes 120% incredible.

Healthy Taco Casserole 3

Today I had to take our Izzy Bean to the vet for some health issues she’s been having. Of course, WE think our rescued bully should get the Bestest Doggie in the Whole Wide World award. We just love her to pieces.

Apparently, Miss Izzy owns that title; that girl can work a room. Within minutes, she had the entire vet staff in her paws like putty.

Everyone aww’d and coo’d over her sweet lil’ wiggle butt. They gathered around her and gave her enough love for a week. She soaked up every ounce of it. You’d think she’s never seen humans before…

Healthy Taco Casserole 2

Izzy Girl really is the sweetest pup I’ve ever known. I’ve adopted many, many dogs in my lifetime. I know firsthand how rare it is to land on one that’s got almost no issues.

We lucked out big time with our girl and count our blessings daily. Izzy is my son’s best friend.

She’s also totally easy to manage, a people-pleaser, and as pretty as a bulldog can be.

Healthy Taco Casserole

Just like this taco casserole.

Okay, yeah, it’s a bit weird to compare tacos with pets.

But this taco bake has it all. It’s totally easy to manage, it’s a people-pleaser, and even looks great.

This 30-Minute Healthy Taco Casserole is so named because it’s fast and made healthy with brown rice and fat free beans. Plus low-fat cheese and super lean ground beef. Don’t let that fool you; it taste absolutely indulgent.

Healthy Taco Casserole 4

You can get this casserole even skinnier by using less cheese and omitting the corn chips.

This is one of those fast weeknight meals that comes together unbelievably quickly and tastes like you spent way more time on it. In fact, this dish took me just 20 minutes from start to finish.

This Healthy Taco Casserole is waist friendly without sacrificing one iota of taste.


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healthy taco casserole

30-Minute Healthy Taco Casserole

5 from 2 ratings
This 30 Minute Healthy Taco Casserole is made healthier with the use of brown rice and fat-free beans. It comes together easily and quickly, and tastes absolutely delish! So indulgent tasting, nobody will realize it's on the healthy side.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Amy Dong


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, or white rice
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1.25 oz taco seasoning (I use this easy homemade one.), 2 ½ TB
  • 15 ounce fat-free refried beans, 1 can
  • 1 ½ cup low-fat sharp cheddar or cheddar jack cheese
  • 1 cup salsa, your favorite
  • 1 can sliced black olives, drained, 2 1/3 oz
  • cups corn chips, optional
  • Garnishes: chopped green onions, diced avocado, or diced tomato.


  • In a large nonstick skillet, add ground beef, taco seasoning, and 3 TB water. Stir together to incorporate. Brown until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In an 8x8 baking dish, layer cooked rice on the bottom of dish. In a microwavable bowl, combine refried beans and salsa. Microwave until hot, about 2 minutes. Stir and layer mixture over the rice.
  • Layer browned beef mixture over the beans/salsa. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the beef, followed by all the chips (if using) and top with remaining cheese and black olives. Bake 10 minutes at 350F or just until cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with green onions, avocados, or tomatoes. Serve warm.
  • Note: This dish can be lightened up even more by using just 1 cup of low-fat cheese and omitting the corn chips.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 2485mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Source: Chew Out Loud

Here are some other healthier Tex-Mex recipes that are deliciously waist-friendly!

  1. Mexican Chicken Veggie Stew. Hearty, healthy, and hits the spot. Plus super easy and quick.

Mexican Chicken Stew 4

  1. Mexican Rice with Chicken and Shrimp. Take One-Pot dishes to a new level with this flavorful tex-mex dish.

Mexican Rice with Chicken and Shrimp 2

  1. Best Easy Mexican Rice. THE Best Mexican rice ever. Fluffy, tasty, and the perfect side to any tex-mex themed meal.

Mexican Rice

  1. Mexican Taco Salad. This crispy and hearty salad is perfect for feeding a crowd. It’s easy to make a huge bowl of it and watch it disappear! The dressing is awesome.

Mexican Taco Salad

  1. Carnitas; Mexican Pulled Pork. This is the most fork-tender carnitas you’ll ever sink your teeth into. Bursting with big flavors and incredibly tender, it’s perfect for tacos, burritos, or rice bowls.


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Recipe Rating


    • Karen

    Is here something I can use instead of salsa, my daughter can not eat raw onions?
    Thank you

    • myblissfulmess

    This recipe is delicious as written! I love all the flavors and textures in this dish. We topped our’s with sliced black olives, sour cream and guacamole. YUM! Definitely a keeper!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay! So happy you like this dish 🙂 Sounds yummy with some guac – nice! Happy continued cooking!

    • Teresa

    Could you freeze this and serve another time? If so how long would you cook in the oven if frozen? Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      Teresa, yes, you can freeze it. I would cover it airtight and freeze. If you cook from frozen, it’s typical to double the baking time. You may want to loosely tent the top with foil to prevent the top from over-browning while the rest of the casserole continues to cook.

    • Barb

    Made this for dinner last night. So simple and everyone in the family loved it! I got a “you can make this again” from everybody! Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Barb! So glad you guys loved it 🙂 Thanks for coming over and letting us know!

    • Pleasant

    Just wondering if you were supposed to drain the meat,

      • Pleasant

      Wait, I read the recipe wrong lol… You put the water and seasoning after cooking the meat, right?

        • chewoutloud

        I mix together the uncooked ground beef, water, and seasoning together and then cook it all at same time in pan. No draining should be needed, unless it’s a higher fat content and there ends up being a ton of fat/liquid leftover. Otherwise, just proceed onwards with the rest of recipe 🙂 Enjoy! 🙂

          • Pleasant

          Thank you so much for the answer! It was very good, we all loved it!

    • Heather

    Do you have a nutritional breakdown for this?

      • chewoutloud

      I currently don’t, Heather, but there are some great nutrition calculators available online. Feel free to omit the corn chips for a light dish 🙂

    • Heather

    Bake for ten minutes at what temperature? I dont see it.

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks for the note, Heather! 350F, just updated it 🙂 Thanks for coming over, and hope you guys enjoy this dish!

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