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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Kid-Friendly Mexican Taco Casserole

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This delicious and healthy one pot meal is perfect when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Ready in under 30 minutes, this flavorful Mexican Taco Casserole is a well balanced meal that the whole family will love!

Top down shot of a Mexican Taco casserole in a large pan

Don’t you just love it when dinner takes less than half an hour to make and it’s something everyone enjoys?! This Mexican taco casserole is packed full of fresh ingredients, warm spices, and fun toppings for a nutritious and kid-friendly weeknight dinner.

And the best part – it uses just one pot. ONE. All the sautéing, mixing, simmering is done in the same pot! Which means… easy cleanup!! Hooray!

How to make Kid-Friendly Mexican Taco Casserole – step by step

Step 1: Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5-10 minutes.

Step 2: Add pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, baby spinach and all spices (chili powder through black pepper). Saute another 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked through. Stir in quinoa.

Step 3: Squeeze lime juice on top and stir to combine. Serve warm, topped with avocado, cilantro and greek yogurt.

Mexican Taco casserole served in a white bowl with avocado and sour cream

Kid-friendly, vegetarian one pot meal

I love it when I find a an easy and tasty one pot meal, less clean up time is a real bonus for me! This Mexican casserole is packed full of veggies, beans and Mexican spices, but it’s not overly spicy so it’s perfect for kids. It’s also a great way to sneak in a bunch of veggies that kids won’t really notice, since they’re cut up pretty small. The dish provides a really well balanced meal and it comes together in less than half an hour.

What makes this taco casserole healthy?

Following a healthy diet, does not mean that you have to skip Mexican food! This taco casserole is loaded with fresh and frozen veggies of all the colors of the rainbow! You can easily add in any other veggies that you may have laying around in your fridge waiting to be used up.

This dish has a few nutritional powerhouses that make it healthy:

  • Healthy fats from the olive oil and avocado (in moderation)
  • Protein and fiber from the Pinto beans. Pinto beans are also a great source of zinc, magnesium, iron and antioxidants. Beans are a great replacement for meat in meals and are an essential part of a healthy vegetarian diet.
  • Tons of fresh vegetables with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber: spinach brings iron, Vitamins K, A, C, B2, and Folate, and yellow bell peppers have Vitamins A, C and Potassium.
  • Instead of white rice (a refined grain) which is often found in taco casseroles, I use quinoa which is lower in carbohydrates, higher in fiber, and higher in protein.

Can you make this recipe vegan-friendly or gluten free?

Great news! This recipe already is gluten free! To make it vegan, substitute a vegan sour cream or yogurt (or just leave it out altogether).

Mexican taco casserole cooked in a large pan with a wooden spoon

Top tips for making this Healthy Mexican Taco Casserole

  • I used pinto beans in this dish, but you could easily swap them for black or kidney beans.
  • You can use any veggies you like – it’s a great dish for using up leftover veggies in the fridge!
  • Keep any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge (for up to 4 days) and gently reheat in the microwave or the stove.
  • Serve with your favorite Mexican toppings like salsa, guacamole or sour cream.
  • The longer you simmer this, the softer the veggies/beans/etc. will become. For adults/older kids – sautéing 10-15 minutes is plenty of time for the flavors to come together and for the veggies to still have a nice bite to them. But for really young kids, you can cook it longer so it’s easier for them to chew!
A serving of taco casserole in a white bowl

Be sure to try these other healthy Mexican recipes!

If you have tried this Mexican taco casserole recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Top down shot of a Mexican Taco casserole in a large pan
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Kid-Friendly Mexican Taco Casserole

This healthy one pot meal is perfect when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 263kcal
Author: The Picky Eater

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers diced red yellow or orange
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans pinto beans rinsed & drained
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning more to taste
  • ½ tsp salt more to taste
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado diced for topping
  • Cilantro for topping
  • Whole milk plain greek yogurt or sour cream for topping

Instructions

  • Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, baby spinach and all spices (chili powder through black pepper). Saute another 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked through. Stir in quinoa.
  • Squeeze lime juice on top and stir to combine. Serve warm, topped with avocado, cilantro and greek yogurt.

Notes

Top tips for making this Healthy Mexican Taco Casserole
  • I used pinto beans in this dish, but you could easily swap them for black or kidney beans.
  • You can use any veggies you like – it’s a great dish for using up leftover veggies in the fridge!
  • Keep any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge (for up to 4 days) and gently reheat in the microwave or the stove.
  • Serve with your favorite Mexican toppings like salsa, guacamole or sour cream.
  • The longer you simmer this, the softer the veggies/beans/etc. will become. For adults/older kids – sautéing 10-15 minutes is plenty of time for the flavors to come together and for the veggies to still have a nice bite to them. But for really young kids, you can cook it longer so it’s easier for them to chew!
Modified from Super Healthy Kids

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 10.9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 880mg | Fiber: 12.2g | Sugar: 3.8g | Vitamin A: 46.1% | Vitamin C: 223.1% | Calcium: 9.2% | Iron: 22.1%

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28 responses to “Kid-Friendly Mexican Taco Casserole”

  1. I agree with you, the easier and faster you prepare a meal the better it would be. I love the touch of fresh avocado in it. This will be best loved by kids.

  2. My kids are pretty picky, so I love finding meals like this one that the whole family will enjoy and ask for again and again. This looks yummy and filling!

  3. This looks delicious and I love that it’s kid friendly. My oldest daughter is a picky eater but my youngest couldn’t be more opposite. They both would like this meal.

  4. You can’t beat the convenience of a one-pot meal. I haven’t seen a dish like this that had quinoa, that must give it some texture.

    • Totally – I’m all about one pot meals and easy cleanup these days. The quinoa really does give it great texture, and mixing up the toppings adds nice complexity too!

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