After a long day working on the farm (or in the office, the farm of the business world), you need a dinner that guarantees you’ll be energized and excited to face a new day in the morning. And if any place knows just how to do that kind of hearty and nourishing food, it’s Texas. The Texas Farmer Casserole layers a beefy, savory meat sauce with plenty of beans and sweet potatoes for a touch of sweetness with a distinct Tex-Mex flavor. Crunchy tortilla chips form a crispy base and melty cheese does what it does best: enchant every bite with dairy delight! The Texas Farmer Casserole is a whole other country of its own!

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups chunky salsa, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • corn tortilla chips, as needed for layering a 9×13-inch dish
  • 8 ounces Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • green onion, optional, sliced, for garnish
  • cilantro, optional, chopped, for garnish
  • guacamole, optional, for serving
  • sour cream, optional, for serving

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 2 –Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

Step 3 –Peel and spiralize the sweet potatoes, chopping the spirals just a bit to shorten the long strands. Alternatively, dice the sweet potato into small cubes.

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Step 4 –In an extra large skillet over medium or medium-high heat, add the beef and the onion, breaking up any large chunks of the beef and stirring occasionally until the beef is browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 5 –Just when the last bit of pink is still present on the beef, stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 6 –Stir in the red pepper, the corn, and the sweet potato.

Step 7 –Add the beans, the tomatoes, the salsa, the chili powder, the cumin, the paprika, the oregano, the cayenne pepper, the salt, and the black pepper, folding to combine.

Step 8 –Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sweet potato is softened, about 15 minutes. If you spiralized the sweet potato, this may take longer.

Step 9 –In the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread about 2 cups of the beef mixture.

Step 10 –Add a layer of the tortilla chips on top, allowing for slight overlap of the chips.

Step 11 –Drop 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture over the tortilla layer by spoonfuls, spreading it out in an even layer.

Step 12 –Sprinkle 1/2 of the Mexican cheese blend and 1/2 of the Pepper Jack cheese over the beef layer.

Step 13 –Top the cheese layer with a layer of the tortilla chips.

Step 14 –Add the remaining beef mixture, spreading it out in an even layer.

Step 15 –Sprinkle on the remaining Mexican cheese blend and the remaining Pepper Jack cheese.

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Step 16 –Cover the baking dish loosely with foil (it should not touch the cheese) and bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.

Step 17 –Remove the foil and turn on the broiler.

Step 18 –Broil the casserole until the cheese is browned to your liking, about 1-3 minutes.

Step 19 –Top with the green onion and the cilantro and serve with the extra salsa, the guacamole, and the sour cream.