Grow Happy: Taco Casserole Recipe

Grow Happy

iStock_000020228427Small-300x198Now that summer is in full swing your local farmer’s market is probably full of delicious vegetables. We’ve heard from several centers that recently hosted their own farmer’s markets to introduce their students to new, healthy foods. Our friends on the Grow Happy blog shared this recipe that just might keep that lesson going beyond the classroom: taco casserole.

This healthier take on a kid favorite is a great way to incorporate new vegetables, like bell peppers, seeded jalapenos, or zucchini into your child’s diet. You can use a variety of meats including ground pork, turkey, lean beef, or keep it vegetarian with refried beans. Try different varieties of beans, including pinto or black beans. For busy families, this can be prepped the night before – just take it out of the refrigerator and bake for 45 minutes at 375˚F or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F.

Kids can help pick out ingredients at the store, dice onions (with supervision), combine ingredients, assemble the casserole, and top it all with cheese.

Taco Casserole


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 – 2 oz. can black sliced olives
  • 1 – 4 oz. can diced green chili
  • 1 – 10 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. taco sauce
  • 1 – 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 6 – wheat flour tortillas
  • 9 oz. shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Brown ground turkey in a medium sauce pan. Add onion & garlic, sauté for 5 more minutes.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients (olives, green chili, tomatoes, taco sauce, refried beans), reduce heat to low, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a 4 quart casserole dish, spread a thin layer of meat mixture on bottom of dish; cover with 2 tortillas followed by more meat mixture. Continue until all tortillas and mixtures have been layered. Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F.

You can find more yummy recipes to share with parents (or try in your classroom) on the Grow Happy blog.

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