Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Delightfully Seasoned Beef Taco Pie with Pepper Jack Cheese ~ My Happy Pie!

Packed with flavor, this family-pleasing dish is easy to make; but definitely not mundane!  I love the delightful and surprising bite of cinnamon along with the beef.  The pepper jack cheese and the chili powder offer just the right amount of heat, and the cheese adds just enough salt...no need for additional salt and pepper.

Though the pepper jack cheese does not offer over-powering heat to this delicious taco pie, you can substitute Cheddar cheese for those with more sensitive palates.  For a little additional flavor, I chose to use canned diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano.  This scrumptious casserole makes a wonderful weeknight meal or take-along dish, and it freezes well.

A fun and comforting pie, it makes me so happy...I just can't seem to get enough of it!

                                              Family Night Fun...
                                            With My Happy Pie!

As adapted from Better Homes and Gardens (April 2014 issue) recipe for Beef Taco Pie

Serves approx. 4-6

  • approx. 1 TB olive oil for an approx. 9" x 2" baking dish or pie plate
  • 1/ea. 14 1/2 oz. can (about 1 3/4 c.) diced tomatoes w/basil, garlic and oregano (w/salt), undrained and divided*
  • 5 ea. 8" (medium-sized) flour tortillas
  • 12 oz. ground beef chuck*
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/ea. (about 1 c.) red, orange or green sweet pepper (or a mixture of any of these) cleaned, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 c. shredded pepper jack cheese, divided*

Toppings and Garnishes (Optional)
  • approx. 1/4 c. cleaned and chopped green onion (green and white portions)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro leaves or stems
  • Salsa
  • Avocado slices or guacamole
  • Sour cream 
  • Tortilla chips

                                                Hey, I Saw You...
                                           Just Couldn't Wait, Huh!

  1. Brush the baking dish or pie plate with the olive oil.
  2. Spread 1/2 c.* of the tomatoes (with the juices) on the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Overlap 3 whole tortillas over the tomatoes and up the sides of the dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  5. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the beef (while breaking up with a fork) along with the onion and sweet pepper until the beef is browned.  
  6. Add the chili powder and cinnamon, then cook and stir for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in 1/2* (approx. 2/3 c.) of the remaining tomatoes with juices and simmer uncovered for 2 minutes.  Pour and spread the beef mixture over the tortillas in the baking dish.
  8. Cut the remaining two tortillas into about 2" strips.  *Lay the strips of one of the tortillas over the beef mixture and scatter with 1/2 c.* of the cheese.
  9. Lay (in the opposite direction of the last layer of strips) the other cut-up tortilla over the cheese layer and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 c.* of cheese.
  10. Top with the rest* of the tomatoes and juices.
  11. Bake uncovered about 20-25 minutes, or until the tortillas are lightly browned.  (Check after 20 minutes, as mine was done in 21 minutes.)
  12. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Cut into wedges and serve with your choice of the above suggested toppings and garnishes.  Refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days (that is, if you have any!).  You can freeze the cooked casserole up to 3 months.
  • I experimented with 1 lb. ground beef chuck; however, the pie is better with 12 oz.  With the ground beef chuck, there's no need to drain the fat.
  • You can substitute Cheddar cheese if you prefer. 
  • I layered the pie a little differently than the original recipe.
                                                 Load Mine with...
                                    All The Toppings and Garnishes!

It's hard to eat just one slice of this tempting pie...you have two pie dishes, right?   Enjoy it with a tossed salad or my Simple Avocado Salad!

Printable Recipe

1 comment:

  1. Cinnamon? What a twist and bring on the pepper jack, sounds great. I still think you're trying to steal my husband as he loves any kind of taco, ha ha!