This easy casserole recipe is filled with layers of ground beef with taco seasoning, green peppers, onions and a sour-cream based cheesy sauce, topped with cheddar cheese.The layers sit on top of a delicious biscuit crust. John Wayne Casserole is a sensational recipe and exactly what you need for a busy weeknight dinner.
If you love this recipe, try our Cowboy Cornbread Casserole next!
- Why we love John Wayne Casserole
- Try these easy casserole recipes next!
- What is John Wayne Casserole
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- Step by step instructions - How to make John Wayne Casserole
- What to serve with cowboy casserole
- Storage instructions
- Reheating instructions
- Can you freeze John Wayne Casserole?
- More Casserole Recipes to Enjoy
- John Wayne Casserole with Bisquick
Why we love John Wayne Casserole
- satisfying comfort food that the whole family enjoys, and it's delicious leftover too!
- simple ingredients that can be found in the local grocery store.
- like my Dorito Chicken Casserole recipe, it's perfect for a busy weeknight. What weeknight isn't busy right? I know you're thinking that and I feel ya!
Try these easy casserole recipes next!
What is John Wayne Casserole
The original version and history of this casserole was created by John Wayne! John Wayne contributed the recipe to a cookbook titled, “Cooking with Love from Cara and Her Friends”, compiled by a Cara Connery. I've adapted this recipe from the orginal and I will suggest some variations, however it is delicious as written in the original format.
I must digress for a moment and age myself as I fondly recall rainy Sunday afternoons as a young girl watching John Wayne movies with my Dad. Anyone else old enough to relate?
If you love casserole recipes, then you've gotta try my Philly Cheesesteak Casserole Next. It has a similar biscuit crust but the other flavors are completely different and delicious!
If you prefer a classic, old-fashioned casserole recipe, try my old-school tuna noodle casserole recipe with potato chips!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground Beef - you can also substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
- Taco seasoning - use the packaged taco seasoning that you find in the grocery store or, if you make a lot of taco recipes, try my homemade taco seasoning recipe and use 2 to 3 Tablespoons for this recipe. It's great to have on hand and keeps for six months.
- Sour cream - full fat sour cream is delicious in this recipe or you can use light or reduced-fat sour cream.
- Mayonnaise - use your favorite brand.
- Sharp cheddar cheese - we like sharp cheddar or you can use mild, medium cheddar, pepper jack cheese or Monterey Jack cheese. Or a combination of those or whatever you have in the fridge!
- Green bell peppers - or substitute with yellow, orange or red bell peppers.
- Onion - I use yellow cooking onions. Sweet Vidalia onions are a great second choice.
- Bisquick mix
- Canned tomatoes - you can sub in two to three small sliced tomatoes for the canned tomatoes.
- Can of green chiles
Step by step instructions - How to make John Wayne Casserole
You can find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this page with a detailed ingredients list and instructions. I've included a few photos below with some visual photos to help you along the way with this cheesy casserole recipe.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
PREPARE THE BISCUIT LAYER
Let's get started with this biscuit casserole and start with the biscuit crust.
In a large bowl, combine water and biscuit mix. Give it one minute to sit and thicken up a little.
Spread the biscuit dough into the bottom of the prepared 9x13-inch casserole dish.
In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat until browned. Stir in taco seasoning and add water according to directions on taco seasoning. (usually ¼ to ½ cup of water).
Spread the meat mixture on top of the biscuit layer.
Drain the canned tomatoes, then spread the tomatoes on top of the ground beef.
In the same skillet, cook the green pepper and sliced onions until softened over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the tomatoes and ground beef mixture, followed by the can of green chiles.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and ½ of the shredded cheese. Spread on top of the beef mixture.
Top with remaining cheese and bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Let rest five minutes before serving.
What to serve with cowboy casserole
If you're serving a crowd and looking for easy side dishes to serve with John Wayne Casserole, then try these easy side dishes:
And for dessert, how about Laura Bushs's award-winning Cowboy Cookies! Sign me up!!
Cool casserole, then wrap casserole dish with plastic wrap, or carefuly transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to three days.
Reheat leftover casserole by cooking in 350°F oven until heated through. This should take about 20 minutes. Individual portions can be reheat in the microwave for one to two minutes.
Can you freeze John Wayne Casserole?
Yes! This casserole freezes and reheats well. Cook casserole completely, then cool. Wap entire casserole dish in plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator, then reheat in 350°F oven until heated though.