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John Wayne Casserole with Bisquick (Cattle Drive Casserole)

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, add our Cowboy Cornbread Casserole, Chicken Enchilada Casserole and Beef Enchilada Casserole and Mexican Chicken Casserole to your meal plan!


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Cattle Drive Casserole

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!

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Philly Cheesteak Casserole with Ground Beef Recipe

Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

Taco Spaghetti

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Chicken & Hashbrown Casserole

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

Labelled ingredients for John Wayne casserole with Bisquick recipe.
  • 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.

STEP ONE – Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.

Bisquick and wtaer in mixing bowl with spoon.

PREPARE THE BISCUIT LAYER

Let’s get started with this biscuit casserole and start with the biscuit crust.

STEP TWO – In a large bowl, combine water and biscuit mix. Give it one minute to sit and thicken up a little.

Bisquick dough mixture spread in the bottom ox 9x13-inch baking dish.

STEP THREE- Spread the biscuit dough into the bottom of the prepared 9×13-inch casserole dish.

Ground beef mixture with peppers, onions, chilis and tomatoes are spread on top of biscuit layer in casserole dish.

STEP FOUR – 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 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water).

Spread the meat mixture on top of the biscuit layer.

STEP FIVE – Drain the canned tomatoes, then spread the tomatoes on top of the ground beef.

STEP SIX – 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.

STEP SEVEN – In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Spread on top of the beef mixture.

Sour cream mixture and grated cheese sprinkled on top of ground beef mixture in casserole dish.

STEP EIGHT – Top with remaining cheese and bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Let rest five minutes before serving.

Baked John Wayne casserole in a baking dish sitting on a wooden board.

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:

Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole with Cheese

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole with Sour Cream

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

And for dessert, how about Laura Bushs’s award-winning Cowboy Cookies! Sign me up!!

Helping of John Wayne casserole on a white plate.

Storage instructions

Cool casserole, then wrap casserole dish with plastic wrap, or carefuly transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to three days.

Reheating instructions

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.

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John Wayne casserole on a white plate.

John Wayne Casserole with Bisquick


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Description

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. The layers sit on top of a delicious biscuit crust. John Wayne Casserole is a great recipe and exactly what you need for a busy weeknight dinner.


Ingredients

2 cups Bisquick baking mix (mixed with 1 cup water)

2 pounds ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning

1 green pepper, diced

1 small onion, sliced

20 ounces diced canned tomatoes, drained

1 can (4 ounces) green chiles

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine water and biscuit crust. Give it one minute to sit and thicken up a little. 
  3. Spread the biscuit dough into the bottom of the prepared 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  4. 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 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water). Spread the meat mixture on top of the biscuit layer. 

  5. Drain the canned tomatoes and spread the tomatoes on top of the ground beef. 

  6. In the same skillet, cook the green pepper and sliced onions until softened – about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on top of tomatoes and ground beef mixture, followed by the can of green chiles. 

  7. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Spread on top of the beef mixture.

  8. Top with remaining cheese and bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Let rest five minutes before serving. 

Notes

Storage Instructions: Cool casserole, then wrap casserole dish with plastic wrap, or carefuly transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to three days. 

Reheating Instructions: Reheat leftover casserole by cooking in 350°F oven until heated through. This should take about 20 minutes. 

Freezing Instructions: 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. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 generous helping
  • Calories: 722
  • Sugar: 13.3 g
  • Sodium: 1293.3 mg
  • Fat: 35.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 49.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 143.3 mg

16 Comments

  1. This is a blast from the past! I remember having it when I was little. I can’t wait to make it for my kids. Thanks for the recipe!






  2. Another amazing weeknight casserole from Shesnotcookin! So easy for leftovers and we loved the Bisquick layer!! Who can resist a John Wayne casserole!






  3. This is such a tasty, easy casserole to make, and that creamy, cheesy topping makes it SOOOO good! Another winner dinner!






  4. My husband made your casserole while he was off of work due to a stroke. He had to be off for one year due to the fact he is a truck driver. I put Pintrest on his phone and he started checking out recipes because he got tired of eating the same things all the time and we have a lot of picky people in my household. I would come home from work and dinner would always be ready or almost done. This meal was so good I swiped it off of his Pintrest page.






  5. I have made it twice now and it’s perfect. My family can’t make one complaint about anything in this casserole, they truly love it that much!






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