John Wayne Casserole

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Get ready for an unforgettable flavor with this John Wayne Casserole. Packed with seasoned beef, fresh vegetables, and a golden biscuit topping, this hearty casserole can be on your table in just 1 hour!

Suitable for Gluten Free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Top down view of a John Wayne Casserole.

Ready to wrangle your taste buds with the essence of the Old West? This John Wayne Casserole is a hearty mix of beef, veggies, and a golden biscuit crust, ensuring a meal that’s both satisfying and endlessly adaptable to suit your flavor preferences.

Not just a feast for the senses, this recipe offers a range of serving options, from an extra sprinkle of cheese for added richness to perfect pairings with crusty bread or fresh salads.

Plus, with its freezer-friendly quality, it’s the perfect frontier for easy meal planning, promising a fuss-free solution for those busy days and bustling gatherings. So saddle up and savor the flavors of this cowboy comfort classic that’s flexible and flavorful!

And if you love casseroles, be sure to check out this Cornbread Casserole and Walking Taco Casserole. So much yum…

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3/4 view of a John Wayne Casserole with a scoop out.

Why Make This John Wayne Casserole Recipe

  • Family-Friendly – This John Wayne Casserole is a delightful family favorite, perfectly suited for bringing everyone together over a satisfying and wholesome meal.
  • Versatile Flavor – With its adaptable nature, the John Wayne Casserole allows for endless variations, providing an opportunity for creativity and personalization to match diverse taste preferences.
  • Effortless Entertaining – Impress your guests with minimal effort using the John Wayne Casserole recipe, a reliable option that promises a flavorsome and comforting experience for any gathering or occasion. Serve it with some Instant Pot Cornbread
  • Time-Saving – Embrace the ease of meal preparation with this John Wayne Casserole, ensuring you can enjoy a comforting and hearty dish without spending excessive time in the kitchen.
Side view of a John Wayne Casserole slice on a white plate.

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground beef – Opt for lean ground beef to minimize excess grease in the casserole, ensuring a lighter yet flavorful experience.
  • Large biscuits – Choose biscuits that are suitable for baking, ensuring a golden and fluffy biscuit layer in the casserole.
  • Canned corn – While fresh corn can be used, canned corn offers a convenient alternative without compromising on taste and texture.
  • Medium green bell pepper – For added color and freshness, consider using a mix of green and red bell peppers, enhancing the visual appeal of the biscuit casserole.
  • Diced jalapeno – Adjust the amount of jalapeno based on your preference for spiciness, ensuring a balanced heat level in the dish.
  • Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies – Explore different varieties of diced tomatoes to customize the level of heat and tanginess in the beef and biscuit casserole.
  • Medium onion – Experiment with various types of onions, such as red or white, to add distinct flavors and textures to the dish.
  • Sour cream – Use full-fat or light sour cream depending on your dietary preferences, ensuring a rich and creamy texture in the casserole.
  • Mayonnaise – Opt for your preferred brand of mayonnaise to achieve the desired level of tanginess and creaminess in the casserole.
  • Taco seasoning – Adjust the amount of taco seasoning to control the casserole’s overall spiciness and flavor profile.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – Experiment with different types of shredded cheddar for varying degrees of sharpness, allowing you to tailor the flavor profile to your liking.
the ingredients for this John Wayne Casserole Recipe.

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

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How To Make A John Wayne Casserole

Get complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card further below.

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 177 degrees C and move the oven rack to the middle shelf.
  2. In the meantime, grease a 13×9-inch glass casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Then, place the biscuits in the prepared baking dish and press them together and up the sides halfway to make a crust. Put the dish on a cooking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The dough should be lightly browned around the edges. Remove and set aside, but leave the oven on.
  3. While the biscuit crust bakes, in a small bowl, mix the ground beef and taco seasoning. Cook in a large skillet on medium-high heat until brown. Drain excess fat. Then, add tomatoes, jalapeno, green peppers, and onion to the browned ground beef. Cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and half the cheddar cheese in a separate bowl. Stir well and set it aside.
  5. Next, add the taco meat mixture on top of the baked biscuits, top with the drained canned corn, add the sour cream mixture in an even layer, and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top.
  6. Bake uncovered for between 30 minutes or until edges of the dough are lightly browned and the cheese is melted.
image collage showing the steps for John Wayne Casserole.

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

Expert Tips

  • Be sure to drain the grease and spread the ground beef mixture evenly in the dish. It will cook better if it is evenly spread.
  • If you want to use fresh biscuit mix instead of canned biscuits, you can use Bisquick mix or any biscuit dough. Just combine enough water to the mix to make a soft dough.
  • Instead of greasing your pan, you can use parchment paper to keep your crust from sticking.
  • Not a fan of spicy foods? You can leave out the jalapeno.
  • If your casserole came out watery, add some flour or cornstarch. Or you can press the top with a piece of parchment paper while draining out the excess moisture.
Top down view of a John Wayne Casserole slice on a white plate showing the cheese top.

Delicious Variations

  • Different ground meat – Use ground turkey, chicken, or pork instead of ground beef for a lighter casserole.
  • Other cheese – Similarly, you can use whatever shredded cheese you like, such as mozzarella, Colby jack, or pepper jack cheese.
  • Greek yogurt – Instead of the sour cream mixture, you can use plain Greek yogurt for less fat and fewer calories.
  • Use powder – Add a teaspoon of onion powder and garlic powder for a more flavorful casserole.
  • Chili powder – To give your casserole a spicier taste, use chili powder instead of taco seasoning. Or you can use both!
  • Other veggies – Feel free to use other veggies in your casserole recipe. You could use red or orange bell peppers, olives, black beans, green beans, sliced tomatoes, and whatever else you like.
  • No dough – Make this a lighter meal by leaving out the biscuit dough crust.
Side view of a John Wayne Casserole slice on a white plate.

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – Pre-cook and season the ground meat, chop the vegetables and mix the cream cheese and sour cream in advance.
  • Store – Keep in an airtight container (or cover it with plastic wrap) inside the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze – Place it in a freezer-safe container, and it can be stored for up to 3 months. 
  • Reheat – To reheat, put it in a baking dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F / 190 degrees C. Or you can reheat a smaller portion in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.
Side view of a John Wayne Casserole slice on a white plate showing the layers.

FAQs

Why is it called John Wayne casserole?

It is called a John Wayne Caseroles as according to the records, the recipe was first published in a fundraising cookbook started by a 10-year-old girl, Cara Connery in 1979.

She decided to write a cookbook featuring the favorite recipes of different famous people to raise money for cancer research.

The first volume had the recipe that John Wayne himself provided.

What kind of onion is best for this dish?

You can use whatever kind of onion you like best for this dish.

The original recipe for John Wayne casserole called for a yellow onion but white, red, or even green onions would work for this recipe.

Yellow onions are the most common onions used for cooking. They are slightly sweet but keep their tangy flavor when cooking. Red onions are a bit stronger. White onions are spicy too but leave less aftertaste.

Why is my casserole watery?

Certain vegetables have more water in them than others, like onions, zucchini, and tomatoes. When using these veggies, cooking them first and draining the juices is best.

Also, you should make sure you drain the canned corn well before adding it to the dish.

Another thing that can help is to use drained chopped tomatoes and peppers instead of canned Rotel.

Side view of a John Wayne Casserole slice on a white plate with garnish.

Similar Recipes

Looking for more EASY, delicious, and flavorful recipes? I’ve got you covered. Check out my full collection of Casserole Recipes, or start a few of my most popular recipes:

Serve John Wayne Casserole With:

  • This delicious dish is perfect as a meal on its own, and we like to add Crusty Bread and a Side Salad.
  • Another way to make this a heartier meal is to serve it on top of a bed of Rice or pasta.
  • Try serving with a side of Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, tater tots, or french fries.
  • An awesome skillet to ensure this dish cooks evenly.
  • Make sure you’ve got a decent-sized casserole dish to ensure this recipe cooks up evenly. No one wants a half-baked casserole, right?
  • Premium sea salt flakes are designed to enhance your dish with a personalized touch of seasoning, just as you prefer.
  • For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

More Casserole Recipes

Here are even more tasty casserole recipes.

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Top down view of a John Wayne Casserole.
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John Wayne Casserole

This hearty John Wayne Casserole is a flavorful twist on a classic dish.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 660kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (908g) ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning store-bought or homemade
  • 16 ounces (454g) can biscuits
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 20 ounces (567g) rotel tomatoes con green chiles
  • 1 medium green bell pepper halved, seeds and veins removes, and sliced
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 15.25 ounces corn 1 can, drained
  • 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese
  • ½ cup (125ml) sour cream
  • ½ cup (125ml) mayonnaise
  • 2 ½ cups cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese shredded and divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 177 degrees C. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking oil.
  • Open the can of biscuits, and arrange them in the prepared pan in a single layer. Press into an eve layer, joining them together, pressing the dough about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the dough, on a rack in the middle of the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until just lightly brown on the edges. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the ground beef with the taco seasoning and cook until browned. Drain the grease. Add the onion, green bell pepper, jalapeño, and rotel tomatoes, cook and stir for 5-8 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and half of the cheddar cheese.
  • Next, add the taco meat mixture on top of the baked biscuits, top with the drained canned corn, add the sour cream mixture in an even layer, and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until edges of the dough are lightly browned and the cheese is melted.
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Notes

  • Be sure to drain the grease and spread the ground beef mixture evenly in the dish. It will cook better if it is evenly spread.
  • If you want to use fresh biscuit mix instead of canned biscuits, you can use Bisquick mix or any biscuit dough. Just combine enough water to the mix to make a soft dough.
  • Instead of greasing your pan, you can use parchment paper to keep your crust from sticking.
  • Not a fan of spicy foods? You can leave out the jalapeno.
  • If your casserole came out watery, add some flour or cornstarch. Or you can press the top with a piece of parchment paper while draining out the excess moisture.
  • Storage – store the casserole in an airtight container (or cover it with plastic wrap) for up to four days.

Nutrition

Calories: 660kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 813mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5mg

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