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Baked Mexican Goulash

Welcome to a culinary journey that combines the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine with the comfort of a baked casserole. This Baked Mexican Goulash is a hearty and satisfying dish that will surely become a favorite in your kitchen. Packed with vibrant spices, tender meats, and layers of gooey cheese, it’s a celebration of taste that’s easy to prepare and even easier to devour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red and green), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream (for garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Tortilla chips (optional, for serving)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain excess fat.
  3. Add chopped onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté until vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Mix well.
  5. Season with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, letting the flavors meld.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  7. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top, creating a cheesy layer that will melt into gooey goodness.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Garnish with dollops of sour cream and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Cook Notes:

  • Customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of chili powder and cumin according to your taste preferences.
  • For a leaner option, use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • Experiment with different types of beans or add your favorite veggies for a unique twist.

Variations:

  1. Vegetarian Delight: Skip the meat and double up on beans for a protein-packed vegetarian version.
  2. Spicy Kick: Add diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce for those who crave extra heat.
  3. Cheese Lover’s Paradise: Mix in different cheeses like Monterey Jack or pepper jack for a cheesy explosion.

Keto Version:

  • Substitute ground beef with ground turkey or beef with higher fat content to align with keto macros.
  • Omit the black beans and corn to reduce carb content.
  • Use a blend of low-carb vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Replace black beans and corn with low-carb alternatives like black soybeans and cauliflower.
  • Serve over cauliflower rice or with a side of mixed greens.

Conclusion: In conclusion, this Baked Mexican Goulash is a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish that effortlessly blends the bold flavors of Mexico with the convenience of a baked casserole. Whether you’re hosting a gathering, looking for a family-friendly dinner, or simply craving a comforting meal, this recipe is sure to satisfy. Don’t be afraid to get creative with variations to suit your taste and dietary preferences. So, gather your ingredients, preheat that oven, and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds dancing

Tips for a Flavorful Experience:

  1. Marination Magic: Let the ground beef marinate in the spice mix for a few hours before cooking for an extra burst of flavor.
  2. Fresh vs. Canned: While canned ingredients offer convenience, using fresh tomatoes and corn can elevate the dish’s taste, especially during the summer months.
  3. Cheese Layering: Experiment with layering different cheeses for a more complex flavor profile. A mix of sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and queso fresco works wonders.

Serving Suggestions:

  1. Taco Tuesday Twist: Serve the goulash in taco shells or tortillas for a Mexican-inspired taco night.
  2. Avocado Delight: Top each serving with slices of creamy avocado for a cool contrast to the warm and savory goulash.
  3. Sidekick Salad: Accompany the dish with a refreshing side salad featuring crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and a zesty lime dressing.

Family-Friendly Adaptations:

  1. Kid-Friendly Shapes: Use cookie cutters to cut tortillas into fun shapes and bake them alongside the goulash for a kid-approved meal.
  2. Mild and Creamy: Adjust the spice levels for little ones by reducing the amount of chili powder and opting for a milder cheese.

Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

  1. Prep in Advance: You can assemble the goulash up to the baking stage and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking.
  2. Freeze for Future Cravings: Prepare a double batch and freeze one for a quick and delicious meal on busy days. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.

Keto and Low-Carb Tips:

  1. Veggie Boost: Increase the vegetable content to add more fiber and volume without compromising on flavor.
  2. Cauliflower Creations: Experiment with cauliflower variations, like cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash, as side dishes.

Health-Conscious Hacks:

  1. Leaner Meat: Opt for lean ground meat and drain any excess fat after browning to reduce overall calorie and fat content.
  2. Greek Yogurt Swap: Substitute sour cream with Greek yogurt for a lighter alternative that still brings a creamy texture.

Final Thoughts: In the realm of comfort foods, Baked Mexican Goulash stands tall as a versatile, flavorful, and crowd-pleasing option. Whether you’re a culinary adventurer looking to spice things up or a health-conscious individual seeking a low-carb twist, this dish has something to offer everyone. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your creativity, and let the aromatic symphony of Mexican spices transform your kitchen into a haven of delicious delights. Get ready to savor every bite of this Baked Mexican Goulash—it’s a journey worth taking. ¡Provecho!

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