John Wayne casserole is cozy comfort food at its best. You’re going to love the Southwestern flavor of this hearty family classic. This is one of my favorite easy ground beef recipes!
Easy John Wayne Casserole Recipe
Have you ever thumbed through one of your Grandma’s old church cookbooks?
If so, you’ve likely spied a funny-sounding dish called John Wayne casserole.
This layered casserole is a warm, comforting, and flavorful family dinner.
Because of this, it’s also a recipe that I return to over and over again.
Why is it Called John Wayne Casserole?
So, how did this funny ground beef casserole get its name?
After doing a little research, I found that John Wayne contributed this casserole recipe to a 1979 cookbook titled, Cooking with Love from Cara and Her Friends, compiled by an author named Cara Connery.
Of course, I can’t verify this legend, but it’s a nice story!
How to Make John Wayne Casserole
As you may have guessed by the title of this blog, I really appreciate great casserole recipes. This one is easy to make, following the instructions below.
John Wayne Casserole Ingredients
2 pounds ground beef, browned, crumbled and drained
1 ( 1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
¾ cups of water
a small onion, sliced thin in about 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin in about 1-inch pieces
2 ¼ cups Bisquick
⅔ cup of water
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 4-oz. can
First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Next, in a 12-inch skillet, brown the ground beef until thoroughly cooked, then drain and return to the skillet.
Add ¾ cup water, the taco seasoning packet and bring to a boil. Add the onion and the peppers.
Turn down the heat and simmer for three to five minutes, or until the onions and peppers begin to soften. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the biscuit mix and ⅔ cup water to make a soft dough.
Now, press the dough into the bottom and up the sides about ½ inch in the prepared baking dish.
The dough is sticky, so I used parchment paper to press it out on the bottom. Because of this, I also used a spatula to bring it up the sides. John Wayne casserole is all about layers, so, get ready to create your dish!
Now you’ll want to use a small mixing bowl to combine the mayonnaise, the sour cream, and half the cheese. Set aside.
Spread the beef mixture evenly over the biscuit layer. Evenly layer the sliced tomatoes over the beef mixture.
Next, layer the green chilies over the tomatoes. Now spread the sour cream mixture over the green chilies.
Finally, top with remaining cheese. Bake your John Wayne casserole for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
You’re going to love this tasty ground beef casserole recipe.
Be sure to drop me a comment if you make it for your family, and Pin it while you’re here! Also, if you love ground beef recipes, don’t miss my Ground Beef Vegetable Soup.
More Easy Casseroles
- Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
- Mexican Spaghetti Casserole
- Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
- Chicken Hashbrown Casserole
- Ham and Noodle Casserole
John Wayne Casserole
Creamy and spicy, this classic John Wayne casserole is the ultimate family meal or potluck dish.
- 2 pounds ground beef, browned, crumbled and drained
- 1 1-oz. packet taco seasoning
- ¾ cups water
- 1 small onion, sliced thin in about 1 inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin in about 1 inch pieces
- 2 ¼ cups Bisquick mix
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1 4-oz. can green chiles
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a 12-inch skillet brown the ground beef until thoroughly cooked, then drain and return to the skillet. Add ¾ cup water, the taco seasoning packet and bring to a boil. Add the onion and the peppers. Turn down the heat and simmer for three to five minutes, or until the onions and peppers begin to soften. Set aside
- In a small bowl mix together the biscuit mix and ⅔ cup water to make a soft dough. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides about ½ inch in the prepared baking dish. The dough was a little sticky so I used parchment paper to press it out on the bottom, and I used a spatula to bring it up the sides.
- In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, the sour cream and half the cheese. Set aside.
- Spread the ground beef mixture evenly over the biscuit layer. Evenly layer the sliced tomatoes over ground beef mixture. Evenly layer the green chilies over the tomatoes. Evenly spread the sour cream mixture over the green chilies. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 856mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 33g
16 Comments on “John Wayne Casserole”
There’s a similar dish on the back of bisquick boxes called Impossible Taco Pie, made with these ingredients, except you pour the batter over the top of the meat mixture and cook it, topping it with the cheese, half way thru. Then top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and more of the cheese. Cut into portions and serve.
Sounds good, Cathy, I’ll have to try it that way! 🙂
Hey this is my favorite thing to eat.
This is so easy and so full of flavor. It is one of my wife’s favorite meals. Thank’s again for your recipes.
This recipe was from John Wayne I’m told, before I comment, I have to say my grandmother used to work for universal studios under Edith Head who was a famous designer and seamstress. After Mr.?Wayne slowed down my grandma sewed all his shirts and other apparel for him. I was told many times what a big man and kinda man he was. So this recipe means a little more to me than just a casserole. It is absolutely delicious, but I wanted to say why it means more to me. Thanks
How does the bisquick on the bottom turn out? I didn’t see an actual picture of one serving so I wasn’t sure. There is nothing worse than soggy biscuits. Thank you for sharing ?
It wasn’t soggy – I was worried about the same thing. It was a cooked, thin crust on the bottom.
Has anyone made this but not baked it at the end to take to a friend to make sometime later? Say within a week or so?
Did you make it ahead and bake later?
How did it turn out?
I would also like to put it together in the morning and just bake it in the evening.
Loved this. Perfect football-watching meal. Instead of tomatoes i used a can of Rotel and added a small can of corn, both drained. Cuz I’m lazy.
Has anyone made this with store-bought biscuits? See lazy comment above. Or suggest how to use Bisquick without making a mess? My wife thinks the biscuits are potentially too sweet.
Instead of Bisquick, I made this with Carbquik as I’m low-carb. Excellent! It’s now on the dinner rotation at our house.
This was excellent!
Can you make this with the pillsbury busquits in the can instead of the bus quick?
I have used pillsbury biscuits a few times. They are too thick so I actually separated each biscuit in half. Pressed down with my fingers to form solid dough across bottom. Bake only for 25 minutes and check the dough is done before leaving in longer.
Can you prepare this casserole the night before and bake the next day?
So yummy! My family loves this recipe! Thank you so very much for your blog! I have quite a few recipes from you and they’re always hits at my house! ❤️