Mexican turkey and rice casserole is pure comfort food! Ground turkey, rice, tomatoes, spices, and queso cheese combine together to create a flavorful and comforting casserole recipe that kids love to eat! Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips for fun texture.
What I am about to share with you is neither all that healthy or made of “whole” foods. But what it has going for it is entirely comfort. And with all the crazy weather we have been having – freezing cold, snow, ice, and the ridiculous amount of school cancellations and delays, this meal is exactly what everyone needs!
I have tried so many times to “fancy” this recipe up – adding beans, corn, swapping spices, etc. But nothing is as good as the original. What is so great about this recipe is its simplicity. Its easy, comforting, and delicious!
Try these other family friendly weeknight meals:
- Southwest sausage sheet pan
- Chimichurri ground beef and rice
- Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes
- Sheet pan quesadillas
- cheesy beef enchilada casserole
How to make this casserole
This casserole is so easy to make, its great for kids to help with! For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Sauté ground turkey until it is no longer pink.
- Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in the tomatoes and allow the mixture to simmer while the rice cooks.
- In a separate medium pan, cook the rice.
- When the rice is done, add the rice and the half of the queso to the turkey and stir well.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared 9×13 pan.
- Top with the remaining queso and smooth over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly.
Tips for serving:
- Serve with sour cream on the side.
- Serve with tortilla chips. We like to serve them crushed up on top, but serving them as scoops is also fun!
Can I use brown rice instead of white?
Sure! Since you cook the rice separately and then stir it in, you can switch out the rice. Just make sure you start cooking the brown rice before since it takes longer to cook. You could also use quinoa if you want.
Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave util warmed through.
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Mexican Turkey and Rice Casserole
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2-3 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 2 cups water
- 28 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces jarred queso
- sour cream
- tortilla chips
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Cook the ground turkey until no longer pink.
- Add the garlic and the spices and saute 1 minute.
- Add in the tomatoes and let simmer on low while you cook the rice.
- In a medium pan, combine 1 cup rice and 2 cups water and simmer 15 minutes, until done.
- Add the rice and half of the jar of queso to the turkey, stirring well.
- Pour the mixture into a 9×13 pan.
- Spread the remaining queso over the top of the casserole.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips (you can either crunch the chips up on top or you can use the chips to scoop the casserole and eat it that way).
Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.