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Mexican Turkey and Rice Casserole

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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!

My dad made this meal for us growing up, and we loved it. Scarfed it down. Seriously, when my brother and I were teenagers, my family would eat almost an entire 9×13 pan of this stuff. It’s that yummy. And comforting. And its easy enough that teenagers can make it by themselves. Plus, if you manage to keep some leftovers for the next day, they are just as good!

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:

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.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sauté ground turkey until it is no longer pink.
  3. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and allow the mixture to simmer while the rice cooks.
  5. In a separate medium pan, cook the rice.
  6. When the rice is done, add the rice and the half of the queso to the turkey and stir well.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared 9×13 pan.
  8. Top with the remaining queso and smooth over the top.
  9. 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.

Storage Information

Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Reheat in the microwave util warmed through.

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below! Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the recipe, please do not copy and paste or screenshot. Thanks so much for supporting me! xoxo

ground turkey mexican casserole on plate with crushed tortilla chips and sour cream

Mexican Turkey and Rice Casserole

Mexican turkey and rice casserole is an easy meal that is pure comfort food!
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Course: 30 Minute Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole recipe, comfort food
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 483kcal
Author: Jenni – The Gingered Whisk


  • 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

for serving

  • 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).
  • Enjoy!


Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 1088mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

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