Delicious Haystack Casserole filled with rice and taco meat, topped with a homemade cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and olives and served with tortilla chips! This recipe is from my Mom’s recipe box and a family favorite casserole recipe!
I love this haystack casserole recipe. I repeat again I love this recipe! It’s one of my all time favorites and it once again originates in my Mom’s kitchen. You love that dear mom of mine just as much as me now don’t you?
You always know it’s going to be amazing when it comes out of her kitchen.
I’ll also admit that I’ve been holding out on you with this recipe. She made it a couple months ago and I forgot my camera. Well, I had to request it again (I mean to taste test it right?!) This time I remembered the camera!
In our house, we call this a Haystack Casserole, but I think you’d agree this is a great Taco Casserole recipe. Whichever name you use it will still taste amazing!
Please feel free to adapt the toppings to your preferences. My mom created “corrals” in our haystacks so my brother could have his toppings, my hubby the ultimate picky man could have a few toppings while the rest of us indulged in ALL the toppings!
- ground beef
- tomato juice
- taco seasoning mix
- all-purpose flour
- American cheese
- sharp cheddar cheese
- stuffed olives
- tortilla chips
- salt and pepper
How to make Haystack Casserole
I like to start by putting the crackers on the bottom of the baking dish and topping with the cooked rice.
Then, you will need to cook the beef and onion in a skillet until meat is no longer pink, drain off grease. Add tomato juice, water, and seasonings to the meat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
While the beef is simmering shred the lettuce, dice the tomatoes and sprinkle these over the casserole.
Next, melt butter in sauce pan, stir in flour slowly and whisk until smooth.
Gradually add the milk while whisking, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and stir in American cheese. Pour cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
Top with shredded cheese and olives, then grab a chip and dig in!
Look at all those yummy layers in this casserole below!
Can Haystack Casserole be made ahead of time?
This is really best when served and made fresh. I’d love to tell you otherwise, but invite your friends over, make it a party and make this casserole!
How long will leftovers last in the refrigerator?
Refrigerated leftovers will keep about three days.
Can this this dish be frozen?
Sadly no, but with the lettuce and tomatoes, it really doesn’t freeze well!!!
Optional toppings for Haystacks
More great Mexican Casserole recipes!
- Mexican Lasagna Recipe
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Mexican Breakfast Quesadilla
- Easy Mexican Casserole
- Mexican Pasta Casserole
- 25+ Mexican Main Dish Recipes
If you snap a photo, please be sure tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!!
WATCH THE STEP BY STEP VIDEO FOR THIS HAYSTACK CASSEROLE RECIPE BELOW:
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- 1 c. crushed saltines about 20 crackers
- 1 c. cooked rice
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 3/4 c. tomato juice
- 1/4-1/2 c. water
- 1 1/2 tbsp Taco seasoning mix
- Seasoned salt salt and pepper to taste
- 2 c. shredded lettuce
- 1 1/2 c. medium tomatoes diced
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. milk
- 1/2 lb processed American cheese cubed
- 1 1/2 c. 6 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3.5 oz jar stuffed olives drained, diced
- Tortilla chips
- Put crackers on the bottom of a 9×13 in baking dish. Top with rice.
- In a skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain.
- Add tomato juice, water, seasonings, simmer for 15-20 minutes. Spoon over rice
- Sprinkle with lettuce and tomatoes.
- In a saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk stirring as you add it. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes, reduce heat; sir in American cheese until melted. Pour over tomatoes.
- Top with cheddar cheese and olives.
- Serve with tortilla chips.