Frugal Meal Friday: Beef & Bean Taco Casserole




I was originally going to share a recipe that was slightly less expensive to make, but we tried this recipe for the first time this week and it was DELICIOUS!!! Plus, Monday is Cinco de Mayo and this could be a fun Mexican (extremely Americanized) dish to serve in celebration! Doesn’t a margarita sound absolutely delicious right now! Yum!

So the original recipe is HERE found at

I changed it up a bit (of course)! 🙂

  1. I hate using partial vegetables, so I used the whole green bell pepper.
  2. I used 5 tomatoes (3 cooked, 2 fresh added after dish was cooked) because that is how many I had and didn’t have plans for the rest, no waste in this house.
  3. I added a can of kidney beans into the refried beans/ground beef mixture to give it more texture and for it to go further.
  4. I used a purple onion because I don’t care for green onions.
  5. I sautéed the onions with the meat while it was browning and then added the green pepper and sautéed for ~3 minutes. Then add the refried beans and salsa.
  6. I also meant to add the chilies with the green pepper, but forgot (horrible memory). The added kick from the chilies was missed!
  7. I used homemade taco seasoning. (HERE is the recipe I use)
  8. Since I added things (salsa, more tomatoes, more green pepper and onion) I used a bigger dish (9″x13″) and had many more servings!
  9. We kept the top layer of lettuce and chips off the dish and just added it to our individual serving. Since there is only two of us, we knew there would be plenty of left overs and warm lettuce and soggy tortilla chips is just gross! 🙂


Ingredients & Cost:

1 lb. Ground Beef: $2.00-$3.00
1 can Refried Beans: $.25-$.50
1 can Kidney Beans: $.25-$.50
1 can of olives: $.50 – $.75
Taco Seasoning: $.25-$.50
Salsa: $1.00-$1.50
Bell Pepper: $.30-$.50
Onion: $.20-$.30
Cheese: $.50-$.75
Lettuce: $.10-$.20
Chilies: $.20-$.30


10 servings

Cost Per Serving: $.61-$.88

*Prices are estimated off my “buy” and “stock up” prices. Prices will vary depending on where you live and grocery shop.


This dish was so easy and quick and super delicious! It has definitely made it to the repeat recipes list in our household!


4 thoughts to “Frugal Meal Friday: Beef & Bean Taco Casserole”

  1. I added a layer of Spanish rice to this casserole…super yummy and made good leftovers.

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