Have you ever heard of John Wayne Casserole? Delicious layers of ground beef, cheese mixture, fresh vegetables and Jalapeno peppers baked on top of a biscuit crust make for an amazing weeknight dinner!
Want to try this in the slow cooker? Try our Crockpot John Wayne Casserole!
John Wayne Casserole Recipe
Like my taco empanadas, this recipe is one of my top picks for dinner ideas that use ground beef. Casseroles are really popular, but it’s taken me up until the last ten years to really embrace them. This is one of my favorites, along with my Hamburger Casserole!
Why is it called John Wayne Casserole?
Apparently, this John Wayne Casserole recipe has some interesting origins, including information on why it’s named what it is. Regardless of its origins, it’s a tasty dinner that your family will love. The jalapenos do not make this too hot, so don’t be too concerned about that. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Ingredients you will need:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning (or you can use my homemade taco seasoning)
- 1 16-ounce can large biscuits (or homemade biscuits)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 8-ounces cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced
- 1 (4-ounce) can sliced Jalapeno peppers
- 13×9 baking dish (I just bought two of these and LOVE them!)
Making this casserole
I used Pillsbury Grands biscuits. I’m sure a generic or store brand would be fine as well. I don’t think I would bother making biscuits from scratch for this since they are just going to get buried, but if you prefer to do that, here’s a recipe for homemade biscuits you can use.
Place biscuits in greased 13×9 pan in a single layer and press into the pan, joining them together, pressing the dough halfway up the sides of the pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake dough in preheated oven on the center rack for 12-15 minutes at 350 F; checking every few minutes after 15.
The dough should be very light brown where the edges are just starting to get color. Remove from oven and set aside, leave oven on.
In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, half of the cheddar cheese, and half of onions. Stir well and set aside.
Combine the browned ground beef with the taco seasoning and water, and cook according to packet instructions. Transfer cooked taco meat to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out pan.
Saute remaining onions and bell peppers on the taco meat pan until slightly tender.
On top of baked biscuit crust, layer ingredients in the following order: taco meat, tomato slices, bell pepper and onion mixture, Jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until edges of dough are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
Hope you enjoy it, I know we did!
John Wayne Casserole
IMPORTANT – There are often Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!Print It Rate It
- 2 pounds ground beef browned and drained
- 1 ounce packet taco seasoning plus water listed on the back
or my homemade taco seasoning
- 16 ounce can large biscuits
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese shredded and divided
- 1 medium onion halved and sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper halved and sliced
- 4 ounces canned sliced Jalapeno peppers
- Preheat oven to 350 F and place your oven rack in the center. Spray a 13×9 glass baking dish.
- Place biscuits in pan in a single layer and press into the pen, joining them together, pressing the dough halfway up the sides of the pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake dough in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes; checking every few minutes after 12. The dough should be very light brown where the edges are just starting to get color. Remove from oven and set aside, leave oven on.
- While biscuits are baking, combine the browned ground beef with the taco seasoning and water, and cook according to packet instructions. Transfer cooked taco meat to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out pan.
- In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, half of the cheddar cheese, and half of onions. Stir well and set aside.
- Saute remaining onions and bell peppers on the taco meat pan until slightly tender.
- On top of baked biscuit crust, layer ingredients in the following order: taco meat, tomato slices, bell pepper and onion mixture, Jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until edges of dough are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
Expert Tips & FAQs
More Casseroles you might like:
A lot of people have commented below saying they love this John Wayne Casserole and it’s become a regular part of their recipe rotation. I have some more casseroles you’ll like as well. Try some of these and let me know!
- A very popular ground beef or lamb recipe is Shepherd’s Pie. It’s one of those comforting recipes, and one that’s been around for a long time. There are so many different versions of Shepherds and Cottage Pie. This is my take on the classic, and it’s one the whole family loves!
- One of our most popular dinners is this Mexican Chicken Casserole, hearty and full of delicious flavors.
- Beef stroganoff casserole is a hearty weeknight dinner the whole family will love thanks to its rich flavors and creamy sauce.
- Not only is this 7 Layer Casserole affordable but it’s quick and easy to make in a pinch.
- This creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole is a satisfying comfort meal.
- Cabbage rolls are a true comfort dish stuffed with a variety of different flavors and textures.
- Easy chicken tetrazzini is the creamiest, most satisfying pasta bake to date piled with parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese.
- Lasagna roll ups are perfect for prepping ahead of time and freezing, making weeknights a breeze!
This post was originally published here on Apr 22, 2015.
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What is the INTERESTING STORY???
Amanda Formaro says
It’s in the post. Look for the heading “Why is it called John Wayne Casserole?”
Followed the recipe almost exactly. I choose drained stewed tomatos and mild green chilies mixed in the sour cream/mayo.It’s perfect. Shared with a neighbor and great review. I liked that I could prep in advance and then assemble. THANKS for something new!
My biscuits burned. I used grands, baked 15 minutes. I turned the oven off, but left the casserole in the oven for a while. Anyone have this problem? It was delicious anyway. I think the canned tomatoes would be a better option. Also, I left the onion out, can’t do them.
I LOVED this recipe and so did my husband! I halved it because there’s only two of us and the 30 min cook time was perfect. I also didn’t read the directions carefully and ended up cooking the unions and bell peppers with the ground beef, draining then adding my seasoning to that whole mixture! I left the onions out of the sour cream and Mayo mix and used fresh jalapeños instead of canned! I covered the whole thing with fresh cilantro once it was out of the oven. It turned out SO DELICIOUS let me tell you. This will definitely become a regular recipe in my house. 🥰
Oh my gosh! Best casserole recipe my husband & I ever tried. It has become a staple in our house. Thank you so much for sharing. Absolutely delicious!
We love this recipe and I have made again and again! The only thing I added was sliced black olives before the Mayo mix! Love love love!
Made this last night for my husband and myself. Good and luckily husband liked it too. If I like a recipe and he doesn’t I won’t make again! Plus it makes a lot, a real lot! Ate it for several days and husband’s snacks too. I’m just getting back into cooking again after years of recovery and rehabilitation (coma and many other sudden illnesses). This was a good recipe to start with and a keeper!
Dee, thank you for the heads up. Ignore the snarky comment from Jeff! I cooked the biscuits for half the time specified and it turned out great. Give it another try. I appreciate the comments from others and get a lot of tips that way. You have a fabulous day!❤🙏
Made this a few months back, my wife absolutely loved it, now it’s a regular go to meal at our house, my 18yo son(garbage disposal) wears it out too
Took a bit of “doing” and it was well worth it! I used a bit more meat, diced tomatoes with chiles (1 can, I would use 2 next time.) and 1/4 extra cup of sour cream and mayonnaise. I used Grands Biscuits and cooked them for 15 minutes, no more. I also sprayed the pan with cooking spray to make sure they didn’t stick. All and all, a great recipe that the grandkids would love! Will make it again.
I made keto biscuits instead and put a can of diced tomatoes.
Very good and less carbs.
Can you use a pizza dough instead of biscuit dough?
This is a favorite of mine and my husbands. I found this recipe on Amanda’s Cookin’ and I make it often now. I leave out the tomato and use cresent rolls instead of biscuits and we love it. Thanks Amanda’s Cookin’ for sharing
Can you make it without the mayo/sour cream mixture or does the recipe need it for the creaminess? Just wanted to try this today but I do not have any sour cream or cream cheese. Help!!
Liza Wynn says
can you substitute ground beef for ground turkey
Amanda Formaro says
Debbie Okolita says
Rita Barbour says
This hit the spot on a cold evening. The guys in our house Loved it.. Totally recommend.
My favorite meal. I tried this and love it. I do use half the ground beef and it’s plenty
DEE ZIMMERMAN says
Very disappointed that pre-baking the Grand biscuits made it very overdone and hard to cut and get out of the pan. Too much onion for our taste.
Dee I cooked my biscuits half the time.. And as you can read
They were Keto. Perhaps cooking them less will help
Jeff d says
4.98 Rating from 800+ users.Must be “operator error” on your part concerning the biscuits
You could just suck at cooking Jeff. A recipe is a guide not an exact plan