How much are we traveling this summer? Every single weekend, except for two, from the beginning of June to the middle of September. The cat is even done with us being gone as you can see above. She sees the suitcases come out and she tries to climb in. We are not supposed to forget to take her with us again!
Because we are traveling so much I am not buying groceries as I normally do. I am using up every little scrap I can find in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to save money. My children and I were going through the freezer the other night and found some ground beef and a couple of boxes of pierogi. I knew we had some salsa in the pantry and cheddar cheese in the fridge. Mexican Pierogis it is!
Neither of my children were very thrilled at the thought of this meal. They usually don’t like boxed pierogies and that I was doing something unfamiliar with them made it even worse in their minds. They were wrong! They both ate two helpings and my daughter who would normally just pick out the pierogi ate several of them! Win!!!
This dish had lots of flavor which all of us loved. I toasted the corn before adding it to the casserole and used a chunky medium hot salsa that is one of our favorites. Make sure all of your ingredients are chock full of flavor before adding them to the casserole and your casserole will have tons of flavor.
Mexican Pierogi Casserole
- 2 (16 oz) boxes of frozen pierogies – I used four cheese medley
- 1 (16 oz) jar salsa, your favorite brand and spiciness
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 (16 oz) can corn, drained or 1 1/2 cups fresh corn
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, if desired
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- For Serving: extra salsa, green onions, sour cream, olives, parsley, etc… as desired
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1/2 of the jar of salsa.
- Cook the ground beef in a medium skillet over medium heat. Break the ground beef into small pieces as it cooks. Once cooked through remove any grease from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup of water, chili powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper to meat and stir well. Taste and adjust spices as needed. If you are worried about it being too hot start with no red pepper flakes and Cayenne pepper. Add after tasting the meat to adjust spiciness.
- Place 1/2 of meat in bottom of pan with salsa. Put other half of meat in a bowl to the side.
- Place the pierogies in a single layer on top of the meat and salsa. There may be some overlapping but try to not pile them on top of one another.
- Wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Add drained corn to skillet. Toast corn over medium high for 5 -7 minutes until it gets a nice browning around the edges. Stir and toss as necessary to avoid burning. Place corn over the pierogies.
- Add the rest of the meat to the top of the dish and then pour the remaining salsa over the dish. Spread it evenly as possible over the dish.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and remove aluminum foil from dish. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Return uncovered pan to oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven when cheese is bubbly and browning around the edges. Let casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, green onions, parsley, extra salsa, as desired.