From Burrito Bar to Casserole – a 5 Minute Way to Use Leftovers!

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Allow me to tell you about two of my favorite new Simple Meals tricks! From Burrito Bar to Casserole, here are two meals that go together super easily!

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The first favorite Simple Meals trick is this: Any time I’ve been privileged to feed a large crowd lately, I have been setting up a Burrito Bar. I fed Asa’s soccer team this way (35+ college male athletes, phew!). I fed Matt’s soccer team this way (20+ college women athletes – Matt’s their assistant coach).

It is important, yet frustrating, to note that I took no pictures of either meal because I always get too busy with the food and the fellowship and I forget to take a picture. I regret this every time. But moving on…

What is great about setting up a Burrito Bar is that each person can build a burrito (or three) to his or her liking. And best yet, those who have food allergies can still eat this meal! (My gluten free friends skip the tortilla but can eat everything else. My dairy free friends can skip the cheese and sour cream and eat everything else. It’s so simple!)

Burrito Bar Fixin’s

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And now for my second favorite Simple Meals trick! After I’m finished serving the Burrito Bar, I stir together the leftovers and spread it into a casserole dish. This makes it super easy to put away leftovers! And it makes for a very delicious meal on another day, which takes zero effort!

I fully admit that this doesn’t look super appetizing. For shame. Something so delicious should not look so…blah.

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I will now attempt to give you an idea of measurements so that you, too, can stir together Burrito Bar leftovers and create a new meal of…what shall we call it? Burrito Bar Casserole? Cheesy Mexican Rice? Mom’s Night Off? Yes, let’s call it that.

From Burrito Bar To Casserole

From Burrito Bar to Casserole - a 5 Minute Way to Use Leftovers!
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • Leftover cooked chicken or hamburger (1-2 pounds)
  • Leftover cooked rice (2-3 cups)
  • Leftover beans (up to 2 cups)
  • Salsa (2-3 cups)
  • Sour Cream (2-3 cups)
  • Shredded cheese (1-3 cups, optional)
Instructions
  1. Stir these leftovers together, not worrying much about the measurements!
  2. Spread the mixture into a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  3. Top it with cheese (optional).
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to warm and serve. Or cover and freeze for up to two months.
  5. When you are ready to serve this meal, cover it with foil and slide it into a cold oven.
  6. Bake a refrigerated casserole at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Bake a frozen casserole at 275 degrees for 2-3 hours or until hot and bubbly.

From Burrito to Casserole - a 5 minute way to use leftovers

Do not get stuck on the measurements for this “casserole.” Simply stir the leftovers together until it looks right for your family. Then your kids might do what mine did, take one bite, and say, “This is actually pretty good.”

Actually?

Yes, because it’s so shocking that my food would taste good. (Okay, but in their defense, it didn’t look super tasty, right?)

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Comments

  1. Brenda says

    I do the same thing, but in an effort to make it look pretty, layer the ingredients. Crunched-up chips on bottom, meat and beans next, salsa and sour cream mixed together poured/spread over the meat and beans, all topped with cheese. Bake until bubbly. Easy peasy!

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  2. Lisa says

    We love doing a burrito (or taco) bar for a crowd here, too! Such a fun, easy meal that everyone loves. ;) One tip that I do at times, instead of mixing everything together in a casserole dish, you could try layering the leftover ingredients with tortillas, making a type of taco lasagna. I usually top it with shredded cheese and a sprinkle of sliced olives. Later, pop it in the oven for a super tasty, super easy meal. :)

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  3. says

    I knew about the wonder of the burrito bar (I call it a taco bar, though), but the use of leftovers to make a casserole? Brilliant. I think we just found our Friday *and* Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend suppers (I’ll be feeding 11).

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  4. Shelby Foreman says

    I was just coming here to say the same thing! Layers are much prettier :) I love using up leftovers! Thanks for the post, Laura. Keep calm and burrito on!

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  5. Maureen says

    I do this on a smaller scale after taco night…making individual serving portions by layering leftovers. I’m really the only one that would eat them, so this works perfectly. Sometimes I refrigerate them, sometimes I freeze them.

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