Bisquick Taco Pie is a nifty little weeknight casserole from a 1992 cookbook compiled by the Hebron Indiana Order of the Eastern Star. I’m not sure whether Masonic traditions involve potlucks, but this is a brilliant old-school potluck dish. It’s a variant on a biscuit-topped shepherd’s pie, jazzed up with some Americanized Mexican flavors. In my world shepherd’s pies are topped with mashed potatoes, so I don’t have a good baseline measure for this kind of pie. I was expecting the crust to be like refrigerator biscuits, but it’s refreshingly light and eggy. It’s not fancy, but it’s fantastic.
Bisquick isn’t something I normally keep on hand and I was a little bit surprised that it’s still widely available. It was a staple in our house growing up but I hadn’t seen it for years. We used it mostly for pancakes, but my mom would occasionally make Bisquick shortcakes. No need to post a recipe: just make the back-of-the-box biscuit and top it off with canned whipped cream and fresh strawberries. And now I know what I’m going to do with the rest of the box. If you can’t be bothered to buy Bisquick there are a variety of recipes online for making your own at home.
The recipe as written is great and doesn’t need a lot of help. I’ve added some chopped fresh chilies to give it a little bit of kick, but if you’re a lightweight you can just as well leave them out. The key ingredient here is pre-packaged taco seasoning, such as Lawry’s or El Paso brand. If you are feeling fancy you can probably mix your own from cumin, paprika, etc. but it sort of misses the point of the easy weeknight meal. There’s also something comforting and familiar about the flavor profile – it tastes like my youth.
I would also recommend baking this in a cast iron pan if at all possible. This simplifies the preparation, in that you can bake the pie in the same pan used to brown the ground beef, and it makes for a beautiful presentation. I find that the biscuit dough provides enough starch for this to be a meal unto itself, but I won’t fault you for serving it with rice and beans, or perhaps roasted corn. I prefer to serve it with a simple side salad and top with hot salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!
- 2 lb ground beef (80/20, or leaner)
- 2 sweet onions (finely chopped)
- 2 Fresno chilies (finely chopped)
- 2 1 oz packages taco seasoning (such as Lawry's brand)
- 6 eggs
- 1½ cups Bisquick (or store brand equivalent)
- 2½ cups milk
- 1 tbsp hot chili powder
- 4 tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 2-3 serrano chilies (optional)
- sour cream
- Preheat your oven to 350º F
- Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and chopped onions and cook until onions are translucent and beef is lightly browned. Mix in chopped chilies and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove skillet from heat and drain any excess fat. Stir in taco seasoning. Do NOT add water, no matter what it says on the back of the bag. Mix well, then spread the beef mixture into a uniform layer on the bottom of the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together bisquick, eggs, milk, and hot chili powder until batter is smooth. Pour over the top of the ground beef.
- Bake for 25 minutes until edges are set and center is still a little bit goopy. Top with chopped tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more. Add cheese and serrano chilies, if using, and bake 10-15 minutes more until cheese is bubbly but not browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean. Serve with salsa and sour cream.