To start, add your ground beef to your large skillet. Using a Mix and Chop (essentially a ground beef masher), break up your ground beef while cooking it over medium heat.
Continue to break it up and sauté the meat.
While browning the meat, heat your refried beans in a bowl in the microwave.
Once the refried beans are hot, spread them out over the entire bottom surface of your glass 13×9 pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.
Ensure the layer of refried beans is flat and evenly spread in the pan.
Using another rubber spatula, stir your ground beef until it is fully browned.
Add taco seasoning packets to the browned ground beef.
Add water to the taco seasoning and ground beef.
Mix to blend your taco seasoning and water with the ground beef and simmer until the water starts to cook away and the meat gets saucy.
Add the bag of southwest vegetables to the ground beef mixture.
Stir your meat and vegetables mixture around to fully cover the vegetables in the taco sauce, beginning to heat the vegetables through.
Should you determine after stirring in the vegetables that you’d like extra vegetables added, which is completely optional and up to you here, you can choose to add another bag of the southwest vegetables or add more corn to your mixture.
Stir all the vegetables to cover completely and cook thoroughly.
Add Rotel to your vegetables meat mixture.
Stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients and let simmer to cook off some of the excess moisture.
Once you are satisfied with the sauce level left in the pan after cooking your ingredients thoroughly, go ahead and scoop your taco meat mixture into a large bowl so you can add cheese and mix comfortable without spilling.
Add copious handfuls of shredded cheese and stir until the cheese is well-melted and combined.
Add this cheesy taco mixture to the layer of refried beans in your baking pans. Layer evenly across the top. Look at all that delicious ooey gooey cheese already!
Ensure the taco mixture is even across.
Sprinkle lightly more shredded cheese over top.
Ensure the cheese is evenly spread on top before baking.
Cover your pans with foil and bake in the oven for about 10 or so minutes. (Remember, this was already cooked fully on the stove, we’re just heating this until it’s cooked altogether now.) Remove from oven and remove foil.
Top once more with shredded cheese. (Didn’t I tell you that this was going to be awesomely cheesy?)
Top with tri-colored tortilla strips (which add even more color and taste amazing).
We went a little crazy with our tortilla strips, but they taste REALLY great on top! Look at that gorgeous color, can you blame me for going crazy with it?
Once you feel the dish is sufficiently topped with the tortilla strips, bake uncovered for another five minutes to brown the toppings slightly.
Remove from oven. Appreciate the gorgeousness and color in this dish as you let it cool slightly before serving.
Best served in a bowl! I served this over cheesy rice, but you can also serve it over regular tortilla chips, with taco shells, flour or corn tortillas – the deliciousness never ends!