John Wayne Casserole

John Wayne Casserole Recipe: The Classic Comfort Food!

So, yeah. I only made this recipe because it’s called ‘John Wayne Casserole’. That’s it. My husband loves John Wayne. In fact, Jesse’s middle name is Wayne because of Heath’s love for ‘The Duke’ (I wanted to name him Jesse Barret J. so his initials would be JBJ, like Jon Bon Jovi, but Heath said over his dead body. Whatever).

I had no idea what to expect with this. I wasn’t expecting much, I’ll tell you that, but it actually turned out to be really good. That sour cream/mayo/cheddar cheese mixture that gets poured on top absolutely makes it. It’s really good, and moistens up the dish a bit…adds a subtle creaminess to the dish.

I’m posting the recipe as I found it originally, but for my little family of three, I cut it in half and made it in an 8×8 baking dish (I usually cut 9×13 dishes in half the first time I make them just in case it sucks, then I don’t have to throw out a large amount of food). However, if you’re feeding any more than two adults and a small child, you’ll want to stick with the original directions.

Not sure what makes this John Wayne’s casserole, but it was certainly good, and something that Heath asked to be added to our favorites…so that’s a win!

The John Wayne Casserole recipe is a classic comfort food that is loved by many. It features a combination of savory ground beef, sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, pepper jack cheese, and other delicious ingredients. Additionally, this dish is packed with flavor and protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours.

John Wayne Casserole Ingredients:

2 pounds of ground beef mixture, cooked and drained

1 (1.25-ounce) packet of taco seasoning

4 ounces sour cream

4 ounces mayonnaise

8 ounces of Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 cups biscuit mix

2 diced tomatoes (possibly with green chilies)

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 (4-ounce) can be sliced jalapeno peppers


  1. Heat oven to 325. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and water, according to packet instructions; set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, and half of the onions; set aside.
  3. Stir biscuit mix and water (directions on box) to form a soft dough. Pat dough on the bottom and one-half-inch up the sides of a 9 x 13 in. greased casserole dish.
  4. Saute remaining onions and bell peppers until slightly tender.
  5. On top of the biscuit casserole mix, evenly distribute ingredients in the following order: ground beef, tomato slices, green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture, and end with remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the edges of the dough are lightly browned.

Ground beef is a key ingredient in the John Wayne Casserole recipe, as it adds savory flavor and protein to this comforting dish. This meat helps to balance out the other flavors and textures in the recipe, providing a rich and satisfying experience for the taste buds.

Additionally, the ground beef works well with all of the other ingredients in this recipe, including the sour cream and mayonnaise, creating a well-rounded and balanced meal. Whether you are cooking for yourself or feeding a crowd, this casserole is sure to be a hit!


The ingredients in the John Wayne Casserole are rich in nutrients and protein, making them an excellent choice for a healthy and well-balanced meal. Ground beef provides key vitamins and minerals such as B12, iron, zinc, and protein, while sour cream is full of essential fatty acids that can help to promote good heart health and reduce inflammation.

Additionally, mayonnaise is an excellent source of healthy fats and antioxidants that can help to support overall health and wellness. Whether you are looking for a satisfying meal that is packed with nutrients or simply want delicious comfort food, this casserole is sure to be a winner!


There are many possible substitutions that can be made when preparing the John Wayne Casserole. For example, if you are looking to reduce the amount of fat or calories in the recipe, you could use a lower-fat mayonnaise or sour cream.

Additionally, if you want to add more vegetables to the dish, you could use different types of peppers or other ingredients like mushrooms or spinach. Other possible substitutions include using ground turkey or chicken in place of the ground beef, or using gluten-free biscuit mix for those with dietary restrictions. With so many options and variations to choose from, this versatile casserole is sure to be a hit with everyone!


To prepare the John Wayne Casserole, start by heating the oven to 325 degrees F. Next, brown the ground beef and add the taco seasoning along with a splash of water, following the instructions on the packet. Set the cooked ground beef aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, and half of the onions. Set this mixture aside as well.

Stir together the biscuit mix and water to form a soft dough, then pat it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9×13-inch greased casserole dish.

Finally, saute the remaining onions and bell peppers until slightly tender, and then spread the ground beef and cooked veggies over the top of the dough. Top with tomato slices, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned, and enjoy your delicious John Wayne Casserole!


The John Wayne Casserole contains approximately 550 calories, 65 grams of carbs, 23 grams of fat, and 32 grams of protein per serving. It is also rich in nutrients like iron, zinc, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a healthy and satisfying meal. Whether you are looking to fuel your workouts or simply want a delicious meal to enjoy with friends and family, this casserole is sure to hit the spot!

Storage instructions

The John Wayne Casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To refrigerate or freeze, allow the casserole to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. When ready to eat, simply thaw and reheat as desired. Whether you are looking for a quick weeknight meal or want to stock up on some tasty leftovers, this casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!


Thank you for checking out our recipe for John Wayne Casserole! If you try this delicious dish, we would love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Happy cooking!


What is the story behind John Wayne casserole?

The John Wayne Casserole is a popular dish that was created in honor of the iconic actor and Western film star, John Wayne. The recipe is said to have originated at Duke’s University in North Carolina, where it was served as a cafeteria favorite for many years. The casserole has since become a classic comfort food enjoyed by people all over the world.

What is cowboy casserole made of?

Many variations of cowboy casserole exist, but the most common ingredients include ground beef or turkey, corn, black beans, tomatoes, cream cheese mixture, and other spices. Some recipes also call for sour cream mix or mayonnaise to be added for extra flavor.

What is Casseroling cooking method?

Casseroling typically refers to a method of cooking where food is baked in a large dish, or “casserole,” which is sealed shut with foil or another type of lid. This enables the food to cook slowly over time, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes that are perfect for feeding groups of people.

What is an American casserole?

An American casserole is a type of dish that typically features meat, pasta or rice, and vegetables. The ingredients are combined together in a large baking dish and then baked until the food is heated through and ready to enjoy. Some popular examples of American casseroles include lasagna, enchiladas, macaroni and cheese, and chicken pot pie.

What are some popular cowboy casserole toppings?

There is no right or wrong way to top a cowboy casserole, as people often include their own favorite ingredients in this dish. However, some commonly used toppings include shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, scallions, black olives, and corn chips.