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Here in inland Northern California, our summers are pretty warm. We’ve had a series of days over 100 degrees, so I’ve been experimenting with more and more cooking on the grill. I’m trying to do anything I can to not heat up my house! This dish did the trick!!!

My experience cooking over an open fire when camping had scared me off from using my pans on the BBQ. BUT the gas grill does not cake your pans with soot the way an open fire does, so I’ve been using my cast iron skills on the grill more. I do have to admit, I’m not ready to put my Le Creuset pans on the grill!

So this casserole was cooked from beginning to end on our gas grill. The other great part about this dish is that most of the prep can be done ahead of time and stuck in the fridge for when you’re ready to cook. I love me some early dinner prep!!! Not to mention, it’s one of those all in one dishes! I didn’t make any other sides to go with it. It stood alone!

Turkey Taco Casserole

Makes 4-6 servings

1 pound ground turkey

2 tbsp oil (avocado or vegetable)

1 – 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup diced green onions

1/2 cup diced cilantro

1 small can sliced black olives

1 diced fresh jalapeño (if you want less spice, remove the seeds and ribs)

1 small can diced green chiles

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (I used fresh, but you could use canned)

1/2 cup salsa

1 tbsp Tapatio hot sauce (optional)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika (I used hot, smoked paprika. We love our spice!)

1/2 tsp chili powder

Salt and pepper

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (cheddar or plain jack would be good too.)

Our gas grill has 3 burner strips. I started by putting the 2 tbsp oil in my large cast iron skillet and then the ground turkey. I browned this over two of the burner strips. While that was cooking or even before, I mixed the next 12 ingredients (everything except tortilla chips and cheese) in a bowl and set aside or stick in the fridge if prepping ahead.

Once turkey is lightly browned, add the bowl of other ingredients and stir well until mixed. Sprinkle crushed tortilla chips over the entire top of casserole and then sprinkle grated cheese over that.

I turned all but one burner off and moved the skillet to the cooler side of the grill away from the burner that was on. I closed the grill and tried to maintain a temp of about 350 in the grill. I cooked for 40 minutes, turning it about 1/2 way through, so both sides of the skillet would cook evenly. You can check with a spoon to see that the center of the skillet is nice and hot.

I hope you enjoy and stay cool!!!