Taco Casserole

Published Date: January 15, 2024

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Taco Casserole is a delicious and easy weeknight meal option that’s full of flavor and all of your favorite taco toppings!

A spatula scooping a slice of taco casserole out of a pan.

Move over crumbly hand-held tacos, there’s now a new Taco Tuesday favorite! Not to worry though, this Taco Casserole can still be piled high with all of your favorite mouthwatering taco toppings!

To make this the best taco casserole recipe, I made it so that the ingredients can be easily adjusted or swapped around to make it exactly how you’d like. You can adjust the spice level, add in extra veggies, and even choose what ground meat you use to make them.

If you love Taco Casserole, I just know you’ll love Taco Pie and Taco Mac and Cheese!

ingredients for taco casserole

Taco Casserole Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • Medium Sweet Onion chopped
  • Garlic Cloves minced
  • Salsa
  • Water
  • 2 Packets of Taco Seasoning
  • Black Beans rinsed and drained
  • Shredded Cheese Blend divided
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips divided

This Taco Casserole assembles all of your favorite taco ingredients into a casserole dish and then bakes it to perfection! Once it comes out of the oven you can load it up with all of those delicious taco toppings, don’t forget the sour cream and guac!

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Taco Casserole Substitutions & Variations

  • Meat – This taco casserole can be made with ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer leaner meat.
  • Spice – To give your dish a kick of spice, add a bit of ground cayenne pepper when adding the seasonings. You can also use a spicier salsa or a spicy taco seasoning blend.
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning – Storebought taco seasoning can be replaced with homemade taco seasoning.
  • Chips – Tortilla chips, Fritos, and Doritos are all great chips to choose from when making this taco bake.
  • Veggies – Feel free to add veggies to the taco meat filling. Veggies such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini would all be a tasty addition!

How To Make Taco Casserole

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then add in the ground beef, chopped onions, and minced garlic. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the meat and brown until cooked. Afterward, drain any excess grease or fat if needed.

Step 2: Mix in the salsa, water, and seasonings and continue to cook.

Step 3: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the black beans and half of the shredded cheese.

Step 4: In the bottom of a 9X13 casserole dish, add an even layer of crushed tortilla chips. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 5: Top the crushed tortilla with the beef mixture evenly.

Step 6: Sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese.

Step 7: Transfer the Taco Casserole to the oven and back uncovered until the cheese has melted.

Step 8: Remove from the oven and top with the remaining crushed tortilla chips and your favorite toppings!

steps of how to make taco casserole

The Best Way To Serve Taco Casserole

The best way to serve this taco casserole is similar to how you serve tacos, with LOTS of yummy toppings! To make it easy, instead of adding the toppings directly to the casserole dish, you can serve it on the side so that everyone can choose what toppings they would like on it!

Here are some tasty taco topping ideas:

  • Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, avocado, or black olives
  • Sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or Pico de Gallo
  • Crushed tortilla chips, Fritos, or Doritos
  • Refried beans
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Mexican Rice
  • Extra shredded cheese
taco casserole in white dish on a table with a blue tablecloth

How To Store This Meal

Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container or tightly wrap the baking dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It’s best to store the toppings separately in their own airtight containers or Ziploc bags with the excess air squeezed out of it.

Store the taco casserole in the fridge to be enjoyed for up to 3 days. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or baked in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through. After the leftovers are reheated, you can add toppings and enjoy!

This Taco Casserole can also be stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. I do suggest not freezing the casserole with the toppings and instead adding them once it has thawed and been heated.

To thaw, transfer the taco bake to the fridge overnight and bake at 350 degrees F until thoroughly heated.

Taco Casserole FAQs

Can taco casserole be frozen?

Yes! This makes it a great option for meal-prep, to give away to a new mother, or to help with a meal train.

What can you serve with taco casserole?

You can serve rice, chips and salsa, Mexican salad, or Mexican fruit.

How to make taco casserole with Doritos?

This taco casserole can easily be made with Doritos by simply replacing the crushed tortillas with them.

Can taco casserole be made with homemade salsa?

Yes, feel free to make this casserole using your own homemade salsa!

A spatula scooping a slice of taco casserole out of a pan.

Ground Beef Taco Casserole

This easy taco casserole is the perfect weeknight dinner for the family. It takes about 30 minutes to make! It’s full of flavor and you can load it with all of your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream, and even crushed tortilla chips.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: taco casserole, taco casserole bake, taco casserole recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people

EQUIPMENT

  • Large skillet
  • 9×13 casserole dish

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef I used 90% lean
  • ½ medium sweet onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (1oz.) packets taco seasoning
  • 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • cups shredded cheese blend divided
  • cups crushed tortilla chips divided

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once heated, add the ground beef, chopped onions, and minced garlic. Break apart the meat with a wooden spoon and brown until cooked through, about 5-7minutes. Drain any excess grease/fat if needed.
  • Add the salsa, water, and seasonings. Mix together and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and immediately mix in the black beans and just HALF of the shredded cheese.
  • Add about 2 ½ cups cups of crushed tortilla chips in an even layer into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Just enough to cover the bottom. Set aside the remaining crushed tortilla chips for later.
  • Spoon the ground beef taco mixture evenly on top.
  • Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
  • Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Once it has finished baking, remove from the oven and top with the remaining crushed tortilla chips. Add your favorite toppings if desired!

NOTES

Instead of adding toppings directly to the casserole dish, you can serve it on the side so everyone can choose what toppings they would like on their plate.
For a leaner meat, this recipe can be made with ground turkey instead of ground beef.
If you want it spicy, add a little bit of ground cayenne pepper when adding the seasonings. Or use a spicy salsa or a spicy taco seasoning blend.
Instead of tortilla chips, you can use doritos or fritos instead!
You can add veggies for the filling with the ground beef if desired such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini.
STORING
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s best to store the toppings separately. You can reheat in the microwave or bake in the oven at 350 F until heated through. Add toppings afterwards.
Freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. I recommend not to freeze it with the toppings. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then bake at 350 F until heated through. Use fresh toppings when ready to eat.

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Gabby Hubbell Family Busy Family Recipes Author

From one busy family to another, I see you.

Hi, I’m Gabby! From crockpots to one-pot recipes, we’re eager to make dinner time a breeze for you and your family. Follow along for recipes even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy time and time again!
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