Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole loaded with all your favorite Mexican ingredients makes an easy, quick weeknight dinner. With ground beef, beans, and crunchy Frito topping.

Just like Oven Baked Beef Tacos, this casserole dish is an easy way to prepare your favorite Mexican Dinner for a crowd. No need to prepare individual tacos, just bake all the ingredients in one casserole dish and enjoy!

Taco Casserole in baking dish top down

TACO CASSEROLE

Easy Taco Casserole is an easy family-friendly dinner that’s perfect for weeknight dinners. It’s easy to make and the total time is just 40 minutes. Made with delicious layers of Refried Beans, ground beef, taco seasoning, melty cheese, and a crunchy chip topping.

This casserole comes together quickly and is great for beginning cooks to try out. You’ll be amazed at how simply it comes together. The flavorful layers all bake together easily for a creamy, melty, and flavorful dinner. It’s your favorite taco dinner baked into an easy casserole.

KID FRIENDLY

Taco Casserole recipe is great to make if you have a lot of kids eating. Making a regular taco dinner can easily turn into a mess, and be time consuming. You’ll either have to spend a lot of time making individual tacos, or let your kids assemble it themselves. Either way, you’ll probably end up with a lot of taco filling on the table and floor.

This Easy Taco Casserole is a great way to avoid the mess. After cooking the meat mixture you bake it all in one casserole dish so there’s minimal cleanup, and it’s easy for everyone to serve themselves.

Taco Casserole before baking in baking dish

HOW TO MAKE TACO CASSEROLE

  1. Start by browning the ground beef and onion in a large skillet. This step is very important to make sure the meat is properly cooked. Cook them together in the skillet until the onion is fragrant and the ground beef is no longer pink. It should only take about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Once browned, make sure to drain the excess fat from the meat so you don’t end up baking it into your casserole.
  3. Add in the water and taco seasoning. Stir in the seasoning and water until the water has cooked out.
  4. Add in the salsa and stir the beef mixture together one more time.
  5. Spray your baking sheet with vegetable oil or another non-stick spray so that the casserole doesn’t stick to it.
  6. Put in a layer of refried beans, then add the salsa layer over that, then top it with cheese.
  7. Bake as it is for 20 minutes. Take the casserole out of the oven and add broken up Frito chips to the top, then bake for another 10 minutes. Waiting to add the chips until later will make sure they stay crunchy and crisp.
  8. Before serving add your favorite taco toppings like lettuce, diced tomatoes, and black olives.

MORE CASSEROLE DINNERS

MAKE-AHEAD TACO-CASSEROLE

Along with being an easy dinner, this is also a great recipe to make ahead of time. You can easily double the recipe and serve one Taco Casserole on the day you cook it, and save the other for later.

  • Prep the casserole and bake it for the 20 minutes without the chips.
  • Then cover the casserole and store it in the freezer.
  • This casserole is completely freezer-friendly before you add the chips and toppings.
  • It will keep well in the freezer for 3 months.
  • When you’re ready to serve your frozen dinner, let it first defrost in the fridge overnight.
  • Once it’s thawed add the chips to the top and cook it for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

Taco Casserole with Fritos and cheese

VARIATIONS ON TACO CASSEROLE

  • Meat: Instead of using the beef mixture in this recipe, try cooking ground turkey or chicken in the skillet for the meat mixture.
  • Beans: For some more texture you can add black beans with the refried beans layer of the Taco Casserole.
  • Cheese: This recipe uses shredded cheddar cheese. Some other cheeses you can use in this taco recipe are Mozzarella, Monterey Jack cheese, or a Mexican-style 4 cheese blend.
  • Chips: Rather than using Frito chips as the topping for this casserole, you can use simple tortilla chips or even Doritos for some extra flavor.
  • Add-ins: One of the great things about casserole recipes, is that you can add ingredients you have on hand and experiment with the recipe. Try any ingredients you typically enjoy in tacos. Some to add are chopped jalapeno, green onions, or bell pepper. You could also add in some extra seasonings like chili powder, garlic salt, or onion powder.

Taco Casserole at an angle

MORE EASY TOPPINGS FOR TACO CASSEROLE

There are so many great toppings you can add to Taco Casserole recipe such as tomato, shredded lettuce, and black olives. For some other toppings try guacamole, sour cream, salsa, corn, and cilantro.

MORE MEXICAN RECIPES

HOW TO STORE TACO CASSEROLE

  • Serve: Don’t leave this Taco Casserole at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: You can store your leftover Easy Taco Casserole recipe in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: The recipe will also last well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to let it cool to room temperature before putting it in an airtight container. You can cut the casserole into serving size portions for a ready-made lunch.

Cross section of Taco Casserole

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Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole loaded with all your favorite Mexican ingredients makes an easy, quick weeknight dinner. With ground beef, beans, and crunchy Frito topping.
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef , (85/15)
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning , or one packet
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 2 cups Fritos chips
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce , thinly sliced
  • 1 vine tomatoes , diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives , sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
  • Add the ground beef and onions to a large skillet on medium high heat and break it apart as you cook it, for 6-8 minutes, until no longer pink.
  • Drain excess fat before adding in taco seasoning and water.
  • Stir well and cook until water has evaporated then add in the salsa and stir.
  • Layer the baking dish with refried beans, taco salsa mixture and cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, top with Fritos and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  • Top with lettuce, tomato and olives before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1087mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1126IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert โ€“ Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Our family loved this. I used just 1 can retried beans for the bottom layer & it worked fine. Easy to make & flavorful!

  2. What I loved about this recipe is that is so delicious and easy to make. We love taco casserole at home and we were totally craving for it so I decided to try this recipe and we definitely enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe.

  3. This recipe is amazing! Made it for my family the other day and they cannot stop raving about how good this recipe is. Thank you for an easy to follow recipe!

  4. Really easy to put together and tasty. I used my own taco seasoning, tortilla chips (Fritos would be even better I bet). Didn’t have tomatoes or olives and it reheats nicely as well.

  5. This recipe has been around a long time and is called Frito Pie. I have been making this since I was a kid and I am 70 years old

  6. Looks good. I think I will try it next week. How much water are you suppose to add. I couldn’t find it in the recipe. Thanks.