Easy Taco Casserole

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Easy Taco Casserole is beef, cheese, and tortilla chips layered up and loaded with rich flavor throughout.  It is an easy to make, crowd pleasing, Mexican dinner that will be a hit with everyone!
If you love an easy and versatile layered casserole, try my Loaded Stacked Chicken Enchilada Casserole.  It is a stacked version of the much loved Enchilada.
Easy Taco Casserole on a white plate with a metal fork.

Easy Taco Casserole

I got this easy taco casserole recipe from a friend named Jeremy. It is one of his family’s favorite recipes.  He told me that I just had to make it!  I loved it because it was so easy to throw together!  I already had the ingredients on hand and within 20 minutes it was already in the oven!

On top of being easy, this taco casserole was absolutely delicious. It had perfect taco flavor and I loved the crunch from the tortilla chips. Everyone loved it!  There is really no end to how buildable and versatile this casserole is.  My kids were content to keep it simple with just meat, cheese, and chips, while I layered it up with my favorite toppings.  I added avocado, sour cream, cilantro and chopped lettuce!  My husband was able to make this his own as well by adding black olives.  It was a fun way to mix up a taco night and see how all our personalities came out in our final dishes!

Taco Casserole Ingredients:

  • Hamburger meat: Lean ground beef is best for less grease and tender meat.
  • Onion: Chopped and cooked with the meat.
  • Tomato soup: Adds flavor to meat as it simmers.
  • Water:  Helps cook the meat and incorporate seasonings.
  • Taco seasoning: Homemade taco seasoning or packaged seasoning works well with these tacos.
  • Tortilla chips: Adds a crunch to the casserole.
  • Grated Mexican cheese: Helps bind the casserole together and gives great flavor!

How to Make a Taco Casserole:

  1. Cook Meat: Brown the ground beef with the onion.
  2. Simmer: Add the tomato soup and taco seasoning with one can of water.
  3. Layer: Break up tortilla chips. Layer chips, hamburger mix, and cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese.
  4. Bake: Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  5. Serve: Use all your favorite toppings. Sour cream, lettuce, green onions, etc.

Ideas to Make Taco Casserole Your Own:

The great thing about this recipe is that it leaves room for you to make it unique to you and your family! Spend time perfecting this dish and write it down! Your kids will ask you for it one day!  I will share with you some ways I have altered it over the years that me and my family have loved. Let me know what your favorite version is!

  • Protein: Try it with ground turkey, ground chicken, shredded chicken, shredded pork, or finely sliced steak (sirloin, flank steak, or skirt steak is best).
  • Cheese: Pepper jack is awesome in this casserole, but any of your favorite cheeses will work.  I encourage you to freshly grate it for the best melt, since store bought is often coated with preservatives that keep it from melting properly.
  • Chips: For more flavor try doritos or fritos instead of the tortilla chips.  Or, if you plan to freeze or make ahead, try flour or corn tortillas instead of chips.
  • Layers: Refried beans, guacamole, salsa, black or pinto beans, rice, or tater tots all make great layer additions or substitutions.
  • Optional Garnish: Cherry tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, sour cream, sliced avocado, serrano peppers, red bell peppers, pico de gallo, sliced olives, or diced jalapenos.

Storing Your Casserole:

One thing I do to save myself time when making this easy taco casserole is make and freeze the meat mixture ahead of time.  (It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.) Then, I can just thaw out the meat, throw together the other layers, and have the entire thing heating in the oven in minutes!  This will also prevent any sogginess in your chips that would happen from storing the casserole already layered.

  • To store after baking: Let cool, then place in an airtight container, refrigerate, and use within 3-4 days.
  • Make and Take: Make in a foil pan if planning to deliver to a friend or family member.  This way they can just dispose of the pan when they are done enjoying the meal.  Write the baking directions on the top of the foil pan for them, so they have heating directions handy.

More Taco Night Dinner Recipes to Try:

Easy Taco Casserole

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A quick and easy casserole that you can put your favorite toppings on making it a fun taco night!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can water
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 package tortilla chips
  • 2 cups grated mexican cheese


  • Brown the ground beef with the onion in a skillet. Add the tomato soup and taco seasoning with one can of water.
  • Break up tortilla chips. Layer chips, hamburger mix, and cheese in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Repeat layers ending with cheese.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes at 350.

Add Toppings:

  • Serve with favorite toppings. Sour cream, lettuce, green onions, etc.


Updated Post On: May 19, 2020
Originally Posted on: July 31, 2012


Serves: 6

Calories375kcal (19%)Carbohydrates13g (4%)Protein23g (46%)Fat26g (40%)Saturated Fat12g (60%)Cholesterol89mg (30%)Sodium967mg (40%)Potassium531mg (15%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar6g (7%)Vitamin A985IU (20%)Vitamin C10mg (12%)Calcium269mg (27%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword taco casserole, taco casserole recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. My whole family loves this recipe!! My boys love that they each can pick their own toppings. Such a great recipe and perfect for busy nights!

  2. Just made this tonight. It tastes excellent, but mine looks runnier than yours. I will definitely make this again, but I think I will only use half a can of water. I used Doritos rather than regular tortilla chips… mainly because I had a craving to Doritos and I knew there’d be leftovers! Thanks for all of your recipes. Your site is very easy to use and you have some great choices!

  3. Hi Alyssa! I love this blog! All the recipes seem really family friendly, and I love that you use a ton of crock pot recipes!

  4. YUMMMM!!!!! We do Taco Tuesday a LOT in my family and this is a super easy alternative! Thanks for the recipe, pinning right now!


  5. This is good with Doritos…and western dressing. Haven’t tried it with the tomato soup. I’ll keep that in mind as a good substitute!

  6. Yum. This looks delcious! I have been on a Mexican kick lately. Last week it was taco lasagna, tonight it’s either going to be tacos or nachos. I will be pinning your recipe for future reference! 🙂


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