Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole recipe is an easy dinner solution ready in just 30 minutes! Seasoned ground beef is loaded with crunchy corn chips, melted cheese, and your choice toppings for a customizable meal.

Looking for more simple Mexican inspired dinner recipes? Then try this Fiery Shrimp Diablo, Three Cheese Mexican Stuffed Shells, or Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

Taco Casserole with toppings

Taco Casserole

When you need a quick and delicious dinner, a taco casserole is an ultimate meal to feed a hungry crowd. I use my homemade taco seasoning recipe to instantly flavor the ground beef. Each bite delivers bold spices with a Mexican twist.

Casseroles are great for layering textures and toppings. Tortilla chips are added on top of the beef mixture, plus some melted cheese to create a crunchy, savory crust. Spicy food lovers can chop up your favorite peppers or drizzle on hot salsa. Any add-ons you can dream up would pair perfectly with this sharable feast.

Cooking ground beef in a skillet

How do you make taco casserole?

In a large nonstick skillet, saute onions and bell peppers. Add the meat and cook beef until browned.
Stir in the taco seasoning and flour, cook for 1 minute. Add the water and cook until the beef mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in the corn and black beans.

Transfer the meat mixture to a baking dish and spread it into an even layer.
Top the beef with tortilla chips and cheese, bake at 375ºF until the cheese is melted.
To serve, add desired toppings on top of the taco casserole.

ground beef cooking with corn and black beans

What seasonings do you add to the beef?

To add bold savory flavor to the neutral ground beef, a combination of spices and dried herbs are used. Use smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder for a mild heat. For a spicier taste, add in chopped jalapeno peppers, or cayenne pepper powder.

What kind of chips and cheese can be added?

The gently crushed tortilla chips add that characteristic taco shell crunch to the casserole. Salted corn or flour chips are my top choice, but feel free to add your favorite type of seasoned chip.

The cheese helps to bind the chips together, creating a melty layer, like built-in nachos above the beef. Sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack are used in the recipe for flavor and melt-ability. Pepperjack or Panela are tasty options, and sprinkling cotija or queso fresco on top are great choices too.

tortilla chips with melted cheese on top of a taco casserole

What toppings can you add to the casserole?

The options are endless! I like to start by layering on sour cream, shredded lettuce, black olives, thinly sliced radish, red onion, and diced tomatoes. For heat, add some salsa and fresh hot peppers. Serve with some lime wedges on the side for squeezing on the top.

Can taco casserole be made ahead of time?

Yes, the ground beef mixture can be cooked and then refrigerated for up to 5 days before reheating. Simply add the beef to the baking dish and heat it in the oven until warm before adding the chips and cheese. Add the toppings right before serving.

Colorful veggies and chips topped on a casserole dish of ground meat

Looking for Casserole Ideas? Try these!

Taco Casserole

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Jessica Gavin
Servings 6 people

Taco Casserole recipe ready in just 30 minutes! Seasoned ground beef loaded with crunchy chips, melted cheese, and your choice of toppings.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword taco casserole recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 93% lean
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chips lightly crushed
  • cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, once hot, add the onions. Saute until translucent, 2 minutes.
  3. Add the bell peppers and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beef, cook until browned, breaking the meat up until smaller pieces, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and flour. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Slowly add the water and cook until the beef sauce is slightly thickened.
  7. Add the corn and black beans, stir until combined.
  8. Transfer the beef mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish, spread into an even layer.
  9. Top the beef with crushed tortilla chips and cheese.
  10. Bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
  11. Top the taco casserole with desired toppings, serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Topping Suggestions: Olives, guacamole, red onion, sour cream, cilantro, lettuce, limes, diced tomatoes, avocado, radish, hot peppers, or salsa.

Nutrition Facts
Taco Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 296 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 524mg22%
Potassium 411mg12%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 689IU14%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 132mg13%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

 

Jessica Gavin

Jessica is a Certified Food and Culinary Scientist. She’s also a culinary school graduate and a teacher at heart. Jessica loves nothing more than unraveling the science behind better, healthier cooking and sharing that know-how with her readers at JessicaGavin.com

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