Taco Casserole

4.67 from 6 votes
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This 30-minute taco casserole is loaded with juicy beef, melty cheese, and your favorite taco toppings. It’s easy to make, healthy, and absolutely delicious.

A plate with a serving of taco casserole, topped with sour cream, cilantro, olives, and avocado, with chips in the background

 

I love Mexican food. And I love fast and easy meals. So this taco casserole recipe has quickly become one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s packed with all your favorite taco ingredients, like tender ground beef, shredded cheese, beans, and salsa. If you like Mexican food, then you’ll love this recipe.

Unlike most taco recipes, you don’t have to deal with tortillas or assembling the tacos with this taco bake. With this recipe, all you have to do is throw the ingredients together in a dish, bake them, and devour them. It’s quick, easy, straightforward, and loaded with flavor. 

Why You’ll Love This Beefy, Cheesy, Taco Casserole

I make this Mexican recipe all the time. Here’s why I know you’ll love it as much as I do.

  • So easy. This is seriously one of the easiest dinner recipes that I know. It only takes 30 minutes to make, and about half of that time is spent in the oven. All you have to do is cook the meat and the onions, add all the ingredients together, and then bake the casserole. It’s that simple! 
  • Customizable. Taco casserole is a straightforward recipe that mostly uses ingredients that are probably already in your fridge or pantry. But you can easily add to the recipe. If there are ingredients that you love in your tacos, you can add them to this casserole to customize it to your liking. 
  • Mess-free. I love dinners that don’t leave my kitchen a mess. All you need for this recipe is one skillet and one baking dish. You won’t end up with a sink full of dirty pots and pans.
  • Kid-friendly. This is a great recipe for kids and adults alike. I think it’s a perfect dinner for grown-ups too, but I’ve never met a kid that didn’t love taco casserole! 
A serving of taco casserole on a plate, with a fork, topped with sour cream, cilantro, olives, and avocado, with chips in the background

Ingredients Needed

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this ground beef taco bake.

  • Ground beef – For best results, use lean ground beef.
  • Onion – Yellow onions are best for this recipe, but white or red onions work, too.
  • Taco seasoning
  • Black beans – You’ll need to drain and rinse the beans.
  • Corn – You can use frozen, canned, or fresh corn.
  • Salsa
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – Pre-shredded cheese works fine for this recipe.

How to Make a Taco Casserole

Making this taco casserole dish is super simple. Here’s how to do it.

  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • Cook the beef. Cook the onions and ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until the onions are soft and the meat is cooked through. This should take 5-6 minutes. Drain any excess grease from the pan. 
  • Season. Add the taco seasoning and stir until the meat is thoroughly coated.
  • Add the rest of the seasonings. Put the corn, beans, and salsa in the skillet, and stir to combine.
Corn, black beans, and salsa in a skillet on top of ground beef and onions
  • Put in a baking dish. Pour the mixture into a 9×9-inch pan, or a 2-quart baking dish.
  • Add the chips and cheese. Put the tortilla chips on top of the mixture, then top with the shredded cheese.
A hand sprinkling shredded cheddar cheese over the top of chips in a baking dish
  • Bake. Place the beefy taco casserole in the oven until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling. This should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Garnish. Add your favorite toppings to the casserole and serve.

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

Here are a few ways to ensure that you’re making the best taco casserole, as well as some variations that you can try.

  • Really brown the meat. It’s important to not just cook the ground beef until it’s cooked through, but until it’s browned. Browning beef is how you maximize the flavor of the meat. If you don’t brown the meat, this taco casserole will be much less flavorful.
  • Make your own seasoning. Taco seasoning is easy to find in the store, but it’s a lot more delicious if you just make it yourself. Here’s my taco seasoning recipe if you want to give it a try.
  • Increase the heat. Unlike some Mexican foods, this recipe isn’t very spicy. If you want to dial up the heat, then you can add diced jalapeños (fresh or pickled), or canned green chiles to the casserole. 
  • Use different beans. I like to use black beans when I make this recipe, but you can use pretty much any kind of beans that you’d like. Pinto beans and refried beans are both delicious with taco casserole. 
  • Change the meat. Ground beef is my go-to protein for a taco bake. But if you prefer a different kind of taco meat, ground turkey or even ground chicken work great! 
Overhead view of a serving of taco casserole on a plate, with a fork

What to Serve With This Easy Taco Bake

I usually serve this casserole with some Mexican sides, such as chips with Restaurant Style Salsa and Grilled Pineapple Salsa, or Mexican Rice. But I think the best thing to serve with any kind of Mexican food is margaritas. Here are a few of my favorites.

How to Store Leftovers

This dish will last in the fridge for up to 3 days, as long as you store it in an airtight container. However, the chips will start to get soggy pretty quickly, so I recommend eating the casserole on the first day. 

Can You Freeze This Recipe?

You can, but I don’t recommend it. The texture of the cheese and chips won’t be very good after freezing and thawing.

A serving of taco casserole on a plate, topped with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and olives

More Easy Mexican Recipes

If you love Mexican food as much as I do, then you’ve got to try some more of my favorite easy recipes. Here are a few that I really like.

A serving of taco casserole on a plate, topped with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and olives
4.67 from 6 votes

Taco Casserole

By Erin
This easy taco casserole has everything that you love about tacos in it. It's healthy, easy, only takes 30 minutes, and is loaded with juicy ground beef and melty cheddar cheese.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 packet, 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 15- ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the onions are soft and the beef is browned and cooked all the way through, about 5-6 minutes. Drain the excess fat.
  • Add the taco seasoning and still until the meat is well coated.
  • Add the black beans, corn kernels, and salsa, and combine until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish or a 9-inch pan. Top with tortilla chips and cheese.
  • Bake until the cheese is melted and everything is hot and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with your favorite taco toppings.

Notes

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, but are best eaten on the first day.
  • You can substitute the black beans with the beans of your choice.
  • Add fresh or pickled jalapeños, or canned green chiles for extra heat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 877mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 446
Keyword: mexican casserole with ground beef, taco bake casserole, taco bake recipe, taco casserole
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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