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Taco Casserole

Welcome to our kitchen, where we’re dishing up a crowd-pleasing favorite: Taco Casserole! This easy-to-make dish is a delicious twist on traditional tacos, combining all the flavors you love in a convenient casserole form. With layers of seasoned ground beef, gooey melted cheese, crunchy tortilla chips, and zesty salsa, every bite is a fiesta for your taste buds. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to feed a hungry crowd or meal prep for busy weeknights. So, let’s dive into this mouthwatering taco casserole recipe and learn how to whip up a Taco Casserole that will have everyone coming back for seconds!

In this recipe, we’re putting a flavorful spin on the classic taco experience, all while keeping things simple and convenient. Perfect for both family dinners and entertaining guests, this Taco Casserole brings together layers of bold Mexican-inspired flavors that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and adaptable, making it a go-to option for any occasion. Plus, with minimal prep and cook time, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the company of your loved ones. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to savor every bite of this irresistible Taco Casserole!

taco casserole

Taco Casserole

Casseroles are a staple in our home. It is a dish that I can throw together early in the day and bake right before it is time to sit down at the table. Some of our favorites are chicken and stuffing casserole, chicken Cordon Bleu casserole, and of course this Taco Casserole. 

taco casserole

You are going to fall in love with this Taco Casserole for so many reasons. 

taco casserole
  • Easy to make. 
  • Customizable.
  • Perfect when you are craving tacos.
  • Family favorite. 
  • Budget friendly. 
  • You can make it ahead for those busy nights of running around. 
taco casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef (80/20)
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Ounces Taco Seasoning
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • 10 Ounces Pinto Beans Or Refried Beans (Drain and Rinse If Using Canned Beans)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Fritos
  • 2 Cups Colby Jack Cheese, Shredded

How to Make Taco Casserole

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, cook and break up the ground beef along with the onion and red bell pepper and onion until the ground beef is no longer pink. Drain the excess fat if necessary. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the taco seasoning, and water until thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Spread the pinto beans/refried beans to the bottom of the casserole dish. Spread the sour cream over the beans. Add in beef mixture and spread evenly.
  • Evenly arrange the Fritos and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top has completely melted.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or add any of the following toppings. Shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomato, chopped fresh red onion, green onions, olives, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce, taco sauce.

Tips & Tricks

  • Customize Seasonings: Experiment with different taco seasoning blends or create your own by combining chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
  • Add Vegetables: Sneak in extra veggies like bell peppers, onions, corn, or diced tomatoes to add color, texture, and nutrients to your casserole. Sauté them with the ground meat or layer them raw for extra crunch.
  • Use Quality Cheese: Opt for a blend of shredded Mexican cheeses or cheddar cheese for gooey, melty goodness. Feel free to mix in some cream cheese or sour cream for added creaminess.
  • Crunchy Topping: For added texture, top your casserole with Fritos or a mixture of crushed Doritos and cheese before baking. This creates a crispy, cheesy crust that adds an extra layer of indulgence.
  • Let it Rest: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after baking to set and cool slightly. This makes it easier to slice and serve without falling apart.
  • Garnish Creatively: Before serving, garnish your taco casserole with fresh toppings like chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, or a drizzle of hot sauce for added flavor and visual appeal.
  • Make it Ahead: Taco casserole is a great make-ahead dish. Prepare it up to a day in advance, cover tightly, and refrigerate until ready to bake. This is perfect for busy weeknights or when entertaining guests.
  • Freeze for Later: If you have leftovers or want to meal prep, taco casserole freezes well. Simply portion it into individual servings, wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven or microwave for a quick and easy meal.
taco casserole

Storage

You will want to store your leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. These will keep for up to 3 days. 

taco casserole

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can easily make this up to 48 hours in advance. Cover and store in the fridge. Let it come back to room temperature prior to baking it to ensure the sour cream does not curdle as it bakes. 

taco casserole
taco casserole
taco casserole

Taco Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Taco Casserole is a family favorite as it combines ground beef, onion, pepper, taco seasoning, beans, cheese, and sour cream that is then topped with Fritos. It is the perfect quick meal you are looking for on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef (80/20)
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Ounces Taco Seasoning
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • 10 Ounces Pinto Beans Or Refried Beans (Drain and Rinse If Using Canned Beans)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Fritos
  • 2 Cups Colby Jack Cheese, Shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, cook and break up the ground beef along with the onion and red bell pepper and onion until the ground beef is no longer pink. Drain the excess fat if necessary. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the taco seasoning and water until completely combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Spread the pinto beans/refried beans to the bottom of the casserole dish. Spread the sour cream over the beans. Add in beef mixture and spread evenly.
  5. Evenly arrange the Fritos and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top has completely melted.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or add any of the following toppings. Shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomato, chopped fresh red onion, green onions, olives, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce, taco sauce.

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