This Taco Casserole recipe is perfect for families! Make the taco bake, put the toppings in bowls, and let everyone add their favorites.
We love eating tacos and this taco casserole is another great way to enjoy one of our favorites. It can be served with extra chips or even soft taco shells if you prefer.
Here’s Everything You Need To Make Taco Casserole
Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients we use to make this taco casserole recipe, along with suggestions for possible substitutions and additional ingredient ideas.
Taco Meat Ingredients
- Meat: For this recipe, we used one pound of ground beef. You could also use ground turkey or chicken. Another option is to include some ground sausage or ground chorizo.
- Water: We added a little water along with the taco seasoning, which creates a sauce that coats the meat with flavor.
- Seasoning: You’ll need one packet of store-bought seasoning, or you can make your own homemade taco seasoning blend using spices in your cupboard.
- Beans: Black beans are our favorite but you could also use pinto beans or blackeye peas.
- Tomatoes: We used a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies for the flavor boost. You can use any of your favorite canned diced tomatoes or use an equal amount of salad. Or if you want to skip the diced tomatoes, add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce for moisture and flavor.
- Cheese: We opted for a shredded Mexican cheese blend but cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack, and cotija cheese would also work.
Taco Casserole Toppings
- Chips: For this taco bake we used crushed tortilla chips. Other popular options include nacho cheese Doritos, cool ranch Doritos, corn chips, and crushed taco shells.
- Lettuce: We used shredded lettuce because it is easier to eat on a casserole. You could also use chopped lettuce.
- Olive: The sliced black olives add flavor and a pop of color. You can also use whole or chopped olives.
- Salsa: We topped the dish with fresh pico de gallo but you can also use corn salsa, pineapple salsa, or store-bought salsa.
How To Make Taco Casserole
To make this taco bake, start by cooking the meat on the stovetop. Then, add the casserole fillings and bake. Finally, add your favorite toppings!
Taco Casserole Meat
Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the excess grease and return the pan to the stove over low heat. Add the taco seasoning and water. Simmer and stir for a couple of minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the black beans, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and one cup of shredded cheese. At this point, you can add other filling ingredients such as corn, diced peppers, or rice. Bake in the oven until hot and bubbly.
Taco Bake Toppings
Remove from oven and top with crushed tortilla chips and the remaining half cup of shredded cheese. Return to the oven to melt the cheese.
Everyone has their favorite taco toppings so why not serve them all? Put them in separate bowls and let everyone choose their favorites. Here are some toppings ideas: lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, rice, queso, taco sauce, and refried beans.
- Skillet Taco Casserole: If you are short on time, skip the oven. Add the canned diced tomatoes, black beans, and shredded cheese to the skillet and warm over low heat until heated through. Remove from heat and add the toppings.
- Rice Taco Bake: If you want to stretch the casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice and a half cup of salsa. Spread in a baking dish and bake as directed in the recipe.
- Tacos: Prefer eating tacos? Prepare the taco meat and add the fillings. Then, serve with hard or soft taco shells and all of your favorite toppings.
Taco Bake Storage and Reheating
- Make Ahead: To make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the taco meat with the fillings and spread it in the dish but do not bake it. Cover and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.
- Storage: If you know you are going to have leftovers, don’t add the toppings to the casserole since they won’t hold up well during storage. Instead, add the toppings to each portion before eating it. Allow the taco bake to cool and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: You can reheat leftovers in the oven or the microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
You add the taco seasoning after browning the meat.
Yes, you add water to the browned ground beef at the same time that you add the taco seasoning. The water combines with the seasoning to create a sauce that coats the meat and thickens as it simmers.
It’s all about taco casserole filling and toppings! With all of those flavors and textures, each bite is like a fiesta in your mouth.
Want more casserole recipes? Try these next:
This creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe has a crunchy, buttery, Ritz cracker topping! It brings me back to my childhood.
Our cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe is full of flavor and veggies, plus rice and two kinds of meat!
Tater Tot Casserole has ground beef, Italian sausage, green beans, and corn in a cream sauce. It has crunchy tater tots and melted cheddar cheese on top.
Chicken Noodle Casserole is the best kind of comfort food with noodles, chicken, and vegetables in a creamy sauce.
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon taco seasoning find my recipe here or use one packet store-bought
- 16 oz black beans drained and rinsed
- 15 oz diced tomatoes with chilies do not drain
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend divided
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- ¼ cup sliced olives
- ¼ cup pico de gallo find my recipe here
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Brown the ground beef over medium-high heat and drain the excess grease.
- Add the water and taco seasoning. Simmer and stir for two minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Add diced tomatoes with chilies, black beans, and one cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese. Stir until combined.
- Spread the mixture in a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 375˚F for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly.
- Remove from oven and top with crushed tortilla chips and the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Top with your favorite taco toppings.