This Taco Casserole is easy to throw together and is guaranteed to be a big hit with your family. It’s a cheesy, meaty main course that’ll be on your dinner table in 30 minutes…
A taco casserole is a Tex Mex dish made with taco ingredients and baked in layers in an ovenproof dish. Strictly speaking it’s more of a Tex Mex recipe like our Taco Pasta than traditional Mexican cuisine.
This recipe is for days when you crave taco flavors, but don’t want to fill taco shells one-by-one with meat, lettuce, tomatoes in order to have dinner. You can even have it as a make ahead dinner straight out of the freezer, with instructions in the recipe notes.
How To Make Taco Casserole
Making a taco casserole only requires 10 minutes of prep. Start by frying ground beef with onions, taco seasoning, salsa and corn:
Once this filling is done, you’re ready to make the casserole in the pan. Add layers of tortillas, meat filling and cheese until the pan is full:
And that’s it! Bake for 20 minutes in a 350ºF oven and voilà – dinner is served! If you want to make it ahead of time and freeze it, simply bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the center is hot.
Tips and Tricks for Making Taco a Casserole
- Feel free to substitute tortilla chips instead of tortillas if you prefer a crunchier dish.
- Browning the beef produces a lot of the flavor, so take the extra minute or two if needed to get the beef browning, raising the heat if necessary.
- You can use whole wheat tortillas, extra lean ground beef and low fat cheese to make this dish healthier.
- You can make your own taco seasoning instead of a store bought version by combining the ingredients below:
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
Watch How To Make a Taco Casserole
East Taco Casserole (with Video)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- ¾ cup salsa
- 1 cup corn
- 3 cups shredded cheese I used cheddar and Jack
- 10 to 12 flour tortillas 6 inch or 8 inch
- cilantro optional
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Place a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with oil and add the ground beef.
Stir for 3-5 minutes until the beef is partly browned. Strained out any accumulated fat.
- Add in salsa, corn and taco seasoning. (If it’s too dry, you can add ½ cup water). Stir for 2-3 minutes.
Place tortillas to cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish (You can break the tortillas to cover the gaps).
Top with 1/2 of the beef mixture. Then add 1/3 of the shredded cheese on top of the mixture.
- Repeat the above step (Add tortillas, beef mixture and cheese)
- Then add another layer of tortillas, and finish with cheese
Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is fully melted (see note for baking frozen casserole).
Garnish with chopped cilantro, serve and enjoy!
To Make Ahead: Cover the casserole with a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month. When ready to eat, bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes if frozen or 1 hour if thawed. Center should be hot in either case.