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Taco Casserole


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This Taco Casserole is a favorite easy dinner idea! Made with ground beef, tortillas and salsa, this casserole is cheesy, comforting and flavorful.

Taco casserole in baking dish with taco toppings on top.

Try this delicious new spin on taco night: Taco Casserole! While I love classic Tacos for dinner, it’s always fun (and delicious) to serve our favorite taco ingredients in new ways. This taco casserole has all of the taco flavors that you love, but in cozy, comforting casserole form.

This recipe is easy to make and perfect for a weeknight. Ground beef and veggies are sautéed on the stove and then combined with taco seasonings, corn, black beans and salsa. Then it’s all layered together with tortillas and cheese and baked in the oven until hot and bubbly. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy Dinner Idea: It takes about 30 minutes to prep the casserole for the oven. The recipe steps are easy, and once the casserole bakes you’ll have a filling and flavorful meal ready to enjoy.
  • Comfort Food: This hearty casserole is family-friendly, filled with taco meat, veggies, tortillas and cheese.
  • Make Ahead Friendly: You can make the casserole and bake it right away, or prep it up to one day ahead and bake it right before you’re ready to serve it.

Taco Casserole Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for taco casserole recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this taco casserole recipe.

  • Ground Beef: Ground beef adds protein and flavor. You can lighten things up by using ground turkey or ground chicken.
  • Onion & Bell Pepper: An easy way to sneak in some vegetables, these also provide flavor.
  • Seasonings: I’ve included the amounts for the individual taco seasoning spices you’ll need. You can substitute 1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) of homemade or store-bought Taco Seasoning in place of the individual seasonings if you prefer.
  • Corn: You can use either frozen corn or canned corn. If using canned, be sure to drain it well.
  • Black Beans: For added protein and fiber.
  • Salsa: While I love making homemade salsa, for this recipe it’s best to use jarred salsa from the store. I recommend using medium salsa, as we found that mild didn’t provide enough flavor. With medium salsa, the casserole wasn’t too spicy. If you want more spice you can increase the amount of chili powder or add in a little cayenne pepper.
  • Corn Tortillas: The casserole is layered between corn tortillas. Using corn tortillas keeps this recipe gluten-free. Can you use flour tortillas? We find that the texture of corn tortillas is better after baking than flour. If you prefer a taco casserole with rice, try this Mexican Casserole recipe.
  • Cheese: I used sharp cheddar cheese. Mexican blend cheese or Monterey jack would also work well.

How to Make Taco Casserole

Here’s an overview of the steps to making the best taco casserole. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Sauté the onion in olive oil.
  2. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook, crumbling, until the meat has browned. Browned ground beef and onion in a skillet.
  3. Add the chopped bell pepper and cook until softened.
  4. Stir in the spices, corn, black beans and 1 cup of the salsa. Corn, black beans, salsa and spices added to skillet.
  5. Spread the remaining salsa in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  6. Arrange 4 tortillas in the baking dish so that they cover as much of the bottom of the dish as possible. Four corn tortillas on top of salsa in baking dish.
  7. Top with 2/3 of the beef mixture and 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Layering beef mixture and shredded cheese on top of tortillas in baking dish.
  8. Lay the remaining 4 tortillas on top, followed by the rest of the beef mixture and cheese.
  9. Cover and bake at 350° F for 25 minutes. Then uncover and bake 5-10 more minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the cheese just starts to brown.
  10. Serve with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!

Lifting a slice of taco casserole out of baking dish.

Serving Suggestions

First, the toppings! While this casserole is definitively tasty as is, it’s even better when you load it up with your favorite taco toppings. Try Pico de Gallo or Salsa, avocado or Guacamole, sour cream, black olives, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped red or green onion or fresh cilantro.

On the side, serve taco casserole with Instant Pot Mexican Rice and a crisp Green Salad.

Serving of taco casserole topped with red onion, tomato, avocado and cilantro.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

This taco bake makes delicious leftovers. Here’s how to store leftover casserole, plus tips for making it ahead.

  • Refrigerator: Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Let leftover casserole cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. I like to freeze individual portions for quick lunches or dinners.
  • To Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or in a covered dish in the oven until steaming hot.
  • Make Ahead: You can assemble the casserole, cover and refrigerate it for up to one day before baking. If baking the casserole cold from the refrigerator, add about 20 minutes to the covered baking time to get it hot throughout.

More Comforting Casserole Recipes

Casserole topped with cilantro, tomato, avocado and red onion.

Cheesy, comforting taco casserole is perfect for dinner tonight! Love these taco flavors? Try our Taco Salad recipe next.

Taco Casserole

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword taco bake, taco casserole
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 401kcal
This Taco Casserole is a favorite easy dinner idea! Made with ground beef, beans, tortillas and salsa, this casserole is cheesy, comforting and flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or red onion
  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey or ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn or canned corn (drained if canned)
  • 15 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 ½ cups jarred salsa (divided, I used medium, one 16 ounce jar)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese blend, 2 cups)
  • Optional Toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, avocado, chopped red or green onion, fresh tomatoes, black olives, sour cream, etc.

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan and cook, crumbling, until browned. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Then add the chopped bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, corn, black beans and 1 cup of the salsa. Stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Spread the remaining ½ cup salsa in the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish.
  • Lay 4 of the tortillas in the baking dish, arranging them so that they cover the bottom of the dish as best as possible.
  • Spread ⅔ of the beef mixture over the tortillas and top with ⅓ of the shredded cheese.
  • Lay the remaining 4 tortillas on top, followed by the remaining beef mixture and then the remaining cheese.
  • Cover the dish with foil (first spray the underside of the foil with cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking to it). Bake for 25 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese just starts to brown. Serve with toppings as desired.

Notes

  • You can substitute 1-2 tablespoons (adjust amount to your tastes) of taco seasoning for the individual spices.
  • Store leftover taco casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Make Ahead Instructions: You can assemble the casserole, cover and refrigerate it for up to one day before baking. If baking the casserole cold from the refrigerator, add about 20 minutes to the covered baking time to get it hot throughout.

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1339IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 276mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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