Beef Taco Casserole

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This Bean & Beef Taco Casserole is a fun twist on taco night, and is a great way to feed a crowd or hungry family! Freezer-friendly, this recipe is also great for meal-prepping or taking to a friend in need!

If you’re looking for an amazing way to jazz up a regular taco night, this taco casserole is the recipe for you!  A mixture of seasoned ground beef and black beans is mixed with salsa and cheese, then baked until hot and bubbly.

Play around with toppings like shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, jalapeño slices and more! My favorite topping is some crunchy Fritos corn chips… it gives this taco meat casserole a “walking taco” feel, which my kids just love!

Taco casserole in white baking dish

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How to Make Beef Taco Casserole


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It seems like every region here in the U.S. has a type of food that it’s known for.  Here in the Midwest, I think if there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s a comforting casserole.  Of course, other places in the country serve up casseroles too, but Midwesterners will turn anything and everything into a casserole!

Dishes like this hamburger taco casserole are amazing because they’re easy to put together, make-ahead/freezer-friendly, they’re ultra comforting, and kids love them.

Taco casserole with taco toppings and Fritos on top

Doesn’t that make you just want to dig in?

What is a Taco Casserole?

It’s everything you love about tacos, but in a super-comforting casserole form, an easy taco bake.

I just love taco casserole recipes with ground beef, so my version uses ground beef, and that 1 pound of meat is stretched further by using black beans as well.  Normally I use a package of taco seasoning, but homemade taco seasoning really takes this to a new fabulous level!

Is Taco Casserole Healthy?

With a few substitutions, you can easily turn this into a healthy taco casserole!

Swapping regular ground beef for extra lean ground beef, or even ground turkey are ways to make this lighten up this taco casserole.  I promise, you won’t even be able to tell!  Using reduced-fat shredded cheese and reduced-sodium canned ingredients are other great options.

Scoop of beef taco casserole in baking dish

Feel free to play around with the toppings too… whatever you like on your tacos will go perfectly on top of this casserole!

Can You Freeze Taco Casserole?

Yes!  This bean and beef taco casserole freezes beautifully, which makes it great for meal prepping, or even making a meal for a sick friend.

To thaw, just set the casserole in your refrigerator overnight, and by dinner time the next day, it should be fully thawed. Full freezing instructions are below the recipe at the end of the post!

Beef taco casserole on white plate with Fritos

Serve this casserole with tortillas, regular tortilla chips or lime tortilla chips, Cool Ranch Doritos, chili cheese Fritos… the sky is the limit. Just like Layered Doritos Casserole any kind of chips will add tons of flavor and crunch to this dish!

My kids love the “walking taco” meal, which is where a lunch-box sized bag of Fritos is opened and topped with taco meat, cheese and toppings.  This makes a portable taco salad, which is popular with kids everywhere!  Topping this casserole with the Fritos makes this feel just like that, and my kids go crazy over it!

Looking for another fun casserole meal?  Try this Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Casserole!

Beef taco casserole on white plate with Fritos
Print Recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Beef Taco Casserole
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
 
Author: Amanda Batcher
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: taco casserole
This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit with families!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles drained
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 ounce jar of picante sauce or salsa
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 or 3 quart baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon or potato masher, until browned and mostly cooked, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add onion and jalapeno to beef. Cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Beef should be fully cooked and brown at this point.
  4. Drain any fat and return to skillet. Stir in taco seasoning, black beans, green chiles, salt, pepper, tomato paste and picante sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes.

  5. Set skillet aside and add 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Transfer beef mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

  7. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
  8. Top with desired toppings and serve!
Recipe Notes

TO FREEZE Cook beef mixture in skillet and assemble in baking dish, omitting 1 cup remaining cheese on top. Cool completely and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in refrigerator until casserole is completely thawed. Remove plastic wrap and aluminum foil, set out on the counter for about 20 minutes, top with 1 cup of cheese, then bake at 350 F degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Topping Options: Salsa, Shredded iceburg lettuce, Sliced black olives, Chopped tomatoes, Sliced jalapenos, Minced fresh cilantro, Lime wedges, Frito corn chips, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Refried Beans.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 386, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 1461mg, Potassium: 862mg, Carbohydrates: 22g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 31g, Vitamin A: 15.9%, Vitamin C: 19.6%, Calcium: 31.7%, Iron: 23.3%

(Nutriton information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Repin this Delicious Casserole

Beef Taco Casserole served on a white plate and garnished with toppings

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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Dorito Taco SaladDorito taco salad in a clear bowl garnished with olvies and cheese with bags of Doritos in the background

This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit families! #spendwithpennies #easyrecipe #simpledinner #tacodinner #tacocasserole #mexicandinner #easycasserole #taconight

Amanda Batcher

Amanda is the creator behind the food blog The Chunky Chef, where she shares comforting family meals, and the healthy food blog Smart Skinny Recipes, where she shares delicious family recipes that are on the lighter side. She firmly believes life is all about balance; eat a salad, but enjoy some bacon along with it! When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her behind a camera, reading, and spending quality time with her husband and 2 children! You can visit her at The Chunky Chef and Smart Skinny Recipes!

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