Beef Taco Casserole


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Beef Taco Casserole is a fun twist on taco night, and is a great way to feed a crowd or hungry family! A mixture of seasoned ground beef and black beans is mixed with salsa and cheese, then baked until hot and bubbly for the perfect taco inspired meal.

Add your fave toppings; 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

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!

Swap it Up

This recipe can be changed based on what you have on hand. Any ground meat will work (like chicken or turkey). Add in some diced veggies or peppers or swap out the salsa for enchilada sauce. Pretty much anything goes!

Taco casserole with taco toppings and Fritos on top

How to Make Taco Casserole

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!

This dish needs just a few easy steps:

  1. Brown beef and drain fat. Stir in beans and sauce mixture.
  2. Pour into a casserole dish, top with cheese.
  3. Bake until bubbly and melted.

It’s that easy! Next top with your favorite toppings, it’s great with corn chips or even with Doritos or tortilla chips.

To Make it Healthier

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

  • Swap regular ground beef for extra lean ground beef, or even ground turkey will lighten up this taco casserole.
  • Use reduced-fat shredded cheese.
  • Use reduced-sodium ingredients.
  • Add diced or shredded veggies to the meat as it cooks.
  • Top the casserole with fresh veggies (lettuce/tomatoes) for serving and swap out the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt!

Scoop of beef taco casserole in baking dish

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

To Freeze Taco Casserole

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. If the casserole is still very cold from the fridge, you may need to add few additional minutes to the bake time.

More Mexican Inspired Casseroles

Beef Taco Casserole

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Amanda Batcher
Course Casserole
Cuisine Mexican
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

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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: 795%, Vitamin C: 16.2%, Calcium: 317%, Iron: 4.2%

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

Keyword taco casserole

Repin this Delicious Casserole

Top photo - Taco casserole with taco toppings and Fritos on top. Bottom photo - Beef taco casserole on white plate with Fritos.

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Amanda

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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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