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!
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!
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:
- Brown beef and drain fat. Stir in beans and sauce mixture.
- Pour into a casserole dish, top with cheese.
- 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!
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!
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
- Taco Lasagna
- Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Casserole
- Layered Dorito Casserole
- Taco Tater Tot Casserole
Beef Taco Casserole
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 or 3 quart baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Set skillet aside and add 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Transfer beef mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Bake approximately 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
- Top with desired toppings and serve!