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EASY Baked Taco Casserole (15 minutes!)


This taco casserole has delicious layers of ground beef, beans, corn, tortilla chips and cheese. Baked to perfection and alert in just 15 minutes. 

My family loves this taco bake recipe and gets so excited when it’s on the menu. We like to add on all our favorite toppings like cilantro, tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream. Sometimes we even serve with Mexican rice or cilantro lime rice. Or just keep it simple with chips and salsa. So simple and delicious!

taco casserole in a white baking dish

I love a good casserole. They’re simple, fast and made in one dish. And when you combine a simple casserole with delicious Mexican flavors…I’m in heaven! This taco casserole is a favorite and is loaded with so many yummy ingredients! I especially love the gooey melted cheese and crunch from the tortilla chips. Yum! And the top part?! It’s made in just 15 minutes! It really doesn’t obtain better than that.

assembling taco casserole layers in pan

Layers

This is a great pantry recipe. I usually always have a bag of tortilla chips and a can of corn and beans in my pantry. Then I’ll just pull out some ground beef from the freezer and cheese from the fridge. It’s made with 3 simple layers – check them out below.

  • Tortilla chips: You’ll first put down a layer of tortilla chips in a greased 9×13″ pan. Doritos will also work too if you have those on hand.
  • Cheese: Next comes the cheese. I exactly love Tillamook shredded cheese…it really is the top! Just sprinkle it on top of the chips.
  • Taco meat: After whipping up a fast and simple taco meat with beans and corn, you’ll add that on top of the chips in the pan. Then top the meat with some extra chips and cheese and bake at 375°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is kind and bubbly.

taco casserole in baking dish

Modifications

  • Feel free to lay down corn tortillas in place of tortilla chips. You can also use Doritos instead if preferred.
  • Sometimes I bulk up my taco meat by adding cooked rice or more vegetables into the mixture.
  • I love using 80-90% lean ground beef so that the dish is flavorful but not super greasy. For a lighter option, ground turkey would also taste delicious.
  • If you’d like to make the dish ahead of time or freeze for later, I’d recommend using corn tortillas instead of chips (similar to my Mexican lasagna recipe). The chips will obtain too mushy.

Favorite toppings

We love to top our taco casserole with lots of yummy toppings! My personal favorites are diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, sliced olives, sour cream and guacamole. Yum!

  • cilantro
  • diced tomatoes
  • olives
  • onions
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • shredded lettuce
  • extra crushed chips tortilla ships

close up of taco casserole in pan with toppings

More simple Mexican dinner ideas:

taco casserole

Course: Main Dish

Cuisine: Mexican

Keyword: taco casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 415

This taco casserole has delicious layers of ground beef, beans, corn, tortilla chips and cheese. Baked to perfection and alert in just 15 minutes. 

  • 1 pound ground beef , 80-90% lean
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning , more to taste
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup water , more as needed
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 3-4 cups tortilla chips , or Doritos
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Optional toppings: sliced olives, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with tortilla chips. Sprinkle half the cheese over the chips. 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until browned, stirring occasionally breaking up any large pieces. 

  • Once browned, drain off any extra grease. Then add in the taco seasoning, salsa , water, black beans and corn. Bring to a light simmer. Add more water as desired. 

  • Layer meat mixture on top of the chips in the pan. Sprinkle with cheese and any extra tortilla chips. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

  • Top with your favorite toppings. 

  • In place of tortilla chips, you can also lay down corn tortillas along the bottom.
  • To bulk it up even more, feel free to add in cooked rice and more vegetables. 

Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 483mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 3mg

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