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Easy Taco Casserole Recipe – A Family Favorite Weeknight Meal!

Everyone could use an easy to make dinner recipe that the entire family will love, including this Easy Taco Casserole Recipe! All the flavors of a taco, layered in a casserole dish and baked to perfection.

taco casserole
A slice of taco casserole topped with salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

This recipe, or at least a form of it has been in my family for many years. Not only is it delicious, it is easy to make. And best of all, everyone can top their serving with whatever they like on their own taco.

For me, I like to add a little diced cilantro, guacamole, diced tomatoes and a squirt of lime juice. However, the kids tend to pile their taco casserole with sour cream, more cheese, and a tiny bit of lettuce. And finally, my husband likes dinner with a lot of heat. Therefore he will add diced jalapeños, hot pepper powder and few shakes of hot sauce on his portion.

taco casserole toppings
While the taco casserole is baking, I prepare the toppings that my family prefers.

Although we all like our own toppings, we all love the taste of the casserole itself.

How To Make This Easy Taco Casserole

The first step in making this casserole is to cook the ground beef. Yes, if you don’t want to use red meat, you can substitute ground turkey, chicken or even a plant based mixture as well.

ground beef and onions in skillet
When the meat is half way browned, add the onions to saute with the meat.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Then add the ground beef to the hot skillet. If you are using any type of lean meat or a plant based substitute for your taco casserole, be sure to add a little oil to the pan to prevent sticking.

When the meat is about a half of the way browned, add in the diced onions. I find that if you put the onions at the same time that you start to brown the meat, then the onions become too soft and get lost in the dish.

Once the meat is no longer pink and cooked through, drain if necessary and place back in the skillet. Add the taco seasoning and water and simmer until the water is nearly gone. Remove from the heat and set aside.

tortilla chips
Break tortilla chips in the bottom of the baking dish and layer until the bottom is covered.

Layer The Casserole

In a 8 x 11 casserole dish, spray the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray. Then lightly crumble tortilla chips and spread them on the bottom of the dish in an even layer. You want enough chips to cover the bottom of the taco casserole. Because tortilla chips come in all shapes and sizes, the amount will really depend on the type that you purchase.

Next, spread the ground meat and onion mixture over top of the layer of tortilla chips. Now spread the salsa on top of the meat. Add 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese on top and then add another layer of crushed tortilla chips on top of the cheese.

taco casserole meat
Add the ground meat and salsa on top of the first layer of tortilla chips.

Finally, sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sides are bubbly.

Remove the Taco Casserole from the oven and serve immediately. With your choice of toppings (and possibly a Mexican Margarita) of course!

baked taco casserole
Remove the taco casserole from the oven and serve with your favorite toppings.
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Easy Taco Casserole Recipe

taco casserole

A quick and easy to make taco casserole recipe that the entire family will love. Add the toppings of your choice to customize each serving!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cups tortilla chips, more or less based on brand
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese , shredded and divided

Toppings (optional)

  • sour cream, lettuce, onion, jalapeños, salsa


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 8 x 11 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet brown the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink, drain if needed.
  3. Return the meat back to the skillet and add taco seasoning mix and water, mix well. Simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. In the prepared baking dish, break up half of the tortilla chips and place them in an even layer on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Top the crushed chips with the ground beef and onion mixture. Then add half of the cheese and the entire amount of salsa.
  6. Add another layer of crushed chips and top with the shredded cheese.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges.
  8. Serve warm and add the toppings of your choice.


Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 715Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 14gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 889mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g
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