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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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Easy Taco Casserole Recipe
- 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
- sour cream, lettuce, onion, jalapeños, salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8 x 11 baking dish and set aside.
- Brown the ground beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink, drain if needed.
- Return meat back to the skillet and add taco seasoning mix and water, mix well. Simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- 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.
- Top the crushed chips with the hamburger and onion mix, half of the cheese and salsa.
- Add another layer of crushed chips and top with cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges.
- Serve warm and add the toppings of your choice.