This recipe is a taco in casserole form! Taco Casserole is layers of refried beans, tortilla chips, ground beef, corn, and tomatoes. It’s baked in the oven with cheese on top for a quick and easy to make dinner.
Taco casserole is ideal as a weeknight dinner or to make ahead of time. It uses pantry staples, so can be thrown together last minute. This TexMex recipe stays good in the fridge for up to 2 days if you need to make it ahead of time or save your leftovers.
You could even serve this recipe as a taco dip appetizer for a large crowd, just serve with chips!
Taco Bake Ingredients
To make this taco dinner recipe, you will need the following ingredients (see the recipe below for exact quantities):
- olive oil
- ground beef: I like to use lean ground beef, but you can use any kind you like
- taco seasoning
- canned diced tomatoes
- canned sweet corn
- shredded cheddar cheese
- canned refried beans
- tortilla chips
How to Make Taco Casserole Recipe
This casserole recipe is so easy to make – just cook, layer and bake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the beef. In a large pan over medium high heat, add the oil. Add the beef and cook for 5 – 6 minutes, crumbling it with a wooden spoon or spatula. Drain excess grease.
- Cook rest of ingredients. Add the onions and cook for 3 – 4 minutes more, until translucent. Stir in the seasoning (along with any additional water that your seasoning packet calls for), tomatoes (drained), corn and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Heat until the cheese begins to melt.
- Layer the ingredients. Add a layer of refried beans to the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish. (You can use cooking spray to grease the pan.) Top the beans with a layer of crushed tortilla chips. Drain any excess liquid from the skillet and add the ground beef mixture in an even layer on top of the chips. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Bake in the oven. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and add any toppings (optional): shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced olives, sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro.
Beef Taco Casserole Tips
Drain your meat filling before baking: before you add your meat to your baking dish, drain it to remove any excess liquid.
Keep your layers even: as you add your layers of beans, chips, and meat, work to spread each one evenly so that your casserole bakes through consistently.
Optional Additions & Substitutions
This is a popular recipe to customize, adding your favorite taco ingredients to the filling and on top.
- Meat: this recipe can also be made with 1 pound of ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
- Sour cream: if you love sour cream, add a layer of ¾ cup of sour cream on top of your refried beans and before you add your tortilla chips.
- Black Beans: stir in a drained can of black beans to your meat mixture at the same time as when you add the corn.
- Cheese: instead of cheddar you can use a Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack cheese.
- Toppings: customize this recipe with all of your favorite taco toppings. For example: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced olives, sour cream, green onions, cheddar cheese, cilantro.
What to Serve with This Recipe
This casserole can be a main dish or a side dish. Serve it up for a Mexican dinner feast.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers – mild peppers stuffed with cheesy chicken is always a hit
Instant Pot Pozole – this traditional dish is a must for any Mexican dinner night
Elote – this street corn (off the cob) is made in a Instant Pot
Steak Fajitas – made easy on one sheet pan
Chicken Tortilla Soup – the ultimate Mexican comfort food