If you are looking for a delicious and easy to make dinner recipe, than you are going to love this Easy Taco Casserole recipe! It takes only a few minutes to prepare and bakes in just 30 minutes.
All the flavors of a ground beef taco made into a delicious casserole. However, this casserole isn’t like the others because it isn’t made with rice or pasta.
Instead, broken corn tortilla chips are used as the binder in this recipe. Which, in turn makes this recipe naturally Gluten-Free!
However, just be sure that the tortilla chips are made of 100% corn and not a mixture of corn and wheat flour. The best way to check is to read the allergy warning that is listed below the ingredients on the back of the package.
Along with my Best Nachos Recipe, this is a great recipe to share with your friends or family members that eat a Gluten-Free diet. You can even double or triple the recipe to make a larger amount if needed.
Easy Taco Casserole Recipe
*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.
- Ground beef
- Diced onion
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- 100% Corn Tortilla chips, divided
- Shredded Cheddar cheese
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Suggested Serving Toppings
- Sour cream
The first step in making this Easy Taco Casserole is to preheat the oven to 350°F (175° C). Then spray a small 1.5 quart casserole dish or an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set the pan aside while you prepare the casserole.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then add the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink. As the beef cooks, be sure to use a wooden spatula to crumble it as it cooks.
Once the meat is cooked through pour it into a colander to drain the grease. Then place the meat back in the skillet, removed from the heat source.
Add the salsa, onion, mayonnaise, chili powder, and cumin to the beef and stir until it is well combined. Then spread half of the seasoned beef mixture in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
Assemble The Casserole
Top the beef in the dish with half of the crushed corn tortilla chips. Then sprinkle half of both types of cheese over the chips.
Repeat the layers of beef, tortilla chips and cheese. Then cover the dish with aluminum foil. If you have a shallow baking dish, spray one side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray so that the cheese does not stick to it during the baking process.
Place the covered dish in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. The Easy Taco Casserole is done when the cheese has melted and is bubbling around the sides.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish the top with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and/or cilantro as desired.
Helpful Recipe Tips For Making Easy Taco Casserole
- It is best to use a chunky salsa rather than a thin Picante style salsa. Otherwise the casserole may come out a little runny and more difficult to serve.
- You could use taco seasoning instead of the chili powder and cumin if you have some on hand. However, because it doesn’t use an entire packet, I prefer to use the seasonings that I already have in my pantry.
- If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, cook and drain the ground beef. Then stir in the salsa, onion, mayonnaise and spices. Mix to combine and place in a covered container and refrigerate. Then when you are ready to bake your Easy Taco Casserole, layer the meat, tortilla chips and cheese and bake as instructed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I Make This Recipe With Ground Turkey Or Ground Chicken?
If you want to make this recipe a little healthier, you can use a leaner cut of meat. Ground turkey, ground chicken or even plant based crumbles are good substitutes.
However, because they contain less fat, you will need to add a little extra virgin olive oil to the skillet before browning the meat. Otherwise, the meat will stick to the surface of the pan.
Bonus Tip – To decrease the cost of your grocery bill make you own ground chicken rather than purchasing it at the grocery store. Do this by cutting a chicken breast in 1-2 inch chunks and place in a food processor. Then push pulse until the chicken turns into small crumbles.
I use my Hamilton Beach Duo Food Processor which has both a large, 12 cup capacity bowl and a mini 4 cup bowl that is perfect for smaller tasks.
2. How Do I Make This Recipe Spicier?
If you like a lot of flavor and heat in your recipes, it is easy to adapt this Taco Casserole for you! Start off by using Hot Salsa. Then feel free to add a few diced jalapeños and/or hot red pepper flakes to the ground beef mixture before assembling the casserole.
Then instead of using shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, use Hot Pepper Jack cheese instead. Finally, add a few diced jalapeños and extra hot salsa as a topping.
3. How Do I Get My Cheese To Melt More Smoothly?
The only way to get perfectly melted cheese is to shred it yourself. The shredded cheese that you purchase at the grocery store has an anti-caking agent on the surface of the strands of cheese.
Although this prevents the cheese from clumping together while it is in the package, it will also prevent it from melting smoothly.
Therefore, in order to get the cheese to melt perfectly, shred your own cheese from a block of cheese that you purchase.
To receive FREE recipes delivered directly to your email, be sure to sign up for the iCookfortwo newsletter. A sign up form is located in the middle of this article. If you have any questions, comments, or want to submit an idea for a recipe for two, feel free to email at email@example.com
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cups crushed tortilla chips, divided
- 2 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175° C). Spray a small 1.5 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until no longer pink, crumbling it as it cooks. Drain and place back in the skillet removed from the heat source.
- Stir the salsa, onion, mayonnaise, chili powder, and cumin to the beef and stir to combine.
- Spread half of the beef in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with half of the tortilla chips. And then sprinkle half of the cheeses over the chips.
- Repeat the layers of beef, tortilla chips and cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. If you have a shallow baking dish, spray one side of the foil non-stick cooking spray so the cheese does not stick to it during the baking process.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling around the sides.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and/or cilantro as desired.
Nutrition InformationYield 3
Amount Per Serving Calories 557Total Fat 42gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 111mgSodium 843mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 32g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.