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This Easy Taco Casserole Recipe is a family favorite dinner that never gets old. A super simple Mexican casserole filled with ground beef, corn, tortillas, and cheese. Top with your favorite fresh taco toppings for maximum flavor! It’s like a taco in casserole form. It’s the ultimate easy weeknight dinner.
Tacos in Casserole Form…YES PLEASE.
I am so happy to be sharing this Taco Casserole Recipe with you all today! Taco Casserole is one of those family-favorite, fail-proof weeknight meals that is loved by all. It is a simple recipe using basic ingredients that doesn’t take a lot of prep time…the ultimate homemade dinner for busy families. My kids gobble this up, especially if served with Mexican Street Corn, Pico de Gallo, and/or Homemade Guacamole.
As a mother of four, I’ll be the first one to tell you that casseroles of any kind are a welcome sight. It’s like a one-stop shop for an easy dinner and typically all kids will gobble them up. This Taco Casserole is no exception! It’s all the flavors and ingredients you love for tacos, but baked together in a casserole and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, olives, sour cream, salsa and any other Mexican-ish toppings you prefer.
Taco Casserole Ingredients
Just like you only need a handful of ingredients for classic tacos, this taco casserole is no different! You’re using all the same ingredients, but layering them in a baking dish and covering with some mild enchilada sauce. Kind of similar to my Taco Noodle Casserole and my Cheesy Taco Pasta, except minus the pasta. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground beef– I use a lean 93/7 beef that I brown in a little olive oil.
- Taco Seasoning– use store-bought or use my homemade taco seasoning (which tastes *just* like McCormicks!)
- Mild Green Chiles– I love the flavor you get from green chiles! You can definitely omit these if that is your preference. I use mild, but if you like things spicy, feel free to get original or hot.
- Fresh Corn– I cut mine from the cob, but feel free to use canned for frozen. You would need about 1/2 cup.
- Flour Tortillas– smaller corn tortillas can be used as well, you’ll just need to coat each tortilla completely in the enchilada sauce to ensure the casserole isn’t dry.
- Enchilada Sauce– I used a mild red enchilada sauce. This keeps the casserole moist as it bakes. Green enchilada sauce or tomatillo salsa would also work. Even a jarred salsa. Use what you like best.
- Rice– this helps add volume to the casserole but is optional.
- Cheese– I love a cheesy casserole! I use two cups of medium cheddar.
- Toppings– think classic taco toppings like lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sour cream.
How to Make Taco Casserole in 3 Easy Steps
The casserole itself is made by layering the ingredients together and baking. Prepare the toppings while the taco casserole bakes and then serve all together. Here are the details. Of course all the increments and more specific directions are in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Make the Beef Filling
Cook the ground beef together with the taco seasoning, corn, green chiles, and a little water. You will also want to cook some rice if you’re using rice. Leftover rice works really nicely in this recipe as well.
Step 2: Layer the Casserole
To layer this Taco Casserole, start with a little enchilada sauce, then stack up tortillas, cheese, rice, cooked taco meat mixture, more cheese, and top with more tortillas and enchilada sauce. Top with more cheese if your little heart desires.
Step 3: Bake
Bake Covered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the internal temperature to reach around 165 degrees F, but it definitely doesn’t *need* to because everything is cooked going into the oven. You bake it to melt the cheese and help it all become one as a casserole so it slices and serves nicely.
Once your Taco Casserole is hot and bubbly, cut into pieces and serve with any taco toppings your heart desires.
Just like tacos, this Taco Casserole is delicious served hot with lots of cool toppings. Here are some of our favorites:
- Homemade Guacamole or sliced avocado tossed with some lime juice, salt and pepper
- If you’re feeling fancy, try my Mexican Street Corn Guacamole…it’s so tasty!
- Homemade Salsa (restaurant style) or Pico de Gallo (fresh tomato salsa)
- Grilled Corn Salsa
- Sour Cream
- Crushed Tortilla Chips
- Diced Tomatoes
- Chopped Iceberg Lettuce
- Black Olives
- Diced Red Onion
Can I Make This Taco Casserole Recipe in Advance?
Yes, you absolutely can! Just follow the directions and instead of baking, store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. You can store this in the fridge for up to 48 hours before serving. Anything beyond that, I’d suggest freezing.
Just about any casserole recipe is a perfect candidate for making ahead and freezing!
If you’d like to freeze this Taco Casserole, be sure to build in a disposable aluminum pan. Cover the finished casserole tightly with heavy-duty foil. Place into the freezer and ensure it lays flat until it is completely frozen. As long as it stays covered, it will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months.
To cook from frozen, simply pop frozen casserole into a 350-degree oven and bake 1 hour or until hot and bubbly. Serve with any desired toppings.
Side Dishes to Serve with Taco Casserole
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mexican Street Corn
- Mexican Street Corn Casserole (yes, I turned this into a casserole!)
- Cowboy Caviar
Anyways, I hope you love love love this ground beef taco casserole recipe. It’s certainly a tasty one that my family loves that I hope you enjoy as well. Have a great week, friends!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (93/7)
- 1/2 cup fresh corn cut from the cob
- 4.5 oz mild green chiles (1 small can)
- 1 oz taco seasoning 1 packet, about 2 1/2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 flour tortillas use the medium fajita size
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 10 oz mild red enchilada sauce 1 small can
- any desired toppings: lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, sour cream, chips, cilantro, onion, etc..
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add ground beef and break apart as it cooks. Optional step: Drain meat if desired and place back into hot pan. Add in corn, green chiles, taco seasoning and water. Stir and bring to boil. After about 3 minutes, water should have mostly evaporated and you should be left with a moist meat filling.
- Lightly spray a 11×7 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread about 3 tablespoons enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan. Place two whole tortillas in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of cheese onto the tortillas. Add the rice, the entire meat mixture and top with 1 cup grated cheese. Pour over half of the remaining enchilada sauce. Top with two tortillas, tucking in the edges. Top with remaining sauce and 1/2 cup cheese.
- Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes. Optional step: remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes to brown the top (or just broil for 2-3 minutes). Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Serve with any desired toppings: lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, sour cream, chips, cilantro, onion, etc..