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A fun twist on taco night, this Dorito casserole is an easy dinner that will make your family smile! Ground beef with taco seasoning, bell peppers, corn, and salsa are topped with shredded cheese and crumbled Nacho cheese Doritos tortilla chips. Garnish each plate with your favorite toppings, and serve this flavorful casserole with corn saladriceranch-style beans, or tortilla chips and guacamole for a family-friendly weeknight meal!

Overhead shot of hands serving a pan of Doritos casserole

Taco Casserole with Doritos

This taco Dorito casserole is the easiest way to feed a crowd! Plus, with little kids, there’s no need to worry about the taco shells breaking, the contents falling out of the tortilla, or messy toppings all over the floor (moms out there, I know that you can relate)! Instead, you’ll just assemble all of your favorite taco ingredients — plus a few added veggies — in one casserole dish. It’s an awesome prep-ahead option for busy weeknights, it’s a meal that your entire family will love, and it eliminates the stress of last-minute dinners.

In this dish, Doritos take the place of traditional taco shells or soft flour tortillas, while also adding so much zesty flavor and crunchy texture to the dish. Plus, the first layer of chips forms a great little crust at the bottom of the taco bake. So, so good!

Ground beef taco filling in a cast iron skillet

Dorito Casserole Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite Dorito taco bake. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef: or substitute with ground turkey.
  • Taco seasoning mix: if you would rather use homemade taco seasoning, that’s fine — just omit the water called for in the ingredient list.
  • Water: as instructed on the taco seasoning packet, you need water to thin the sauce (since the taco seasoning packets including thickening agents).
  • Sweet red bell pepper: a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your family! You can omit the bell pepper if you like, or use a different color sweet bell pepper, such as green bell pepper. Diced onion is also a nice substitute.
  • Salsa: use a spicy salsa for added heat, or keep it mild with your kids’ favorite.
  • Corn: swap out the can of corn for about 1 cup of frozen corn kernels if you prefer.
  • Doritos: any flavor will work! I use Nacho Cheese Doritos here, but Cool Ranch and Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos are also great options.
  • Shredded cheese: I keep it simple with a package of pre-shredded Mexican style cheese (a blend of Monterey Jack, cheddar, asadero, and queso quesadilla cheeses), but you can use grated cheddar cheese if you like.
Arranging crushed Dorito chips in a baking dish

How to Make Dorito Casserole

This easy casserole comes together quickly and can be assembled in advance for convenient family dinners!

  1. Cook the ground beef and bell pepper in a skillet until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and the water to the skillet with the ground beef mixture; simmer for 3-4 minutes so that the sauce thickens.
  3. Stir in salsa and corn.
  4. Arrange half of the coarsely crushed Doritos in the bottom of a large baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese.
  5. Spread the meat mixture over the chips and cheese.
  6. Bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven until the filling is hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and chips on top.
  8. Return to the oven for about 5 more minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Sprinkling grated cheese on top of a casserole

What to Serve with Mexican Casserole with Doritos

This cheesy casserole goes well with any of these sides:

Overhead image of a pan of Dorito casserole at an angle on a wooden table

Storage

  • To prep ahead, prepare the beef mixture in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days before assembling the casserole.
  • Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months, although the chips on top may become soggy as they sit.
  • Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 30-60 seconds (loosely covered). To reheat an entire casserole, allow the dish to sit on the counter for at least 30-60 minutes so that it comes to room temperature. Tent loosely with foil (to prevent the top from getting too dark), and warm in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 15-20 minutes.
Hands eating a bowl of Doritos casserole with toppings on a wooden table and side salad

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground turkey or ground chicken instead.
  • Try adding other veggies to the filling. You might like to sauté some diced onion with the ground beef, or mix in some steamed baby broccoli florets or a can of diced green chiles. Minced garlic would also be a great flavor booster.
  • Black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans would also make a great addition to the taco bake.
  • Add a can of drained Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies if you’d like some zesty kick! Be warned, the Rotel tomatoes can definitely get spicy!
  • Instead of a packet of taco seasoning mix, feel free to use your favorite homemade taco seasoning in this recipe. If using homemade taco seasoning, omit the water called for in the ingredients. The store-bought packets of seasoning mix require water to thin the sauce (since the mix has thickening agents in it).
Overhead shot of a spoon in a dish of Dorito casserole

Tips for the Best Dorito Casserole Recipe

  • Keep a close eye on the casserole during the final few minutes, since the chips on top can burn easily.
  • Set up a “taco bar” and let your family members garnish their individual servings with their favorite taco toppings, such as fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, minced red onion, sliced black olives, sour cream, diced avocado, guacamole, extra salsa.
  • Cooking for a Smaller Family? Cut the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan.
Hands serving from a dish of taco casserole with Doritos

More Mexican Casserole Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of a bowl of dorito casserole

Dorito Casserole (Ground Beef Taco Bake)

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 servings
Calories 406 kcal
A fun twist on taco night, this ground beef Dorito casserole is an easy dinner that will make your family smile!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
  • cup water
  • 2 ½ cups salsa
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can corn, drained (or about 1 cup of frozen corn)
  • 1 (9.25 oz) bag Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos, coarsely crushed (about 4 cups crushed)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican-blend or cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, sliced green onion, sliced olives, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, diced red onion, guacamole, diced tomatoes, lime wedges, extra salsa

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook beef and bell pepper over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink (about 5 to 7 minutes). Drain off excess fat. Return beef mixture to the skillet; stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Simmer until thickened (about 3 to 4 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in salsa and corn.
  • Place half of the crushed Doritos in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cheese. Spread beef mixture on top.
  • Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes (or until hot and bubbly).
  • Sprinkle top of the casserole with remaining shredded cheese and remaining crushed Doritos. Put the dish back in the oven for about 5 more minutes, or until the cheese melts.

Notes

  • Keep a close eye on the casserole during the final few minutes, since the chips on top can burn easily.
  • Set up a “taco bar” and let your family members garnish their individual servings with their favorite taco toppings, such as fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, minced red onion, sliced black olives, sour cream, diced avocado, guacamole, extra salsa.
  • Cooking for a Smaller Family? Cut the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan.
  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground turkey or ground chicken instead.
  • Try adding other veggies to the filling. You might like to sauté some diced onion with the ground beef, or mix in some steamed baby broccoli florets or a can of diced green chiles. Minced garlic would also be a great flavor booster.
  • Black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans would also make a great addition to the taco bake.
  • Add a can of drained Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies if you’d like some zesty kick! Be warned, the Rotel tomatoes can definitely get spicy!
  • Instead of a packet of taco seasoning mix, feel free to use your favorite homemade taco seasoning in this recipe. If using homemade taco seasoning, omit the water called for in the ingredients. The store-bought packets of seasoning mix require water to thin the sauce (since the mix has thickening agents in it).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of recipeCalories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 21gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6.8gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1503mgFiber: 4.6gSugar: 6.6g
Keyword: Dorito Bake, dorito casserole, Doritos Casserole, Taco Bake
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in August, 2017. The photos were updated in June, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Taco bakes are one of my favorite meals to make for my husband! I just love throwing everything together and having it come out ready to eat. I’ve never tried Doritos on top of a bake before, so I’m loving the sound of this! What a perfect weeknight meal!

  2. This looks great, definitely something I will try. Many years ao I made something similar , no crust but I threw in my extra cooked rice, no peppers, and served it with dippers or mini taco shells. The kids loved serving themslves so there was never any leftovers.

  3. This came out really yummy! I added about a half can of black beans and used Mexican corn and was able to get the red and green peppers from that!
    Also, used Garden Salsa Sun Chips instead of the Doritos to get a little extra kick of flavor!
    Turned out great and will definitely try this again…maybe cutting the amount in half since it was just me!
    Blessings and thanks for all the recipes you send out to us! Definitely will need to try the salmon recipe I received today! ;-}
    Helen Fritzie

    1. Hi, Helen! That’s great! Your changes sound really good! I have those sun chips in our pantry right now, so I’ll have to try that topping next time. 🙂

    2. I added black beans as well — great add. My version came out fantastic with green onions and sour cream served on top.

          1. Sure! The refried beans will thicken up the mixture, so you might need to thin it out with some additional salsa. It will have a slightly different texture, but the flavor will be good!

  4. Have this in the oven right now; I used Cool Ranch Doritos because we love the Cool Ranch shells @ Taco Bell. The filling smells so amazing! I bet it would be good wrapped in flour tortillas to speed things up; honestly I might try it again once it gets cool, but just thin the filling and call it soup! Nothing beats a versatile taco base. Mmmmm!

    1. The Cool Ranch Doritos will work perfectly, Karla! And I love the idea of thinning it for “taco soup.” So smart! Enjoy the meal! 🙂

  5. So I would like to make this with 2lbs of meat but would i use 5 cups of taco sauce because that seems both expensive and like too much luquid

    1. Hi, Michelle! That’s what I would do, since you’re doubling all of the other ingredients as well. Those ratios of ingredients worked perfectly for me when testing the recipe, but if you prepare it and it seems like too much liquid for your taste, you can certainly start with less and then just add more, as needed. Feel free to experiment! 🙂

    2. I made this with 2lb. Beef because it was not enough to fill my 13-9. I didn’t double the salsa, I figured I could add more on top. I did add can pinto beans. Just taste it to see if you want to add more or less seasoning.