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All of your favorite taco ingredients come together in one dish with this easy Taco Bake Casserole! The family-friendly combination of seasoned ground beef, corn, cheese and tortilla chips in a tomato-based sauce is flavorful, simple, and ready in just 30 minutes. Serve the cheesy taco casserole with pico de gallo, rice, beans, a simple green salad, or some extra chips, salsa and guacamole on the side. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner!

Overhead shot of taco casserole with tortilla chips on a blue table

If there’s one thing that everyone in the house can agree on, it’s tacos. I’ll never hear whining or complaining when they’re on the menu, so of course I’ve dreamed up about a zillion different ways to prepare the classic dinner (you know…to keep things interesting)! From Taco Pizza to Taco SaladTaco Stuffed Potatoes to Taco Pie and Taco Soup…there’s a taco-inspired recipe for every mood imaginable. Today I’m sharing one more delicious way to enjoy your favorite flavors — in a ground beef taco bake casserole!

Stirring ground beef and onion in a cast iron skillet

This meal is exactly what it sounds like — a taco that’s baked in a casserole dish! You’ve got the meat, the seasoning, the cheese and the crunchy tortilla chips, along with corn to bulk it up and add some extra flavor. Feel free to adapt the ingredients to make it your own, though. You can substitute ground turkey for the beef, use a can of beans instead of corn, and garnish with any toppings that you prefer. Chopped lettuce, fresh herbs, diced avocado, sliced olives, sour cream and halved cherry tomatoes are all delicious ways to finish it off!

Adding tomato sauce to a pan of ground beef and onion

Ingredients for Easy Taco Casserole

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an easy taco casserole with chips. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to brown the meat and onion.
  • Ground beef: feel free to substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer.
  • Onion: I like a sweet Vidalia onion, but yellow onion or white onion will also work.
  • Taco seasoning: a store-bought 1-ounce packet adds the perfect zesty touch to the dish. The packets of seasoning mix also include thickening agents that help the casserole sauce thicken as it simmers.
  • Tomato sauce: brings the casserole together.
  • Sugar: just a pinch of sweetness balances the acidity in the tomato sauce and adds complexity to the dish.
  • Corn: canned corn works well, but frozen corn is also a nice option.
  • Lime juice: freshly squeezed from half of a lime for a bright touch.
  • Grated cheese: I like cheddar or a Mexican blend, but Monterey Jack, Colby, or Colby-Jack will also work.
  • Chips: corn tortilla chips are the perfect crunchy topping on this casserole! You can also use Fritos or Doritos if you like.
Adding corn to a skillet with ground beef

How to Make Taco Bake Casserole

This easy taco casserole recipe requires just a handful of very simple ingredients that you can keep stashed in your kitchen for last-minute meals!

  1. Cook the ground beef and onion in olive oil; drain off the fat.
  2. Stir in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce and sugar.
  3. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the corn and lime juice.
  5. Transfer the beef mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.
  6. Top with grated cheese and crushed tortilla chips.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in a 400°F oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, the filling is hot, and the chips are lightly toasted.
  8. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve!
Adding lime juice to a skillet
Process shot showing how to make taco bake casserole recipe
Hands serving an easy taco casserole

What to Serve with Taco Casserole

We serve this Mexican-inspired taco bake casserole with additional tortilla chips for scooping. It’s also nice to garnish the dish with a bright, fresh sprinkling of chopped cilantro, parsley, or green onions.

Here are a few more easy options that go well with the taco casserole:

Overhead image of the best taco casserole recipe served on a blue table

Storage

  • Prep ahead: You can assemble this casserole in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
  • To freeze: Assemble the casserole, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then allow to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Have leftovers? The cooked casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat Taco Casserole with Chips

Cover the dish loosely with foil to avoid excess browning. Warm in a 300°F oven for about 20 minutes, or just until heated through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave.

Hands placing an easy taco bake casserole on a table

Recipe Variations

  • Use just 1 lb. of ground beef and bulk up the dish with a can of drained, rinsed black beans or pinto beans.
  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground turkey or ground chicken instead.
  • Rather than corn, use a can of drained, rinsed beans.
  • Top the dish with your favorite chips. I use corn tortilla chips, but Fritos or Doritos are also great options.
Close overhead shot of ground beef taco casserole on a table with toppings

Tips for the Best Taco Bake Casserole Recipe

  • Garnish the casserole with your favorite fresh taco toppings for the best flavor and texture. Good options include fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped green onions or minced red onion, chopped lettuce, sour cream, diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, or sliced black olives.
  • Keep a close eye on the casserole as it’s baking. Since all of the ingredients are cooked through, it only needs about 10 minutes in the oven for the cheese to melt. The chips should be lightly toasted, but not burned. If the top starts to get too dark before the rest of the casserole is warmed through, just tent the top loosely with foil.
  • For an extra cheesy casserole, feel free to add an extra ½ cup -1 cup of grated cheese into the beef filling. Extra cheese on top is always good, too!
  • A pinch of sugar in the filling balances the acidity in the tomato sauce and gives the dish a more complex flavor. You can omit this ingredient, but I think it’s best when included!
Taco casserole bake in a round dish with tortilla chips on top

More Taco Casserole Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of taco casserole with tortilla chips on a blue table

Taco Bake Casserole

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 559 kcal
All of your favorite taco ingredients come together in one dish with this easy Taco Bake Casserole — and it's ready in 30 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (or about 1 ¾ cups frozen corn)
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips
  • Optional, for serving: fresh cilantro or parsley, sliced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, sliced olives, sliced green onion

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion; cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat.
  • Reduce the heat to low; stir in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in corn and lime juice.
  • Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and add the crushed tortilla chips on top. Bake, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.

Notes

  • Garnish the casserole with your favorite fresh taco toppings for the best flavor and texture. Good options include fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped green onions or minced red onion, sour cream, diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, or sliced black olives.
  • Keep a close eye on the casserole as it’s baking. Since all of the ingredients are cooked through, it only needs about 10 minutes in the oven for the cheese to melt. The chips should be lightly toasted, but not burned. If the top starts to get too dark before the rest of the casserole is warmed through, just tent the top loosely with foil.
  • For an extra cheesy casserole, feel free to add an extra ½ cup -1 cup of grated cheese into the beef filling. Extra cheese on top is always good, too!
  • A pinch of sugar in the filling balances the acidity in the tomato sauce and gives the dish a more complex flavor. You can omit this ingredient, but I think it’s best when included!
  • Use just 1 lb. of ground beef and bulk up the dish with a can of drained, rinsed black beans or pinto beans.
  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground turkey or ground chicken instead.
  • Instead of corn, use a can of drained, rinsed beans.
  • Top the dish with your favorite chips. I use corn tortilla chips, but Fritos or Doritos are also great options.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the casseroleCalories: 559kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 33gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 1224mgPotassium: 803mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 940IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 230mgIron: 5mg
Keyword: easy taco casserole, taco bake casserole, taco casserole, taco casserole with chips
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan
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!

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