It's Cinco de Mayo every day when you have this deliciously easy taco casserole recipe on the table! Celebrate how shelf cooking-friendly this recipe is, no piñata needed. Your family will devour it and you'll love just how easy it is to double and freeze for later.
Arriba, arriba!!! We've got your new go-to Mexican dish that the whole family will be singing a new tune to. You'll be as happy as Speedy Gonzales when you realize just how versatile this recipe is.
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Forget having to start with all-new ingredients, fresh from scratch when it comes to this taco casserole recipe. You'll use what you have, throw a piñata in the dish, and be amazed at the fiesta your tastebuds will be throwing! Make Cinco de Mayo proud and enjoy this dish any time of the year. Now ándale, let's get to that recipe!
A TACO CASSEROLE WITH SHELF COOKING-FRIENDLY INGREDIENTS
We are not messing around when we say this recipe is super versatile! As long as you have a casserole dish and the basic types of ingredients (and you don't even have to use all of them…), then you'll be able to make a taco casserole that the whole family will be raving about.
- Meat – Any type of ground meat will work. Ground beef, pork, chicken and turkey will all taste delicious. Taco casserole is also a great way to use any leftover meat that you have, even if you don't think it's enough to serve the whole family! It's a great way to stretch any small amounts of meat. Shredded chicken, cooked ground beef, fajita steak, or any other type of cooked meat will work. Just be sure to chop it up so it's small enough to mix throughout the casserole.
- Taco Seasoning – Use a store-bought packet or make your own!
- Beans – Black (drained and rinsed), ranch-style, whole pinto and even refried beans all go great in this recipe.
- Veggies – Sneak some veggies into your taco casserole and your family will be none-the-wiser! Corn, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and spinach are all delicious in it.
- Rice – This is a great way to stretch the meal to fill those tummies up and make the taco casserole last longer. Use any type of cooked rice you have. Leftover white and Mexican rice go really well in this!
- Salsa – Use any jar that you have, just be mindful of the spice level if you're making this for delicate palates. You can also make your own to use in the recipe!
- Tortillas – Can you really call it a taco if you don't use tortillas?! Use whatever type you have, such as flour, whole wheat or even corn. You can also use whatever size you have, just be mindful of that when you're putting them in the dish. It's possible that you'll end up needing more or less than the recipe calls for to get all of the coverage that you'll need. (If you don't have enough to layer the top and bottom, just use them on top!)
- Cheese – Name a casserole that doesn't have cheese, we dare you! 😉 Mexican mixed cheese is always a crowd pleaser, but you can really use any kind that you have. Cheddar, Colby jack, Monterrey jack and mozzarella are all good.
Amazed yet? You should be.
OUR FAVORITE TOPPINGS
Taco casserole is perfectly fine without adding anything extra. It's that good, folks. But adding extra toppings? They take it from crazy good to woah when you add them on top. Try some of these out and see which ones are your favorite.
- Sour Cream
- Pico de Gallo
So, amigos, what do you say? Ready to get on to the recipe already?!
THE BEST TACO CASSEROLE RECIPE
It's so simple to throw this recipe together and it's great as a meal in itself. If you need to stretch it further, pair it with some chips and salsa, a salad, and some fruit. Oh, and some dessert wouldn't be too bad, either! It's basically a fiesta when you make this easy taco casserole recipe. 😉
- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 oz taco seasoning
- 1 can beans
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 16 oz salsa
- 12 tortillas
- 2-3 cups shredded cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the ground meat over medium heat until done, then drain.
- Add taco seasoning and amount of water it calls for. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Add can of beans and cook for a few minutes until heated.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in 1 cup of salsa.
- Arrange 6 tortillas in bottom and up sides of a greased 9×13 pan. (Tortillas will overlap on the bottom.)
- Spread rice evenly on top of tortillas.
- Pour taco meat and bean mixture over rice and spread out evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top.
- Top with remaining 6 tortillas, overlapping them. They can go up the sides, if needed.
- Spread remaining salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
- Top with your favorite toppings, like sour cream, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, or pico de gallo.
So easy and so good. Want to know one of the best things about this recipe? The leftovers are so. stinkin'. good. If you're lucky enough to have some when your meal is over, then you'll be happier than a hobbit eating second breakfast.
IT'S SO EASY TO DOUBLE AND FREEZE
Alright, now we're talking about the very core of our being here! You know that we're allllllll about doubling and freezing meals for later use. It makes having a home-cooked meal on busy nights super easy. You won't be disappointed when you double, triple or quadruple your taco casserole recipe!
Make your recipe as usual, but add it to a disposable baking pan and don't stick it in the oven. Triple wrap it with aluminum foil, write the contents, date, and baking instructions on top, and stick it in the freezer until you need it. When you're ready to eat it, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, bake covered at 350°F for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese on top is completely melted and golden brown.
Alright, well now you're a taco casserole whizbang and you're ready to have a fiesta and celebrate! Don't forget to invite us, mkay? 😉 What's your favorite topping to go on yours? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more great ideas?
- Liking the sound of this whole shelf cooking thing? Learn how to meal plan using what you have first and never go back to shopping for groceries the same way again!
- Store your fruits and veggies the right way and stop having to chuck them in the trash before you can use them!
- Go Italian and build your own pasta dish!