Easy Taco Bake Recipe

Elevate the fun and flavors of the beloved “walking taco” concept with Walking Taco Casserole—a hearty and delicious dish that combines all the elements of a taco in a comforting casserole format. Imagine layers of seasoned ground beef, crunchy tortilla chips, melty cheese, and your favorite taco toppings, all baked to perfection. This casserole is the ideal solution for feeding a crowd or simply enjoying a creative twist on taco night. Join us as we explore the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and valuable tips to create your very own Walking Taco Casserole that’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering.


For the Ground Beef Mixture:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Casserole:

  • 4 cups tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese blend)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced jalapeños (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Preparing the Ground Beef Mixture

  1. In a large skillet, cook the lean ground beef over medium heat until browned and cooked through.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and cook for a few more minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until the flavors are well combined and the mixture has thickened slightly.

Step 2: Assembling the Casserole

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spread half of the crushed tortilla chips evenly as the base.
  3. Spoon the cooked ground beef mixture over the chips, creating an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over the beef layer.

Step 3: Layering the Toppings

  1. Spread the remaining crushed tortilla chips over the cheese layer.
  2. Dollop spoonfuls of sour cream evenly over the chips.
  3. Drizzle salsa over the sour cream layer.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese over the salsa.
  5. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 4: Adding Fresh Toppings

  1. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly.
  2. Scatter shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, and sliced jalapeños (if using) over the top.
  3. Finish by sprinkling chopped fresh cilantro for a burst of freshness.

Step 5: Serving Walking Taco Casserole

  1. Serve the casserole hot with lime wedges on the side for an extra burst of flavor.
  2. Allow guests to scoop out portions onto their plates, just like building a walking taco.

Tips for Perfect Walking Taco Casserole:

  1. Customize the toppings: Feel free to add or omit toppings based on your preferences. Guacamole, black olives, diced avocado, and diced bell peppers are all great options.
  2. Keep tortilla chips crispy: To prevent the tortilla chips from becoming soggy, layer them between the beef and cheese layers.
  3. Make it spicy: If you love heat, add extra jalapeños or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
  4. Prepare ahead: You can brown the ground beef and chop the vegetables ahead of time to make assembly even quicker.
  5. Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat individual portions in the microwave.

Experience the joy of assembling a walking taco in casserole form with Walking Taco Casserole—a creative and flavorful twist on a beloved classic. From the seasoned beef to the layers of cheese, tortilla chips, and vibrant toppings, this casserole captures the essence of taco night in a convenient and shareable dish. Whether enjoyed at a family gathering, potluck, or casual dinner, Walking Taco Casserole brings a festive and satisfying flair to your table, making it a go-to option for indulging in comfort food with a delightful twist.

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