Taco casserole is an easy one-dish dinner that everyone in the family will love! Refried beans are layered with seasoned ground beef, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips. Just add your favorite toppings!
Tacos are always a dinnertime hit in my house—sometimes I wonder why I even bother making anything else. Taco Tuesday is definitely a weekly occurrence for us, but instead of serving the same basic tacos week after week, I like to mix things up. Maybe one week we’ll have Cheesy Taco Sticks, then the next week I’ll make Walking Tacos. And this taco casserole is in regular rotation, too!
Easy Taco Casserole Recipe
I love that this recipe is both easy to make and easy to customize. Consider it more of a template than a recipe! Not only can every family member choose their own toppings to layer onto their taco casserole, you can also make tweaks to the casserole itself to tailor it to your family’s tastes and preferences. (I have some ideas for that below!)
The casserole starts with a base of refried beans, and then onto that, we add sour cream, lots of cheese, seasoned taco meat, and chips. It’s a little bit like 7-Layer Dip, but in dinner form! If your family really loves tacos, you can make a double batch of the ground beef, then use half to make this casserole and the other half to make traditional tacos or taco salad. Cooking once and eating twice is always a win!
- Ground beef – You can swap this for ground turkey or a meatless ground beef substitute.
- Yellow onion
- Taco seasoning – Use store-bought or homemade taco seasoning.
- Refried beans
- Sour cream – This needs to be room temperature so it’s easy to spread.
- Shredded cheddar cheese – Monterey jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican blend will work, too.
- Fritos or tortilla chips
- Sliced black olives
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
How to Make Taco Casserole
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
2. Make the Ground Beef
Add the ground beef and diced onions to a large skillet set over medium heat and cook until the meat is cooked through. Drain off the grease, then add ¾ cup of water and the taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Spread the refried beans onto the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Spread the sour cream over this, followed by the ground beef mixture and cheese.
Bake the taco casserole uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Top with the chips, then bake uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes more, or until the chips are warm.
Add the toppings and serve!
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Taco Casserole
Cover the casserole dish or transfer leftovers to an airtight storage container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days; reheat the leftovers in the oven or in the microwave until warmed through. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
What should I serve with taco casserole?
Can taco casserole be made in advance?
Yes, you can assemble taco casserole and refrigerate it for up to a day. Let it sit on the countertop while you preheat the oven.
What can I use instead of refried beans in taco casserole?
If you don’t like refried beans, you can skip them or use either black beans or pinto beans instead.
More Tex-Mex Favorites
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 16 oz refried beans
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese freshly grated
- 1 cup Fritos or tortilla chips
- black olives sliced
- lettuce shredded
- tomatoes diced
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Add the ground beef and diced onions to a large pan and cook and crumble over medium heat until the meat is cooked through.
- Drain excess grease.
- Add ¾ cup water and taco seasoning.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- To a 13×9 casserole dish, spread the refried beans in an even layer.
- Top with sour cream, spreading out to the edges.
- Top with cooked ground beef mixture, then with cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is hot and melted.
- Remove from the oven and top with chips – return to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes more or until the chips are toasty.
- Add toppings and serve right away!