I have been making this cheesy taco casserole recipe for over 25 years. It is one of my favorite go-to, quick and easy weeknight meals.

taco casserole
Cheesy taco casserole topped with lettuce, green onions, red peppers and jalapeno.

It takes little time to prepare and is a family favorite for even the pickiest eaters!

This recipe is easy to customize to your own preferences. If you don’t eat ground beef, you can use ground chicken or even turkey if you prefer.

**HINT — If you prefer ground chicken, it is much more cost-effective to buy boneless chicken breasts and make ground chicken yourself.

All you have to do is cut the chicken into chunks and pulse it in your food processor until the meat is ground to the consistency that you prefer. It’s that easy! Check out our affiliate link to the Hamilton Beach Duo Food Processor that we have in our own kitchen!

You can also add any additional ingredients or toppings of your choice. I keep the base of the recipe basic with chips, meat, onion, salsa, and cheese.

taco casserole
Ground chicken and onions topped with taco seasoning.

But you could also add other ingredients as well. If we know everyone likes them we sometimes add leftover refried beans or diced jalapeno on top of the meat mixture before baking.

And we typically let everyone add their own toppings after individual portions have been served. In our house it’s just easier because everyone likes different toppings!

This dish also does well as a make ahead of time and freeze meal. Just prepare as instructed, cover and freeze. When you are ready to bake it, pull it out of the freezer and bake for approximately 60 minutes.

Of course you could take it out to thaw prior to baking and the cooking time would remain at 15-20 minutes.

And if you like this recipe, don’t forget to check out our other popular Mexican recipes! 

Cheesy Taco Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound ground beef or chicken

½ cup chopped onion

3 Tablespoons taco seasoning

3/4 cup water

1 small bag of tortilla chips

½ cup salsa

2 cups grated Mexican cheese, divided

Toppings of your choice

Lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeno, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.

taco casserole
A great use for those end of the bag crushed chips!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Brown the ground beef/chicken with the onion, drain if needed.

2. Add taco seasoning mix and water to the cooked ground meat and mix well. Cook down until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

3. Grease a 9 x 11 glass baking dish. Break up tortilla chips and place them in a thick layer on the bottom of the dish.

4. Top the crushed chips with the hamburger and onion mix, half of the cheese and salsa.

taco casserole
Layered taco casserole ready to be baked in the oven!

5. Add another layer of crushed chips and top with cheese.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

7. Add toppings of your choice.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Quick and easy to make taco casserole recipe. A great weeknight or make ahead freezer meal that gives you all the flavor of a taco without the mess.
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef or chicken
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 small bag of tortilla chips
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 2 cups grated Mexican cheese divided

Toppings of your choice

  • Lettuce tomato, onion, jalapeno, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brown the ground beef/chicken with the onion, drain if needed.
  3. Add taco seasoning mix and water to the cooked ground meat and mix well. Cook down until most of the liquid has been absorbed. 

  4. Grease a 9 x 11 glass baking dish. Break up tortilla chips and place them in a thick layer on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Top the crushed chips with the hamburger and onion mix, half of the cheese and salsa.

  6. Add another layer of crushed chips and top with cheese.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Add toppings of your choice.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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6 thoughts on “Cheesy Taco Casserole Recipe – An Easy To Prepare, Make Ahead Dish

    • May 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Geoff – I forgot to add that in. The recipe has now been corrected.

      Reply
  • May 1, 2018 at 10:09 am
    Permalink

    I also find this to be a frustrating situation. Please help us.

    Reply
    • May 1, 2018 at 10:41 am
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      Hi Linda At the bottom of each recipe article there is a printable version of just the recipe (without the article, pictures or ads). There is a print button there that should make it very easy to print them off. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • May 1, 2018 at 9:49 am
    Permalink

    Get very frustrated when I want to print off your wonderful recipes from this page. Even if I highlight or whatever I try, I get not just the recipe but everything including all comments. Is there anyway you can put the recipes on here so they can be printed off separately from all else?

    Reply
    • May 1, 2018 at 10:40 am
      Permalink

      At the very bottom of each recipe article there is a printable version of the recipe without the article and ads. Try the Print button there to see if that works for you.

      Reply

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