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This taco casserole recipe has tender ground beef, all the best taco flavors, tons of cheese, and a layer of Doritos! It’s the ultimate easy comfort food for busy families. 

Love casseroles? Try my Simple Ground Beef Casserole, Simple Breakfast Casserole, or check out all my casserole recipes.

close-up of taco casserole on a metal spatula

Why you’ll love it

Your whole family will thank you for making this simple taco casserole since it’s just so tasty. Like, they’re going to get really excited for next taco night. It’s also super customizable, so everyone can load it up with their favorite toppings!

Taco flavors, black beans, salsa, and ground beef all dressed up in a hot and cheesy casserole… who says no? Even your pickiest eaters are going to devour this meal. It’s also fairly inexpensive!

Make it with a side salad with this Chipotle Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing, and you’re all set.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Olive oil – for frying the ground beef
  • Ground beef – I like to use lean ground beef. Try 90%
  • Doritos – use your favorite flavor. I picked nacho cheese. You can also add some on top for an extra crunch!
  • Onion – makes a great savory base
  • Chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin – this trio makes a delicious homemade taco seasoning
  • Beans – I prefer black beans, but you could do a layer of refried beans instead!
  • Corn – we’re using canned corn to make this hassle free
  • Salsa – pick up a jar of your preferred brand
  • Cheese – I used a Mexican blend, but cheddar would work great

Suggested toppings:

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro and scallions
  • Avocado or Guacamole
  • Black olives
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Iceberg or romaine lettuce
ingredients in small bowls for taco casserole

How to make taco casserole

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

cooking ground beef with onion and spices in a cast iron skillet

Preheat the oven to 350. In a cast iron skillet cook the beef in the olive oil. After about 5 minutes, stir in the onion and spices. Continue cooking, and then spoon out any excess fat.

adding in corn, cheese, salsa, and black beans

Add in the corn, salsa, beans, and half the cheese. Warm until the cheese melts.

adding doritos and beef mixture to a casserole dish

Place an even layer of Doritos in a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over top.

taco casserole with cheese before and after baking

Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, and then bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until hot and melty! Serve as-is or with toppings of your choice.

Can I make taco casserole ahead of time?

  • You bet! Simply cook the onion, spices, and beef mixture, assemble the layers in a baking dish, let it cool, and then tightly cover.
  • It’ll keep in the fridge for a day or two, or you can freeze it for up to a month.
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight before baking. Since it’ll be starting out cold, it’ll need a bit more time than in the original instructions. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, and then uncover it cook for another 15 minutes or so until it’s hot.
  • These disposable aluminum baking pans are perfect if you’re bringing it to a potluck or making several.

Substitutions and variations

  • You don’t have to use Doritos. Other tortilla chips or Fritos will definitely work in this taco bake!
  • Use a ready-made taco seasoning blend if you prefer not to use the individual spices.
  • You could add more veggies such as red bell peppers to this casserole. I’d add them in at the same time as the onion. 
  • Feel free to swap the black beans with another kind if you prefer, like kidney beans or pinto beans. 
  • If you want to add some heat, use a medium or spicy salsa, hot cheese blend, add some cayenne pepper, or you could even toss in some spicy chopped green chilies. 

Leftovers and storage

  • If you have any leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days in a covered container. Keep in mind the Doritos will lose firmness over time.
  • Reheat in the oven for best results, but you can also microwave until heated through.
  • Leftovers can also be frozen. I portion them up in individual containers.
a baking dish with taco casserole

Did you make this taco casserole with Doritos? Questions? Ask me in the comments below and leave a star rating! You can also find me on Instagram.

close-up of taco casserole on a metal spatula
4.83 from 56 votes

Easy Taco Casserole Recipe

This taco casserole recipe has tender ground beef, all the best taco flavors, tons of cheese, and a layer of Doritos! It's the ultimate easy comfort food for busy families.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups crushed Doritos I used Nacho Cheese flavor
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 (12 ounce) can corn drained
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) jar salsa use your favorite kind
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (or use cheddar) divided
  • Toppings (optional, to taste): tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, avocado, black olives, sour cream, lettuce, etc.

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and move the rack to the middle position.
  • Add the oil and ground beef to a skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat as you go along, for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in the onion, chili powder, garlic powder, and ground cumin, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the crushed Doritos in an even layer to the bottom of a 9×13 (or similar size) casserole dish.
  • If there's a lot of excess fat in the skillet, spoon most of it out. Stir in the beans, corn, salsa, and half the cheese. Let it warm through (until the cheese melts).
  • Spoon the beef mixture evenly over the Doritos.
  • Top the casserole with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until it's warm and the cheese is nice and melty. Meanwhile, prep the toppings.
  • Serve casserole as-is or with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  • Serves 6-8 depending on how much people eat.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 441kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 860mg, Potassium: 695mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 749IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 264mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on December 17, 2019. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!


Hi! Iā€™m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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132 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    While i wanted to love this recipe, for me it was just okay. The flavour was there but as others have stated, it was rather dry. I even added additional salsa in with the meat mixture prior to baking after reading other reviews.
    To help with the dryness, we added additional salsa on top along with sour cream when serving. I guess I was expecting it to be a moister dish more like a taco meat mixture. I don’t know if I would make this again without figuring out how to make the meat mixture moister. This is just my preference šŸ™‚