Walking taco casserole recipe is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is baked in the oven. This taco bake is loaded with all the flavors of traditional tacos along with a crunch from the corn chips.
Ground beef is flavored with taco seasoning then mixed with salsa, sour cream, green chilies, pinto beans, and corn. Crushed Fritos are layered into a 9x13 baking dish then topped with the taco meat mixture that is then coated in a layer of cheese.
The final layer to this delicious walking taco casserole is more crushed corn chips. Baked until bubbly and the cheese is melted then served with all the traditional taco toppings.
This taco bake recipe makes for an easy family meal that everyone is sure to love. Made with simple ingredients making it an easy casserole recipe even for busy weeknights.
What Is Walking Taco Casseole
Walking taco casserole is essentially walking tacos, but made in a casserole dish instead of individual bags. Walking tacos are basically bags of corn chips or Doritos filled with all the typical taco toppings. Like taco seasoned ground beef, cheese, beans, tomatoes, and lettuce. So instead of making individual bags why not make one big baking dish?
Our taco bake recipe is made with taco seasoned ground beef, salsa, sour cream, corn, green chilies for a bit of spice, pinto beans, cheese, and Fritos. Then topped with our own individual choices of toppings like more sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, and black olives.
This delicious casserole is easy to make on busy weeknights and will feed the whole family. This taco bake is sure to be a hit with your family, I know it is with mine.
Ground beef, we have been buying the 90/10 ground beef. I have found that there is less grease after cooking and it does have more flavor. You could always go for a healthier version and use ground turkey or even chicken. I seasoned the ground beef with black pepper and seasoning salt. Then cook in diced onions for more flavor.
Taco Seasoning And Water, these are the ingredients that really give this recipe the taco flavor that you would expect in a taco bake. We have a great easy homemade taco seasoning recipe but I did use a package brand. Either one will work just fine.
Salsa and Sour Cream, once the taco seasoning has thickened in the ground beef I mix in the salsa and sour cream. The salsa will bring a bit of heat, I did use mild salsa but hot would work as well. The sour cream helps to bring in a creaminess to the walking taco casserole.
Corn, green chilies, and pinto beans are mixed into the taco meat mixture. I have made this without corn but found it missing something for our taste. The green chilies bring in more spice as well but you could leave them out. If I were to use a hotter salsa I would defiantly leave them out. The pinto beans bring a rich flavor like you would get from refried beans. You could change the pinto beans out for black beans.
Fritos and Cheese, I like to crush the Fritos up a bit before adding them to the baking dish. This makes the corn chips easier to eat. Then of course we can't have anything taco without the cheese. I used a taco blend but you could use a Colby jack or even pepper jack.
Layer It Up
It's time to start layering up this walking taco casserole recipe. Into a 9x13 baking dish that I prefer to spray with cooking spray. Add a layer of the crushed corn chips, I only use half of the bag that has been crushed.
Then the next layer is the taco meat mixture, cheese, and then top it off with the remaining crushed corn chips. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has melted. It did take 20 minutes in my oven to bake to bubbly goodness.
Once the taco bake was bubbly I took the foil off and baked for 5 more minutes. This just helps to give the top layer of the Fritos more of a crunch.
The toppings for this are just as endless as they can be for tacos. Our family likes lettuce, tomatoes, more sour cream, taco sauce, and some of us like black olives. Green onions, banana peppers, guacamole, pico de gallo, or maybe a splash of lime juice are also great topping ideas.
Varations That Can Be Made
One of the things I enjoy about cooking is how I can change recipes up to better fit my family's likes. For this walking taco casserole recipe, there are a few variations that can be made to make it more to your family's liking.
The first would be the ground beef, you can use ground turkey or even chicken for a more healthier version. Not a fan of pinto beans you could change these for black beans or even refried beans. You could also just leave out the beans if you would like.
Change up the Fritos to either Doritos or even Chili Cheese Fritos. I have made this with Doritos before, I have to say the corn chips were a bigger hit for my family. A couple of ways to change the salsa would be to go with a spicer salsa or change the salsa out for enchilada sauce. The enchilada sauce will still bring in a bit of spice and it may make the taco meat mixture a bit more liquidy.
This walking taco casserole is a simple dinner recipe that can be made for those busy weeknights.
My Creative Manner is answering the question "what's there to eat" with simple recipe creations ~ Jen
Other Great Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Easy Slow Cooker Taco Meat
- Instant Pot Beef Tips
- Taco Soup- Instant Pot
- Doritos Taco Salad
- Seven Layer Taco Dip
- Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Beef And Broccoli
Walking Taco Casserole
A simple weeknight dinner casserole that is loaded with all the flavors of tacos.
- 2 Pounds Ground Beef
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Seasoning Salt
- 1 Medium Onion diced
- 1 Envelope Taco Seasoning
- ⅔ Cup Water to mix the taco seasoning with
- 2 Cups Salsa
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 15 Ounces Pinto Beans drained and rinsed
- 4 Ounces Green Chilies diced
- 15 Ounces Corn canned drained
- 2 Cups Mexican Cheese shredded
- 9.25 Ounces Fritos Corn Chip one bag
Preheat oven to 375℉
In a large skillet cook the ground beef until no longer pink, season with black pepper and seasoning salt. When ground beef is almost cooked all the way add in the diced onion and continue cooking. Drain off any grease there may be from the meat.
In a liquid measuring cup mix together the ⅔ cup water and the packet of taco seasoning until well combined. Mix into the ground beef and simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened.
With the taco meat thickened mix in the salsa and sour cream, stir well. Mix in the pinto beans and canned corn. Remove from heat.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Crush the Fritos a bit and layer them evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.
Add the layer of taco meat mixture, sprinkle with the cheese. Add the rest of the corn chips on top of the cheese.
Cover with foil and bake in a 375℉ oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove the foil from the baking dish and bake for 5 minutes more.
Remove from the oven serve with your favorite toppings.
The nutritional value may vary depending on the ingredients used.