What to make for dinner? That is the existential question of adulthood. Thankfully there are a lot of options. One option is this easy to make taco casserole. 

I am a big fan of anything with the word taco in. We love taco salads, tacos, and taco casserole. Heck, we have even taken up making our own taco seasoning these days. 

What I appreciate about this recipe is that it puts together quickly. We brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Then we open several cans and drain them. Finally, we dice some tomatoes and then mix it all together and throw it in the oven. 

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What is a taco casserole?

A taco casserole is essentially a deconstructed taco. This casserole has cooked ground beef with sauteed onions and garlic. Then you mix in taco seasoning, water, black olives, diced tomatoes, green chilis, and salsa. Then layer a baking dish with chips, cheese, and the mixture. Throw it in the oven and you have a taco casserole. 

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Yield: 10 servings

Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole

This casserole has cooked ground beef with sauteed onions and garlic. Then you mix in taco seasoning, water, black olives, diced tomatoes, green chilis, and salsa.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c red onion chopped
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 (6 oz) can black olives
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz) can green chilis
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • 2 c shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 c salsa
  • Sour Cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  2. Prep work – Chop the red onion. Slice the black olives.
  3. Cook ground beef and onions, drain grease.
  4. Add the garlic and saute with the meat and onions for 1 minute.
  5. Add in water, taco seasoning with meat. Simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Add in black beans, olives, green chiles, and salsa. Stir and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.
  7. Layer tortilla chips in the bottom of a 9” square pan, add meat mixture, cheese, and repeat layering. End with a layer of cheese on top.
  8. Bake in the oven 20 to 25 minutes and until cheese is melted and bubbling.
  9. Serve with sour cream on top.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 534mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 28g

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Taco casserole variations

This dish is definitely one that you can feel comfortable experimenting with. Here are some of our best suggestions

  • Add in different veggies. Try dicing up red or yellow bell peppers and cooking it with the ground beef. Consider adding zucchini to the dish as well.
  • Use corn tortillas instead of tortilla chips. Our tip for this is layer it as instructed in the recipe but don’t put the top of layer of cheese on top until the last 10 minutes. Give the tortillas on top a chance to brown a bit.
  • For a more southern flair add in pinto beans instead of black beans.
  • Use pepper jack cheese or sharp cheddar instead of the Mexican blend cheese.

What to serve with taco casserole

Casseroles by nature contain a variety of ingredients so trying to decide what to serve on the side can get tricky. Our best tip with casserole sides is to keep it light and simple. This is a great time to sneak some veggies on the plate.


A colorful salad is a perfect side dish with this casserole. If you pick out the right vegetables you will get that perfect crunch text to go alongside your dish. We suggest that you choose spinach as your base but go with whatever leafy green that you have on hand. Then add in some fresh tomatoes, red bell peppers, and some cucumber.


Corn is an excellent side for any Mexican main dish. It is so easy to cook up a can of corn. You can add some butter, salt, and pepper and you are all set. If you want to make it a bit more elaborate consider turning it into Mexican street corn. Or if it is a beautiful day outside, turn on the grill and grill that corn.

Green Beans

Fresh green beans that are quickly cooked in the skillet can add a lovely crunch and pair perfectly with this taco casserole. They are vibrant in color and look great on the plate. Prepare your green beans, add some olive oil to the skillet and heat it up. Season the green beans with some garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then sautee the green beans for about 5 minutes or until they turn bright green in color. Experiment with various seasonings and consider sprinkling a bit parmesan cheese on top of them.

Oven-roasted veggies

This has become one of our favorite go-to side dishes lately. They look beautiful when served and taste great at the same time. We love to roast sweet potatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers together. 

To make them wash and dry your veggies. Then cut them into ½” chunks. Throw them in a bowl and add about a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir the veggies to fully coat.  

Bake them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.

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About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

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