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Taco Casserole in a clear baking dish
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4.27 from 15 votes

Taco Casserole with Ground Beef

With layers of seasoned ground beef, tortillas, enchilada sauce, and cheese, Taco Casserole is a fun weeknight meal that can be made ahead and is freezer-friendly. It’s taco night with everything baked together in a single dish.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Keyword: casserole, easy freezer meal, gluten free, make-ahead meal, tex mex
Servings: 6
Calories: 336kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.75

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • 8x8 Square Baking Dish

Ingredients

  • 6 Taco-Sized Corn or Flour Tortillas, sliced into strips (be sure to use gluten-free tortillas if needed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil (I use avocado oil or grape seed oil)
  • 1 pound Ground Beef (80% lean; see note)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder (this casserole isn’t super spicy, but if you don’t want any spice at all, use paprika instead of chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 1/2 cups Mild Red Enchilada Sauce (store-bought or make homemade enchilada sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, divided (sub shredded Mexican Blend)
  • Tortilla Chips, for serving

Optional Toppings (anything you like on tacos will work)

  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Chopped Fresh Tomatoes
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425°F. Spray an 8x8 square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or rub it with some cooking oil.
  • Slice tortillas into strips (about 4 to 5 strips per tortilla).
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it begins to shimmer, add beef. Saute beef, breaking it apart as it cooks, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain off any excess fat or liquid from the pan. Add tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, salt, ground coriander, and black pepper and stir it into the beef, cooking for 3 minutes more.
  • Stir frozen corn into beef until fully defrosted. Set aside.
  • In the prepared baking dish, layer ingredients as follows:
    - Beef / Corn (use 1/3 of the mixture)
    - 1/2 cup Enchilada Sauce
    - Tortilla Strips (use 1/2 of the tortillas)
    - Beef / Corn (use 1/3 of the mixture)
    - 1/2 cup Enchilada Sauce
    - 1 cup Cheese
    - Tortilla Strips (use 1/2 of the tortillas)
    - 1/2 cup Enchilada Sauce
    - Beef / Corn (use 1/3 of the mixture)
  • Cover the enchilada casserole tightly with aluminum foil. Place it on a sheet pan (in case it bubbles over).
  • Bake, covered, for 20 minutes (add 10 to 15 minutes if the dish has been refrigerated before baking).
  • Remove foil and add the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Return casserole to oven and continue baking, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.
  • Let casserole rest for 5 min before slicing. (The slices will hold together better if it’s slightly cooled before serving.)
  • Serve immediately with chips and any toppings you’d like!

Notes

Slow Cooker Taco Meat is a great meat to use in this recipe. If you want to make this a two-part meal, make a batch of slow cooker taco meat. Use half of the cooked meat for tacos, nachos, or burritos one night. Use the remaining half of the cooked meat for this casserole.
Gluten-Free: This dish can easily be made gluten-free. Just be sure to grab gluten-free certified corn tortillas, enchilada sauce (or make it yourself), and tortilla chips.
Make Ahead / Freeze : If you want to make this meal ahead, take it to someone else, or freeze it, assemble the casserole, leaving off the final 1/2 cup of cheese topping.
Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!
 
taco casserole with ground beef freezer label

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 957mg | Potassium: 435mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 792IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 3mg