Home Casseroles Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

Crunchy, fresh, and loaded with seasoned ground beef, the whole family will go nuts for this walking taco casserole.

It comes together in a snap, and it’s so easy to modify.

Homemade Walking Taco Casserole with Frito Chips, Ground Beef, Vegetables and Whipped Cream
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What is Walking Taco Casserole?

Walking tacos are a fun campfire dinner. The idea is to make a few taco essentials – ground beef, lettuce, shredded cheese, etc. – then spoon it into a bag of Fritos.

You get the all the flavor of a crunchy taco in a handy bag you can throw out when you’re done.

But walking taco casserole is a little different. Basically, you take all those elements and make a hearty casserole.

Loaded with taco-spiced beef, chips, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, it’s a super easy way to feed a table of hungry kids.

Taco Casserole Ingredients

This recipe is so easy to make your own. But if you want my go-to recipe, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ground Beef. I like to use 90% lean ground beef. It still has lots of flavor but it’s not overly greasy. For a healthier option, you can also use ground turkey.
  • Taco Seasoning Mix. This is what really brings that irresistible Mexican flavor. I know homemade taco seasoning would be even better. But I’m all about saving time in the kitchen. So it’s the Old El Paso Taco Seasoning packet for me.
  • Frito Chips. Gives every bite the perfect amount of crunch. You can also use regular tortilla chips or some nacho cheese chips. Let your taste buds lead the way!
  • Shredded cheese. You can use Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend. You can even use pepper jack if you want to add a spicy kick!
  • Lettuce. No taco salad would be complete without lettuce. Plus, it always makes me feel like I’m being halfway healthy.
  • Tomatoes. Lettuce and tomatoes are layered on top at the end. Sweet cherry tomatoes pair perfectly with the savory taco flavors. But feel free to use any style of tomato.

(Check the bottom of the post for ingredient amounts.)

How to Make Walking Taco Casserole

This recipe makes eight servings, perfect for an intimate dinner with family and friends. If you’re feeding a bigger crowd, double the recipe to make more.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the liquid.
  3. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Cook according to directions on package.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a greased 11×7-inch baking dish.
  5. Top the mixture with Frito chips and cheese. Cover.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the meat is fully heated, and the cheese melted. Uncover the baking dish during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  7. Top your casserole with tomatoes and lettuce.
  8. There you have it – a walking taco casserole baked to perfection. Serve and enjoy!
Walking Taco Casserole Ingredients: Ground Beef, Taco Seasoning Mix, Frito Chips, Cheese, Lettuce and Tomatoes

Tips & Tricks

  • Make it healthier. Use reduced-fat shredded cheese and reduced-sodium ingredients, plus 80-90% lean ground beef or ground turkey.
  • Try sharp cheddar. It has a richer and more pronounced flavor.
  • Mix it with sour cream. Add a dollop on top, and you’ve got a classic Mexican meal. You can also use plain Greek yogurt.
  • Jazz it up with more Mexican mix-ins. Corn chips and tortilla chips work well here. You can also add other taco ingredients, such as olives, beans, jalapeno, and guacamole.
  • Shred your own cheese. It’s easy and saves money.
  • Crush your chips with a rolling pin. A meat mallet works, too. Use either tool to crush your chips until they’re coarsely crushed, about ¼-inch in size.
  • For additional variations, add bell peppers, corn, or beans into the ground beef mixture.
Taco Casserole with Frito Chips, Tomatoes, Herbs and Ground Beef

How to Store and Make Taco Casserole Ahead of Time

What I love about taco casserole is that you can make it two days ahead of time. Meaning, you can make a huge batch, store it, and reheat for dinner.

Here’s how:

To Make Ahead: Brown, drain and season the meat. Then cool, cover, and store in the fridge. To serve, top with chips and cheese, and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To Store: Cover the dish with plastic and a layer of foil and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

To Reheat: Remove leftover lettuce first, then microwave single portions in 30-second increments or bake larger portions at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes. Place the lettuce back and serve.

More Casserole Recipes for Dinner

Corn Dog Casserole
Easy Dorito Casserole
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

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Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

Servings

8

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

200

kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. lean ground beef

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 2 packages (1 oz. each) Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 2 cups corn chips

  • 1 package 8oz. shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded lettuce

  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the liquid.
  • Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Cook according to directions on package.
  • Transfer the mixture into a greased 11×7-inch baking dish. Top the mixture with Frito chips and cheese. Cover.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the meat is fully heated, and the cheese melted. Uncover the baking dish during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Top casserole with tomatoes and lettuce.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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