Taco Casserole with Fritos

This easy Taco Casserole with Fritos is a family pleaser! If you need to get dinner on the table quickly, then you will want this recipe on repeat because the whole family will love it!

Layers of seasoned beef with melted cheddar, followed by the signature Fritos of the walking taco. This is one of those great recipes that is both fun and delicious!


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Walking Tacos meets the casserole dish in this delicious weeknight dinner. My boys absolutely devour this and the Fritos just give them that layer of ‘fun’.

This is the perfect make-ahead dish to have ready in the fridge, then simply tip with cheddar and bake.

Taco night with a twist! Tacos in casserole form are on repeat in our house.

This is a family favorite and so easy to make! If you don’t have the ingredients in your pantry, they’re always easy to find in the grocery store. Save this recipe for your next Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Next time, try my Dorito chicken casserole and John Wayne casserole recipe or Gigi Hadid Pasta Recipe for an easy weeknight dinner.

You’ll Love This Recipe!

  • a simple family recipe that you can make in advance and reheat the next day.
  • this is a great recipe to make when your kids have a group of friends over. This is a crowd pleaser!
  • can be served on its own or rolled up and enjoyed in a flour tortilla or simply served with your favorite taco toppings. A dollop of sour cream on the side is a must!
Close up image from side of taco casserole bake.

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS

Ingredients for walking taco casserole in glass bowls with text overlay.

A full recipe card is included at the bottom of the page.

  • onions – cook with the ground beef, onions add a lot of flavour. I use yellow cooking onions or sweet onions. In a pinch you can also use red onions.
  • garlic – fresh garlic for flavour. I like to slice it. Keep in mind that you can mince it and the smaller the pieces, the more garlic flavour you will have.
  • lean ground beef – Although ground beef is a traditional taco meat, you can also substitute ground turkey.
  • green chilies – Old El Paso variety works great!
  • taco seasoning – this recipe is intended to be quick and easy, therefore using the taco seasoning mix which is delicious. If you want to make your own taco seasoning, I have a homemade taco seasoning that you can make and have extra seasoning mix left over. You will need about 6 to 8 tbsp. of this mix.
  • black pepper to taste – once the beef and taco seasoning is all cooked with onions, give it a taste and add some freshly ground black pepper for even more flavour.
  • sharp cheddar, shredded (two cups for baking in oven and one cup for topping). We love sharp cheddar but often any tex-mix cheese blend, Monterey Jack, Colby or mexican blend cheese.
  • Bag of Fritos chips – or substitute nacho chips, Doritos. The sky’s the limit!
  • shredded lettuce – I like to use iceberg or substitute romaine.
  • fresh diced tomatoes – add some fresh tomatoes for flavour. Any type will work, pink, red, vine tomatoes, cherry or grape.
  • your favourite brand of salsa
  • sour cream – for topping or replace with plain Greek yogurt
  • green onions, sliced – this is an optional topping. When they’re fresh in season they add another layer of tasty goodness.
  • jalapeño peppers – if you like the heat, slice a few on top. They’re optional!

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Onions and garlic in cast iron skillet.

Start by adding chopped onions and garlic to a large skillet and sauté for for two minutes, stirring often. If you’re out of garlic, you could also add a little garlic powder or garlic salt.

Add in the ground beef and cook beef and brown ground beef over medium heat stirring occasionally until meat is not longer pink inside. Drain off any excess grease.

Ground beef, taco seasoning and chiles in skillet.

Stir in the can of green chiles and two packages of taco seasoning and water and cook as per the package directions. If you’re using homemade seasoning from my recipe, stir in 6 to 8 tablespoons. Taste and add black pepper to taste.

Shredded cheese is added to the ground beef mixture in baking dish.

Transfer the mixture to a 13×9-inch baking dish and top with 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. (You could also use an over safe skillet)

Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with Fritos,  shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, sliced green onions and jalapeños (if using) and salsa.

Get the entire family involved by having them chop the toppings, or for the younger ones, taking the other ingredients from the refrigerator.

Walking Taco Casserole with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and cheese.


HOW TO SERVE

Serve in individual serving bowls with additional Fritos chips on the side.

This casserole is delicious folded in a flour tortilla wrap! The added crunch of the chips in the casserole is terrific in a tortilla!

Fancy a taco salad? Add fresh greens to a plate, then top with this delicious taco casserole for an easy salad that you can turn into a meal.

other favorite taco toppings for walking taco bake

bag of chips

diced onion

chopped bell peppers

black beans

enchilada sauce

black olives

pico de gallo

pinto beans

STORAGE AND ADVANCED PREP DIRECTIONS

You can easily prepare this Frito taco casserole ahead of time by cooling the cooked ground beef mixture and placing in the refrigerator for up to two days. (don’t top with the cheese until you’re ready to cook it).

Store cooked Walking Taco Casserole in the refrigerator to up to two days in an airtight container.

Reheat in the microwave for one to two minutes.

MY TOP TIPS

  • make it your own! There are so many varieties of cheeses, tomatoes, lettuce and veggies that you could add onto this casserole. Enjoy it!
  • a lot of walking taco casserole recipes call for adding the Fritos with the cheese in the oven. We found that they soften up and little and we like them crunchy! So, you can do either – add them with the cheese or add them after!

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Try these easy diner recipes next!

Taco Spaghetti

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Poppy Seed Chicken

Pizza Pasta Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole

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Walking Taco Casserole in baking dish.

Walking Taco Casserole


  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

This easy Walking Taco Casserole recipe is a family pleaser! If you need to get dinner on the table quickly, then you will want this recipe on repeat. Layers of seasoned beef with melted cheddar, followed by the signature Fritos of the walking taco. Fun and delicious!


Ingredients

1 cup onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced

2 lbs. pounds lean ground beef

1 250ml can green chiles

2 pkgs. taco seasoning

black pepper to taste

3 cups sharp cheddar, shredded (two cups for baking in oven and one cup for topping)

3 cups Fritos corn chips

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1 cup tomatoes, diced

1 cup salsa

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sliced green onions (for topping)

2 jalapeno peppers (optional)


Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1 tbsp. of olive oil for two minutes. 
  2. Add in ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink inside. 
  3. Stir in green chiles.
  4. Add in two packages of taco seasoning and water, following package directions.
  5. Taste and add black pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a 13×9-inch baking dish.
  7. Top with 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
  9. Sprinkle with Fritos,  shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, sliced green onions and jalapeños (if using).

Notes

  1. Variation – add Colby, Monterey Jack or any type of cheddar (mild, medium or sharp). 
  2. Variation – add in sliced black or green olives as a topping.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 helpful
  • Calories: 366
  • Sugar: 5.4 g
  • Sodium: 724.8 mg
  • Fat: 22.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.3 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 93 mg

Keywords: Walking Taco Casserole

18 Comments

    1. You can freeze the meat mixture without the cheese. Cool it, then cover with plastic wrap and foil. (for up to 3 months). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Top it with the cheddar and cook in 350°F oven for 40-50 minutes. (check – it may need a few more minutes). Add the other toppings (lettuce, sour cream,etc). Thanks for stopping by and great question I will add it to the recipe notes. Sandra 🙂

  1. This was very easy & simple ingredients kept around house most of time. We cut recipe in half only 2 of us. We have also used instead of corn chips; tortilla chips crumbled; ready made taco shells crumbled; whatever we had available. This is such a fun easy simple “do it your way” recipe; you will enjoy it.

  2. This was such a great meal! We wrapped the mixture in flour tortillas–loved the crunch from the chips! Def. a family fave!! xo

  3. Thank you for suggesting putting the Fritos in last. I used a different recipe the first time I made it and my husband nor I liked it it was too soggy! Made this last night and it turned out delicious. I’m going to join your cooking site I’m almost 65 and have got out of cooking now I want to start cooking more with fast simple meals.

  4. This is such a popular dish in our house we have made it multiple times. For such an easy dish it’s terrific and its teens approved

  5. I made this with a few changes. I used Rotel instead of chilies and the tomatoes. I added 1/2 can of rinsed black beans. I also had sliced black olives for topping. It was great.

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