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!
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!
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
chopped bell peppers
pico de gallo
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!