A Walking Taco Casserole takes everything that makes a walking taco great, like quick and easy to make, delicious to eat and puts it in one easy dish.
What is a Walking Taco Casserole?
A walking taco casserole, which is also called a walking taco bake, combines taco seasoned ground beef with cream cheese, then layers of cheese and Frito chips.
You can top it with jalapeno peppers and pico de gallo and some chopped cilantro if you like.
Since the beef is cooked and drained ahead of time, baking the rest in a casserole dish is simple. This makes it an easy weeknight meal the entire family will love.
It’s really just a casserole version of a Walking Taco. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any taco night. Not just taco Tuesday.
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- Ground beef – Lean ground beef is best or substitute ground turkey.
- Onion – White or sweet onion works
- Black beans – I like the size and texture of black beans for this recipe but pinto beans, navy beans, or even kidney beans also work.
- Taco seasoning – Substitute store bought or homemade Southwest seasoning.
- Cream cheese – full fat, reduced fat, or fat free.
- Diced tomatoes – Handy tip, drain the extra water from the tomatoes after you dice them, or strain the extra liquid if you use canned diced tomatoes.
- Chopped green chiles – optional if you don’t like spicy.
- Taco sauce – Try it with mild or spicy.
- Frito corn chips – Nacho cheese or Cool Ranch Doritos work great too.
- Cheddar cheese – Or substitute Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack cheese, or a Mexican blend cheese.
How to make Walking Taco Casserole
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non stick spray.
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onions over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain if desired.
- To the pan with the onions and beef, add the taco seasoning and water. Cook for 2-3 minutes to get the flavor of the seasoning in the meat.
- Add the drained black beans, diced tomatoes, chopped green chilies, cream cheese, and taco sauce. Stir to combine.
- To the bottom of the baking dish, add half the corn chips. Top with the beef mixture and spread into an even layer.
- Top with cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Uncover, top with remaining corn chips. Bake uncovered for another 5 -10 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven. Add your favorite toppings and you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
What kind of beans do I use?
Make a walking taco bake with your favorite style of beans. Seasoned pinto beans, healthy black beans, regular pinto beans all work equally well.
Can I use other types of Fritos for walking tacos?
Fritos now come in a few variations and you will enjoy this dish equally if you use the taco seasoned ones or the bbq style ones too.
You can also use any other type of corn chip as well, like classic tortilla chips, or even Doritos.
Toppings for Serving
Top individual servings of your walking casserole with things like:
- sour cream
- extra shredded cheese
- diced onion or sliced green onions
- jalapenos – pickled or fresh, all work great.
- black olives
If you serve the toppings on the side, then everyone can dial in their own personal preferences.
Use ground turkey or even chicken if you prefer. Get creative with the types of Fritos or other corn chips you use, like Doritos. There are plenty of options for the types of beans to use too.
Even the styles of cheese to use offer endless variations. For example, go with shredded mozzarella or an Italian blend if you prefer.
Basically, you have tons of options to always put a new spin on Walking Taco Casserole.
Can you make it ahead of time?
If you want to make this ahead of time, then prep the cooked ingredients, the onions, meat, and cream cheese ahead of time. I recommend putting that layer in the casserole dish then store cover with plastic wrap in the fridge.
When you are ready to cook, then add the chips and shredded cheese. That way your chips stay nice and crunchy throughout.
How to Store
To store it afterward, let it cool and cover it. You can store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 or 4 days.
Freezing is also possible, and will keep up to 30 days. Just make sure to have extra chips to add when you want to reheat it.
Using an oven to reheat is preferable to a microwave but you can use either.
Best Casserole Tips
- Drain the meat mixture really well or the casserole will be soggy.
- Use leftover taco meat for quicker prep.
- Homemade taco seasoning tastes better than store bought.
- Pre-heat your oven before baking.
- Spray the bottom of your casserole dish first with a cooking spray or light brush of oil to prevent sticking.
- Substitute the taco sauce with enchilada sauce.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, pin this to your favorite casserole Pinterest board and share it on your favorite social media channels!
This delicious Taco Casserole Recipe is one of those taco recipes that is a family favorite every night of the week.
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
- 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons homemade
- ½ cup water
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 4 ounces chopped green chilies
- ¼ cup taco sauce
- 1 (9.25 ounce) bag Fritos corn chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non stick spray.
In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onions until no longer pink. Drain if desired.
To the pan with the onions and beef, add the taco seasoning and water. Cook for 2-3 minutes to get the flavor of the seasoning in the meat.
Add the drained black beans, diced tomatoes, chopped green chilies, cream cheese, and taco sauce. Stir to combine.
To the bottom of the baking dish, add half the corn chips.
Top with the meat mixture and spread into an even layer. Top with cheddar cheese.
Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
Uncover, top with remaining corn chips. Bake uncovered for another 5 -10 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven. Let cool for a few minutes.
Add your favorite toppings and serve. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 547mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 26g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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