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Taco Salad Casserole is a delicious layered casserole that is a twist to the classic taco salad recipe. Layers of tortilla chips, seasoned ground beef mixture, and lots of shredded cheese. This is so good served with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and avocado slices.
Taco Salad Casserole Recipe
This casserole is a delicious twist to the classic taco salad. It’s a layered casserole with tortilla chips, a flavorful & well seasoned ground beef mixture that simmers in tomato sauce + beef broth, and lots of shredded cheese.
It’s so fun to serve this buffet style and lay out all the toppings in bowls, and then everyone can make their own ‘salad’. My kids always seem to eat better when they can make their own and be involved in the process of choosing what they want on their plate.
The toppings that we love are shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, chopped black olives, and avocado slices.
Here are the ingredients that you need to make this casserole recipe. I also share my tips for some of the ingredients which will hopefully help you have success with this recipe.
- Ground Beef – I use lean 93/7 ground beef when I make this. You will drain the grease anyways, so you can really use whatever kind of ground beef you want.
- Salt – I use kosher salt for this recipe.
- Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin
- Brown Sugar – Seems odd but trust me, it makes a difference!
- All-Purpose Flour – This is what will thicken the beef broth + tomato sauce mixture.
- Beef Broth – I think using beef broth gives the best flavor but you can use chicken broth if you prefer.
- Tomato Sauce
- Tortilla Chips – One bag is what you’ll need. Uses your favorite tortilla chips in this recipe because it will make a difference in the taste of the casserole.
- Shredded Cheese – Use any variety you want. I normally use Colby Jack cheese or Cheddar Cheese. You can use Pepper Jack Cheese for some spice or even Monterey Jack Cheese.
How To Make A Taco Salad Casserole
Learn how to make this casserole recipe with just a few easy steps. Be sure and scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe and detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Step One : Cook and crumble the ground beef + salt in a skillet pan until beef is no longer pink. Drain excess grease/liquid from the pan.
Step Two : Add the dried seasonings and flour to the ground beef. Stir to coat all the beef in the flour mixture. Add the beef broth and tomato sauce, mix well. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer (uncovered) for 20 minutes.
Step Three : While it’s simmering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
Step Four : Layer half the tortilla chips in the bottom of the pan, top with half of the meat mixture, and then half of the shredded cheese. Repeat these layers one more time, ending with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.
Step Five : Serve with all your favorite taco salad toppings like shredded lettuce, olives, sour cream, diced tomatoes or pico de gallo, avocado slices, etc.
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my helpful tips that will help you make this recipe a success in your own kitchen!
- Let It Simmer : This is the #1 tip for this recipe! Don’t try to rush the simmer time. It needs at least 20 minutes so it can thicken to the right consistency and so the flavors can develop. While it’s simmering, leave the pan uncovered, because that will help the liquid thicken up.
- Toppings : The toppings is what makes this dish so good. Think of a taco salad and the ingredients in that. I always serve it with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, chopped black olives, and sour cream.
- Tortilla Chips : You don’t want to crush the chips into to small/finely ground crumbs. They should be in somewhat medium sized chunks of chips. I just use my hands and smoosh the bag. No need for a food processor or meat mallet to pound them. Just use your hands, on the outside of the chip bag, to roughly break up the chips into smaller chunks. Also, be sure that you use tortilla chips that you love. If you use really salty ones then the overall flavor of the casserole will be saltier. I love Juanitas tortilla chips or the Mission brand tortilla chips.
Taco Salad Casserole FAQs
- How To Store Leftovers
- Leftovers of this casserole will stay good in the fridge, in an air-tight container, for up to 3 days.
- Any longer and the tortilla chips start getting really soft. It’s still delicious but the texture will be softer the longer it sits in the fridge. Instead of the tortilla chips being crisp they will become more like the texture of corn tortillas as leftovers sit in the fridge.
- Reheat leftovers up in the microwave.
- Variation & Substitution Ideas
- Spice It Up! : Use Pepper Jack cheese, add some jalapeños as a topping or in with the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add extra chili powder and/0r add cayenne red pepper.
- Tortilla Chips : Use any variety of tortilla chip you want. You could use some lime tortilla chips. Baked tortilla chips, Spicy quest tortilla chips. Whatever you love!
- Beans : Feel free to add a can of beans (drained & rinsed) in with the tomato sauce and beef broth. Black beans and pinto beans are great choices for this.
- Serving Suggestions
- Think of a taco salad and serve this taco salad casserole with those ingredients. I always serve it with shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped black olives, sour cream, and avocado slices.
- You can also serve it alongside some Cilantro Lime Rice or Mexican Rice.
- Try my Pico de Gallo Guacamole or this Salsa Verde Guacamole.
- You can also make this Best Cafe Rio Dressing (Copycat Recipe) and drizzle it over top, like a salad dressing.
More Casserole Recipes You’ll Love
- Fiesta Chicken Casserole
- Beef Taquito Casserole
- Spaghetti Casserole
- Lasagna Casserole
- Creamy Beef Noodle Bake
- Taco Biscuit Bake
- Easy Taco Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole
Taco Salad Casserole
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 bag (12-15 oz) tortilla chips crushed
- 2 cups shredded cheese any variety
- Heat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook and crumble the ground beef and salt in a skillet pan, over medium high heat, until beef is no longer pink. Drain the excess grease and moisture.
- Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, brown sugar, and flour to the ground beef. Stir to combine until all the ground beef is coated.
- Add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Stir and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed but there should still be some liquid left. Mixture will be thicker.
- In the prepared baking dish, layer half of the crushed chips, half of the beef mixture and half the shredded cheese. Repeat layers one more time.
- Cook for 20 minutes. Serve with all your favorite taco salad toppings. We like shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and avocado slices.