Walking Taco Casserole: A Fiesta of Flavors in Every Bite

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Walking Taco Casserole is a dish that takes the mess out of traditional walking tacos and turns it into an easy-to-make casserole that the entire family will love. Layers of Fritos, seasoned ground beef and cheese make this an easy weeknight dinner.

Now, if you’re wondering, “What on earth is a walking taco?” let me enlighten you. Walking tacos are a fun street food where all the classic taco ingredients are thrown into a bag of chips. It’s fun, it’s portable, but let’s be honest, it can get a tad messy, especially with the kids.

That’s where this simple casserole recipe comes in. It’s all the flavors you love, minus the mess. So if you are ready to create a dish that might turn into your family’s new favorite, stick around!

In this post, we’ll dive into how to whip up this fabulous Walking Taco Casserole. I’ll guide you through each step, from prepping the ingredients to layering to baking, and it’s a walk in the park. Plus, I’ll toss in some of my best tips to make this dish truly shine.

Looking for more taco night ideas? Try slow cooker chicken tacos, Mexican street corn soup, or Instant Pot fish tacos.

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🌮Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Ground beef: I always opt for lean ground beef for this recipe. Less fat means less mess, and nobody wants to deal with excess grease. Ground chicken or turkey also works well.
  • Onion
  • Taco seasoning mix: Use your favorite brand or a homemade taco seasoning.
  • Black beans: I use black beans because they hold up well in the oven, but pinto beans, kidney beans, or chili beans work too.
  • Diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • Sour Cream: This adds a creamy tang that balances out the spices.
  • Fritos corn chips: This is also called Frito pie, so Fritos are the preferred corn chip!
  • Mexican-style shredded cheese
  • Your favorite toppings
Labeled ingredient photo for walking taco casserole.

🥣How to Make Walking Taco Casserole

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Give a 13×9 inch baking dish a quick spray with cooking spray.
  2. Brown the beef: In a large skillet, brown your ground beef on medium heat until it’s almost done. Then, let your onions cook until they’re soft and your kitchen smells fantastic.
  3. Add the goodies: Stir in your taco seasoning and water until well-coated. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and stir in the beans, diced tomatoes, and sour cream. Let that simmer for 8-10 minutes until it’s heated through and slightly thickened.
  4. Layer up: Add a single layer of corn chips at the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle half of your shredded cheese, then spoon over your meat mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  5. Bake: Cover your dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then, remove the foil to unveil your masterpiece and let it continue baking for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.
  6. Top it off: Remove your casserole from the oven and top with the remaining corn chips and your favorite taco toppings.
Cooking the taco beef with seasoning.
Cook beef
Mixing the sour cream and tomatoes into the beef.
Add tomatoes and beans
Layer of frito in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Layer Fritos
Adding a layer of cheese to the taco casserole.
Add cheese layer
Adding the beef mixture to a baking dish.
Add beef layer
Adding the cheese to the walking taco casserole.
Finish with cheese

🍴Serving Ideas for Your Walking Taco Casserole

This is where we can get creative because serving your walking taco casserole can be as straightforward or as fancy as you’d like. My family loves a good sprinkle of green onions, a dollop of sour cream, and some guacamole.

I like to put the taco toppings in small bowls and let everyone garnish away to their heart’s content. It makes a great weeknight meal for a Taco Tuesday. The trick is to keep it casual and fun, just like the casserole.

Here are some other topping suggestions:

Walking taco casserole on a plate with toppings.

💭How to Store

This walking taco bake stores wonderfully in the fridge. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap or transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. They’ll keep well for about 3 to 4 days.

And it is also freezer-friendly. Just ensure it’s cooled completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe, airtight container or a zip-top bag. In the freezer, it’ll last for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your walking taco casserole again, reheat it in the oven or microwave. From frozen, let it thaw overnight in the fridge first for best results.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Cheese is the Key: One thing I’ve learned from cooking for my family is that you can never have too much cheese, especially in a dish like this. Don’t be shy when adding cheese to your casserole; it’s the gooey glue that holds everything together and gives it that irresistible pull-apart effect.
  • Meal prep: You can put this together in the morning, store it in the fridge and bake it at dinner time. Add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time if the casserole has been refrigerated.
Scooping out a spoonful of walking taco casserole.

📝FAQ

Can I use Doritos instead of Fritos?

Absolutely! Doritos are fine. They aren’t quite as thick as Fritos, so the casserole won’t be as crunchy. And remember, the tortilla chips’ flavor will alter the casserole’s overall taste, so choose your chips wisely.

What type of cheese works best?

My family and I are big fans of a Mexican cheese blend, but you can use any cheese you like. Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese are excellent choices.

Can I make this casserole ahead and freeze it?

Yes, you can! As a busy mom, I’m all about the make-ahead meals. Just wrap it up tight and store it in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed, adding 5-10 minutes to the baking time.

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Scooping out a spoonful of walking taco casserole.
5 from 1 vote

Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

Published By Anne
Walking Taco Casserole is a fun twist on a favorite that combines all the flavors of a walking taco in casserole. Packed with layers of ground beef, cheese, veggies, and Fritos.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can black beans 15 ounces, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles 10 ounces
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 bag Fritos corn chips 9.25 ounces
  • 2 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese

Toppings

  • Green onions sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Jalapenos

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 13×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, brown ground beef until almost done. Then add onions and cook until they are soft and the meat is no longer pink.
    1 pound ground beef, 1 small onion
  • Stir in taco seasoning and water and heat to boiling.
    1 package taco seasoning, ½ cup water
  • Reduce heat and stir in beans, diced tomatoes with chiles, and sour cream. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until heated and the mixture slightly thickens.
    1 can black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, ½ cup sour cream
  • Add a single layer of corn chips to the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheese on top. Then add a layer of the ground beef mixture. Finish the casserole off with the remaining cheese.
    1 bag Fritos corn chips, 2 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese
  • Cover it with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.
  • Remove from oven and top with more corn chips and your favorite toppings.
    Green onions, Sour cream, Guacamole, Salsa, Jalapenos

Notes

  • Use lean ground beef. Ground turkey or chicken also works well in this recipe.
  • Feel free to change the beans and use kidney beans, pinto beans, or another choice in this recipe.
  • Add your favorite taco toppings. Green onions, jalapenos, olives, extra cheese, and salsa are all excellent choices.
  • You can put this together in the morning, store it in the fridge and bake it at dinner time. Add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time if the casserole has been refrigerated.
  • Leftovers will keep for about 4 days in the fridge.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 1144mg | Potassium: 845mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1494IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 474mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Frito pie in a baking dish with taco toppings.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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