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Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

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This walking taco casserole recipe is everything you love about walking tacos in an easy casserole form! Taco-spiced ground beef is cooked with onions and zucchini (veggies!) and then combined with black beans and tomatoes and layered with shredded cheese. Once it’s baked and melty, you’ll top with plenty of your favorite taco toppings and fritos. Yum! It’s ready in 30 minutes so perfect for weeknight dinners, but it’s also a hearty meal you can prep ahead for camping, parties, or game day snacking.

If you like taco dinner ideas like this one, be sure to try my Dorito taco salad, crockpot salsa chicken, chicken fajita quesadillas, shredded chicken nachos, steak quesadillas, or turkey taco skillet next time.

Baking dish with walkinng taco casserole and fresh toppings.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What is a Walking Taco?

A walking taco takes the components of a taco (taco meat, cheese, sour cream, etc.) but instead of stuffing it all in a taco shell, you serve it right in a bag of chips like fritos or Doritos. I remember eating them at high school football games and instantly loved the delicious combination. You will too!

This taco casserole with fritos is a nod to the classic flavors of walking tacos. If you want to take this one on the go, simply scoop the casserole into small bags of chips.

What You’ll Love About Walking Taco Casserole

  • So delicious!
  • Comforting and satisfying meal
  • Easy to prep ahead
  • Made with just 7 ingredients plus toppings
  • Just 5 minutes prep time
  • Just 25 minutes cook time
  • Perfect for camping, parties, or game-day spreads

Ingredients

  • Zucchini – I recommend using green zucchini, but yellow zucchini would also work. You could omit it, but it’s a great way to add in some veggies to this dish, without adding much flavor.
  • Onion – I’ve used white onion, but yellow onion or even red onion would also work.
  • Ground beef – Use high-quality lean ground beef for the best flavor. I highly recommend Moink! You could also use ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer.
  • Taco seasoning – Use homemade taco seasoning or your favorite store-bought blend.
  • Canned tomatoes – I used Rotel with diced jalapenos, but any diced tomatoes would work. You could also use fire roasted tomatoes for a smoky flavor.
  • Black beans – I’ve used canned beans to keep it easy. Simply drain and rinse. You could also use pinto beans if you prefer.
  • Cheese – You’ll want a cheese that melts, I’ve used cheddar cheese, but a Mexican blend cheese, Monterey jack, or queso Oaxaca would work. You could also use a super melty cheese like Velveeta for a nod to nachos.
  • Toppings – I’m sharing a big list of toppings below, but you definitely need some frito corn chips or tortilla chips and plenty of bright and fresh toppings like lettuce, pico de gallo, and sliced jalapenos.
Ingredients to make walking taco casserole recipe.

How to Make a Walking Taco Casserole

This is an overview on how to make this easy taco casserole, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Prep. Preheat oven, dice zucchini, dice onion.
Brown beef. Heat oil in large skillet and cook ground beef, until browned. Drain excess grease if necessary. Stir in veggies and taco seasoning and cook until they have softened. Add a little salt to taste if you need it, some taco seasonings have more salt than others so you may not need it. Remove meat mixture from heat and stir in diced tomatoes.
taco casserole meat mixture in a skillet
Assemble taco casserole. Layer half of the ground beef mixture into an 8×8 inch casserole dish. Top with half of the cheese. Repeat with remaining ground beef and cheese.
Taco casserole in a baking dish with cheese.
Bake. Bake casserole until cheese is melty. While it’s baking, prep the toppings.
Baked walking taco casserole in a baking dish.

What to Serve with Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

This taco bake recipe is really designed to be a full meal, but it’s a great one to add a lot of fresh toppings and sides to. Here are some ideas:

  • Fritos (or doritos or tortilla chips)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped onions
  • Sliced green onion
  • Pico de gallo or salsa
  • Corn salsa
  • Creamy jalapeno sauce
  • Diced avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Diced tomato
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Lime wedges
  • Black olives
Walking taco casserole in a baking dish with fresh toppingns.

Storage Instructions

Store taco bake casserole leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Be sure to store componennts separately!

How to reheat

Reheat casserole in a 350 degree F oven until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave until hot.

Can you freeze easy Mexican casserole?

Yes, you could absoultely freeze this, it would actually be a great meal to prep ahead. Layer in a freezer safe baking dish or aluminum baking dish and freeze. Pop in the oven and bake until heated through and cheese has melted. It will take longer to bake.

How to Feed Walking Taco Bake to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the taco bake with fritos in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food and let everyone add their own toppings. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, tortillas, and/or bread and butter if they don’t do tortillas.

My kids didn’t love the zucchini in the mix, even though they said you couldn’t taste it, but I wanted to keep it in there (and an Instagram poll agreed!), even if that meant they didn’t eat as much. I love to serve meals that can be easily deconstructed, but it’s not always feasible, especially with ground beef casserole recipes like this one.

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Baking dish with walking taco casserole and toppings.

More Easy Comfort Food Recipes

If you like this recipe for taco casserole, you might also like some of these other easy comfort food recipes:

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Baking dish with walkinng taco casserole and fresh toppings.

Walking Taco Casserole Recipe

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Description

This walking taco casserole recipe is everything you love about walking tacos in an easy casserole form! Perfect for weeknight dinners, camping, parties, or game day.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 medium green zucchini
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 16 oz. ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • sea salt (optional)
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles (like Rotel)
  • 15 oz. can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 8 oz. shredded Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • 1 bag fritos
  • fresh toppings (see list above) but be sure to include a few

 


Instructions

  1. Prep:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    Dice zucchini.
    Dice onion.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef to pan, cooking until starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Drain excess grease if desired/necessary. Stir in onion, zucchini, and taco seasoning and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until veggies have softened. Add a little salt to taste if you need it, some taco seasonings have more salt than others so you may not need it.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the rotel (do not drain) and black beans. 
  4. Layer half of the beef mixture in an 8×8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheddar cheese and top with remaining beef and cheddar.
  5. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melty. *You can also broil for a few minutes at the end to brown up the cheese.
  6. While casserole is cooking, prep toppings. 
  7. Serve with plenty of fresh toppings. 


Notes

  • To take this on the go, serve in mini bags of chips
  • Nutrition facts are an estimate and I’ve put it at 6 servings

Keywords: taco casserole, taco casserole recipe, walking taco casserole

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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  1. […] This walking taco casserole recipe is everything you love about walking tacos in casserole form! Taco-spiced ground beef is cooked with onions and zucchini (veggies!) and then combined with black beans and tomatoes and layered with shredded cheese. Once it’s baked and melty, you’ll top it with your favorite taco toppings and Fritos. Get the recipe: Walking Taco Casserole Recipe […]

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