This easy Taco Casserole recipe is one of those melt in your mouth goodness recipes that I could make continuously, and my family would never complain.
I first shared this recipe a few years ago in my Mexican Freezer Recipes post. It’s a recipe that you want to double or triple since it freezes and reheats so well.
This recipe creates fond memories. It was the first casserole I made for my husband when we were newly married, and memories of a fire alarm and fire engines come to mind. Read it, not only will it give you many quick meal ideas, it will make you all feel better about “those” bedlam cooking moments.
Since I typically cook up ground beef in bulk either in the crock pot or use my Power Cooking Tip to brown it and drain it easily, I “should” have ground beef already cooked and ready to go for this recipe, which makes it an easy Ten Minute Dinner.
Depending on how much you want to stretch this meal and make it incredibly budget friendly, I’ve added some of the tweaks I have made over the years in parenthesis. And as always, have fun creating to make this your family’s favorite.
I love to whip up this easy Taco Seasoning Recipe in bulk. It’s cost effective, but also healthy – you can pronounce all the ingredients.
Recipe: Taco Casserole
Summary: This Taco Casserole blends all the Mexican flavors you love in an easy casserole. It’s never met someone that doesn’t love it.
- 1 pound ground beef
- (Optional cup of rice, if I want to stretch the ground beef)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 envelope of taco seasoning or make some easy homemade taco seasoning
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 cup sour cream (light sour cream works perfectly)
- 1 cup cottage cheese (I have made this with all cottage cheese in a pinch, when I was missing sour cream or vice versa)
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (this is how I use up our crushed stale remnants in the pantry)
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
- (Variations: I have added minced garlic, chopped peppers, tomatoes, and various shredded garden veggies to make it a really healthy option, along with the addition of black beans.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a skillet, brown the beef, drain off extra fat; remove from heat. (Add a cup of cooked rice if you are trying to save money on meat)
- Add onion, garlic powder, taco seasoning mix, and tomato sauce to beef; mix and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese; set aside.
- Place half the crushed chips in the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish that has been coated with a nonstick vegetable spray.
- Add enough meat mixture to cover the chips, then cover the meat with half of the sour cream mixture.
- Sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Repeat layers.
- Bake uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, until cheese melts and casserole is heated through.
I highly recommend doubling or tripling this recipe for an additional freezer meal (or it’s great as left overs.)
* For a healthier, lower fat option, substitute the ground beef with a ground turkey/rice mixture. Use low fat sour cream or only lower fat cottage cheese and add the veggie options mentioned above.
** If using this as a freezer meal, follow all the directions exactly, but you may omit the additional layer of tortilla chips and just sprinkle them on top before baking. I have never done this because my family loves it “As Is,” but if soggy chips are a concern, still use the chips as the crust, but omit the second layer.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) (Less if your ground beef is pre-cooked)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4 – 6
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