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Taco Casserole

This easy Taco Casserole recipe is the ultimate weeknight comfort food. It’s a savory ground beef casserole filled with all of your favorite Mexican flavors! Made from tender beef cooked with zesty tomatoes, poblano peppers, and spinach, then layered with tortillas and lots of cheese.

A Cheesy and Easy Taco Casserole Recipe

This easy taco casserole recipe is flavorful, filling, and delicious. And easy, of course! It’s the perfect comfort food to make on weeknights and equally great for feeding a crowd. Make this Mexican casserole ahead and take it along to your next fiesta!

My taco bake is layer after layer of soft flour tortillas and a savory filling made with ground beef, spinach, veggies, and two types of cheese. This casserole recipe has all of our favorite Tex-Mex flavors baked into an easy and cheesy meal-in-one.

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Casserole 

  • Easy. This taco casserole recipe is easy to make and just as easy to customize. There are so many ways that you can make it your own when it comes to the filling, veggies, and toppings.
  • Flavorful and Filling. Weeknight meals don’t get more satisfying than this zesty Mexican casserole with ground beef. It’s loaded with Tex-Mex flavors, kind of like an extra-cheesy baked version of a Taco Bowl.
  • Good for You. This easy dinner idea is high in protein and healthy vegetables, for the ultimate family meal or potluck dish.
Overhead view of a baked taco casserole in a square baking dish topped with sliced avocados, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

What You’ll Need

Below is a quick look at some of the key ingredients you’ll need to make your easy taco casserole. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for a full ingredient list and detailed instructions.

  • Tortillas: Soft flour tortillas are best for this recipe, though soft corn tortillas will also work. You can use regular, low-carb, or whole-grain tortillas.
  • Ground Beef: I use lean ground beef, but you can make this casserole using any ground meat you’d like. Ground chicken and ground turkey would also be delicious.
  • Veggies: This recipe adds juicy diced tomatoes, spinach, and poblano peppers for a Tex-Mex kick. The veggies you add to the filling are also totally customizable (see the variation ideas later in the post for suggestions!).
  • Cheese: Two types of shredded melty cheese really amps up the flavor and ooey-gooey factor of this casserole.

How to Make This Taco Casserole

Who’s ready to salsa? ‘Cause your tastebuds are about to do a happy dance. quick overview of how to make this delicious Mexican casserole:

  • Prepare the taco filling. Brown the beef with olive oil, garlic, and seasonings, then stir in the diced tomatoes and poblano peppers. Continue to sauté the meat for another few minutes, until the veggies are tender. Lastly, add the spinach.
  • Assemble the casserole. Add one layer of ground beef mixture to the bottom of a greased baking dish, and place a tortilla overtop. Layer on more meat, shredded cheese, and a second tortilla, and repeat. Finish with a final layer of meat and cheese.
  • Bake. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the casserole at 350ºF for 30 minutes. After, let it bake for another 5 minutes uncovered, until the cheese is melted. Once your casserole is out of the oven, let it rest for a bit before garnishing.
  • Add toppings. Top this casserole with all your favorite taco toppings. We love avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, crunchy tortilla chips, and fresh chopped cilantro. Sliced jalapeños would also give it a good kick.
Overhead view of a baked taco casserole in a square baking dish topped with sliced avocados, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

How Hot Are Poblano Peppers?

The poblano peppers that I use in this casserole are a type of mild green chili pepper from Mexico. Also called ancho or chile ancho, poblanos have a light kick and a flavor that’s more smoky than hot. If you’d prefer a spicier casserole, go ahead and trade poblano peppers for your favorite hot chilies.

A slice of taco casserole lifted from the rest of the casserole in a square baking dish.

Serving Suggestions

This Mexican-inspired casserole is basically the lazy chef’s twist on taco night (love!). It goes deliciously with so many easy sides. Here are a few of my favorite ideas to pair with a cheesy taco bake: 

  • Garnishes. The sky’s the limit when it comes to toppings for a taco casserole. Serve with dollops of sour cream, and Restaurant Style Salsa Fresca.
  • Rice. Rice is an easy way to round out a meal. One of my Mexican favorites is this Fiesta Rice. For a low-carb option, try Cauliflower Rice.
  • Chips and Dip. For a fresh and easy appetizer, we love crunchy corn chips dipped in homemade Mango Guacamole.
  • Spicy Sofritas. This Chipotle sofritas tofu copycat recipe is full of flavor and veggies. It’s the perfect meat-free side for this beefy taco casserole.
  • Corn. Corn of all kinds is a classic Mexican side dish. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced Mexican street corn, a.k.a. Elote. It even inspired this zesty Mexican Street Corn Salad!
  • Dessert. My Mexican Hot Chocolate Fudge is the perfect sweet and spicy finish to a weeknight Tex-Mex feast.
A serving of taco casserole on a white plate garnished with avocado slices and cherry tomatoes.

Casserole Variations

What kind of casserole doesn’t leave plenty of wiggle room for variations? Certainly not this one. Just like tacos, you can DIY this taco casserole to suit your family’s tastes. Try these ideas:

  • Substitute Ground Beef. If you’d prefer a leaner filling, make this recipe with ground chicken or ground turkey, or pulled chicken or pulled pork. Leftover Salsa Verde Chicken also makes a great filling option.
  • Seasoning. In place of chili powder, try Homemade Taco Seasoning. Feel free to adapt the spice level to your taste. You can also add fresh chopped herbs like cilantro.
  • More Veggies. Sauté diced onions, red bell peppers, sweet corn, zucchini, or jalapeños to add to the filling.
  • Change Up the Cheeses. Mix and match your favorite melty cheeses for even more flavor. In place of (or in addition to) Monterey Jack and Cheddar, try shredded Pepper Jack, Asiago cheese, or Queso Fresco.
  • Vegetarian. To make a vegetarian taco casserole, substitute the ground beef with mushrooms, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, crumbled tofu, or your preferred meatless mince.
Close up overhead view of a baked taco casserole in a square baking dish topped with sliced avocados, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

    More Tex-Mex Recipes to Try


    Overhead view of a baked taco casserole in a square baking dish with a serving missing from the corner, with a spatula left in the pan.

    Easy Taco Casserole

    Katerina | Diethood
    Skip the taco shells and dig into this Taco Casserole prepared with layers of tender beef, flour tortillas, veggies, and cheese.
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings : 6 servings
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Resting Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour


    For The Casserole
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small poblano pepper, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
    • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
    • 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
    • 9 ounces fresh baby spinach
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
    • butter for dish
    • 4 eight-inch flour tortillas
    For Serving, Optional
    • Avocado Slices
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Tortilla Chips


    • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-low heat.
    • Add the diced poblano and cook for 3 minutes, or until just tender; stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
    • Stir in the beef and season with chili powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
    • Cook until meat is browned, stirring occasionally to break up the beef, about 6 minutes.
    • Add diced tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
    • Stir in fresh spinach and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
    • Combine the shredded cheeses in a bowl and set aside.
    • Coat a 2-quart or 3-quart baking dish with butter.
    • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of the meat sauce.
    • Top with 1 flour tortilla and sprinkle some shredded cheese over the tortilla.
    • Repeat layers, and top each layer with meat mixture and cheese before adding the next flour tortilla.
    • Finish off by spreading the remaining meat mixture on top and the remaining cheeses.
    • Cover and bake for 30 minutes; remove cover and continue to cook for 5 to 8 more minutes or until bubbly.
    • Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes; garnish with slices of avocado, cherry tomatoes, and tortilla chips, and serve.


    • Make Ahead: This casserole can be prepared 1-2 days ahead. Brown the meat and layer the casserole in a baking dish following the recipe. Cover tightly and refrigerate the unbaked casserole and bake as directed whenever you’re ready!
    • Seasoning: Make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning to use in place of chili powder.
    • Grate the Cheese: Use freshly grated cheese whenever you can, as the bags of pre-shredded cheese don’t melt as nicely.
    • Grease the Baking Dish: Coating the baking dish with butter or Crisco makes scooping, serving, and cleaning much easier.
    • Store leftover taco casserole in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheat as needed. It can also be used as a beef burrito filling.
    • Freeze the casserole, before or after baking, for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before baking or reheating, adding extra time if needed.


    Calories: 379 kcal | Carbohydrates: 16 g | Protein: 29 g | Fat: 23 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g | Trans Fat: 0.3 g | Cholesterol: 82 mg | Sodium: 476 mg | Potassium: 732 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 4971 IU | Vitamin C: 31 mg | Calcium: 363 mg | Iron: 4 mg | Net Carbs: 13 g

    Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

    Course: Main
    Cuisine: Tex-Mex
    Keyword: mexican casserole recipe, taco bake, taco casserole
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    21 comments on “Taco Casserole”

    1. Oh my goodness, this looks delicious! I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!
      A healthier option for a family favorite

    2. Avatar photo
      katherine shauger

      Making the taco casserole tonite.

      What type of tortilla are you putting in
      casserole…..corn or flour….doesn’t
      say….thank you.

      Look forward to your
      answer for that yummy looking casserole
      Katherine, in Portland, Oregon

      1. Katerina - Diethood
        Katerina Petrovska

        Hi! I use flour tortillas. I’ll make note of it in the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out! Have a great dinner!! 🙂

    3. What a week! Sorry about your getting hacked – Bummer! I always have a fear when I download a WP update. Didn’t have the problems you had with the last download. Obviously you fixed it! What cute little Halloweeners! Cancel Halloween? I’ve never heard of that. Strange! Now for the casserole – that ramekin isn’t big enough for me. I would need at least 2. 🙂 Delicious!

    4. I’m sorry to hear about your blog being hacked… just the thought of that freaks me out. I am so computer naive that I don’t know if I could recover. Your kids are adorable. I’m glad you still got to trick or treat. 🙂 My kids had some rain on the day of Halloween too… but hubs took them out and they had fun. 🙂

      Love the taco casserole… you need something beautiful to enjoy after the week you had. 🙂

    5. Avatar photo
      Maria | Pink Patisserie

      So sorry to hear about all that!! What a hassle!! Glad things are better now and your little cuties got to trick or treat! What a perfect casserole for pre or post trick or treating. Looks so, so good. 🙂

    6. Kate,
      After a rough week like that I am glad you had a comforting casserole like this one. Scary about the blog, and just silly about Halloween. We did have a rainy Halloween here, and the nice part was that it kept out a lot of folks whose communities (for whatever reason) do their trick or treating on a night other than the 31st. And where do those folks take their lil’ pumpkins on the actual night? To raid my easily walked neighborhood! So it was nice to have fewer folks who’ve driven over 25 miles for a bag of Lemonheads. (Yes, I recognized a radio personality from a few towns away with her kid one year).

    7. Avatar photo
      Denise Browning@From Brazil To You

      What cuties!!!!! I am glad that y’all had fun despite the weather.
      I love casseroles and this taco one looks very mouthwatering. Great shots, Kate!

    8. Avatar photo
      Christiane ~ Taking On Magazines

      Ah yes. I get the same response from Dudette when I try to photograph her, the goob. 🙂 I’m glad your blog is back to normal. That really was a scary time.

    9. Avatar photo
      Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)

      I’m sorry your blog got hacked. Such a horrible thing. Glad your kids still got to have fun on Halloween. As a society we do worry way too much about things … like rain.

      This taco casserole looks like an awesome dinner.

    10. Heck yeah, casserole! If I make it I might vegetarian it up, but looks awesome. Love me a casserole.

    11. Avatar photo
      Laura (Tutti Dolci)

      Your little ones are adorable, so sad about Halloween being cancelled and the blog hack – yikes! As for this casserole, it’s just the comfort my Sunday needs!

    12. Your little ones are cute even if they don’t look too thrilled about being photographed.

      The casserole sounds very tasty.

      1. Katerina - Diethood
        Katerina Petrovska

        hehehe 🙂 They weren’t thrilled at all! At least they didn’t run away, as they usually do. 🙂 THANK YOU!!

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