Easy Beef and Bean Taco Casserole

This beef and bean taco casserole is a fun twist on taco night, and is a great way to feed a crowd or hungry family! Freezer-friendly, this recipe is also great for meal-prepping or taking to a friend in need!

This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit families!

If you’re looking for an amazing way to jazz up a regular taco night, this beef taco casserole is the recipe for you!  A mixture of seasoned ground beef and black beans is mixed with salsa and cheese, then baked until hot and bubbly.  Play around with toppings like shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, jalapeño slices and more!  My favorite topping is some crunchy Fritos corn chips… it gives this taco casserole a “walking taco” feel, which my kids just love!

It seems like every region here in the U.S. has a type of food that it’s known for.  Here in the Midwest, I think if there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s the casserole.  Of course, other places in the country serve up casseroles too, but Midwesterners will turn anything and everything into a casserole!

Dishes like this beef taco casserole are amazing because they’re easy to put together, make-ahead/freezer-friendly, they’re ultra comforting, and kids love them.

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Taco casserole in white baking dish with toppings

Doesn’t that make you just want to dig in?

WHAT IS A TACO CASSEROLE

It’s everything you love about tacos, but in a super-comforting casserole form.  My version uses ground beef, and that 2 pounds of meat is stretched farther by using black beans as well.  Normally I use a package of taco seasoning, but if you have a homemade seasoning blend that you love, feel free to use that!

IS TACO CASSEROLE HEALTHY

As written, this recipe isn’t exactly healthy or figure-friendly, but with a few substitutions you could make it lighter.  Swapping regular ground beef for extra lean ground beef, or even ground turkey would be a great way to make this taco casserole healthier.  I promise, you won’t even be able to tell!  Using reduced-fat shredded cheese is another way to lighten up the dish.  Also, to reduce the sodium content, make sure you’re using reduced-sodium canned ingredients.

Serving spoon full of taco casserole

Feel free to play around with the toppings too… whatever you like on your tacos, will go perfectly on top of this casserole!

CAN YOU MAKE THIS TACO CASSEROLE WITH DORITOS

Ohhhh absolutely!  Nacho cheese Doritos, Cool Ranch Doritos, regular tortilla chips, lime tortilla chips, chili cheese Fritos… the sky is the limit.  My kids love the “walking taco” meal, which is where a lunch-box sized bag of Fritos is opened and topped with taco meat, cheese and toppings.  This makes a portable taco salad, which is popular with kids everywhere!  Topping this casserole with the Fritos makes this feel just like that, and my kids go crazy over it!

CAN YOU FREEZE TACO CASSEROLE

Yes!  This taco casserole freezes beautifully, which makes it great for meal prepping, or even making a meal for a sick friend.  To thaw, just set the casserole in your refrigerator overnight, and by dinner time the next day, it should be fully thawed.  Full freezing instructions are below the recipe at the end of the post!

Scoop of taco casserole served over Fritos chips on white plate

IS THIS TACO CASSEROLE SPICY

I would say this casserole is about a Medium heat level, as the jalapeño and green chiles add a bit of heat.  If you’re looking to spice it up more…

  • Add more than one jalapeño to the beef mixture, or don’t seed the peppers first
  • Use medium or hot picante sauce

If you’re looking to tone down the heat and make it more mild…

  • Swap out the jalapeño for a green bell pepper
  • Make sure you use mild picante sauce
  • Drizzle casserole with sour cream or Mexican crema to mask any heat

Taco casserole in white baking dish with serving spoon

HELPFUL TOOLS

  • Baking dish – this baking dish is a total workhorse for me!

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This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit families!  All the flavors of taco night that you love, in a comforting casserole to feed a crowd. #taco #tacocasserole #mexican #freezermeal #casserole #makeahead #tacotuesday
Print
5 from 2 votes
10 servings
Beef and Bean Taco Casserole
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

This beef and bean taco casserole is a fun twist on taco night, and is a great way to feed a crowd or hungry family!

Calories: 407 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (I usually use 80/20)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 - 2 (15 oz each) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (4 oz each) cans diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 (16 oz each) jars picante sauce or salsa
  • 3 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 or 3 quart baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon or potato masher, until browned and mostly cooked, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add onion and jalapeno to beef. Cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Beef should be fully cooked and brown at this point.

  4. Drain any fat and return to skillet. Stir in taco seasoning, black beans, green chiles, salt, pepper, tomato paste and picante sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes.

  5. Set skillet aside and add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.

  6. Transfer beef mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

  7. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.  Top with desired toppings and serve!

Recipe Notes

TO FREEZE 

Cook beef mixture in skillet and assemble in baking dish, omitting 1 cup remaining cheese on top. Cool completely and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in refrigerator until casserole is completely thawed. Remove plastic wrap and aluminum foil, set out on the counter for about 20 minutes, top with 1 cup of cheese, then bake at 350 F degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

TOPPING OPTIONS

 Salsa, Shredded iceburg lettuce, Sliced black olives, Chopped tomatoes, Sliced jalapenos, Minced fresh cilantro, Lime wedges, Frito corn chips, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Refried Beans.

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Recipe created by The Chunky Chef and originally shared on Spend With Pennies

This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit families!  All the flavors of taco night that you love, in a comforting casserole to feed a crowd. #taco #tacocasserole #mexican #freezermeal #casserole #makeahead #tacotuesday

This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit families!  All the flavors of taco night that you love, in a comforting casserole to feed a crowd. #taco #tacocasserole #mexican #freezermeal #casserole #makeahead #tacotuesday

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8 comments on “Easy Beef and Bean Taco Casserole”

  1. Such a great party food. Perfect for summer parties!

  2. Now THIS is my kinda casserole! Love all the flavors and texture in this dish!

  3. Such a great meal to have in the freezer ready to go! I love how easy that makes getting dinner on the table.

  4. I seriously can’t keep looking at these pictures! This looks so good I can TASTE it, and what a fun way to stray from your typical weekday casserole! Mexican is me and my husband’s favorite so we’ll definitely be making this! Thanks for the idea!

  5. Delicious! My family would love this!

  6. This is such a comforting dish!

  7. I need to try this immediately, it looks so good!

  8. It looks amazing! Adding this to our menu this week!