Simple Mexican ground beef casserole just out of the oven.
45 Minutes or Less - Beef - Dinner - Dinner Casseroles

Simple Ground Beef Taco Casserole

Last updated on December 3, 2023 by Liza Hawkins

This ground beef taco casserole is a quick and easy weeknight, family-friendly dinner that marries the flavors of tacos with seven layer dip. And cheese … ALL THE CHEESE!

Close up shot of a serving of ground beef taco casserole on top of refried beans on a white plate.


Seems like we can never have enough ways to cook ground beef in our house, especially since I keep a stock pile in the freezer.

Tacos with homemade taco seasoning, meatloaf, easy enchiladas—we eat ground beef at least once a week.

This particular casserole is kind of like marrying crunchy tacos with a seven layer dip.

Ground beef taco casserole with melted cheese.

It only takes fifteen to twenty minutes to sauté onions and garlic with the ground beef, but the resulting savory layers of flavor is worth it—and still keeps the process of making this casserole simple and quick.

I need “simple and quick” most nights.

And, for further proof that this casserole rocks (in case the taco/dip combo wasn’t enough), my husband had two giant platefuls for dinner and the kids gobbled it up.

A serving of ground beef taco casserole on top of refried beans on a white plate.

The refried beans would have been good as another layer cooked right in this casserole, but since some of our family members hate the texture, I served it on the side.

If you want to include it, I’d warm it on the stove with a quarter cup of water (like the recipe shows), and then dollop it on top of the tortilla chips before adding the ground beef mixture and other components.


Simple Mexican ground beef casserole just out of the oven.
Yield: 8

Simple Ground Beef Taco Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Layers of flavor develop quickly from the ground beef, onions, and garlic to produce this simple yummy weeknight meal!


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced – reserve 1/8 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained – reserve 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 13-ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1 can refried beans


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the crushed tortilla chips into a 9×11" baking dish and set aside.
  2. Add the can of refried beans to a small sauce pan with 1/4 cup water and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, while the casserole is prepped and cooked.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the onions (saving 1/8 cup for later) and saute them until their soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high, add the ground beef to brown, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes. Drain.
  5. Throw the beef back into the skillet and add the tomatoes (saving 1/4 cup for later), chili powder, parsley, mustard, garlic salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
  6. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes and then pour the it over the crushed tortilla chips in the baking dish.
  7. Spread the sour cream on top, followed by the reserved onions and tomatoes. Add a layer of cheese and then sprinkle it with a little parsley, chili powder and garlic salt.
  8. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve atop a spoonful of refried beans.


If you don’t have all the spices to season the ground beef (or don't want to make the seasoning from scratch), a taco seasoning packet from your grocery store will work as a substitute.

Serve this with sour cream and fresh homemade guacamole on the side!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 720Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1287mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 34g

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

17 Comments on “Simple Ground Beef Taco Casserole

  1. Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it is everything you’ve been wishing for.

    This looks like it would be very popular with one of my daughters. I’ll have to pass it on to her.

  2. Oh my! That looks yummy. I don’t use ground beef so much anymore since I stopped being able to get 90 and 93% lean for $1.99/lb on sale… but I just read that you can cook down, drain and rinse higher fat grinds and reduce the fat… if I feel inspired, this will be one of the first I try!

    Happy SITS Day!

  3. Thank you everyone!

    @Southern – if you don’t use ground beef, try ground turkey or chicken. The tomatoes (with liquid) should keep it from getting too dry. Interesting about rinsing fat off…sounds like a lot of work. 🙂

  4. I had to follow up and tell you I tried this tonight. My family loved it too! I took your suggestion on the taco packet because I didn’t have all the spices and I didn’t have the chopped tomatoes, so I used tomato sauce (my kids don’t like tomato chunks) and I also added the beans as a layer. It was great! Thanks for sharing!! I will be making this again!

  5. I got to make this last night and it was a huge hit. Great flavor. Made a few changes to fit our family. Added corn & cilantro. Husband cannot eat beans. Since not doing beans may do less chips on bottom. Want to add one more can of tomatoes too. Very good! My 14 month old daughter also had more than one serving! Will be checking out other recipes. Thanks for this one which become one of my go-to quick recipes.

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