Last updated on November 30, 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!
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.
This particular casserole is kind of like marrying crunchy tacos with a seven layer dip.
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.
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.
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
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the crushed tortilla chips into a 9×11" baking dish and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add the ground beef to brown, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes. Drain.
- 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.
- Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes and then pour the it over the crushed tortilla chips in the baking dish.
- 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.
- 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!
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