This taco casserole recipe is such a fun and easy way to do taco night! It’s made with layers of tortilla strips, turkey, beans, corn, green chiles, tomatoes and salsa, all topped with plenty of cheese and baked to perfection. This Mexican casserole dish has become a go-to dinner option because my family can’t get enough of it! Add some Mexican rice and guacamole on the side and you’ll have a meal that will earn you rave reviews.

serving of taco casserole on a white plate served with salsa and diced avocado

Looking for an easy man-child-family-everyone-friendly dinner? Well, look no further. This taco bake recipe is one of those easy weeknight meals that the entire family gets excited about when they see it come out of the oven, all steamy and cheesy and gooey.

I made this version of my favorite Mexican casserole a little lighter by using ground turkey and reduced fat cheese. I also packed it full of other nutritious, tasty ingredients, like black beans, tomatoes, corn and salsa.

We actually enjoy this healthier version of taco bake so much more than the original! It’s perfectly spicy, cheesy and satisfying without being too greasy and heavy.

How do you make taco casserole?

  • This recipes starts with browning ground turkey. I like to use the 93-96% lean ground turkey. It is plenty flavorful without being too dry.
  • Once your meat is close to being browned, stir in the spices. Now, add the beans, green chilies, diced tomatoes, and corn and stir to combine.
  • Layer time! Spread turkey mixture on the bottom of your casserole dish. Top with a heavy sprinkle of cheese and four tortilla strips. Repeat this process three times until all of the ground turkey has been used. After laying on your last tortilla strips, spread the salsa over top along with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake the casserole until it’s bubbling and the cheese is melted, then serve with your favorite taco toppings.
browning ground turkey in large skillet with a wooden spoon

Video Tutorial of Taco Casserole:


 

Tips For Taco Bake:

  • Serving a crowd? This casserole can easily be doubled and made in a 9×13″ casserole dish.
  • To make this casserole ahead of time, assemble all the layers, then cover the casserole dish with cling wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to one day. When it’s dinner time, follow the baking instructions as written in the recipe, but add 15 additional minutes to the bake time since you’ll be starting with a cold casserole.
  • You can serve your casserole as-is, or add some yummy toppings such as diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, guacamole or sliced olives or jalapeños.
  • This meat blend is wonderful served over lettuce as a taco salad or as tacos!
mixing ground turkey with other taco casserole ingredients in a large skillet

Taco Casserole Variations:

This casserole is very versatile and works well with many different ingredients, depending on what you have on hand and what you’re craving. You can easily customize this recipe to your family’s preferences.

  • Tortillas. I use corn tortillas in this casserole because they are lighter and my family prefers them. However, feel free to use flour tortillas instead. And another fun option is to use crushed tortilla chips rather than tortillas.
  • Meat options. Instead of using lean ground turkey, you can certainly use lean ground beef or bison, if you prefer.
  • Add-ins. You can leave any of the ingredients out or swap them for another favorite Mexican ingredient. For example, leave the black beans out or swap them for diced onion and/or red bell pepper. There are endless options!
  • Spicy. You control the heat in this dish depending on what salsa you choose. Be sure to leave out the cayenne pepper and use a mild salsa if your family is sensitive to spice.
layering Taco Casserole in glass baking dish

Storing Leftovers:

  • Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and are best if used within 4 to 5 days.
  • Reheat in a microwave or an oven heated to 350°F until warmed through.

Tip: Leftover taco casserole is delicious as a dip with tortilla chips or as a filling for burritos and crunch wraps!

Freezing:

  • Baked taco casserole freezes well and can be stored for up to 3 months.
  • To enjoy after freezing, let it defrost overnight and reheat in a microwave or an oven heated to 350°F until warmed through.
taco casserole in a glass dish ready to be baked

This is a great recipe to have for those busy nights when you don’t have a ton of time to get dinner on the table. It’s a crowd pleaser for both kids and adults! I hope y’all enjoy this dinner as much as my family did!

What To Serve With Taco Casserole:

We love to enjoy this taco casserole with our favorite taco toppings and other Mexican sides! Sometimes I make a light, fresh green salad with chopped tomato, diced avocado and this chipotle ranch. Just don’t forget the homemade salsa and skinny margarita!

More Favorite Mexican Meals:

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Super Simple Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Skinny Enchilada Casserole

Flavorful Turkey Tacos

taco casserole topped with fresh cilantro and sliced jalapeño

If you try this taco casserole recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

serving of taco casserole on a white plate served with salsa and diced avocado
Print
4.32 from 25 votes
Nutrition Facts
Taco Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 812mg35%
Potassium 701mg20%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 803IU16%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 387mg39%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Servings:6 servings
Taco Casserole
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
 

This taco casserole recipe is such a tasty way to do taco night! It's made with layers of tortillas, turkey, beans, and veggies, and topped with cheese.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black, pinto or chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained of juice
  • 1 cup frozen corn (don't worry about thawing)
  • 2-3 corn or flour tortillas, cut into 1″ strips (I used corn)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced fat Mexican blend cheese or cheddar cheese
  • Optional for serving: sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced avocado or guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x9″ square casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  2. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground turkey. Brown turkey, breaking up the bits and pieces with a spatula. When turkey has browned (but hasn’t quite cooked all the way through yet), add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

  3. Add beans, green chilies, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and corn to the turkey. Stir well and continue to cook until turkey is completely done and everything is warmed through. Then, remove from heat.
  4. Spread a layer of the ground turkey mixture on the bottom of the casserole pan. Top with a heavy sprinkle of cheese and four of the tortilla strips. Repeat this process three times until all of the ground turkey has been used. After laying on your last four tortilla strips, spread the salsa over the top along with the remaining cheese.

  5. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Cheese will be melted and bubbling. When casserole comes out of the oven, let sit for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite taco toppings!
Recipe Notes

Storing Leftovers:

  • Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and are best if used within 4 to 5 days.
  • Reheat in a microwave or an oven heated to 350°F until warmed through.

Tip: Leftover taco casserole is delicious as a dip with tortilla chips or as a filling for burritos and crunch wraps!

Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.

Author: Kim
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: Mexican casserole, taco bake, taco casserole

Did you make this recipe?

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