How to: A Layered Taco Bake

by Shelley Frost

A taco casserole awaits a topping of olives, tomatoes and green onions.

Rosemary Buffoni/Hemera/Getty Images

Casseroles provide a quick and easy meal option, especially if you assemble them ahead of time. A taco bake incorporates the Mexican flavors of a taco into the gooey layers of the ingredients. You can adjust the ingredients that go into your taco bake to make it healthier or add different flavors. Experiment with different meats and vegetables to customize the dish. Like other casseroles, you can make it early and refrigerate or freeze it until you are ready to bake.

Cook the ground beef and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the meat and onions occasionally until the beef is cooked through and the onions are soft. Drain the grease from the pan.

Stir in the taco seasoning and salsa with the drained meat. Drain and rinse the black beans. Stir them into the mixture in the skillet. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it is hot throughout.

Spray a 13--by 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Layer 6-inch tortillas in the bottom of the pan to cover it.

Spread half of the meat and bean mixture on top of the tortillas. Top the meat with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Add another layer of corn tortillas on the taco bake. Spread the remaining meat mixture on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle the last cup of cheese on top.

Bake the taco casserole at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the taco bake from the oven when the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly browned.

Top the casserole with the black olives, tomatoes and green onions. Serve the dish with additional salsa and low-fat sour cream.

Tips

  • For variety, use ground pork, ground chicken or poached chicken breast in place of the ground beef.

    Try different types of shredded cheese, or use half cheddar and half of another type of cheese.

    You can use hard taco shells or tortilla chips broken into small pieces instead of the corn tortillas if desired.

Photo Credits

  • Rosemary Buffoni/Hemera/Getty Images

About the Author

Shelley Frost writes professionally on a full-time basis, specializing in lifestyle, family, parenting and relationship topics. She holds an education degree and has extensive experience working with kids and parents.