Take everything you love about a taco salad and turn it into a warm, cheesy, baked Walking Taco Casserole! The entire family will love this Tex-Mex recipe, with its succulent ground beef, gooey cheddar cheese and crunchy Fritos, Doritos, or Tortilla Chips. It’s easy to assemble ahead of time and bake later for a quick dinner!
Serve with Fruit Salsa for a mouth-watering meal!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe?
There’s a lot to love about this Walking Taco Casserole recipe. It’s quick and easy to prepare – you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour. You can customize it easily with toppings like sour cream and shredded lettuce. This recipe will yield 8 delicious servings and tastes even better when the leftovers are reheated! Meal prep ahead of time with this comforting Tex-Mex walking taco bake.
What Does Walking Taco Mean?
The “walking taco” originated at state fairs in the Midwestern United States. Sometimes called a Frito Pie, this clever dish is made by putting your favourite taco ingredients into a bag of Doritos or Fritos chips. The result is a portable, easy-to-eat meal that’s popular at parties or for watching the big game.
What You’ll Need for This Recipe
- Fritos Chips: These classic, crunchy frito chips are a key ingredient in your walking taco casserole. Find them in the snack aisle of most grocery stores. You can substitute with Doritos or Tortilla chips.
- Ground Beef: We like using a leaner beef for our taco casserole so it’s less greasy. Try using 90/10 ground beef for this recipe, but it’s ok to use 80/20 if that’s what you can find.
- Onion: You can use yellow onions or red onions. Make sure to chop them into small pieces.
- Tomato Sauce: Any brand of canned tomato sauce will do for this recipe. Choose a smooth or chunky sauce depending on your preference.
- Chili Beans: Some brands (like Bush’s) have canned “chili beans” consisting of pinto beans in a chili sauce. You can also purchase any brand of canned pinto beans.
- Cheddar Cheese: This classic cheese is delicious in all Tex-Mex dishes. For extra meltability, choose a milder cheddar.
- Optional Topping for Serving: sour cream, green onions, and shredded lettuce.
Walking taco casserole is a complete meal on its own, but is all the more delicious with toppings!
Layers in Walking Taco Casserole
There’re a few layers in this dish (from the bottom to top):
- Frito Chips
- Beef & Chili Mixture
- Frito Chips
- Cheddar Cheese
- Optional Toppings like sour cream, green onions, and shredded lettuce
How to Make Walking Taco Casserole
1. Add the ground beef and chopped onions to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomato sauce and chili beans. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add half of the Frito chips to the prepared dish.
4. Then pour the beef mixture on top.
5. Add the remaining Fritos.
6. Top with the cheddar cheese.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
8. Remove from oven and add optional sour cream, green onions, and shredded lettuce to garnish.
Pro Tips: Use high-quality ground beef for juicy and flavorful meat. If you’d prefer a less greasy casserole, drain off any fat that accumulates after cooking the meat.
What to Serve with Walking Taco Casserole
Walking Taco Casserole is great on its own, but is definitely more delicious when served with tasty toppings. A dollop of sour cream, guacamole, chopped green onions, shredded lettuce, chopped cherry tomatoes… Anything that’s appropriate for a taco will work with your talking taco salad.
How to Make a Walking Taco Bar?
A walking taco bar is a fun way to serve this dish, while allowing guests to customize their meal. Simply lay out all your favorite toppings – like sour cream, green onions, shredded lettuce, guacamole – and allow guests to mix and match with toppings of their choice!
How Many Pounds of Meat Do I Need?
This recipe calls for 1 pound of ground beef to make 8 servings of Walking Taco Casserole. You can adjust the recipe based on how many servings you’d like.
Can You Freeze Walking Taco Bake?
Like many casseroles, this Walking Taco Bake can be frozen and reheated. This makes it the perfect dish to make ahead of time – or store leftovers to be enjoyed later. Just be sure to thaw the casserole before reheating. We recommend freezing for up to three months.
Walking Taco with Doritos
Many people swap Fritos for Doritos with their Walking Tacos. Feel free to use Doritos if that’s your preference.
If You Like This Recipe Try These Out
If you tried this recipe, let me know how your Walking Taco Casserole turns out in the comments below!
Walking Taco Casserole Recipe
For Serving (Optional)
- sour cream
- green onions
- shredded lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a rectangular 9×13-inch baking dish, and set aside.
- Add the ground beef and chopped onions to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Add the tomato sauce and chili beans. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add half of Frito chips to the prepared dish. Then pour the chili mixture on top to make a layer.
- Add the remaining Fritos and top with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from oven and add optional sour cream, green onions, and shredded lettuce to garnish.
- Use high-quality 90% lean ground beef for the best result.
- If you’d prefer a less greasy casserole, drain off any fat that accumulates after cooking the beef.