Walking Taco Casserole is an easy weeknight meal made with ground beef, onions, cream cheese, cheddar, taco seasoning, topped with crushed tortilla chips. This Mexican-flavored dish is spicy and creamy. These flavors come together to make a delicious family dinner.
What is Walking Taco Casserole?
This walking taco recipe is a homestyle dish popular in the southwest states. It can be made in just 1 hour and is perfect for any weeknight meal. You can also make it ahead of time for breakfast or lunch the next day. This casserole is easy to freeze as well. This comes in handy when you know you’ll be too busy to cook or if you want to gift a meal to a friend.
- 1 pound ground beef: Use 90% lean beef in this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil: Any neutral oil will work.
- 1 onion, chopped: White onions are great to cook with.
- 1 cup cream cheese: Soften the cream cheese before adding it so it melts into the dish more quickly.
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning: If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can use a blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese: You can buy this pre-shredded or shred a block yourself.
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes: These are optional and adjustable to your desired level of heat.
- ¼ cup heavy cream: Some cream makes this dish rich and creamy.
- 1 cup tortilla chips: Crushed tortilla chips sprinkled on top of the casserole add a crunchy layer.
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped: Fresh parsley adds bright green flavors to this dish.
How to make walking taco casserole:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Cook onions and beef with some olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes.
3. Season meat with salt, chili flakes, and taco seasoning.
4. Add cream cheese and cream.
5. Sprinkle meat with half of the shredded cheese, crushed nachos, and top with leftover cheese.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best walking taco casserole you've ever had.
- To make this dish even more filling, add some noodles like rotini, elbows, or small shells.
- Add a can of black beans or corn to make this dish your own.
- Pour in some sauce instead of the cream. You can try enchilada sauce or Rotel salsa for a kick.
Can I make this casserole vegetarian?
This recipe is easily adaptable. You can change ingredients to fit your personal style. It’s easy to make this dish vegetarian. You can even add more vegetables to make up for the lost meat and protein.
- Cauliflower rice
What are some other topping ideas?
This recipe has crushed tortilla chips on top, but you can use hash browns, tater tots, Fritos, Doritos, cornbread mixture, or biscuit dough. You’ll get different versions depending on which one you choose. You may end up liking one of these better than the original!
What other meats can I use in Walking Taco casserole?
If you’d like to try a different type of meat in this dish some great options are sausage, chopped chicken, or ground pork. Any of these will taste great with the rest of these ingredients.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and then plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. This will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, without thawing first, it will take longer to cook in the oven. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
What other ingredients can I add to make this taco casserole spicy?
To make this dish even spicier, add some minced jalapenos, or hot sauce.
Can I make this dish into a taco salad instead of a casserole?
You can definitely make this casserole into a taco salad. Make the meat mixture but leave out the heavy cream. Place a scoop of the meat into a bowl and top with chopped romaine lettuce and the crushed tortilla chips.
Is this casserole healthy?
This dish is mostly healthy. You can make it even healthier by leaving out the heavy cream and cream cheese. You can substitute another type of sauce or a can of diced tomatoes.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup tortilla chips
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cook onions and beef with some olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Season meat with salt, chili flakes, and taco seasoning.
- Stir in cream cheese and heavy cream. Transfer into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle meat with half of the shredded cheese, crushed nachos, and top with leftover cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 538Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 643mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g