Quick & Easy Taco Casserole
Quality ingredients matter so use corn tortillas with minimal ingredients. For best results do not use pre-shredded cheese and when layering the tortillas, some openings are okay. When you pour the bean liquid, be sure to get the corners. - Jenny Jones
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper to taste
- 12 corn tortillas - 5 or 6-inch size
- 15 ounce can pinto beans
- 1 cup liquid (part bean liquid, part water combined to equal one cup)
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, best if drained
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 2 1/2 quart baking pan.
- Drain the pinto beans into a measuring cup and add enough water to bring the total liquid to one cup. Set aside.
- Heat oil and saute onions & garlic over med-high heat for 1 minute.
- Add beef and spices. Cook & stir 3 minutes until no longer pink.
- Make 3 layers (cutting or tearing tortillas to fit) in this order: 3 tortillas + meat + drained beans + bean liquid + cheese.
- Top the third layer with the 3 remaining tortillas. (I cut or tear them into small pieces)
- Cover with foil, pressing the foil onto the top, and bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through.
- To serve, top with lots of shredded lettuce and tomato, or serve them on the side.
Note: There's lots more on this recipe in my blog, Click here.
I found a simpler way to make this casserole. Instead of draining the beans into a cup and adding liquid, I just used the undrained beans with the liquid in the can and there is plenty of moisture in this dish. So step 5 would be:
Make 3 layers (cutting or tearing tortillas to fit) in this order: 3 tortillas + meat + undrained beans with some of the liquid + cheese.
I will make it again and if it’s consistent, I will simplify the recipe above. I love this dish. This last time I used an heirloom tomato for the topping and it was incredible!
Another winner! Made last week and shared with a single friend who liked it too. I doubled the beans and used kidney beans, super tasty and used the big jar of taco seasoning, great dish, made it up the night before for an early lunch with our company. This will be on our rotation for meals now.
Beth, do you mean jar of taco sauce? You said taco seasoning? It does sound good.
I just discovered this website and this was the first recipe I made- my family loved it! Thank you!
Jenny I love your videos and smiling face and humor. I wish you could make more videos. You are missed
I tried this tonite without the tortilla layer on top. Last layer was cheese only.. I also did as you recomended with no bean juice on the bottom.
It stayed toge
It stayed together for serving and was moist. Nice improvement!!
I don’t like how the tortillas on the top curl up and sometimes get dry so next time I am going to try skipping the tortillas on the top and just bake it with the cheese on top. I’ll report back after I do. (I’m not sure if I’ll eliminate those 3 tortillas or just incorporate an extra one into each layer – stay tuned ?)
I found a solution for the curling tortillas on the top. When I cover the dish with foil, I press the foil down onto the tortillas and it holds them down and they did not curl. (I tried no tortillas on the top and didn’t like it.)
Wife and I made this and it turned out wonderful, it wasn’t soggy at all. The only thing we did different was we raise the temperature to 400 even, and the reason for that is because I saw all the messages of the product being soggy. I don’t know if that helped or not, but it was great, thanks for sharing Jenny you are the best.
PLEASE NOTE: Originally I noted to pour some liquid in the bottom of the pan before making the layers. That step is not necessary and has been eliminated from this recipe. Just grease the pan and start making the layers as noted. (Actually, I forgot to do it and my casserole turned out great without that step!)
I recently made this and it turned out soggy. I used soft corn tortillas. What did I do wrong? We have tried many of your recipes and we especially love the meatloaf and salmon patties!! Keep your recipes coming!!! Thank you!!
Very good but mine too had way too much liquid. What did I do wrong?
I made this for dinner last night and did not have too much liquid and it wasn’t soggy at all; however, I forgot to pour the liquid in the bottom first so that step wasn’t necessary after all. I just greased the pan and proceeded, adding all the liquid as I made the layers.
I have two suggestions: One, is to not put the liquid in the bottom but use it all as you make the layers. Or two, just use less of the liquid. Ovens and pans are not all the same but this always works for me with one cup of liquid. (I will adjust the recipe about the bottom liquid)
It’s about time they learned to cook. Food is truly an art form that anyone may participate in. There is no end to the creativity and the joy cooking can bring to to all of us. However, it is good to have help with the dishes. I appreciate the way you take the mystery out of cooking. Technology is wonderful.
This dish is better than most tacos I have had. So I’m grateful for you, Jenny, for delivering me from taco hell (pun intended). Also, I can enjoy the recipe as written, or I may tweak it in infinite ways. Latino cuisine is open in that regard. In fact, I’m thinking I might sometimes tweak this into a “chicken enchilada casserole” with chicken, jack cheese, and spinach instead of beans. No more having to cuss out loud because my corn tortillas break when I stuff them…I just go casserole…and cuss about something else out loud. What a country!
Mexican restaurant (Tex-Mex) secret. When the meat, onion, garlic and spices are ready to remove from the skillet, add enough water to about 3/4 to cover the beef, then boil on high, stirring occasionally until the water has evaporated. This infuses the meat with the spices and makes a more moist mix.
I have now frozen this several times. Re-heat in the micro-wave or oven.
The texture will change somewhat and the cheese will not be as melty, but it’s still good.
I just realized that my comments are totally incomprehensible.
I cook my spices, onion, garlic and meat done before I assemble the rest of the ingredients, then bake until hot through and cheese is melted.
For one person about 1/3 of the meat makes a meal. By cooking the meat mixture and freezing, I can have 3 quick meals.
Sorry for the confusing other post.
Love this method! Great share!
You can’t get more authentic Tex-Mex than this.
I used home cooked pintos. The juice from home cooked beans is thicker.
I don’t recall ever having bought a can of beans.
In a relative un-characteristic manner, I made this exactly like the recipe.
I will freeze the leftovers, from experience with layered tortilla dishes,I know that it will freeze well.
I ate it with a simple salsa of fresh tomatoes and Jalapenos, with warm corn tortilla chips fried in olive oil.
The reason to shred the cheese yourself is that pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose to keep it from clumping, which makes it hard to melt properly. Cellulose? Well, yes, the shipping containers are labeled “Food Grade Sawdust.” I have seen this stuff.
Very good. Thank you Jenny
Thank you for another delicious and simple meal. I have been unable to cook for nearly a year. I am getting back to it with one dish meals I can make with little standing. Thank you for so many wonderful dishes that can accommodate that. Katie
Second time making this it’s great.Added sour crem on top with more cheese loving this now in my rotation.Thanks Jenny
Can this be made ahead of time? Like the night before? Or will it get too soggy? Would it be better to make it, cook it and then serve the next day? Thanks for a great recipe!
Did you receive an answer to the question of can the the casserole be made ahead and then cooked later? Or did you try it?
How can I keep from crying when I cut onions?
You can run the onion under cold water before you start cutting it.
you can also cut the core of the onion out first because that’s the part of the onion makes your eyes tear.
This looks so good I can’t wait to make it. Thank you so much for all your great recipes.
Wow, its a great recipe and hope to see you again on Youtube. I recently found you on Youtube, just want to let you know that you are missed,
I agree!!! I miss you on youtube!! Love you and your wonderful recipes there!!
Jenny, you haven’t been sick in 50 years ! Praise God ! When I seen your new recipe I was so excited !!!! Oh how we all hope you will have more time some day to send us more of your recipes. But we understand !
So no mnore videos ever ?
Jenny, I saw in a comment that you might be ill? We will keep you in our prayers for total healing. Your recipes have been a huge blessing and we love your sense of humor. Thank you and God bless you. I pray that you know Jesus, the true Healer!
Nope. I am quite well – it was just a rumor. I have not been sick in decades.
I’m always so happy to see a new email/Recipe from you..Looks delicious.
Will be put on next weeks Menu..
Thank you Jenny I’m so excited to try this one,It sounds delicious just like all your others.
You are my go to for tried-and-true recipes.
Keep them coming you are the best !!
Exactly what I need today – back to Home with the basics I grew up on. Comfort food to comfort me today. I love Taco Salad! and you made a Casserole out of it 🙂 – I’ll be smothering this in avocado, sour cream, and black Olives 😀
Thank you Jenny!
The human goal is to busy and happy. I am happy to see your happy and still sharing great recipes.
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! So happy you’re not sick. Busy hands are happy hands
Very glad to hear you are not ill! LOL This recipe sounds amazing!!! Keep the recipes coming please!
didnt know you were ill either i love your recipes
I am just fine. Some people assumed I was sick because I haven’t made more videos. I just don’t have time.
You have made such a difference in my cooking, what a blessing you are. I read a comment that wished you well, I didn’t know you were ill. Lots of love and well wished to you!
I think people assume I must be sick or I’d be making more videos. I’m just busy.
Jenny: I pray you are well, We miss you. Love
I am perfectly well, thank you. I haven’t been sick in over 50 years!
Miss your videos!