Quick & Easy Taco Casserole

Quick & Easy Taco Casserole

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

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

Quick & Easy Taco Casserole


  • 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
  • Topping:
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, best if drained


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9 by 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Drain the pinto beans into a measuring cup and add enough water to bring the total liquid to one cup. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil and saute onions & garlic over med-high heat for 1 minute.
  4. Add beef and spices. Cook & stir 3 minutes until no longer pink.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of bean/water liquid into the pan to coat the bottom.
  6. Make 3 layers (cutting or tearing tortillas to fit) in this order: 3 tortillas + meat + drained beans + bean liquid + cheese.
  7. Top the third layer with the 3 remaining tortillas. (I cut or tear them into small pieces)
  8. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. 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.

30 Comments on "Quick & Easy Taco Casserole"

  1. Sam

    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!

  2. Old Texan

    Me again,

    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.

    • Old Texan

      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.

  3. Old Texan

    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

  4. Katie

    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

  5. Nancy

    Second time making this it’s great.Added sour crem on top with more cheese loving this now in my rotation.Thanks Jenny

  6. Lisa

    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!

    • Karen

      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?

  7. Mae

    How can I keep from crying when I cut onions?

    • Denise

      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.

  8. Corry

    This looks so good I can’t wait to make it. Thank you so much for all your great recipes.

  9. Inez

    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,

    • Susang

      I agree!!! I miss you on youtube!! Love you and your wonderful recipes there!!

  10. Kathleen

    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 ?

    • Cheryl

      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!

  11. Holly

    I’m always so happy to see a new email/Recipe from you..Looks delicious.

    Will be put on next weeks Menu..

    Thank you…

  12. Cathy

    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 !!

  13. Sabell

    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!

  14. leefoll

    The human goal is to busy and happy. I am happy to see your happy and still sharing great recipes.

  15. Lazetta

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! So happy you’re not sick. Busy hands are happy hands

  16. Nissa

    Very glad to hear you are not ill! LOL This recipe sounds amazing!!! Keep the recipes coming please!

  17. vivian

    didnt know you were ill either i love your recipes

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I am just fine. Some people assumed I was sick because I haven’t made more videos. I just don’t have time.

  18. Diane

    Hello Jenny,
    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!


    • Jenny Can Cook

      I think people assume I must be sick or I’d be making more videos. I’m just busy.

  19. Theodore

    Jenny: I pray you are well, We miss you. Love

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I am perfectly well, thank you. I haven’t been sick in over 50 years!

  20. Suz12

    Miss your videos!

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