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Ground Beef Taco Casserole

Easy, cheesy magnificently delicious Ground Beef Taco Casserole with black beans, bell pepper, salsa, cheese, and a whole lot of taco flavor! If you’re a Mexican food fanatic and love all things cheesy, you’ll go wild over this fresh and tasty recipe!

Casserole dish with ground beef casserole inside. Fresh avocado and a bowl of green onions to the side.

All the delicious flavors of ground beef tacos get soaked up into this beefy cheese and rice casserole for an explosion of flavor and gooey texture. 

The concept here is very similar to my Chicken and Rice Enchilada Casserole and my Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole

Bold fresh ingredients like onion, bell pepper, salsa (or enchilada sauce), chili powder, and garlic get baked up with rice, cheese, beans, and ground beef for the ultimate flavor fest. 

For those times you’re looking for a meal the whole family will love, or you’re in the mood to meal prep, this easy ground beef taco casserole is pure gold.

The best part is the casserole is not only easy to prepare, but it tastes even better the next day. A definite win for busy weeknights or special occasions alike!

Close up of a ground beef taco casserole with sliced avocado and cilantro on top.

While I don’t eat cheese often (I don’t do super great with dairy), a good hearty cheesy casserole like this is one of those times I find it simply irresistible. 

If you’re dairy-free, try my Dairy-Free Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole.

The flavors come together so nicely with that amazing texture that it’s hard to stop at one serving!

Ground Beef Taco Casserole in a white casserole dish with green onion and avocado on top.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for taco casserole.

Ingredients for Ground Beef Taco Casserole:

Ground Beef: Choose your favorite ground beef. I use grass-fed 80/20 beef which has a tremendous amount of flavor. You can easily go with a lean ground beef such as 90/10 or leaner depending on what you prefer. Ground turkey and ground chicken also work for the taco meat. 

If you chop up a couple boneless chicken breasts, you can skip the browning process and toss them directly into the casserole dish.

Onion, Garlic, and Bell Pepper: The fresh vegetables that go into the casserole to give it that bold, inviting flavor. Use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand.

Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the onion and brown the beef, we use a little oil. I use avocado oil, but olive oil works great too.

Salsa & Chicken Broth: The liquid portion of the recipe. Because this casserole contains rice, we need a great deal of liquid for the rice to absorb during the baking process.

I use a combination of salsa or enchilada sauce and chicken broth to maximize the flavor. Use your favorite store-bought or homemade salsa or enchilada sauce!

Chili Powder: That key ingredient in classic tacos, we add a generous amount of chili powder to make the casserole exude all the taco flavor. Taco seasoning works as a great replacement for chili powder if it’s what you have on hand.

Canned Green Chiles: Mild green chiles get added to the mix to bring more flavor. If you love spicy food, feel free to use hot canned green chilies.

Black Beans: One can of black beans goes into the casserole for that yummy bean texture. Feel free to swap it out for pinto beans or corn.

White Rice: Uncooked white rice gets added to the casserole. No need to cook it ahead of time, as it cooks during the baking process. The rice soaks up all the amazing flavors that go into this delicious casserole recipe and acts as the glue that holds it all together. 

Colby Jack Cheese: I’ve found colby jack cheese is an amazing blend for casseroles. Rather than buying pre-grated, I buy the brick and take the time to grate it because pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt as well and get nice and gooey.

If you’re trying to save time and you’re fine with that, feel free to use a pre-grated blend. Use cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or any type of melting cheese you enjoy.

Casserole dish with taco casserole inside and a golden napkin.

For Serving: 

Be sure to pick up tasty goodies like tortilla chips, extra salsa, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, refried beans, and green onion for serving the casserole. You can also serve it with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives for a classic taco or tostada feel. Any of your favorite taco toppings will be welcome here.

If you’re into Mexican food, beef, and cheese, this taco casserole is your ultimate dream!

Now that we’re familiar with the ingredients list, let’s make it!

How to Make Ground Beef Taco Casserole:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the ground beef and use a spatula to chop it into small bits.

Ground beef and onions cooking in a skillet.

The ground beef doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through just yet, but cook it until much of it has browned. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Transfer the bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, chicken broth, salsa, white rice, black beans, green chiles and salt to a large 13” x 9” casserole dish. Stir everything well until combined.

black beans, vegetables, broth and salsa in a large casserole dish to make a casserole

Stir in the ground beef mixture, followed by half of the cheese.

All of the ingredients for ground beef casserole in a casserole dish.
Cheddar cheese stirred into a casserole

Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Taco casserole partway baked.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and remove the foil.

Place the oven on the High Broil Setting and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.

Partially baked casserole with cheese on top.

Broil for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and has turned slightly golden brown.

Finished ground beef taco casserole.

Serve casserole in individual servings with your choice of toppings such as sliced avocado or guacamoles, corn chips, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, olives, pico de gallo, extra shredded cheese, etc.

You can also serve with flour tortillas or corn tortillas so that people can make tacos or burritos out of the casserole.

Spatula serving ground beef taco casserole.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also wrap the casserole dish in plastic wrap or the foil you used to bake it.

And that’s it, my friends! An incredibly flavorful and relatively simple casserole recipe that is sure to receive rave reviews from your friends and family.

Mix it up using various ingredients you love and put this beauty on repeat! It’s a family favorite for taco night and an easy dinner to boot. This delicious taco casserole is perfect for Taco Tuesday or the next time you’re craving Mexican inspired cuisine.

Full casserole dish of ground beef taco casserole with avocado on top, ready to serve.

If you enjoy this easy weeknight meal, you may also love my Roasted Vegetable Stacked Enchiladas.

If you love casserole recipes, also try these reader favorites.

More Casserole Recipes:

Where tacos and casseroles join as one!

Close up of a ground beef taco casserole with sliced avocado and cilantro on top.
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4.20 from 5 votes

Ground Beef Taco Casserole

The cheesiest, dreamiest Ground Beef Taco Casserole the whole family is bound to love! Simple ingredients come together in a flavorful Mexican-inspired meal to make the best comfort food!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Beef Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 lb ground beef*
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa**
  • cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 7-oz can green chilis
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste
  • 3 cups grated colby jack cheese

For Serving:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the ground beef and use a spatula to chop it into small bits. The ground beef doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through just yet, but cook it until much of it has browned. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  • Transfer the bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, chicken broth, salsa, white rice, black beans, green chiles and salt to a large 13” x 9” casserole dish. Stir everything well until combined.
  • Stir in the ground beef mixture, followed by half of the cheese.
  • Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and remove the foil.
  • Place the oven on the High Broil Setting and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
  • Broil for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and has turned slightly golden brown.
  • Serve casserole in individual servings with your choice of toppings such as sliced avocado or guacamoles, corn chips, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, olives, pico de gallo, extra shredded cheese, etc. You can also serve with flour tortillas or corn tortillas so that people can make tacos or burritos out of the casserole.

Video

Notes

*I use 80/20 beef but you can use lean ground beef (90/10 or higher) for lower fat
**Use any type of liquidy store-bought or homemade salsa or enchilada sauce you love. Salsa verde, a classic tomato salsa, or enchilada sauce are my favorites.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also wrap the casserole dish in plastic wrap or the foil you used to bake it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 8) | Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 1011mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Recipe Rating




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Gina

Tuesday 30th of May 2023

Very delcious! Except I had to cook this another hour (almost 2 hours total) to get the rice cooked and the liquid to go away. At 45 min it was like soup. I even added 1/4 cup rice because 2 cups stock + a liquidy salsa verde seemed like too much liquid for 2/3 cup rice. Maybe I shouldn't have used such liquidy salsa?

Once cooked it was amazing though! Will cook again but just prepare for 2 hours to cook.

Julia

Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Hi Gina! What type of rice did you use?

Christina

Sunday 14th of May 2023

This was very fun and easy to make. BUT I used Jasmine rice which I think was a mistake. Plain long grain may have been better. It wasn't thoroughly cooked @ 45 min. I cooked it a few minutes longer and it was mush. I used homemade taco seasoning in place a just chili powder. Super fresh and flavorful. We ate some on flour tortillas with the fixings and some by itself. We will have leftovers today which I'm sure will be even better. Thank you for all the serving suggestions. It was still a fun meal we shared with family.

Julia

Sunday 14th of May 2023

Thanks so much for reporting back with your experience! It's very helpful to know jasmine rice took longer to cook - I appreciate you sharing this information as I'm sure there are others who would want to try the same thing :) xo

Karen

Sunday 7th of May 2023

Made this recipe the other night. Had to bake it an hour for the rice to cook completely. Substituted cumin for the chili powder, for us, using the green chilis was spicy enough. Unfortunately we didn't eat it that evening, so the next morning I fried a couple of eggs, put some of the casserole and extra cheese on a flour tortilla and warmed them in the micro and made breakfast burritos. They were delicious. I find meals like this taste better the next day as the flavors have a chance to blend more thoroughly. Definitely will make this again. Thanks.

Julia

Monday 8th of May 2023

I'm thrilled to hear you enjoy the recipe, Karen! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback :)

Rose Miller

Monday 10th of April 2023

Can I use yellow rice instead of white rice? If so, do I need to change any other ingredients or the amount of any ingredient?

Julia

Thursday 13th of April 2023

Hi Rose! Yellow rice works too! You won't need to make any changes to the recipe :) xo

Virginia

Thursday 16th of March 2023

I made this tonight for dinner. It tasted delicious, but there was too much liquid. I wonder if I should have cooked it longer. I followed the recipe as written. I strained out almost a cup of extra liquid, which I will use to make Spanish rice later. Has this been an issue for anyone else?

Julia

Sunday 19th of March 2023

Hi Virginia! Did you use uncooked white rice?

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