Walking Taco Casserole with Fritos has all the flavors of delicious tacos in an easy one pan dinner you can make in about 25 minutes. A quick, simple casserole recipe that tastes anything but.
- Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
- More Easy Dinner Recipes
- How to Make Walking Taco Casserole with Fritos
- So ... What is a Walking Taco Anyway?
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- What to Serve with Taco Casserole with Fritos
- Storage & Reheating
- Make Ahead
- Expert Tips
- Get the Stuff I Use
- More Easy Casserole Recipes
- Let's Stay in Touch
- Walking Taco Casserole with Fritos
This Walking Taco Casserole recipe is an easy one pan weeknight dinner the entire family is going to DEVOUR ... and then request every taco Tuesday.
The base of this Frito taco bake is a spicy, creamy mixture of ground beef, black beans, green chilis, enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, and cream cheese.
Next, a layer of gooey melted cheese.
And finally the good stuff: Crunchy, salty Frito corn chips and all your favorite toppings like tomatoes, green onions, shredded lettuce, and sour cream.
This delicious taco casserole comes together in one skillet for easy prep and easy clean-up.
You can even make it ahead of time.
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Delicious casserole version of yummy walking tacos
Easy weeknight meal you can make in one skillet in about 25 minutes
Great recipe for taco night or Cinco de Mayo
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Chicken Taco Hash Brown Casserole
- Ground Beef Vegetable Soup
- Baked Pork Chops with Cream of Mushroom Soup
How to Make Walking Taco Casserole with Fritos
You can make this super easy taco bake with Fritos in FOUR quick steps.
- Brown ground beef with onions.
- Stir in taco seasoning, green chilis, black beans, enchilada sauce, and cream cheese.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes.
- Top with Fritos and taco toppings.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions.
So ... What is a Walking Taco Anyway?
A walking taco, also known as Frito pie, is a genius culinary concoction made by ripping open a bag of Fritos chips and filling it with chili or taco meat, onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and whatever taco toppings you can fit in the bag. They're popular at sporting events, state fairs, and other outdoor festivities because you can, you know, walk around and eat them.
Walking tacos have particularly caught on here in the Midwest, which also explains why there is such a thing as Walking Taco Casserole. We can't help it, we turn everything into a casserole -- except here in Minnesota we call it hot dish.
And if you've ever wondered the difference between a hot dish and a casserole, read this post where I explain it all.
Ground beef. Regular or lean ground beef will both work well. You can also use leftover taco meat.
Taco seasoning. You can use a packet of taco seasoning mix or make your own taco seasoning. Homemade taco seasoning is really easy to make with chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. You can my recipe here.
Green chilis. One 4 oz. can of diced green chiles -- mild or hot -- whatever you love.
Black beans. One can of drained and rinsed black beans add creamy texture and are in an inexpensive way to stretch a pound of hamburger.
Red enchilada sauce. Enchilada sauce is a smooth sauce made from tomatoes, chiles, and other spices. Choose mild, medium, or hot. You can even make your own homemade enchilada sauce.
Cream cheese. A little cream cheese melted into the meat mixture makes it creamy and delicious.
Sharp cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese melts beautifully and tastes great in this recipe for walking taco casserole. Use freshly shredded cheese, if possible.
Fritos. Walking tacos are traditionally made in a bag of Fritos.
Toppings. Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and green onions are my go-tos. Use whatever your family loves on their tacos like guacamole, sliced olives, pico de gallo.
Ground beef. You can use ground turkey or ground chicken in this Frito taco casserole.
Black beans. Any kind of canned beans like kidney beans, chili beans, or pinto beans are great substitutes.
Enchilada sauce. Salsa, picante sauce, or taco sauce should all work well as substitutions for enchilada sauce.
Cheddar cheese. You can use your favorite cheese like Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, or a Mexican blend cheese.
Fritos. Crushed tortilla chips, crunchy Doritos, or any kind of corn chips are all great options to use instead of Fritos.
1. Brown ground beef.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the ground beef, diced onion, salt, and pepper in a large oven-safe skillet* over medium to medium-high heat. Break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon or spatula and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain excess grease.
*If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer the mixture to a casserole dish after step 2.
2. Stir in the beans, seasonings, and cream cheese.
Add the taco seasoning, green chilis, black beans, enchilada sauce, and cream cheese.
Stir until the cream cheese has completely melted into the meat mixture.
3. Add the cheese and bake.
Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded cheese on top of the beef mixture.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
4. Top with Fritos and taco fixings.
Add a layer of Fritos over the melted cheese. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream.
To drizzle sour cream, thin it with a little bit of water.
What to Serve with Taco Casserole with Fritos
Anything that tastes great with tacos will be absolutely delicious with walking taco casserole.
TOPPINGS: Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, avocado, corn, black olives, sliced radishes
CONDIMENTS: Guacamole, salsa, cilantro, hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, green onions
SIDES: Refried beans, pico de gallo, cilantro rice, corn salad, Mexican rice, slaw, pasta salad, vegetable salad, grilled vegetables
Storage & Reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you know you're going to have leftovers, don't cover the entire casserole with Fritos and toppings -- the chips and lettuce will get soggy overnight in the fridge. Instead top individual servings with chips and fixings as you go.
Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
To make walking taco bake ahead, prepare through the step of adding the shredded cheese, just don't bake it yet. Store covered in the refrigerator for a day or two.
When you're ready to heat it up, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
Bake at 350 until the meat is warmed through and the cheese has melted -- you may need to add a few extra minutes. Remove from oven and add Fritos and taco toppings.
- No oven-safe skillet? Transfer the cooked meat mixture to a baking dish, add the cheese, and bake until melted.
- To avoid leftovers with soggy chips and lettuce, add the Fritos and toppings to individual servings or the portion of the pan you know you'll eat right away. When you warm up leftovers, add fresh Fritos and toppings.
- It's so easy to make your own taco seasoning with simple spices you probably already have. Here's my recipe.
A walking taco is a single-serve bag of Fritos filled with chili or taco meat, cheese, onions, and other toppings.
The casserole form of this popular portable dish is a skillet or baking dish with a layer of taco seasoned meat topped with Fritos and taco fixings. All the same flavors are in the casserole -- the only difference is you need a plate before you dig in.
New Mexico and Texas both claim they came up with the creation, which is also called a Frito pie. Its popularity took off as it sprouted up at state fairs, sports concessions, and outdoor events, but for some reason, it's become a Midwestern thing.
Sure! Just fill your plate with lettuce first, then top it with the meat, Fritos, tomatoes, cheese, onions, sour cream, and salsa.
Get the Stuff I Use
This 12-inch large skillet from Cuisinart has a nice heavy bottom for even heating and moves seamlessly from the stove top to the oven to the table.
I love this cheese grater because it comes apart and stores flat in my utensil drawer.
More Easy Casserole Recipes
Let's Stay in Touch
Walking Taco Casserole with Fritos
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, or one packet
- 1 4 oz. can green chilis, drained
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2-3 cups Fritos
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup sliced green onions
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Heat oven to 350.
- In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef with onion. Season with salt and pepper. Drain excess fat.
- Add taco seasoning, green chilis, black beans, enchilada sauce, and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese has melted.
- Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the beef mixture. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Top with Fritos, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and green onions.