Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other casserole recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Loaded Taco Squares Casserole Recipe

A cozy recipe king, this loaded taco squares casserole combines flavorful ingredients to create the ultimate meal. Onion, bell pepper, and ground beef create the foundation. Tomatoes, chiles, sweet corn, and black beans build depth, giving it the “loaded” namesake. This Midwest staple is a perfect variation of a ground meat taco, ideal for a weeknight meal.

Why I love this recipe.

I posted my recipe for my traditional taco squares casserole a few years ago. I used to make these for campers when I worked in a camp kitchen, and they were always a huge hit. I never thought about them becoming an instant classic for everyone, but as soon as they were posted, the response blew me away.

Taco squares have become a recipe we all go back to time and again. From the messages I’ve received, I’ve learned all the variations many of you have tried and started to try myself. This recipe is the result of those trials.

The taco squares in this recipe are loaded with black beans, sweet corn, more cheese, and extra flavor. It’s the same classic; it’s just turned up a notch!

White marble surface with white plate with square of taco squares casserole with piece cut off with fork about ready to eat.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Ground beef gives the classic ground meet taco appeal. Use good quality meat with 85-90% leanness.
  • Black beans add more protein and great texture.
  • Sweet corn gives a bit of sweetness and color, and you can use either canned or frozen sweet corn.
  • Hatch chiles can be found in cans in the grocery store, all ready to go with terrific flavor. Choose mild to hot based on your own personal preference.
  • Corn tortillas hold their texture after they are cooked, similar to a lasagna noodle.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients for loaded taco squares casserole including beans, raw beef, corn tacos, corn, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Prepare the ground beef. In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef over medium heat.
  1. Prepare the vegetables. Dice the bell pepper and onion. Mince the garlic. Add to the saucepan. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Season with salt. Add chili powder and cumin. Add flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, continually stirring. Add in the hatch chiles, sweet corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  1. Assemble the dish. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread a small amount of the filling along the bottom. Layer the corn tortillas overtop, overlapping slightly. Cover with half of the filling. Sprinkle half the cheese over top. Place an additional layer of tortillas over the cheese. Spread the remaining filling, then cheese.
  1. Bake the dish. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the dish is bubbling throughout.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Using leaner beef means less liquid from the beef. Use what you prefer, but you may need to drain the beef if there is excess liquid. 90% lean beef works well and does not usually need to be drained.
  • If desired, char the corn tortillas on the stove. It can enhance the texture and add a smoky element to the tortillas.
  • Freshly shredded cheese boosts the flavor of the dish. Shredding the cheese from a block gives a softer and more flavorful cheese.
White casserole dish filled with slices of loaded taco squares casserole with pieces removed showing interior texture of the casserole.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can this be made with another type of meat?

Yes, any ground meat can be used. Chicken, turkey, and non-meat alternatives.

Can this be prepared ahead and cooked later?

Yes, the casserole can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator overnight or during the day before baking.

Can this recipe be prepared with flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?

Corn tortillas will work best for this recipe because of their texture. Flour tortillas will tend to become soggy the longer the mixture sits. If you prefer flour tortillas, you can definitely use them as a swap out for the corn tortillas but just know that their texture will deteriorate faster over time.

What can this be served with?

Think of this as tacos. Shredded lettuce, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and hot peppers can be great options for a taco bar.

How long does this keep after preparing?

The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.

White plate with slice of loaded taco squares casserole with lettuce and slices of avocado with fork to the side all on white marble surface.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More casserole recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White plate with slice of loaded taco squares casserole showing the multiple layers of tacos and beans mixture with lettuce and avocado.

Loaded Taco Squares Casserole

4.67 from 3 votes
A cozy recipe king, this loaded taco squares casserole combines flavorful ingredients to create the ultimate meal. Onion, bell pepper, and ground beef create the foundation. Tomatoes, chiles, sweet corn, and black beans build depth, giving it the "loaded" namesake. This Midwest staple is a perfect variation of a ground meat taco, ideal for a weeknight meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 15 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 4-oz can hatch chiles
  • 1 cup canned or frozen sweet corn
  • 1 15-oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 12 oz cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set it aside.
  • In a 4-quart saucepan, brown the ground beef. Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, and salt. Cook until the onion is soft, 4-6 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
    2 lb ground beef, 1 bell pepper, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 ½ tsp cumin, 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Add the hatch chiles, sweet corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes with their liquid. Stir and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    1 4-oz can hatch chiles, 1 cup canned or frozen sweet corn, 1 15-oz can black beans, 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • Spread one cup of the meat mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. It will be a thin layer. Add six corn tortillas, overlapping and going up the sides of the baking dish slightly. Spread half of the remaining meat filling over the tortillas, followed by half of the cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the remaining cheese.
    12 corn tortillas, 12 oz cheddar cheese
  • Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until the filling is hot throughout and the cheese is browned, 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

Using leaner beef means less liquid from the beef. Use what you prefer, but you may need to drain the beef if there is excess liquid. 90% lean beef works well and does not usually need to be drained.
If desired, char the corn tortillas on the stove. It can enhance the texture and add a smoky element to the tortillas.
Freshly shredded cheese boosts the flavor of the dish. Shredding the cheese from a block gives a softer and more flavorful cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 300kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southwestern
Difficulty Easy
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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3 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    As a former Iowan, I’ve had a casserole or two! Improvised with what I had. Ground turkey, tomatoes with green chiles already added, not quite enough cheese…but all in all a very tasty meal!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for my husband and two young adults kids. It was a hit! Will definitely stay in rotation and can easily be adapted to ingredients on hand.

  3. I made this last night…half recipe but so quick and easy. I added a bit of Tajin to the meat mixture. Served with lettuce, avocado, salsa, sour cream and lime. Delicious!…and did I say easy?!?!