Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients:
  2. Watch how to make this taco squares casserole
  3. Taco Squares Casserole Recipe

A casserole is really the homemade version of fast food. The dish can be made ahead and baked before dinner. And if the dish is large enough, there will be leftovers for many meals after. I love a good casserole and this taco squares casserole was always a favorite growing up. In all honesty, this is just like ground meat tacos layered into a lasagna. All that’s needed is the taco toppings (sour cream, salsa, lettuce) and this becomes a meal that can be completely personalized.

Top down view of white casserole dish filled with taco squares casserole topped with cheese after being in the oven all sitting on white countertop

Ingredients:

  • Ground beef is the main ingredient and flavor for this casserole. Because of this fact, make sure to chose a high-quality, grass-fed meat, which contains more vitamins than grain-fed. Additionally, I opt for 85% lean beef.
  • Onion is cooked with the beef to flavor the meat. Instead of sautéing the onion seperately from the meat, cooking them together marries all the flavors.
  • Chili powder helps provide the iconic taco-style flavor that’s so important in this recipe. Purchased chili powders often contain a mix of paprika, cumin, oregano, onion, and garlic, which creates such a good balance.
  • Cumin is added in addition to the chili powder to give an even greater depth of flavor. Plus, it’s quite impactful.
  • Oregano also helps boost the flavor in the chili powder and make it more prominent. Try looking for Mexican oregano.
  • Diced tomatoes give a cohesion to the meat. The tomatoes cook with the spices and meat to create something resembling a sauce. This helps the casserole have the ability to hold together when sliced.
  • Flour sprinkled over the meat mixture and cooked slightly ensures the casserole will not be soupy. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Corn tortillas is the necessary ingredient that truly makes this a taco. The tortillas act as the “noodles,” creating layers in the casserole. To give them a little more flavor and texture, char them slightly, if you have a gas range.
Side view of slice of taco squares casserole sitting on serving spoon with rest of casserole in background

From the ingredients, you can see that this will have a nostalgic flavor and be absolutely delicious, as so many classic recipes are. The best part is that even if you’re not someone who plans ahead, this goes together quickly, making for a meal in an hour!

White plate being held by hand with slice of taco squares casserole topped with lettuce and salsa with rest of casserole in white dish below

More casserole recipes

Watch how to make this taco squares casserole

Top down view of white casserole dish filled with yellow colored cheese on top of casserole after being baked in oven

Taco Squares Casserole

4.35 from 63 votes
Author: Kaleb
This taco squares casserole dish is like a Southwestern version of lasagna. Layers of beef, tortillas, and cheese come together to form cheesy goodness. Plus, it's a pretty quick meal to put together, which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 15 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lb beef
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  • Add the ground beef to a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Break into small pieces, then add the onion and salt. Cook until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, 8-10 minutes.
    2 lb beef, 1 yellow onion, 1 ½ tsp salt
  • Once the meat is cooked, with the skillet still over medium heat add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. Stir and cook for 1 minute and add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes on low. After 5 minutes, sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano, ¾ tsp garlic powder, 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp flour
  • If a gas stove is available, char the tortillas. Turn a burner on low and set a tortilla on for 30 seconds until slightly blackened. Then flip, repeat, and then remove from the flame. Charing is simply an optional step. If not available, move on to the assembly.
  • In the prepared baking dish, add ½ cup of the meat mixture and spread it over the dish. Add 6 tortilla shells, slightly overlapping and covering the bottom of the baking dish. Add half of the meat mixture and spread evenly. Then sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Repeat one time with the remaining tortilla shells, meat mixture, and cheese. At this point, the casserole can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for one day before baking.
    12 corn tortillas, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bake in the preheated oven until warmed through, 30-40 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven, cut into squares, and serve with favorite taco toppings!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 13.9gProtein: 18.5gFat: 7.6gSaturated Fat: 3.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 51.1mgSodium: 512.4mgPotassium: 398.5mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 2.5gVitamin A: 65IUVitamin C: 4.7mgCalcium: 151mgIron: 2.7mg
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southwestern
Difficulty Intermediate
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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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This delicious, easy recipe is will be a base for many many variations! Thank you for sharing Kaleb! I added a can of mild green Chili’s, made 3 layers instead of two and garnished with black olives on top. Next time I might add frozen corn, or a layer of black beans. And charring the corn tortillas is genius!

  2. 5 stars
    Got inspired by your video so made it for dinner. I love how simple it is and yet so good! Thanks for this recipe.👌

  3. 5 stars
    Hey Kaleb and Happy New Year!

    I’ve been enjoying your videos tremendously! Your positive, upbeat attitude is infectious and your gardening, household tips and of course recipes are wonderful. And…I LOVE your historic Midwest home and all the family traditions you willing share. Yesterday I watched you put this casserole together and thought…YES! I had all the ingredients and we were in need of some comfort food. I made a few spice additions to ramp-up the flavor (cumin seeds, chipotle pepper, smoked paprika and a bit of coriander) as well as fresh garlic, chopped jalapeños, green pepper and a bit of tomato paste while cooking the meat with the onions. I also layered in some pinto and black beans while assembling the casserole (added after the meat and before the cheese). Your base recipe provided a great foundation from which to add that personal touch and build a very satisfying meal! Thank you! This one goes in my recipe file for sure!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I prepared this a day ahead and baked for dinner tonight. I did char the tacos and that adds a good flavor. My family loved it. I can’t wait to make it again.

  5. 5 stars
    I cut the recipe in half and made it for my husband and I tonight and we both loved it! It’s so simple and easy to throw together, but it was super yummy. It’s going into the family rotation. Thanks Kaleb!
    P.S. Don’t skip on charring the tortillas!

  6. 5 stars
    I just loved making and eating this easy recipe. When I was eating it I realized hey it had NO beans and that was a winner winner taco dinner for me. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for this recipe! Made it tonight and was a hit with myself and the family! I so enjoy following you and look forward to making many more of your recipes! Thanks for being a breath of fresh air and happiness!

  8. 5 stars
    I really enjoyed the flavor of this. Nextime I will add some black beans. We topped with shredded lettuce and tomatoes along with a dab of sour cream. Perfect winter hot dish!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I work at a non-profit. We provide cooked meals to our community. I have to say this is one of the favorite meals that is requested a lot from our guests.