Walking Taco Casserole

Walking Taco Casserole

Who doesn’t love a good taco? The combination of savory meat, crunchy toppings, and spicy salsa is a crowd-pleaser every time. But what if you could take all that goodness and turn it into an easy-to-make, shareable dish? Enter the walking taco casserole—a delightful twist on the traditional walking taco. It's perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or even a casual get-together with friends. Let’s dive into how to make this tasty treat.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we get started, here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Don’t worry if you’re missing a few items—there’s plenty of room for customization!

  • 1 pound of ground beef: You can also use ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning: This is a must for that authentic taco flavor.
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies: Adds a nice kick to the casserole.
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed: A great source of protein and fiber.
  • 1 can of corn, drained: Adds a sweet crunch.
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese: Cheddar is classic, but feel free to use a blend.
  • 1 bag of Fritos or Doritos: This is what makes it a walking taco casserole!
  • Optional toppings: Sour cream, salsa, jalapeños, green onions, cilantro, guacamole.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now, let’s get cooking!

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cook the Meat: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until it’s no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Season the Meat: Add the taco seasoning packet to the beef, along with a bit of water (as per the seasoning packet’s instructions). Stir well to coat the meat evenly.
  4. Add the Veggies: Mix in the diced tomatoes with green chilies, black beans, and corn. Let everything simmer together for about 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
  5. Layer the Ingredients: In a 9x13 inch baking dish, start by spreading a layer of Fritos or Doritos on the bottom. Pour the meat mixture over the chips, spreading it out evenly. Top with a generous layer of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake: Pop the dish into your preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Add Toppings: Once your casserole is out of the oven, it’s time for the fun part—toppings! You can let everyone customize their own serving with sour cream, salsa, jalapeños, green onions, cilantro, and guacamole.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Dig in and enjoy your walking taco casserole. It's perfect for scooping up with extra chips or eating with a fork.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make It Your Own: Feel free to swap out ingredients based on your preferences. Ground turkey or chicken works great instead of beef. You can also add extra veggies like bell peppers or onions.
  • Spice Level: If you like it hot, add some chopped jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the meat mixture.
  • Cheese Lovers: If you can’t get enough cheese, add an extra layer between the meat and chips.
  • Make-Ahead: This casserole can be prepped ahead of time. Just assemble it, cover with foil, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to eat, bake it as directed, adding a few extra minutes if needed.

Why We Love Walking Taco Casserole

Walking taco casserole is a hit for several reasons. It’s incredibly easy to make, which is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. The dish is also highly customizable, making it great for picky eaters. Plus, it brings the fun of tacos to a new, shareable format.

Perfect for Parties: This dish is a standout at potlucks and gatherings. It’s something a little different that’s sure to get people talking. Plus, it’s easy to transport and reheat if needed.

Kid-Friendly: Kids love walking tacos, and they’ll get a kick out of this casserole version too. It’s a fun way to eat dinner, and they can help with the topping bar.

Budget-Friendly: The ingredients are affordable, and you can often find them on sale. It’s a great way to feed a crowd without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make this casserole vegetarian? 

A: Absolutely! Just swap out the ground beef for a meat substitute like crumbled tofu, tempeh, or a plant-based meat alternative. You can also add extra beans and veggies.

Q: How do I store leftovers? 

A: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep for about 3-4 days. To reheat, just pop a serving in the microwave or warm it up in the oven.

Q: Can I freeze this casserole? 

A: Yes, you can! Assemble the casserole but don’t bake it. Cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, bake it straight from the freezer at 350°F (175°C) for about 30-40 minutes, or until heated through.

Q: What can I serve with walking taco casserole? 

A: This dish is hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but it pairs well with a simple side salad, Mexican rice, or a bowl of refried beans.

A Final Note

Walking taco casserole is one of those dishes that checks all the boxes. It’s easy, fun, and delicious. Whether you’re cooking for your family or bringing a dish to share, it’s sure to be a hit. Plus, with so many ways to customize it, you can make it your own. Give it a try at your next dinner or party and watch it disappear!