This walking taco casserole is the ultimate comfort food. Made with a creamy taco meat base, crunchy chips, and melted cheese, this dish is simply divine.
We love to enjoy tasty taco-flavored recipes around here because tacos are AMAZING (and versatile). Similar to my Easy Dorito Taco Salad, this dish combines all the beloved flavors of the popular "walking taco," but in a convenient casserole format.
Imagine layers of seasoned ground beef, gooey cheese, crunchy chips, and all your favorite taco toppings, coming together to create a meal that's perfect for gatherings, game days, or a weeknight dinner.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's simple. This recipe is so quick and easy to assemble that it's sure to become an instant favorite for weeknight meals.
- A great combination of textures. From the melty cheese to the crunchy chips and soft meaty filling, this casserole has got it all.
- It's versatile. This walking taco casserole with Doritos is extra cheesy and packed with different flavors and textures that work incredibly well together. You can add any of your favorite taco toppings to customize this recipe.
Taco seasoning mix- You can use storebought taco seasoning or two tablespoons of DIY Taco Seasoning.
Doritos nacho flavored chips- For added cheese flavor and a nice crunch. While you could make the walking taco casserole with Fritos, our favorite will always be nacho-flavored tortilla chips.
Shredded cheese- We like to use shredded cheddar cheese but you can use any cheese of preference. Remember cheese that you shred yourself will melt more nicely than pre-shredded.
Enchilada sauce- This will help to incorporate a lot more flavor and moisture so that the casserole doesn't feel dry.
These are a few suggested toppings you can choose to add to your casserole after it's finished cooking.
- Shredded lettuce
- Sour cream
- Diced tomato
- Sliced jalapenos
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Enchilada sauce. We like to make this walking taco casserole recipe with enchilada sauce but you can use salsa in its place. You can use chunky or smooth varieties.
Ground beef. For a different twist on this dish, consider swapping the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken, and prepare it using the same method.
It's worth noting that you can reduce the meat to just 1 pound of ground beef and it will still be delicious and satisfying. To make up for less meat, you can increase the toppings or filler ingredients to stretch the dish further.
Sour cream. You can swap out the sour cream for plain unflavored Greek yogurt or softened cream cheese.
Doritos. You can replace these with Fritos, plain tortilla chips, or even chili cheese-flavored chips.
There are a lot of ways that you can switch up this walking taco bake. For example, you can add in:
- Canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
- Whole kernel corn
- Bell peppers (added to the ground beef and onion step so that they soften)
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.
Step 2: Cook your ground beef and onions together in the skillet until the meat is browned and the onions are soft. Drain the grease.
Step 3: Add in the enchilada sauce, Rotel, sour cream, and taco seasoning packet. Stir until well combined.
Step 4: Turn off the heat and top the meat mixture with broken Doritos.
Step 5: Sprinkle the cheese on top of the chips.
Step 6: Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted completely.
Step 7: Top with any additional optional toppings before serving.
🍴 Recipe Tips
First off, I keep getting asked where this casserole is walking off to so I'd like to answer that here- hopefully, it's walking towards your dinner plate soon.
By keeping the casserole in a cast-iron skillet you can make it in one pan, at home (or away at a campsite) making it perfectly portable for a family. That said it can be made without a cast-iron skillet.
How to make walking tacos casserole without a cast-iron skillet
- Brown the ground beef and onions in a regular kitchen skillet until brown. Discard the grease and stir in the other ingredients as directed until creamy and well mixed.
- Now pour the mixture into a greased 8x8 baking dish and assemble as directed.
- Bake until the cheese is hot and bubbly and then serve with your desired toppings.
Pre shredded cheese is great because it saves a lot of time and energy but it does not melt down as well as cheese that you shred yourself. If possible, replace the pre-shredded cheese with manually shredded for a meltier experience. Some good cheese options include cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Colby Jack.
How to measure the tortilla chips
You want to crush your chips to be about ¼ of an inch in size and then add them to the measuring cup and measure them while they are broken. I like to just stack the chips in the cup and press down to break them without making a mess.
You can reheat this recipe by placing a portion of it in the microwave on a plate. The chips will be soft no matter what method of reheating you choose so why not pick the fastest one? You can add additional chips when serving if you want crispness in every bite.
⏲️Make Ahead Instructions
Make the creamy meat mixture as directed and place it into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to eat, simply reheat it on the stove for a few minutes until warmed through, and then assemble and bake as directed.
If assembling in a baking dish, you may need to add 5-10 minutes to the baking time to heat up the cold meat mixture.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find that this recipe can easily be modified to be gluten free by using a gluten free taco seasoning mixture and gluten free chips.
Yes, this recipe can be doubled if you have a large enough cast iron pan or if you plan to assemble and bake it in a 9x13 baking dish. A 9x13 should provide about 10 servings worth.
Yes! This recipe can be made in a slow cooker. Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet on the stove and transfer to a slow cooker. Stir in the sour cream, Rotel, sauce, and seasonings. Cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low. Turn off the crock pot and top with the Doritos and cheese. Add lid and wait until the cheese has melted before serving.
❤️ More Delicious Casserole Recipes
If you tried this Walking Taco Casserole, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Walking Taco Casserole
- 2 pounds Ground beef ($6.74)
- 1 small Onion, diced (1cup) ($0.35)
- 1 packet Taco seasoning mix ($0.44)
- ½ cup Sour cream ($0.23)
- 2-3 cups Doritos nacho cheese flavor, broken but not crushed ($1.16)
- 8 ounces Shredded taco blend cheese ($0.93)
- 1 can Rotel (10oz) ($1.24)
- 1 can Enchilada sauce (10oz) ($1.98)
- Shredded lettuce
- Sour cream
- Diced tomato
- Sliced jalapenos
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the stove.
- Cook your ground beef and onions together in the skillet until the meat is browned and the onions are soft. Drain the grease.
- Add in the enchilada sauce, Rotel, sour cream, and taco seasoning packet. Stir until well combined.
- Turn off the heat and top the meat mixture with broken Doritos.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top of the chips.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted completely.
- Top with any additional optional toppings before serving.
- You can use red salsa in place of the enchilada sauce.
- You can use Fritos, plain tortilla chips, or even chili cheese flavored chips instead of Doritos.
- For fun variations add in canned black beans or corn (drained and rinsed) or add bell peppers to the skillet when you cook the beef and onions.
- You can make this dish without a cast iron by cooking the meat mixture in a regular skillet and transferring to an 8x8 baking dish.
- Shredding the cheese yourself will give you a more melty experience.
- Measure the tortilla chips AFTER they have been broken to about ¼ of an inch in size.
- You can prepare the filling up to 2 days in advance and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm it up again before assembling and bake as directed.