Here is my recipe for a taco casserole that was featured in my Hungry Husky column in the Daily Campus last week…

Finished taco casserole

Mexican food, on its own, is already very feisty and fun, but serving it a new way can make it even more of a treat.

I was in the mood for tacos but didn’t feel like having a whole layout of various goodies to put in my tacos. When you have a bowl for salsa, a bowl for guacamole, a bowl for lettuce, a bowl for beans, a bowl for rice and a bowl for the taco meat and so on… That can be very fun, if you are going out. Back at home or in your apartment, that simply means way too many dishes to clean.

So that’s when I decided to make a layered taco casserole and this recipe came to life. If you want a one-pan Mexican treat, try this recipe out.

Taco Casserole Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of Vegetarian “taco meat” or regular ground beef
  • 3/4 cup of black beans or beans of your choice
  • 3/4 cup of salsa
  • 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips
  • Enough of your favorite cheese to top

Note: I made this in a 9″ circular pan, so you may need to adjust accordingly depending on the size of the pan you are using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Taco casserole before being baked

Start by cooking your taco meat or ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until it has browned. This should only take a couple minutes. If you would like, you can stir in some taco seasoning from the store prepackaged. I just tossed in some paprika and ground cumin along with salt and pepper and it was quite good. Once your meat is done, transfer it to the pan you are going to bake it in. Make sure your meat is in a nice even layer at the bottom of the pan. Next, add the beans to your pan over medium heat and stir until hot. Then transfer to the pan and make into a nice even layer on top of your meat.

Now, add in a layer of your salsa. I made my salsa from scratch and you can too. It’s quite easy. Simply take about half cup of chopped tomatoes and one-fourth cup of chopped onions and combine in a bowl with a splash of lime juice and two cloves of garlic, minced. Also add in some cilantro. I only added one tablespoon but you could, of course, add more.

Time to crush up your tortilla chips. Crush until you have one cup of crushed tortilla chips. Then, layer them on top of your layer of salsa. Top with cheese generously and put in the oven to bake for about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Once done, take it out and let cool a couple minutes. I served it on a plate over a bed of lettuce, which you could choose to mix in. You could also top it with lettuce, guacamole or fresh tomatoes. The possibilities are endless. Once you decide what to top it with, put on a plate, serve and enjoy!