Taco Casserole


This taco casserole is one of the first “recipes” I created on my own and one of the first posts I ever put on this blog (all the way back in March of 2007!). Back when we were still on weight watchers, I was still a busy graduate student, and I wasn’t that comfortable in the kitchen, this was one of our go-to dinners. It’s easy to throw together, cheap to make, and tastes like junk food – in particular like those obscenely huge plates of nachos that you’ll find on the appetizer menu at a low-end chain restaurant.


I recently noticed that the pictures in this post could use an update, and since I hadn’t made the dish in a while, I decided to give it a bit of an update. While it isn’t as fresh-tasting as most of the recipes I make, it was every bit as delicious as we remembered it being.I prefer using ground chicken for this, because the delicate flavor allows the salsa and beans to take center-stage. I’ve made it successfully with turkey and beef though too – it’s also good with Morningstar Farms vegetable crumbles or a double portion of beans for a vegetarian version. For this version, I topped the casserole with a little bit of chunky guacamole. I was planning to throw some jalapenos on top of the cheese before I baked it too, but I was all out.



5.0 from 2 reviews
Taco Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is classic, but be sure to check out the updated version Doritos Locos Taco Bake too!
Serves: 6
  • 2 ounces Tortilla Chips (about 24), plus additional for serving
  • 1 Tbs Chili Oil (or olive oil and red pepper flakes)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Ground Chicken
  • 2 Tbs Taco Seasoning
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained
  • 1 cup Hot Salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional: Other toppings such as jalepenios, olives, etc.
  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sautee until soft. Add meat and taco seasoning. Cook, breaking up meat with a spatula, for about 5 minutes. Add beans and salsa. Mix well and continue to cook until salsa thickens.
  3. Line the bottom of a large baking dish with tortilla chips, pressing down on them lightly to break them into bite-sized pieces. Spread the meat and bean mixture over the chips and top with cheese. Add sliced jalepenos or other toppings that you ant to be cooked. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and gooey.
  4. Scoop up with additional chips if desired.




  1. I am so trying this out. I love your blog it is so great. :)

  2. One of my major goals for the blog is to overhaul some of my old crappy pictures. Especially for the food that is really good. Someday…

    This casserole looks delicious! I love that it’s a healthier version of nachos!

  3. the tummy-growling is starting early this morning! this looks really delicious–it’s my favorite type of sloppy, comforting casserole. :)

  4. This could quickly become one of my go-to meals also. I love nachos. Thanks for making them healthy.

  5. Quick, easy & comforting – that’s a winner in my book! (Also, I wonder if a little cilantro would kick up the “freshness” quotient. It’s my new obsession!)

  6. This looks like my kind of comfort food! I could totally go for some of that right now – for breakfast!

  7. Yum, what a great easy concept – and the pics turned out great! I can never get casserole pictures to look good.

  8. taco junk! I love this stuff! And i can DEFINITELY make this!
    But if i did there is a good chance i would eat a lot of it. mexican is comfort to me.
    maybe i should just drool over it instead.

  9. It looks amazing! I love the presentation and the topping makes a great touch.

  10. Taco casserole is a bit of a staple in our house over the winter. One of my favourite dishes!!

  11. I’ve done my fair share of “makeovers” on old recipes too. I figure, they are good enough to eat over and over, they deserve a face lift now that I actually have some photo skills! (well, better than they used to be!) Casseroles are particularly difficult to capture but you’ve done well :)

  12. Wow, this looks SO gooey and delicious!!! My mom always made us a dish like this, except with beef. I love your pictures!!

  13. This looks amazing cannot wait to try this – !!

  14. All that cheesy goodness looks amazing. Not sure how this is a healthy version of nachos, but I’m willing to totally go with it! :)

  15. Wow. The cheese on the nachos is calling my name!! Wow.

  16. Cristie says:

    This really looks wonderful, just delicious. Beautiful!

  17. Made this last night for dinner — so simple and delicious! Total comfort food.

  18. I’m eating this right now, and it is fantastic. I used ground beef (all I had) and made my own taco seasoning. I also made this like lasagne by layering the dish twice (chips, meat mixture, cheese x 2). I used a combination of cheese as well (cheddar, monterey jack, and Velveeta). Thanks for a great (basis of) a recipe!! It is fantastic and quick to make!

  19. Phenomenal! We just ate 3/4 of the pan, only two of us. Granted Dave at much more than me. It was dreamy. I used 2% cheddar. I bought the block and shredded it instead of buying shredded (a tip I learned here!). I added jalapenos to Dave’s side and olives to my side. It absolutely tastes like junk food. My portion probably had 4 to 6 chips worth, but it was perfect and I felt decadent! Bravo :)

  20. I just made this,, with ground beef, added a bit of red chili flakes and chili beans because that is all I had on hand. It tastes delicious,,, even before it is in the oven. My family will love this.

  21. Kim at Quit Eating Out says:

    So glad to have found your site! This dish will be made in my kitchen very soon. I LOVE Mexican food and you’ve created a winner in this dish. I could not believe how low the point value is for WW when I plugged it into my recipe builder.

  22. I put this on my meal plan this week, and made it. It was fantastic! Thanks for sharing! My kids loved it too.

  23. Kim at Quit Eating Out says:

    I made this dish recently and we all LOVED it! Will be sharing this on my blog soon to introduce my readers to it and to your great site!!!

  24. Found this blog on a search for a taco bake, as I had some ground beef thawing and no ideas of my own. I had everything but the black beans, so I substituted a can of corn instead and it was still really, really good. I don’t make casseroles often, but this one I may keep for the future! Thanks.

  25. This looks so yummy! I love your blog! I am a new follower! I would love it if you would follow me back! Thanks!

    Have a great day!

  26. Laurel Piatt says:

    I have been making this recipe for almost 15 years just not the healthy version! It has been a go to meal for me and my family and one that the kids have loved.

  27. What is the serving size and nutritional information or points?

    • I’d like the serving size and point+ also….if not I will eat the whole thing!!!

      • The pan is six servings and, without factoring in the chips, it’s about 280 calories, 8 g fat, 12 g carbs, 3 g fiber, and 37 g protein per serving. Nutrition information for the chips varies widely from brand to brand. I like to use Tostitos light.

        • Rhonda Mladan says:

          I calculated a 7 for Points Plus. Is this calculation using ground chicken?

          • Yes, that should be the calculation with chicken. Using lean beef won’t change it that much, either. I made it the other day and I think it was 9 points plus using 94 percent lean beef and fat free Doritos.

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  30. I’m doing weight watchers myself and trying this tonight, but how many points is it??

  31. Catherine says:

    I just looked up the points + total: 7 points per serving (minus the chips). It would be less if you make it vegetarian. Either way – pretty good!! Can’t wait to make this ….

  32. Found this recipe on Pinterest … made it tonight and the family LOVED it. I will definitely make this again.

  33. Quick and easy recipe… completely delicious! I’ve made it three times this semester already, and it’s definitely a new addiction. Thanks for the recipe!

  34. Hey — I made this last week. It was great! My husband ate the leftovers for breakfast! So easy and tasty too.

  35. Leanne says:

    Sounds yummy! Did you use a 9″ X 13″ casserole dish?

  36. Courtney says:

    I made this 2night but live in a small town so used 93% ground beef instead as couldn’t find ground chicken..It was really good….

  37. I made this the other night and it was really good. Next time I think I’m going to leave the chips out. I like my chips crunchy instead of soft.

  38. My question is, doesn’t the chips gets soggy when you eat the taco casserole as a leftover? I’ve always found that to happen.

  39. How many ww points is this??

  40. Could you use baked tortilla chips in this?

  41. Canned white chicken might lower the points and you can omit the oil for lesser points too! You can easily sautee the garlic and onion on cooking spray or 10 sprays of the oil spritzer. Once you add a pinch of salt to the onion, it helps release juices so it won’t be dry. Looking forward to trying this. Thank you!

  42. diane harberson says:

    Looks very good and I will be trying it, I need new WW to be able to stay on track Thanks

  43. victoria romero says:

    i try to long in with my name it tell me my name is alredy in BUT I STILL CAN’T LOG IN.

  44. How many weight watchers points is this?

  45. This is delicious!! Husband didn’t like it, but he’s a weirdo.

  46. Kelly Light says:

    Made this tonight and it’s already a new family favorite!! Delicious & easy!!!

  47. I’m eating this right now and it’s delicious. I put jalapenos on top and they added a nice little kick. Definitely saving this recipe for later.

  48. This was great! Just made it a few minutes ago and I love it!

  49. Do you remember how many weight watchers points this was?

    • This recipe is 6 Weight Watchers point plus per serving. I typed everything into the recipe builder and figured it out. I’m on WW too, so I really wanted to know. Enjoy!! :-)

  50. Just made this and it was incredible! Changed up a few things; used ground turkey, omitted the tortillas on the bottom (but ate them with the dish!) and added corn! So, good! Can’t wait to make it again!

  51. How much is one serving?

  52. Do you have the calorie count on this?

  53. Just wondering what the point value is on this. looks yummy

  54. I would like to use the olive oil and red pepper flakes. So if I use one tbsp of oil, what would the measurement be for the red pepper flakes? Thanks, I really appreciate the help b/c I am a new struggling cook! ;-)

  55. Awesome, thanks!

  56. does anyone know if I could assemble this ahead of time and bake closer to dinner?

  57. Could this be assembled & frozen then baked another time or should I bake it first then freeze?

    • This really isn’t the kind of thing that I would try to prepare in advance, but you could try assembling it and freezing it without the chips (no need to bake first, but be sure to cook the meat all the way through) and then serve the chips on the side. I think that freezing it any other way would result in very soggy and unappetizing chips!

  58. hey what is the point on this i don,t see it looks great thank you

    • Lauren Keating says:

      If you use ground chicken breast (which is lower in fat), it’s typically between 6 and 8 pointsplus depending on what brand chips you use.

  59. The flavor of this was great; the ground chicken completely allowed for more of the taco taste come out of the seasoning and salsa. However, when I make it next time I will put the crushed chips on top as they were kinda in between crispy and soggy on the bottom and I didn’t care for them. I added a couple of torn up soft high fiber tortilla shells on the bottom because I LOVE the way they get gooey in the oven. I also added a can of corn. It made a nice thick 9×12 casserole that I will definitely make again. Thanks!

  60. The WW PPV for this recipe is 7 pts. The PPV isn’t changed by subbing 95% lean ground Beef for the ground chicken. Looks good!

  61. I loooove recipes including tacos and this casserole looks amazing and mouthwatering!

  62. Constance says:

    I just read this and it looks good. But instead of calling it taco casserole. Thus is a dish I’ve made for years. My mother, Grandmother Greatgrandmother. It is called Chilequilles. Made in Mexico using day old corn tortillas fried or baked witch would help bring down calories. You can change up the filling to almost anything. Chicken, steak, potatoes, squash, even eggs for a morning dish. And it goes great topped with queso fresco. I love this dish so virsatile. Happy cooking.

  63. Cheryl Peery says:

    I wish that the recipes had nutritional information attached.

  64. How many points plus is one serving?

  65. This is so good. I added black beans and corn to make it go farther and it was just as good!

  66. Any idea how many points per serving?

    • Lauren @ HealthyDelish says:

      It varies depending on the brand of chips you use (I used to make it with baked tostitos light, but sadly they’re next to impossible to find anymore). I think people further down in the comments said it was around 8 or 9 points plus.

  67. I made this recently and my whole family loved it. Putting a link on my blog to it! Thanks!

  68. This looks amazing!! And like something I wouldn’t be able to eat since I’m trying to eat healthy! Love that it’s still healthy. Thank you so much for linking it up to Saturday Dishes! Hope to see you again this weekend. Pinning!

  69. Susan Robertson says:

    I’d love to know how many Weight Watchers Points Plus in a serving of this fabulous meal!

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