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 used to find on appetizer menus.


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 taco casserole with a little bit of chunky guacamole. I was planning to throw some jalapeรฑos on top of the cheese before I baked it too, but I was all out.


Yields 6

Taco Casserole

This recipe is classic, but be sure to check out the updated version Doritos Locos Taco Bake too!

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 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.