Taco Casserole

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Ground beef, pinto beans, and tomatoes spiced with chili powder bubble under a crunchy, gooey topping of tortilla chips and two cheeses in this quick and easy, kid-friendly casserole.


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced (1 ½ cups)

  • 1 medium white onion, diced (1 ½ cups)

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 ½ teaspoons chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 4 cups yellow corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed

  • 1 ¼ cup freshly shredded Monterey jack cheese (3 ounces)

  • 1 ¼ cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

  • Thinly sliced radish, thinly sliced jalapeno, sliced black olives, sour cream, and fresh cilantro leaves for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up meat, until meat is browned, 10 minutes. Transfer beef to a colander to drain. Discard excess oil.

  2. Wipe out skillet, add oil, and return to heat. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and browning, 7 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add back reserved beef, chili powder, oregano and cumin, tomatoes (with liquid), pinto beans, and 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. In a large bowl, combine tortilla chips, 1 cup Monterey jack, and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Top casserole with chip mixture followed by remaining 1/4 cup each of Monterey and cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 3 minutes. Serve with radish, jalapeno, olives, sour cream, and cilantro.

    Mike Krautter
Related Articles