Skip to Content

Easy Taco Bake Casserole

Festive, tasty, meaty and the perfect answer to “what’s for supper”! This Easy Taco Bake Casserole will have you ready for dinner in minutes, using what you have in the pantry and fridge because there are literally HUNDREDS of substitutions! Get a whiz bang mouthful today! 

tomato pieces with cheese melted over the top for the Easy Taco Bake Casserole

Why This Recipe Works

  • EASY
  • FAST
  • Uses ingredients you probably already have in the pantry or fridge! 

Here’s How It’s Done

STEP 1. Cook the noodles and spread into the pan.

fresh cooked macaroni noodles added to 9x13 baking dish

STEP 2. Brown the ground beef and melt the Velveeta with the Rotel and spread it over the noodles.

ground beef and cheese added over the top of macaroni noodles in pan

STEP 3. Mix the canned veggies and spread over the meat. Cover with shredded cheese. 

hand spreading shredded cheddar cheese over the top of easy taco bake casserole

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can I Use Substitutions? 

Yes! Absolutely! I’ve given many in the recipe notes and you can use your imagination to dream up more! 

Can I Freeze This Taco Bake? 

Absolutely! It freezes like a dream!

Simply put it in a freezer safe container, squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months. 

How Do I Reheat This Dish? 

Reheat by preheating the oven to 350 and then baking with a foil lid for 25 minutes.

OR

Heat a single serving on a microwave safe plate for 1 minute, check, stir, repeat in 30 sec intervals. 

Can I Make This the Day Before? 

Yes! You sure can! It will keep in the fridge, covered and unbaked for 1-2 days. 

When cooking the noodles when you KNOW you won’t be baking it for another day, just cook them for about 2 minutes less than the package indicates. 

Then, just pop it in the oven for dinner! Easy Peasy! 

silver spoon lifting up a bit of the taco bake

What Goes with Easy Taco Bake Casserole?

This is such a great all in one dish that we find a simple salad goes a LONG way to making this a complete meal! However, we also love it on top of a Steakhouse Baked Potato or wrapped in a flour tortilla or served with this AWESOME south of the border salad (we just leave the chicken off if we are serving as a side dish)! 

Tips and Tricks

  • If you plan to bake this dish a day or so after assembling it, then undercook the noodles by about 2 minutes. They may absorb some of the fluids and become too mushy otherwise. 
  • Cook the beef until it is JUST past pink. If you cook it much longer, it will become dry in the final dish. 
  • I use corn, black beans and tomatoes because that is a pretty combination, but feel free to change up the veggies based on your own preferences. 
  • Serve this dish with a salad or over lettuce and top with sour cream, corn chips, cilantro and salsa for a wonderful treat.
  • Be sure to carefully drain the veggies you use on the top, you do not want a lot of liquid or it will make the whole casserole soupy. 

cheesy beans and macaroni in the corner of a glass casserole dish

If You Enjoyed This Easy Taco Bake Casserole, You Might Also Enjoy…

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas!

Taco Pie

8 Can Taco Soup

Can You Help Your Fellow Recipe Searchers? 

If you would leave a 5 STAR comment in the comment section below, you’ll help fellow searchers to find this recipe. Thanks!

tomato pieces with cheese melted over the top for the Easy Taco Bake Casserole

Easy Taco Bake Casserole

Festive, tasty, meaty and the perfect answer to “what’s for supper”! This Easy Taco Casserole will have you ready for dinner in minutes, using what you have in the pantry and fridge because there are literally HUNDREDS of substitutions! Get a whiz bang mouthful today!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy taco bake, taco bake, taco casserole
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 521kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • Non stick spray
  • 4 Cups Elbow Pasta same as 2 Cups of uncooked pasta
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbs Chili powder
  • ½ Cup water
  • 8 oz Velveeta shredded or cut into 1” cubes - works best shredded
  • 15 oz Tomatoes and Green Chilis
  • 15 oz black beans drained
  • 15 oz mexicorn drained
  • 15 oz diced tomato drained
  • 1 ½ Cup Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: Olives chopped green chilis, hot sauce

Instructions

  • Prepare a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and pour the elbow macaroni noodles into the bottom of the 9x13 pan and spread out well and then set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, add the oil and cook the ground beef until just past pink and then add the taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder. Mix well. Add the water and place a lid on the frying pan, set the heat to low to achieve a slow simmer. Stir every minute or two and replace the lid.
  • After 3 minutes, add the velveeta and tomatoes with green chilis to the hamburger mix. Stir. Replace the lid. Continue to intermittently stir until the cheese is well melted and the tomatoes and green chilis are well incorporated.
  • Into a large bowl, pour the black beans, mexicorn and tomatoes together and gently mix well. (If you are using any of the optional ingredients, add those here as well).
  • Once the velveeta is melted well, pour the hamburger mixture and spread over the macaroni noodles. Then pour the bean, corn and tomato mix over the top of the hamburger mixture. Top with shredded monterey jack cheese.
  • Place into the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheese is melty and browned and you can see bubbles from the bottom.
  • Serve over a bed of lettuce or corn chips. Top with your choice of taco sauce, sour cream, hot sauce, and green onions.

Notes

  • If you plan to bake this dish a day or so after assembling it, then undercook the noodles by about 2 minutes. They may absorb some of the fluids and become to mushy otherwise. 
  • Cook the beef until it is JUST past pink. If you cook it much longer, it will become dry in the final dish. 
  • I use corn, black beans and tomatoes because that is a pretty combination, but feel free to change up the veggies based on your own preferences. 
  • Serve this dish with a salad or over lettuce and top with sour cream, corn chips, cilantro and salsa for a wonderful treat.
  • Be sure to carefully drain the veggies you use on the top, you do not want a lot of liquid or it will make the whole dish soupy.
Substitutions: 
Ground Beef: Shredded Chicken, Sausage, Kielbasa, Steak, vegetarian meat replacements, TVP, Red Beans, turkey, ground chicken, etc.
Velveeta: Cheddar Cheese, 4 oz of cheese slices
Beans, Mexicorn and Tomato - you can substitute out whatever you like on your tacos or whatever you have in your pantry. Combinations of beans, corn and tomato often work together well.
Elbow Pasta: This is where you can get REALLY creative! You can use any of these: Rice, Mashed potatoes, tater tots, hashbrown potatoes, tortilla shells, cauliflower, mashed cauliflower (thickest version you can make), canned biscuits or crescent rolls, bread (cut the crust off or cut into cubes). You can use virtually ANY starchy type base you want, but personally, if you have some, I really like the cooked pasta.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Taco Bake Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 521 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 538mg22%
Potassium 675mg19%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 611IU12%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 269mg27%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!
wooden spoon dipping out some easy chicken and rice casserole from glass pan
Previous
Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole
fresh green beans roasted in aluminum foil on the grill
Next
Foil Roasted Green Beans
Recipe Rating




Wendi Spraker

Friday 3rd of April 2020

aggregate rating test

shares