Cheesy Taco Bake recipe

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This Cheesy Taco Bake will quickly become a family favorite on taco night! Ground beef, a creamy salsa mixture, and refried beans are layered to create this cheesy casserole – a spicy treat any night of the week. 

This recipe will work great as party food, or for those times when everyone in the family is craving a menu change. Layered with all kinds of Mexican goodness, a taco bake like this can take the place of lasagna or a taco salad.

Taco bake on a white plate with a fork and cilantro

Cheesy Taco Bake

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Let’s Make It

This recipe comes together in stage with three separate layers of goodness. Start by preparing each mixture then layering together before baking.

  1. Ground Beef: Scramble fry ground beef in a heavy pot. Add seasoning, water and tomatoes.  Simmer until liquid is reduced.
  2. Cream Cheese: Mix the cream cheese and salsa together. For extra spice use hot salsa!
  3. Refried Beans: In a saucepan, heat refried beans and mix in a 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Assemble it all: Layer all the ingredients with tortillas and top with cheese. Feel free to use jalapeno jack or sub out one of the layers with cheddar or another favorite.
  5. Bake: Cheese should be bubbly and slightly browned. Let the casserole sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ground beef in a cast iron pan with and without sauce

How to Reheat Taco Bake

Individual portions of Taco Bake can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven.

  • In the Microwave: Make sure to use a plate cover or a paper towel on top to keep cleanup to a minimum, as there’s nothing worse than the sound of beans popping in your microwave. Reheat for a minute at a time until heated all the way through.
  • In the Oven: Simply grease a baking dish and sprinkle casserole with extra shredded cheese to freshen it up. Cover with foil and reheat for about 10-15 minutes at 350°F.

Taco bake being scooped out of a white casserole dish

Other Delicious Taco Toppings

This easy taco bake is delicious when made into a baked taco salad. Just chop it up, add shredded lettuce and a little taco sauce. Or serve it inside a baked tortilla shell and top it with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. No one will ever guess that this is not a completely new dish!

You can always drizzle with creamy guacamole dressing or zesty cheese sauce for authentic Mexican flavor! Garnishes like chilies, jalapenos, or green onions will bring out the best in this crowd-pleaser of a dish.

There are so many different ways to present this versatile dish, it’s hard to go wrong! Enjoy it with your family tonight!

Taco bake in a casserole dish garnished with cilantro

More Mexican Inspired Recipes

Taco bake on a white plate with a fork and cilantro
5 from 3 votes
Servings: 8 servings
Cheesy Taco Bake
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins
Author: Holly
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cheesy Taco Bake

This Cheesy Taco Bake will quickly become a family favorite on taco night! Ground beef, a creamy salsa mixture, and refried beans are layered to create this cheesy casserole - a spicy treat any night of the week. 

  • 4 flour tortillas 8 if using smaller fajita style tortillas
  • 1 pound ground beef cooked and crumbled
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with chiles
  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temp (2 x 8 ounce packages)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  1. Cook and crumble ground beef. Add taco seasoning, 1/4 cup water, and can of Rotel (including the liquid from the can).

  2. Heat until liquid has mostly boiled down, then remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Beat cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Add salsa and mix until combined. Set aside.

  4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan and add 1/2 cup salsa/cream cheese mixture until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Coat a 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray.
  6. Spread 1/3 cup of ground beef mixture along bottom of baking dish. Top with 2-4 flour tortillas.

  7. Layer half the bean mixture, half the salsa mixture, half the ground beef mixture, and half the cheese (in that order).

  8. Layer 2-4 flour tortillas. Top with remaining bean mixture, salsa mixture, and ground beef.

  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 511, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 129mg, Sodium: 1348mg, Potassium: 508mg, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 32g, Vitamin A: 1630%, Vitamin C: 7.3%, Calcium: 506%, Iron: 3.6%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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Taco bake on a plate with a title

Taco bake on a plate with a fork and a title
Taco bake in a casserole dish and on a plate with a title


15 comments on “Cheesy Taco Bake recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This is a standard in my rotation. I always double the recipe and make 2. It freezes so well. I portion it out for lunches or dinners when in a pinch. We love it. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    We make these but use tortilla chips instead of tortillas. it makes it easier to eat and much tastier. we also put a garnish of cut up tomatoes on top. Taco casserole it’s called at my house !

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this!! Made just as you said. Just wondering how it would be to freeze it after it is cooked??

    • Hi Carol, I would package individual servings in an airtight containers and reheat until heated through. Enjoy!

  4. Can I skip the refried beans

  5. Made this for a pot luck at work it was all gone very good and cheesy

  6. I dont really ever comment on recipes that i find online but this is an exception. This Taco Bake was fantasic! Kid approved as well. I fed it my nieces and nephew. Age 12, 8, and almost 2 and they all loved it and wanted more. They even asked if they could take some home. It was a hit! I will definitely be adding this to the rotation.


  8. Have you ever used corn tortillas to make it gluten free?

  9. What do you think the calorie count is for this dish?

  10. just made it tonight and it was a hit….very good….i used the mexican rotel which added xtra flavor and a onion with the hamburger meat as well….didnt do the pepperjack cheese thought the meat and salsa made it plenty spicey….thanks for the recipe!

  11. So on the taco bake u out taco meat down then the shells or is that out of order in the instructions?

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