Taco Casserole with a Surprise Crust!

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This Easy Taco Casserole will definitely dazzle your taste buds! It’s got all of the spicy flavor combinations you love, mellowed perfectly by the cream cheese and cheddar cheese (and a surprise crust that makes for a totally delicious and unexpected flavor). It’s a casserole that will be requested often in your household!

This Easy Taco Casserole will definitely dazzle your taste buds! It’s got all of the spicy flavor combinations you love, mellowed perfectly by the cream cheese and cheddar cheese (and a surprise crust that makes for a totally delicious and unexpected flavor). It’s a casserole that will be requested often in your household!

Taco Casserole with a Surprise Crust!

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This dish is special not only because of its great blend of spicy and mellow flavors, but also because you can “customize” it in various ways.

The ground beef can easily be replaced with ground turkey. Or, consider making a chicken taco casserole by substituting shredded baked chicken (white and/or dark meat) for the ground beef. And of course you can serve this delicious casserole with tortillas on the side, with rice, or even with noodles — all of which make for a hearty meal!

This Easy Taco Casserole has of the spicy flavor combinations you love, mellowed perfectly by the cream cheese and cheddar cheese (and a surprise crust that makes for a totally delicious and unexpected flavor). It’s a casserole that will be requested often in your household!

The variety of salsa you use — mild, hot, chunky, salsa verde — is totally up to you, based on your taste and desired level of heat. Whatever variety you choose will mix beautifully with the cream cheese and cheese. Colby or Monterey Jack cheese can replace the cheddar cheese, and since there’s already some spiciness in the taco seasoning and salsa, you can even use a milder cheese like mozzarella.

What makes this an easy taco casserole is that it’s made in simple layers. Once your cream cheese is at room temperature, you can prepare your additional ingredients in a snap! And once you’ve cooked and drained the seasoned and crumbled ground beef, the fun really begins!

This Easy Taco Casserole has a surprise crust layered with all of the spicy flavor combinations you love. It's all mellowed perfectly by the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. It’s a casserole that will be requested often in your household!

Here are a few extra tips:

  • Evenly cover the entire greased bottom of your casserole dish with the crushed nacho chips.
  • The cream cheese mixture will be a little thick, so use a spoon to top the ground beef mixture with the cream cheese mixture, and then lightly spread it out evenly.
  • For extra flavor and color, toss in some chopped black olives or a few jalapeño peppers along with the shredded lettuce and tomatoes.
Print
3.76 from 45 votes
Servings: 6 servings
Taco Casserole with a Surprise Crust!
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
 
Author: JB
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: doritos, taco casserole

Ground beef, cheese and all of the fixin's in one delicious casserole.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef cooked and crumbled
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups Doritos crushed
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded and divided
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes diced
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and add the crushed Doritos to the bottom of the pan.

  2. Cook ground beef and add taco seasoning as directed on the package.
  3. Spoon ground beef onto the crushed doritos.
  4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, slowly add in salsa. Once thoroughly mixed, top ground beef with cream cheese mixture.

  5. Top with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.

  6. Top cheese with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 600, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 1194mg, Potassium: 625mg, Carbohydrates: 34g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 31g, Vitamin A: 40%, Vitamin C: 11.3%, Calcium: 39.7%, Iron: 21%

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

An easy taco casserole that you will love to make, this recipe is a treasure and one that, without a doubt, you’ll return to many times!

More Recipes You’ll Love!

Easy Crockpot Chicken Tacos recipe

Easy Taco Chili Recipe

 

Cheesy Taco Pockets

 

This easy taco casserole will definitely dazzle your taste buds! It’s got all of the spicy flavor combinations you love, mellowed perfectly by the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. It’s a casserole that will be requested often in your household!
This easy taco casserole will definitely dazzle your taste buds! It’s got all of the spicy flavor combinations you love, mellowed perfectly by the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. It’s a casserole that will be requested often in your household!

JB

38 comments on “Taco Casserole with a Surprise Crust!”

  1. Not very often do I find a Recipe that the Whole Family Loves! Now that my Children are grown I more than ever treasure Meals that can bring them home for Dinner!!

  2. Love this recipe! I doubled the recipe in the 9×13 pan and it came out great.
    I like that only a few ingredients are needed. My sister had leftovers a few days later and immediately wanted the recipe. 🙂

  3. I am cracking up reading about people cooking the lettuce! Anyway….I am going to try this recipe and substitute the Doritos for regular tortilla chips. This sounds like a really good taco salad recipe!!!

  4. The flavors are great but it seemed a little dry…my husband & I both agreed. Maybe doubling the cream cheese sauce or adding a small can of Rotel tomatoes??

    • I haven’t found it dry, so agree that adding extra cream or delicious Rotel could help add extra moisture if you prefer! Thank you for stopping by Candi!

  5. Does it have both sour cream and cream cheese in it? In the commentary about the recipe it talks about both but the recipe just calls for cream cheese.

  6. I made mine with two 24 oz porterhouse steaks cooked medium.  Two twicebaked potatoes, used a light spring mix salad with bacon, honey goat cheese, and cashews.  It was wonderful thanks for the great idea!!!!!!!

  7. I felt the same way about the lettuce and surprisingly it was still very crispy and nice. Not soggy like i expected. Loved it so much. I also added black beans and corn. Was a very big hit last weekend. Def a super bowl dish

  8. You don’t add the lettuce until AFTER it has been baked. Most likely WHEN you’re ready to eat. READ the recipe. Geesh!

  9. That looks awesome will definitely be trying it this week for the kids. After reading the comments i just have to point out that step 6. Never says to put the dish back into the oven to kill the lettuce who would do that??? Thanks Holly

  10. Made this tonight, my husband and I loved it.
    You add the leuuce and tomatoes after it comes out ot the oven.
    Excellent .

  11. Great sounding -and easy too! I am looking for easy, simple and good recipes for one of the teachers that I work with.. She is having her second child (another boy) in September and I would like to make her some dishes for when she comes home. Additionally, I want to give her some easy recipes to make herself after she and the new baby gets settled with her 5 year old and husband. And/or for some of the other teachers, as well as myself to prepare, but not bake/cook -so she can store in the freezer and take out and bake or microwave when ready to have.

    Do you think this is one that can be frozen (either baked before or after baking) and bake and heat when they want to eat -or since it has the lettuce; maybe just let it be one baked and take to her to eat before freezing? Thanks, Pat

  12. I make this all of the time! I don’t measure anything out exactly. I like a little extra Doritos, and don’t use as much cream cheese. I cook it with the lettuce and tomatoes, and it’s still very good!

  13. If a recipe reads two cups of chips, crushed. Then you measure first and then crush them.

    If it would say…….two cups of crushed chips then you would crush and then measure. This

    rule applies to all recipes.

  14. I’m making this tonight for dinner, but also will be adding the lettuce, tomatoes and olives after baking. I don’t like warm wilted lettuce.

  15. I made it without the cream cheese and just used a can of tomato sauce for moisture. No sour cream either. Layered the cheese, then I added the Doritos to the top, baked and then added the lettuce and tomatoes after.
    Tasted like a Dorito Taco 🙂 Great

  16. Sounds Delish, im going to try it, will let you know later…Thanks for the Recipe …

  17. I put more doritos than it says 2 cups I put half bag then crunch it easily.. As doritos does get soggy after sit it little too long I like it more crunchy. Or I did cook it with out the doritos as a crush and use doritos as a dip.

  18. As a vegetarian I would swap the ground beef for black beans and season to my own liking. I don’t care for the soy meat substitute stuff. Sounds yummy otherwise!

  19. i added onions,bell pepper,bake it without the lettuce and tomatoes added them after,was good

  20. Well, when you buy a taco pizza the lettuce and tomatoes are usually warm. I never really minded it. If I could find a decent place here in the West Valley of Phoenix to get a taco pizza, I might ask them to NOT cook them. (Any Arizonians on here with location suggestions?)

  21. I don’t use lettuce anymore; I swap lettuce with fresh spinach. Get the health benefits of spinach since lettuce pretty much is just a filler, and spinach is tasty as well. I’m going to be making this for sure. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. I like cold lettuce too. can you add it after?

    • Read the recipe. You add lettuce, tomatoes & remaining cheese once you take it out of the oven. You don’t cook the lettuce. lol

  23. I substituted Ricotta cheese for the cream cheese, because I had it on hand. It makes for a lighter dish. I took advice of other posters and sprinkled cold lettuce and tomatoes onto the casserole pieces as I served them. What I would do differently make the meat more juicy, by adding more water than my seasoning mix called for, and putting the meat and doritos in the oven for 10 minutes, then add the cheese/salsa mix, shredded cheese, and yes, sliced black olives as shown in the picture, and cook an additional 15 minutes ’til the cheese melts. Very tasty dish and I will make it again.

  24. so do you crush the doritos and then measure 2 cups, or do you first measure 2 cups and then crush them – or does it matter? It’s my dinner tonite and I’ll have to make a guess if no one answers – I’ll opt for a generous 2 cups then crush, but not crush too much! TIA

  25. OMG! I just made this for dinner and wow it is sooo good!!! Yumm thanks

  26. I have to agree with Andrea…but I prefer cold lettuce over warm on any dish. In fact, I think I will add the lettuce and tomato after it is cooked. It sounds delicious:-) Thank you for the recipe!

    • You don’t cook it with the lettuce on it. Re-read the recipe. You top with cheese and bake. Once it’s done, you add the lettuce, tomatoes & remaining cheese.

      • Omg…. can people not freaking read? Everybody thinks they’re supposed to cook the damn lettuce! It says CLEARLY to add after cooking. I want to pull my hair out!

  27. You cook the lettuce? That doesn’t seem right.

    • It doesn’t say that. After you have melted the cheese, you add the lettuce, tomatoes and more cheese and eat.

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