Incredible 6-Ingredient Beef Taco Casserole Recipe Is Elevated By ATK by Donna John

Incredible 6-Ingredient Beef Taco Casserole Recipe Is Elevated By ATK

Everyone is probably aware of my obsession with the six-ingredient magazine from America's Test Kitchen (ATK). The fourth recipe I made from it is this beef taco casserole recipe. Wow. ATK makes their recipes so good by doing simple techniques that make a big difference in flavor. For this taco bake recipe, the used the tomato liquid instead of water in the ground beef filling, stirred tomatoes into refried beans and used taco shells, which are crunchier, instead of tortilla chips.

"This dish combines the crunchy, corny flavor of taco shells with a spicy ground beef filling and melted cheese – all in one hearty casserole," they write. "For robust flavor with a laundry list of spices, we turned to a supermarket staple: taco seasoning mix. To make the most of its spicy flavors, we cooked the seasoning mix with the ground beef; this worked to bloom the flavors of the spices. Ro-tel tomatoes, a spicy blend of tomatoes and green chiles, contributed both potent flavor and much-needed moisture to the beef filling."

This is one of the best ground beef taco casserole recipes I've ever made. I served it with guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, red onions and fresh jalapenos.

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links.

Cuisine: Mexican / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


Helpful Products

Recipe Notes

  • The original recipe calls for baking the casserole at 475 degrees F. I think that was too hot and the chips got too dark, too fast as you'll notice in my pictures. Next time I will bake at 425 to 450 degrees F.
  • Try this recipe with ground turkey.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Drain the tomatoes and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in half the tomatoes and the 1/2 cup reserved liquid. Simmer until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the refried beans and remaining tomatoes.
  4. Spread the beans on the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese, then all of the beef, then additional 1/2 cup cheese.
  6. Break the taco shells into pieces and put on the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake in a preheated 450-degree F oven for about 10 minutes or until chips are golden and crisp.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 274

Total Fat: 12.8g

Saturated Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 32mg

Sodium: 689mg

Total Carbohydrate: 27.3g

Dietary Fiber: 3.9g

Total Sugars: 0g

Protein: 13.5g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 286mg

Iron: 6mg

Potassium: 225mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get recipes in your newsfeed daily.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Hall of Fame Ground Beef Taco Casserole Recipe Is Tried & True

Easy Creamy Mexican Taco Spaghetti Casserole Recipe Is Pure Genius

3-Ingredient Chicken Ranch Tacos Recipe: Taco Night in Less Than 20 Minutes

Creamy Taco Casserole Recipe: A 30-Minute Taco Tuesday Twist

Donna John
This is a great taco casserole recipe that was so simple to prep. Eating the leftovers tonight. Definitely added to my recipe rotation.
Elisa Schmitz
OMG, this looks amazing. A dream dinner, for sure. Making it soon! #yum
Huh. Who knew? I've been making my taco beef, without the addition of the liquid, as stated on the seasoning package, for DECADES! Looks like this one is going to be a keeper Donna John, for those "calories-be-damned" kinda days!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Crispy Mediterranean Pork Chops Recipe With Lemon & Parmesan (15 Minutes)

Easy Crustless Caprese Quiche Recipe Is a Low-Carb Italian Dinner Fast