If I had to eat one type of food for the rest of my life it would be Mexican, hands down. I love the bold flavors, textures, and that you can basically turn the same 5(6,7,8) ingredients into countless different meals. Taco Bell really has this concept down. I don’t think they’ve had to change their ingredient lists, like, ever. Well, except for that one time that they decided to sell Frito Burriots. That was weird.
This taco casserole is proof that you can create a completely different eating experience with the same basic ingredients just by by switching up the cooking style. In this case we’re stuffing the taco shells and baking them all together in one pan. You’re not going to end up with a completely crunchy taco that you’re able to eat one-handed while driving to work (remember $0.29 Tuesdays? Those were the days!). But you ARE going to end up with a plate full of Mexican goodness that is half crispy, half saucy, and flavorful all-around.
Start by browning a pound of ground beef or turkey. Add in some cheese, canned diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, and salsa verde. If you want a little info on what kind of salsa verde to use read this post because not all are created equal. Meaning, that some are burn-your-face-off hot!
Give it a stir until it’s nice and combined…
Stand 12-15 shells up in a 9×13″ casserole dish. If they aren’t all standing up straight they will be easier to move around once they are filled and have some weight to them. I might try the shells with the flat bottoms next time and see it that makes things a bit easier.
Top with some glorious cheesey cheese.
And bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese it melted and the meat is hot. Remove from the oven and top with all of your favorite taco fixin’s. I like to top the whole thing with shredded lettuce, tomato, and cilantro and then serve with sour cream, guacamole, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Baked Crunchy Taco Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 C cheese divided
- 1/4 C salsa verde
- 15 crunchy taco shells
- Shredded lettuce tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, lime juice to top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brown and drain meat.
Stir tomatoes, seasoning, ½ C cheese, and salsa into meat.
Arrange taco shells standing up in a 9x13" pan. Fill each shell with the meat mixture, dividing equally until all the meat is used.
Sprinkle remaining ½ C of cheese over the tops of the filled tacos and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cheese will be melted and the meat hot.
Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and lime juice.