Easy Cheesy Taco Bake Recipe



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- Ready to change up taco night? Try this super easy and extra cheesy taco bake! While it's a quick and simple dish to cook up any night of the week, it's also one that can impress a crowd. By combining essential taco ingredients together in one skillet, this recipe keeps things simple for maximum results. 

While we all love a DIY taco bar, this taco bake is about to make its way into your usual rotation. It's warming, melty, and full of flavor. 

There's an added bonus of no longer needing to use (and then clean) a ton of bowls containing various fillings and toppings.

While many typical taco ingredients are used in this taco bake, recipe developer Ali Fagan of Everyone Romaine Calm decided to switch out tortillas for crushed tortilla chips. She says, "as the chips bake down with the juices from the beef mixture, they become soft and melt into the dish, adding a ton of extra texture and flavor." 

In addition, we can't forget the cheese. "Cheddar is the perfect cheese to use for this dish, as it is equally sharp and creamy," she notes. Looking to use the dish as part of a meal instead of the main? Fagan says "it's a versatile dish that even works well served as a dip; just put a bowl of chips next to it, and people will dive in!"

Gather your easy cheesy taco bake ingredients

For this taco bake, you will need a diced yellow onion, ground beef, taco seasoning, and a can each of diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn. In addition, once it is time to assemble the taco bake, you will need a bag of tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese. For serving, you might want to grab some avocado, sour cream, and cilantro.

Please note that you should drain the black beans and corn of their liquid. The diced tomatoes, however, will be added with their juice.

Make the taco filling

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 F. That said, the majority of this recipe will be made on the stovetop, so go ahead and heat a nonstick skillet over medium. 

Add the diced onions to the hot skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and translucent. Fagan notes that to help speed up this process, you can add about a teaspoon of water to the skillet, if you wish. Otherwise, slow and steady wins the race here.

Once the onions are soft and slightly golden, add the ground beef and taco seasoning. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix together and break apart the meat. "Be sure to check if your taco seasoning includes salt," notes Fagan. 

Most pre-made taco seasonings contain salt, but if not, add some as desired at this point. Once the meat is almost cooked through, add the diced tomatoes (with their liquid), along with the drained beans and corn. Toss to combine and continue cooking until some of the liquid has evaporated and the meat has fully cooked through.

Assemble the taco bake

Once the taco bake filling has cooled slightly, it's time to assemble! Using a 9x12-inch glass baking dish, use your hands to crush up some tortilla chips. The idea here is to cover the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of crushed chips — which should be around 1 cup total. 

Fagan notes that "it's ideal not to crush the chips up too small as it's nice to have larger pieces of chips when you're eating it." Once the bottom is covered with chips, spread half of the beef mixture on top and then sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheese. 

Once done, repeat the layering process a second time so you have two layers of chips, beef mixture, and cheese.

Bake, add toppings, and serve

Once assembled, place the taco bake into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Once done, allow it to cool for 10 minutes before scooping a healthy portion onto a plate. 

Before serving, you can top the taco bake with slices of fresh avocado, a dollop of sour cream, roughly chopped cilantro, and extra tortilla chips. If you like a bit of extra spice, Fagan suggests adding some fresh or pickled jalapeƱos.

To take this dish even further, Fagan suggested a fun way to use up any leftovers — if you didn't devour it all right away. As she loves to find ways to reinvent any leftovers she finds in her fridge, she turns her taco bake into breakfast and serves it alongside fried eggs. 

"Simply heat up a skillet and add in some of the leftover taco bake. Be sure to toss it around so that it warms through and the cheese gets melted. Once warmed, push it to the edges of your skillet making room to crack two eggs in the middle. 

Fry the eggs in the pan allowing for some of the egg whites to spread into the taco bake." Once cooked, she tops the eggs and leftover taco bake with sour cream, avocado, and a chunky salsa.

writter by: ALI FAGAN

S: tastingtable.com

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