Easy Taco Casserole

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this Taco Casserole! Add seasoned ground beef and cheese between crisp layers of crunchy tostadas and bake in the oven. A quick, easy, and tasty single serving meal.

a layered taco in a bowl next to a beer

This mini taco casserole is a wonderfully portioned casserole that’s prepared like a “taco lasagna”. Layers of beef and cheese are sandwiched between crispy tostadas or taco shells, baked and topped with salsa, sour cream, and black olives.

Taco Casserole

Years ago, when my children were small, we belonged to a wonderful playgroup. Every month we would get together and visit one another’s homes with our kids in tow and while the kids played together, the moms would get the chance to sit, relax a little and visit with each other. It was such a nice break for the moms and the kids always had fun playing with each other.

Our playgroup “date” always included lunch and whoever was hosting the playgroup, usually provided it. At one of the playdates, one of moms made a taco casserole and it was amazing! We all asked for the recipe and I’ve been making it for my family ever since.

This easy Taco Casserole For One recipe is inspired by that recipe. It’s a scaled down version with all the flavors and ingredients included. I bake it in a small baking dish and it yields the perfect amount for one or possibly two people.

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a fork filled with ground beef and cheese from a taco bowl

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What is a Taco Casserole?

This single serving Taco Casserole is prepared very much like a lasagna.

Instead of noodle layers between the spiced ground beef, I used store-bought tostadas. The tostadas I used fit perfectly in my round and square baking dishes.

The dishes I use hold 3 tostadas with the meat and cheese filling between the layers.  

If you can’t find tostadas at your grocery, cracked taco shells would work well too.

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layering ground beef and cheese between tostados

This Taco Casserole comes together so quickly and cooks in 30 minutes!

How to make a Taco Casserole

Step 1

Brown the ground beef in a pan along with chopped onions, garlic and taco seasoning.

Pro Tip: You can use store bought taco seasoning if you’d like, but if you have an extra minute and already have the ingredients on hand, you might just want to make your own. Homemade taco seasoning is so easy to make.  I’ve provided the ingredients and directions below.

Step 2

Place a tostada on the bottom of a small baking dish, then spoon the spicy ground beef over the top and add shredded cheddar cheese.

Step 3

Top the meat and cheese mixture with another crispy tostada.

Step 4

Repeat the layers.

Step 5

Bake for 25 minutes. Top with a spoonful of salsa, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of black olives if you’d like.

Top the meat and cheese mixture with another crispy tostada.

Enjoy!

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

Ground beef: Goulash, Baked Ziti, Taco Salad

Salsa: Vegetable Enchiladas

Cheddar cheese: Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Beer Bread

Other Ground Beef Recipes

Beef and Cheese Pita Pizza

Salisbury Steak For One

Lasagna For One

Slow Cooker Meatloaf For One

Giant Italian Meatball

Taco Seasoning Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

This recipe will yield a little more than 1 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning.

Other Single Serving Taco Recipes

Fish Tacos For One

Shrimp Tacos

For this Taco Casserole, I use a 5-inch baking dish. For best results use a dish of similar size.

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

Taco Casserole Recipe

Taco Casserole For One | onedishkitchen.com

Taco Casserole For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: taco
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 836kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/4 pound ground beef (or use ground turkey)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • 3 tostadas (or 3 crumbled taco shells)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional for topping: Sour cream, black olives, extra salsa

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Heat oil in a small sauté pan on medium high heat.
  • Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until meat is browned, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until thoroughly cooked.
  • Stir in the salsa, water and taco seasoning. Reduce heat to low and simmer 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce with thicken a bit.
  • Lightly spray a small baking dish with oil spray. In the baking dish, place 1 tostada or crumbled taco shells.
  • Top evenly with beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  • Repeat with remaining tostadas, meat and cheese.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Top with sour cream, olives and extra salsa, if desired.

Notes

TO MAKE HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING
To make the taco seasoning, mix together…
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
This will yield a little more than 1 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 836kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 1697mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1595IU | Vitamin C: 9.8mg | Calcium: 710mg | Iron: 3.2mg
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The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionists’ advice.

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Taco Casserole For One – think of it as a Mexican Lasagna. Spicy ground beef and shredded cheddar cheese between crisp layers of crunchy tostadas and baked in the oven. Top with salsa, sour cream and black olives. An easy to assemble single serving recipe. One Dish Kitchen
Taco Casserole For One – think of it as a Mexican Lasagna. Spicy ground beef and shredded cheddar cheese between crisp layers of crunchy tostadas and baked in the oven. Top with salsa, sour cream and black olives. An easy to assemble single serving recipe. One Dish Kitchen

19 thoughts on “Easy Taco Casserole”

  1. 5 stars
    Do you have this recipe for a family size to serve 8?
    Loved the single serving. Easy and quick. I used flour tortillas and toasted them in the oven while I was cooking my meat sauce.
    The casserole had great body and as usual was better the next day warmed up! Can’t wait to make this for a Church PotLuck dinner.
    Thanks for your inspiration.

    1. Gigi,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the taco casserole!
      The recipe I used when I made this dish for my family is a little different than this one. It should serve 8, my family of 7 enjoyed it very much.
      Here it is:
      * 1 pound ground beef
      * 1 small onion, chopped
      * 2 cloves garlic, minced
      * 1 cup water
      * 1/2 cup taco sauce
      * 1 can sliced black olives
      * 1 package taco seasoning
      * 1 package taco shells, broken
      * 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
      1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook beef, onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain.
      2.) Stir in the taco sauce, water, 1/4 cup olives and the seasoning mix. Bring to a simmer and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      3.) Layer 1/2 of the broken taco shells on the bottom of a greased pan. Cover with half of the meat mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers.
      4.) Bake for 25 minutes. Top with olives and chopped tomatoes.

      Enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    Joanie…thank you so much for these wonderful recipes. I work long stressful hours and basically only have time and energy to eat out. That’s a shame because I love to cook but didn’t want to deal with huge amounts of left-overs…not to mention the food cost in preparing for one. I was so impressed when I ran across your recipes that I raced out to Home Goods and found the little white dishes exactly like yours and ….seriously…my life has changed. Now when I trot my lunch out at work, my co-workers are amazed at what I bring to eat! !!! Naturally I told them about your recipes so now we are all well-fed happy campers. Thanks again for all the work you put into this!!

    1. Hi Susan, thank you so much for the kind words. I’ve found so many mini baking dishes at Home Goods, it can be a great place to find dishes at quite a discount. I’m so very happy that you are enjoying the recipes and thank you so much for letting me know. Your comment has completely made my week – thank you!

  3. I really like your recipes for one. The amounts are just right, and I appreciate you putting information about the pan size. Another thing that would be helpful is whether the recipe is freezable or not? I have a friend in another town that I occasionally cook meals for because she has cancer, so this info would be greatly appreciated.

  4. I cant wait to make this. I only have one to feed (Myself). So happy it is scaled down to feed one. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    Just made a double batch for the hubby and myself on a lazy evening. Tasted great while making, although I left out the garlic altogether … can’t wait for the finished dish! THANK YOU!

  6. We used to have a playgroup too! It was the best idea ever! Wish mine was still little to attend those weekly meetings again!
    This single serve taco casserole sounds amazing! No wonder everyone asked for the recipe.

  7. laura@motherwouldknow

    Love this casserole – so creative and adorable. And the idea that it came out of a playgroup makes me smile. I'd make two and eat them both myself:)

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