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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.

Taco casserole topped with salsa, sliced black olives, and a dollop of sour cream in a circular dish next to a pint of 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.

Why We Love This Recipe

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.

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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 the taco casserole in a circular dish

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

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

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Ground beef and cheese layered between tostadas topped with salsa and a dollop of sour cream in a small baking dish next to a stack of tostadas and a pint of beer

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

Instructions

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

Other Ground Beef Recipes

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

Best Dish To Use

For this Taco Casserole, I use a 5-inch baking dish. For best results use a dish of similar size or one that will comfortably hold the tostadas.

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.

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Taco Casserole For One | onedishkitchen.com

Easy Taco Casserole | Single Serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: 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

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

26 thoughts on “Easy Taco Casserole”

  1. Nikki Krakauer

    5 stars
    For any mexican recipe for one, such as this one, taco salad, etc., I purchase the small bag of restaurant style chips, like you find in sandwich shops or near the check out. HTH! Blessings!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious (even followed the recipe for the seasoning blend). My only suggestion would be to drain off any fat from browning the meat before adding the remaining ingredients. I’ll definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipes!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

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