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Taco Casserole

This recipe is ubiquitous. (And, yes, I did use the word ubiquitous because I’ve been dying to use the word ubiquitous, thank you for noticing!)

Even though that’s not quite the right word.

Versatile? Mmmm…not really. Ok, so let me just say what it is I’m trying to say.

There are very few people who don’t like this recipe!

  • New post-ops like it because it bakes up soft and has a burst of flavor
  • Further-out post-ops like it because it’s filling and can be enjoyed without any extra carbs, like chips or tortillas
  • Your family will love it because they can enjoy it with extra carbs, like chips and tortillas.

But then there’s also the fact that you can switch this up so many ways. Don’t like the veggies I used? Pick your favorites! Don’t like turkey? Use chicken, beef or even Boca crumbles!

This is a “do you” kind of casserole.

And Foodies have been “doing” this casserole for quite some time. Check out one of the very first reader submitted photos I ever got of this casserole. It was so good, I hired the photographer to come work with me! (Kidding…but that photo was taken by Shannon, our indefatigueable community manager on Facebook.)



So if this is your first time seeing this recipe, welcome. And prepare to be obsessed!

And be sure to share the recipe with others! Because true Foodies never keep a good thing to themselves!

Taco Casserole
Print Recipe
This is an easy, quick, kid and weight loss surgery friendly meal. Use this recipe, or make it the way you like it. The choice is yours!
    Servings Prep Time
    9 slices 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    9 slices 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Taco Casserole
    Print Recipe
    This is an easy, quick, kid and weight loss surgery friendly meal. Use this recipe, or make it the way you like it. The choice is yours!
      Servings Prep Time
      9 slices 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      9 slices 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Servings: slices
      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      2. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray, set it over medium heat and allow it to get hot. saute veggies with garlic until they are softened. Drain any excess liquid and transfer to a bowl.
      3. Brown ground meat, drain and then transfer to the same bowl and mix with canned beans and tomatoes and chiles.
      4. Mix in taco seasoning thoroughly and then transfer mixture to a 13x9 casserole dish.
      5. Evenly spread out fat free refried beans on top (this may be easier if you heat them in a microwave safe bowl for a minute or so.
      6. Top with cheese and then bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is oozy, melty and slightly browned.
      7. Cool 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
      Share this Recipe


      1. MT

        left out the vegies, but this was/is superb!!!! I shared your page with tons of WLS folks and regulars too!! Thanks for the recipes.

      2. Kelley

        Just made this for lunch and it was fanastic! My son loved it, too!

      3. Anonymous

        Keeping it fancy, Nik! Shelly Smith from FB

      4. Anonymous

        Hello do you know the nutrition info on this. I'm interested in the carbs the most.

      5. Bariatric Foodie

        I do know, however, I don't typically give nutritional information on my recipes. Here's a link explaining why and how you can figure up the stats for recipes you try. http://bariatricfoodie.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-we-dont-provide-stats.html

      6. Anonymous

        hey nik, do you think this recipe can be frozen?

      7. Nik

        I have frozen it successfully! These days I use my Food Saver machine but even before it froze nicely in a freezer safe bag.

      8. Anonymous

        This is just amazing…me and my fiance both loved it! Thank you so much for bringing some taste and enjoyment back to my food.

        Melanie K

      9. Anonymous

        Made this tonight; it was delicious and super easy to make! Even my 3yr old loved it!!

      10. Dr. M

        I see that you drain the beans. Do you drain the tomatoes and chilis, too? I just made this for the first time tonight, and the flavor was awesome, but it was a bit runny. (Even after I let it sit for 30 minutes before cutting into it.)

      11. Nikki Massie

        Dr. M,

        I usually don't but you can. You'll find when you refrigerate, the liquid gels up a little bit. When you reheat in the microwave it helps the casserole stay moist and the ground meat will stay pretty tender (because it's essentially steaming in the juices on the reheat). But I don't like all that sodium that comes with the beans! Ugh!

      12. Dr. M

        Ah, that makes sense! Better a little runny now than dry later. Thanks for the quick reply.

      13. Toldin Reg

        Cooked it today and it is fabulous! Thanks for the recipe. Didn't have zucchini in the house, so substituted some cubanella peppers and mushrooms, it tastes great!

      14. Anonymous

        What is protein and calories count on this recipe.

      15. Nikki Massie

        Hi Anonymous,

        Because the calories in ingredients can vary so much from person to person I don't list nutritional information for my recipes. But you can click here to learn how to figure out the nutritional information for the recipe using your ingredients: http://bariatricfoodie.blogspot.com/2012/01/bf-basics-how-to-figure-out-recipes.html

      16. Anonymous

        Wow oh Wow! Me & My Hubby made this tonight! AAAAmazing!!! Our son even liked it!! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!! 🙂

      17. Anonymous

        This is the second time I made it and this time I did it in wide mouth half pint (8oz) mason jars. Individual serving size sadly frozen thawed and microwaved for simple dinners and fast school/work lunches! Thank you!

      18. Lisa Spence

        made this for dinner tonight… O.M.G.!!!
        thank you 🙂

      19. Anonymous

        I am not a veggie lover. Can you actually taste them?

      20. Nikki Massie

        If you don't like veggies, you can simply leave them out. But, yes, as the recipe is written you can taste them!

      21. Anonymous

        Made it today as my first meal post op 2 months out. It was amazing. When I calculated the calories I was scared how much I would eat, for me it came out to a whopping 1.8K in the whole dish. Turns out I can only eat 1/12 of the thing and I'm flat out stuffed. 🙂 150~ish calories and SO good. Successful first dish and I have two weeks of dinner for around 20 bucks. Not bad.

      22. Jessica

        Made it tonight for the family using Boca crumbles, probably used more zucchini and squash than the original recipe but it turned out great. The 3 year old had seconds and the 5 year old asked for thirds! Any recipe where we get them to eat veggies without negotiations is a hit in my book.

      23. Anonymous

        Made this today and it was so great will definitely make this again and again. Thanks

      24. Anonymous

        This sounds delicious! I am going to add it to next weeks menu plan. I love it when I can cook dinner for the whole family instead of two separate dinners for us.

      25. Anonymous

        I made it tonight and my whole family loved it! The kids ate it with nacho chips and I have 3 servings left over 🙂 Can't beat that! Thank you so much for recommending it!

      26. Anonymous

        Can't wait to make this!!!! Looks yummy

      27. Sandy

        Loved this recipie and so easy. Thanks for this great blogs here

      28. Melissa Tuttle

        Thanks so much for sharing this. I have it saved to try for one of my first post op surgery dishes. I am on the liquid stage post surgery about a week. 🙂

      29. Judy

        How about making this with tofu? Anyone done that? If so – how was it?

        • Nikki Massie

          I’ve made this with Boca Crumbles and it turned out great. They make Southwest Boca Crumbles. Give those a try and see how you like it!

      30. resep

        casserole looks nasty but i love this food.. thanks for the recipe..simple and easy

      31. Deniese

        This was AAAAMAZING!!! My husband raved about it and my 2 year old daughter said “Yum.” I couldn’t taste the zucchini but that made me happy. I also hate chunks of tomatoes so I puréed the tomatoes and green chilis. I’m freezing it for lunches this week!! Thanks!!!

      32. christine

        Has anyone figured out the nutritional values for this recipe, protein, carbs, etc?

      33. Alicia S.

        OMG Mexican shepherds pie!!!
        I love you!

      34. Patty Poston

        Do you drain the liquid from the canned tomatoes and chilies?


        Patty Poston

        • Nikki Lynn

          Good question! I usually don’t just because I use super low-fat turkey and the extra liquid helps with the seasonings. For the beans, I do drain and rinse them though. Hope that helps!

      35. Jana

        OMG!!! Made this for dinner tonight. Followed recipe to a T. AMAZING!! THANK YOU NIK!

      36. Steven Thorne

        Just made it…again and we really love this. My wife has not had bariatric surgery but loves the protein and veggies. I put a dollop of Daisy on a slice and I’m ready for a game. BTW, this is also perfect for tailgating!! Let’s Go Mountaineers!!

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