Looking for a festive weeknight dinner? This is it! Layered Taco Pie is a family favorite, featuring cheesy layers of tortillas and ground beef, cooked with salsa, taco seasoning, and crunchy corn kernels.
A Festive Taco-Style Bake!
Who doesn’t love a meaty, cheesy layered casserole? My kids adore that kind of comforting dinner. And this one is extra delicious because it’s made with taco seasonings and soft flour tortillas. Let me tell you, there are no leftovers when I make taco pie!
If you’re looking for a way to shake up your Taco Tuesday, this is a great way to do that, especially as we head into winter. The melted layers of this casserole are super comforting on a cold evening, and it’s quicker to cut the pie into wedges for simple, no-muss-no-fuss serving than it is to have everyone putting together their own tacos. I find that during the school year, especially when the days are short, I’m all about making the evening hours EASY.
You can make this taco pie very quickly in a springform pan or casserole dish. It’s no sweat to double it if you need to feed a crowd—just layer everything into a 13×9 inch casserole dish or brownie pan. And serve up your yummy, beefy, melty taco pie with any toppings you like: sour cream, pico de gallo, or just some crunchy crumbled corn chips. Yum!
What You’ll Need
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients for this recipe! It’s flexible, so there are tons of variations and substitutions (more on that later), but the basic ingredients are:
- Ground Beef: Like most taco recipes, this one starts with ground beef. Leaner beef will give you a less greasy casserole; grass fed beef tends to have the most flavor.
- Onion: A chopped onion is a must-have! Any white, red, or yellow onion is fine.
- Garlic Powder: While the taco seasoning adds a ton of flavor, I love adding a little extra garlic powder to dial up the savory goodness.
- Taco Seasoning: You’ll need an envelope of your favorite taco seasoning mix, or about 2 – 3 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning mix, if you use that. In a pinch, I have used a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon cumin, and it was great.
- Water: A little bit of water mixes with the taco seasoning to make the beef saucy.
- Corn: Drain the liquid from a can of corn before using (or heat up some frozen corn and drain it well). If you don’t want to add corn, you could add beans, carrots, diced potatoes, or anything you like.
- Tortillas: I use flour tortillas, the 8-inch kind. You can substitute smaller or larger tortillas, tearing them and patching them together to fit your baking dish. Whole wheat tortillas are also fine.
- Salsa: I usually use plain red salsa here. You can use any kind that you like though! Mild, hot, green, mango… the possibilities are endless! A can of Ro-Tel tomatoes is another option, or a can of plain diced tomatoes with some bell pepper or canned green chilies added.
- Cheese: Pre-shredded cheese makes this quick dinner even quicker, or you can grate/slice your own.
- Garnishes: Any and all taco toppings are welcome here! See the “Serving Suggestions” section below for a list of great topping ideas (and some easy side dishes, as well!)
How to Make Layered Taco Pie
To make this dish, you’ll need to cook the taco meat in a skillet, and then assemble the layers in a baking dish. It only takes about 20 minutes to prep, and 20 more to bake.
- Prep the Oven and Pan. Before you get started, set your oven to preheat to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray (or use a medium-sized casserole dish).
- Make the Taco Meat. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and the onions together, until the ground beef is fully browned. Drain any excess fat. Then add the garlic, taco seasoning, water, corn, and salsa, and cook the mixture for another 5 minutes or so to let the flavors meld.
- Assemble the Casserole. Place one tortilla in the bottom of the springform pan. Spoon about 1 cup of meat mixture onto the tortilla, and spread it around. Sprinkle half a cup of cheese over the meat sauce. Repeat these layers until you have done four sets. Top the pie with one more tortilla, and the rest of the cheese.
- Bake. Bake the taco pie for about twenty minutes, until it’s heated through and bubbly. Take it out of the oven, and let it stand for at least 10 minutes to stabilize. If you take it out of the springform pan too soon, the sauce will all run out of the edges! When it’s cooled down a bit, you can remove the springform sides and cut the pie into wedges. You can also cut and scoop it directly out of the pan without taking off the sides.
Tips for Success
Are you excited to try this recipe? Believe me, once you do, it will become a regular in your menu rotation! Also, there are quite a few ways to change it up and customize it. Here are some of my favorites:
- Corn Tortillas: This recipe is also scrumptious made with lightly-fried corn tortillas. It gives it kind of an enchilada vibe! Feel free to substitute enchilada sauce for the salsa, as well.
- Vegetarian: Make this vegetarian by using a combination of your favorite veggies instead of the beef. Chopped mushrooms, onions, and peppers are great, or you could go with cauliflower florets or even winter squash.
- Bean and Rice Bake: Ditch the tortillas entirely, and make a taco pie layered with your favorite rice and beans! This is a great way to use up leftover rice and beans from another meal.
- Lighten Up: You can definitely substitute ground turkey or chicken in this recipe, or use pre-cooked leftover chicken. Lower the carbs by substituting lightly-fried strips of zucchini or rounds of summer squash.
With the right toppings, this pie is a meal in itself! But you could also add some tasty side dishes to the menu, for an even more fabulous feast. Here are some great ideas to get you started:
- Toppings: Any “taco-style” toppings work perfectly with taco pie. Sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, crumbled corn chips, sauteed peppers and onions, black olives, diced cucumber, queso… go for it!
- Sweet Potatoes: The savory-sweetness of these Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes goes perfectly with Tex-Mex food! Plus, sweet potatoes are super nutritious. Win-win!
- Salad: Instead of prepping lots of toppings, just serve this easy Marinated Vegetable Salad with your taco pie. It’s full of crunchy, tangy freshness!
How to Store and Reheat Layered Taco Pie
- To refrigerate, pack leftover wedges of taco pie into airtight containers and store in the fridge. They will keep fresh for 3 to 4 days.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in an ovenproof dish. Cover with foil, and bake at 350°F until heated through.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes! Baked taco pie wedges or portions can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and then placed in freezer bags. They will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Easy Layered Taco Pie
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- ¼ cup water
- 1 can (12 ounces) corn, drained
- 5 8-inch flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups salsa
- 2 cups mexican or tex-mex cheese shredded (pre-shredded is fine)
- Garnish with sliced green onions chopped tomatoes, cilantro, shredded lettuce, sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by spraying it with nonstick spray.
- Scramble fry the ground beef with onion in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook until there is no pink left in the meat then drain the excess fat. Add the garlic, taco seasoning, water, corn, and salsa. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Place one tortilla in the springform pan.
- Layer on about 1 cup of meat mixture. Sprinkle on ½ cup of cheese. Create layers of tortilla, meat mixture, and cheese until you’ve done 4 full layers. Finish with the 5th tortilla and top off your pie with the remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Allow the pie to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from it the springform pan and cutting. Or you may serve it directly from the pan.