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Walking Taco Casserole Recipe (Frito Pie)

Walking Taco Casserole is cheesy, crunchy, savory, spicy and delicious! All your favorite taco flavors and textures in one scrumptiously easy Mexican hotdish!

Walking Taco Casserole being served and the cheese is stretching from the casserole dish to the serving spoon
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Ever eaten a walking taco? Or served them to a herd of hungry youth group kids? lol Walking tacos are a genius single-serve invention that makes it easy to enjoy all the taco flavor without the mess.

Open a single-serve bag of Fritos, add a spoonful or two of seasoned taco meat and your favorite toppings. Eat it with a fork. Delish and portable! (This recipe would be a delicious walking tacos recipe, too! Just layer it in the bag instead of a casserole dish.)

Walking Taco Casserole is a twist on that scrumptious idea. Only, my Walking Taco Casserole makes enough for 6 servings all in one pan. It’s going to rock your next Taco Tuesday!

Walking taco Casserole

You guys, it’s seriously SO GOOD! The bottom is a simple taco seasoned ground beef and black beans mixture with tons of flavor. The next layer is melty delicious shredded cheese and then comes the layer of crispy crunchy Fritos. Add your favorite taco toppings and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less!

This is a front of the file box recipe! You’re going to be asked to make it over and over again. I would even serve this to company for game day parties, bonfire get-togethers or movie nights. You’re gonna love Walking Taco Casserole!

The Ingredients

Walking Taco Casserole ingredients: ground beef, minced onion, salasa verde, rotel, grated cheese, Fritos, and black beans.
  • Ground Beef: I use ground beef that is 80% to 85% lean for best flavor.
  • Black Beans (or sub in my homemade refried beans.)
  • Red Onion
  • Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies ( like Rotel but also use the store brand on occasion.)
  • Salsa Verde
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning or your favorite store brand (Plus, I added 1 teaspoon of my Southwest Seasoning for extra heat. That’s 100% optional, though.)
  • Shredded Cheese, freshly grated (I used Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Monterey Jack Cheese.)
  • Your Favorite Taco Toppings: We choose any or all from this list, depending on what’s in the pantry or fridge: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, black olives, diced avocado, thinly sliced jalapeno, sour cream, guacamole, chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, or lime wedges.

My Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

This homemade taco seasoning is one of my pantry staples. It’s very different from store-bought taco seasoning. No fillers or anti-clumping agents. Just wholesome herbs, spices and nutritional yeast. lol Yup! Nutritional yeast.

Why add nutritional yeast to homemade taco seasoning? It replaces the fillers used in commercial brands so that it can be used in an equal measure to most store bought taco seasoning. But, more importantly it adds nutrition and nutty, cheesy flavor. Get my homemade taco seasoning recipe. (Recipe is also in the recipe card, below.)

Nutritional yeast is loaded with vitamins, minerals and proteins and it’s a completely natural food. It is NOT the same thing as baker’s yeast, for making bread, or brewer’s yeast; so please don’t try to use either of those as a substitute. 

Nutritional yeast grows on sugar cane and beet molasses. Producers heat the yeast to deactivate it, after it’s harvested. Nutritional yeast makes my taco seasoning better than any you’ve ever tasted.

It’s a good source of B vitamins, folate and niacin. It contains 18 amino acids, 9 of which make it a complete protein. Fiber and glutathione are more beneficial components of nutritional yeast. Plus, it’s dairy-free, soy-free and gluten free. Making this one of the best taco seasoning recipes you’ll ever eat. I hope you’ll check it out.

Walking Taco Casserole

Is This Recipe the Same as Frito Pie?

Yes, pretty much I think. I believe it is, anyway. I haven’t ever had Frito Pie, but after doing a little online research, it seems that everybody has their own spin on both recipes. In reality there aren’t many differences.

Like Walking Taco Casserole, Frito Pie starts with a seasoned ground beef mixture on the bottom. Often, it is more like chili, though, rather than taco seasoned. After that the layers are pretty much the same: cheese, Fritos, and favorite toppings.

How to Serve Walking Taco Casserole

For purposes of this post and pretty pictures, I loaded up our casserole and served it already topped. If you’re serving it immediately and don’t expect any leftovers, then load it up and serve it in all it’s glorious beauty, just as I did.

However, if you are expecting leftovers, I recommend making the recipe through Step 8, in the recipe card. Bake it with just the meat mixture and cheese.

Walking Taco Casserole served on a white plate

Then, serve it with the Fritos corn chips and other toppings on the side. Everyone can customize their own portions and you will be able to easily reheat any leftovers for future delicious Walking Taco Casserole meals.

As far as what to serve WITH it, this scrumptiously easy taco casserole with Fritos goes with all your favorite sides! Any vegetable recipe or salad recipe is likely to be a good complement to this Walking Taco Casserole recipe. But, sweet and fruity is also fantastic. Think watermelon, cantaloupe or my luscious Mandarin Orange Salad.

You’ll love serving Walking Taco Casserole with my easy 10-Minute Mexican Rice or Air Fryer Green Beans. It’s also fantastic with Slow Cooker Charro Beans, Broccoli Cauliflower Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad and our favorite Sweet Cornbread Recipe.

How to Store Your Taco Casserole

Can I make the Walking Taco Casserole recipe ahead?

Yes. Prep the recipe through step 8. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days before baking. Top with Fritos corn chips and bake. Add sour cream and favorite toppings as per the recipe.

Can I double the Walking Taco Casserole recipe and freeze one for later?

Absolutely! You’ll see in the video, that’s exactly what I did. You can even triple the recipe very easily.

To freeze walking Taco Casserole, complete the recipe through step 8. Seal the casserole dish with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Store it in the freezer for up to 4 months. To bake the casserole, thaw it in the fridge overnight. Top with corn chips and then bake. (Baking times straight from the fridge will be a little longer.) Add sour cream and toppings and enjoy.

Walking taco Casserole

How to Make Walking Taco Casserole

(Full How-to Video in Recipe Card)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish.
  2. Brown the ground beef and onions.  Drain the fat.
  3. Add ground beef back to skillet and stir in the drained can of black beans.
  4. Mix in the Rotel and salsa verde.
  5. Stir in the taco seasoning and optional Southwest seasoning. Use my homemade taco seasoning for best flavor and healthy ingredients or choose your favorite store brand taco seasoning.
  6. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is heated through.
  7. Pour ground beef mixture into prepared baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle freshly shredded cheese over the top.
  9. Spread Fritos corn chips over the cheese.
  10. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  11. Remove from oven.
  12. Top with your choice of toppings from the suggested list.
  13. Serve your delicious taco casserole.
Walking Taco Casserole up close

I hope you get a chance to make this delicious Walking Taco Casserole recipe for your family and friends. And if you do, I hope you’ll believe as we do that it is a 5 star recipe. If so, please consider rating it 5 stars in the recipe card. A 5 star rating helps others find our recipe in Google search. Thanks so much!

The Recipe

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Walking Taco Casserole being served and the cheese is stretching from the casserole dish to the serving spoon

Walking Taco Casserole (Frito Pie)


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

Walking Taco Casserole is cheesy, crunchy, savory, spicy and delicious! All your favorite taco flavors and textures in a scrumptious Mexican hotdish!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound ground beef (80-85% lean)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel or store brand)
  • 4 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or one packet of your favorite store brand taco seasoning)
  • 1/2 (9.25 oz.) bag of Fritos original corn chips (can use crushed Doritos or tortilla chips, if preferred)
  • 2 cups freshly shredded cheese, ( I blend extra sharp Cheddar Cheese & Monterey Jack.)
  • optional: 1 teaspoon Homemade Southwest Seasoning for added spiciness

Choose from these favorite toppings:

  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced green onions
  • black olives
  • diced avocado
  • thinly sliced jalapeno
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • chopped cilantro
  • pico de gallo
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan.
  2. Brown the ground beef and onions.  Drain the fat.
  3. Add ground beef back to skillet and stir in the drained can of black beans.
  4. Mix in the Rotel and salsa verde.
  5. Stir in the taco seasoning and optional Southwest seasoning. 
  6. Use my homemade taco seasoning for best flavor and healthy ingredients or choose your favorite store brand taco seasoning.
  7. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is heated through.
  8. Pour ground beef mixture into prepared baking pan.
  9. Sprinkle freshly shredded cheese over the top.
  10. Spread Fritos corn chips over the shredded cheese.
  11. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  12. Remove from oven.
  13. Top with your choice of toppings from the suggested list.
  14. Serve.

Notes

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Mix the following taco seasoning ingredients in a bowl and store in an airtight container in the pantry or a cool cupboard.  Makes about 3/4 cup.  Use 3 to 4 Tablespoons as a substitute for store bought taco seasoning.

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons salt

PRO TIPS:

I love sour cream on this dish before any other toppings.  It’s hard to spread sour cream over corn chips, though, so I put the sour cream in a piping bag and pipe it onto the walking taco casserole.

If taking walking taco casserole to a potluck or covered dish supper, wait to add the Fritos corn chips, sour cream and toppings until just before serving.

If you are planning leftovers, serve Fritos corn chips and toppings on the side, so everyone can customize the toppings on their own individual servings.  Store the baked casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.  Reheat leftovers in microwave or oven.  Then serve with corn chips, sour cream and toppings on the side.

To freeze walking Taco Casserole, complete the recipe through step 8. Seal the pan with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Store it in the freezer for up to 4 months. To bake the frozen casserole, thaw it in the fridge overnight and then bake and top according to the recipe. (Baking times straight from the fridge will be a little longer.)

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Main Dish, Mexican, Casserole
  • Method: stove top and baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican American

More Delicious Mexican Recipes

glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

24 thoughts on “Walking Taco Casserole Recipe (Frito Pie)”

  1. The Superbowl is coming and we’re hosting a watch party.
    When I saw your recipe, I made it for my best friend and I first before sharing it with everyone.

    We loved your recipe! I know this will be a hit for sure. Can’t wait to serve this for my family and friends!






    Reply
  2. I super love tacos and always glad to find new recipes. I tried the taco seasoning too and it is the best! Making a bunch for later. The casserole is very delicious. Btw, i lol’d at the recipe name. 🤣






    Reply
    • Emily, it definitely is a funny name. lol You’re gonna get so much good out of a big batch of that taco seasoning. We use it a LOT. Be sure to search for my taco chip recipe here on the blog. It uses that taco seasoning to make a simple and delicious snack.

      Reply
  3. I really went all out with the toppings lol! I added avocado, jalapenos, and sour cream. This is my kind of comfort food! So easy and very satisfying.






    Reply
  4. When I say this is taco on steroids, I mean taco on steroids! It was layers and layers of textures and flavors that anyone would enjoy in a taco. And don’t even get me started with that homemade taco seasoning! You can sell that thing. So yes, it’s safe to say that I truly loved this recipe! It’s a keeper.






    Reply
  5. I love tacos and I love taco soup so of course I had to try this taco casserole. Did not disappoint! I’m glad I loaded it all up because there were ZERO leftovers.






    Reply
  6. My husband raved about your taco casserole. Delicious and with so much rich flavor. A great addition to my recipe box. Will make it again. Thank you.






    Reply
  7. My fam love having this walking taco casserole every time my brother is having a game. Such a great way to celebrate and enjoy!






    Reply
  8. Made this vegetarian with Quorn and black beans, mixed with a little tomato paste. Used my own taco seasoning and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, more cheese, salsa, jalapeños, red onion, and Avocado lime dressing. Used Tostitos touch of lime chips.

    It was very good






    Reply

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