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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
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

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. Need a good source of excel­lent ground beef? I use Porter Road dry-aged ground beef [affil­i­ate link]. It costs more than local ground beef, but it’s many times the qual­i­ty. We eat ground beef less often than we used to which bal­ances the extra cost. And, enjoy hav­ing the best ground beef when we do eat it.
  • 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 8x8 or 9x9 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)


  • 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 8x8 or 9x9 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

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