Loaded Taco Bake

This taco bake is like a pre-assembled dream. You can layer the ground-beef mixture with Ortega® Yellow Corn Taco Shells and cheese ahead of time. Once it's baked, load yours up with whatever toppings your taste buds desire without any fear or mess. We garnished ours with avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, green onion, and mild Ortega® Diced Green Chiles.

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 0 mins
Ingredients
1 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb.

ground beef

1

small yellow onion, chopped and divided

3

cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1

(28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1

(15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1

(1.25 oz.) pkg Ortega® Taco Seasoning Mix

3 c.

shredded cheddar

1

avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

1/4 c.

fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 c.

chopped tomatoes

2

green onions, chopped

Directions
  1. In a large cast iron or high sided skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the beef, onion, and garlic, cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until beef is no longer pink and golden, about 8 minutes. Drain fat and return to medium-high heat.
  2. Pour in crushed tomatoes, pinto beans, green chili, taco seasoning, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Spread a small amount of the beef mixture on the bottom of a 8-by-10 inch baking dish, then top with a layer of taco shells. Add a third of the meat mixture, 1/3 of the cheese, then repeat with another layer of taco shells, beef, and cheese. Top with the remaining layer of the taco shells and the remaining third of the meat mixture. Sprinkle top with taco shells broken in small pieces and the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake until cheese is melty and the casserole is warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with some of the avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, green onion, and chiles and serve with more on the side.
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