Beef Taco Casserole
This easy beef taco bake is the perfect weeknight meal that makes enough for leftovers the next day! Perfectly seasoned beef is combined with veggies and baked on a crispy hash brown crust for a dinner the whole family will love.
Here at Fed & Fit we LOVE a good casserole. You may think of casseroles as dishes from the 60s and 70s that combine a bunch of random ingredients together with questionable cream-of-something soup, but that's not how we do it around here! In fact, casseroles are an AMAZING vehicle for getting real food on the table each week. First, casseroles are easy to make in bulk, meaning you can have enough for dinner one night and still have leftovers for lunch the next day, or you can even freeze any extras. Second, they are a great way to get your veggies in! We have kale and a bell pepper in the taco meat for this casserole, but you could also easily add some zucchini or even shredded carrots to bulk it up a bit more! Finally, we love casseroles because they just scream comfort food, and good, comforting food makes the transition to eating healthy SO much easier.
Okay, so let's talk about this beef taco casserole. This dish is based on one of our most popular casseroles – cheeseburger casserole! Y'all loved that one so much that we wanted to put a new spin on it, and this time we landed on Tex-Mex style. We used frozen hash browns (easy button) to form the crispy crust on this beef taco casserole and keep things grain-free, but if you are low-carbing right now you can easily sub in cauliflower rice (see the recipe notes for details). Once you're done cooking the hash browns, the next step is the taco layer! You'll get started by sauteing fresh onion, garlic, and bell pepper, then add the ground beef, Mexican seasonings, and tomato sauce to create great Tex-Mex flavor without the questionable taco seasoning packet.
Once you've made the beef, you'll stir in some thinly shredded kale, let it wilt, then pour it over the hash browns, top with cheese, and bake! If you're dairy-free but still want something cheesy, we'd recommend pouring our Paleo nacho cheese on top. Finally, you'll top it off with a little avocado and cilantro and serve! We hope you love this beef taco casserole as much as we do.Print
Beef Taco Casserole
This beef taco casserole features a crispy hash brown crust topped with perfectly-seasoned taco meat and hidden veggies for a perfect weeknight meal!
- Prep Time: 00:25
- Cook Time: 00:15
- Total Time: 00:40
- Yield: Serves 6
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 16 ounces frozen hash browns, or about 5 cups shredded potatoes
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 head lacinato kale, shredded
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese
- Sliced avocado, for garnish
- Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil to a 13-inch cast iron pan, or other similarly-sized skillet over medium-high heat, then add hash browns. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, then flip the hash browns, add an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add one additional tablespoon oil to the pan, then reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onions, red bell pepper, and garlic and saute 3 to 4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper and cook 6-8 minutes until ground beef is browned and fully cooked through.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the ground beef mixture along with 1/2 cup water, then stir in the spices and kale. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until kale is bright green and wilted, then remove from heat.
- Place the hash browns in the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish then pour the beef mixture over top. Sprinkle shredded cheese over beef mixture and Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with avocado, and chopped cilantro and serve!
- To make this dish low-carb: substitute 5 cups cauliflower rice (or 2, 10-ounce packages frozen cauliflower rice) for the potatoes. Cook according to package instructions if using frozen, or follow this recipe if using fresh.
- To make this dish dairy-free: either omit the cheese entirely or replace with our Paleo Nacho Cheese recipe.