This Walking Taco Casserole is filled with flavor and so easy to make. It's the perfect weeknight meal or whip it up for game day. A Walking Taco bake only takes 25 minutes from start to finish!
I've had walking tacos before, but this walking taco casserole or frito pie is something really special. It starts with a seasoned ground beef layer and is topped with original fritos, melted cheddar, and it's finished off with fresh taco topping ingredients.
Why You'll Love This Walking Taco Bake:
- It's super hearty and filled with loads of flavor and a bit of spice
- This recipe is like the meal form of taco dip
- You won't believe how easy it is to make & in less than 30 minutes
- The only cooking you'll be doing is browning the ground beef
Ground Beef- I prefer a 85/15 or 80/20 ground beef for this recipe for its juicy and fattier content. It creates a much better, melt in your mouth taste. With that comes more grease, but we strain it before it enters the casserole. The beef is heavily seasoned in this recipe with taco seasoning and enchilada sauce for a lot of flavor on that bottom layer of the dish. If you want to make your own taco seasoning, check out my easy recipe. If you love spicy and smoky flavor, try my Southwestern Seasoning.
Original Fritos- The star of the recipe and some areas of the country call it "frito pie." Down South, we know it as the "walking taco." I love the original fritos for this recipe for that salty crunch.
Cheddar Cheese- Melts perfectly over the fritos for a cheesy layer. I prefer cheddar cheese in this recipe for its nacho like taste.
Lettuce, Bell Pepper, Onion, Sour Cream and Lime- The classic taco toppings we all know and love. These are added to the top layer for a crunchy fresh finish.
*See full recipe ingredients and quantities in recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
For the ground beef layer, you could substitute it with ground turkey, ground pork or ground chicken.
You may be used to seeing Nacho Cheese Doritos in a walking taco, and those are great too. Just crunch them up a bit and layer on instead of fritos.
Instead of Cheddar Cheese, use Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese. There are lots of options here. Even a pourable nacho cheese sauce could work! It will be a little messier though.
For extra topping ideas, diced Roma tomatoes, avocado or jalapeño would be great!
Cooking for a crowd? Just double up the ingredients and cook it in a 9x13 pan. This recipe serves 4-5 people and is cooked in a 8x8 casserole dish.
How to Make Walking Taco Casserole (Frito Pie):
*If you're making my homemade taco seasoning recipe, whip that up first.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, break the beef apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Brown until no pink is remaining. This takes about 6-9 minutes. Sprinkle on the taco seasoning. Stir. Pour in the enchilada sauce and simmer on low for about 3 minutes.
Step 2: Using a slotted spoon, scoop the ground beef from the skillet into an 8x8 pan, so most of the grease stays in the original skillet.
Step 3: Top the ground beef with a layer of fritos, then cheddar cheese.
Step 4: Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheddar cheese melts.
Step 5: Top the casserole with a layer of fresh lettuce, bell peppers and onions.
Step 6: Serve immediately and enjoy! I like to serve with fresh jalapeño, limes and a side of sour cream.
- Some of the grease will transfer with the ground beef from the skillet. That is completely fine. It will keep the meat from drying out in the oven.
- Don't bake the casserole longer than 5 to 7 minutes in the oven or the cheese will get over cooked and crispy. Bake until just after the cheese's melting point.
- Make sure the lettuce is completely dry before adding to the top layer of the casserole or it will make the frito layer soggy.
Walking tacos got their name because they were created in a fritos or doritos bag and you can walk around while eating a taco.
A Frito Pie or Walking Taco Casserole is just the same ingredients as a Walking Taco, but made in a casserole dish and served on a plate. It may not be quite as fun, but it's just as delicious, if not more.
The ground beef can be cooked ahead of time, but don't assemble the ingredients to bake until right before serving. Warm the beef up in the casserole dish for 5 to 10 minutes in the oven before adding the fritos and cheese.
This dish is best served right away, much like taco dip. Feel free to save the leftovers, but it won't be as good as it is fresh.
More Game Day Recipes You Will Love:
If you tried this Walking Taco Casserole Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!Print