Slow Cooker Taco Casserole
Last updated on November 15th, 2021 at 02:42 pm
Slow Cooker Taco Casserole is made with a mixture of vegetables, seasoned ground beef, and rice blended with garlic, salsa, peppers, and beans. This taco casserole recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight or leisurely weekend meal.
Another easy meal for a busy night is our Slow Cooker Rice and Beans with black beans and arborio rice. For a faster casserole dish, this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole with basmati rice is on the table in less than an hour. Or try our Instant Pot Taco Pasta with shells and cheddar cheese for something different.
You may not even realize how healthy this easy recipe can be. Just the taco meat gives you 51% of your daily value of protein, 41% of vitamin B12, 24% of vitamin B6, and 14% iron.
Just one cup of the cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, and the tomatoes are full of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K.
This is one of those crock pot recipes your whole family will love, kids and adults, will ask for seconds. In addition, this recipe is very easy to make and versatile.
You can use any veggies and beans that you have on hand, also the best part is to serve it with your favorite toppings!
For the detailed instructions, scroll down to our recipe card below. But here are the main ingredients you will need for this slow cooker recipe:
- Lean ground beef: We used 80/20 but you can also use 70/30.
- Small onion: Chopped finely.
- Corn: Frozen or canned are both fine.
- Black beans: Drained.
- Rotel: Make your own with green chilis and diced tomatoes.
- Red bell pepper: Diced.
- Jalapenos: Seeded and diced.
- Taco seasoning: Homemade or store-bought.
- Garlic cloves: Or minced garlic.
- Salsa: Use our recipe for delicious homemade salsa.
- Cooked rice: We used brown, but you can use your favorite.
- Shredded cheese: Fresh is best.
How do you make slow cooker taco casserole?
- Brown: First, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat before adding the beans, veggies, salsa, garlic, and seasoning. Then, set aside.
- Spray: Then, use non-stick cooking spray or olive oil on the bottom of the slow cooker to prevent sticking.
- Add rice: Next, spoon the rice into the bottom of the slow cooker and smooth it out evenly.
- Cheese: After, add one cup of cheese on top of the rice.
- Meat: Then, add the meat mixture on top of that.
- Cook: Lastly, add the rest of the cheese on top before closing the lid and cooking on high for two to three hours.
- Serve: Finally, serve the casserole in the crockpot with a side of tortilla chips, one cup cheese sauce, and other toppings.
- Different meat: Alternatively, use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef.
- More veggies: You can also add more fresh veggies like mushrooms, celery, avocados, and green peppers.
- Smoky: In addition, try sprinkling in some chili powder for more smoke flavor.
- Creamy: For a creamier texture, use a pack of cream cheese or Greek yogurt.
- Saucy: Conversely, a small can of tomato sauce would give your casserole a saucier flavor.
How to serve:
The best parts of this casserole are the cheese and the toppings so make sure you have bowls of each out on the table when you serve it. Here are some other ideas:
- Make a taco bar for Taco Tuesday no matter what day of the week it is. Just keep the crockpot on warm and put toppings like shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, refried beans, sour cream, onion, peppers, and different kinds of cheese in bowls for everyone to choose from.
- Don’t forget to put out some sauces to choose from like enchilada sauce, taco sauce, guacamole, and hot sauce.
- Serve a scoop of beef mixture over tortilla strips for a more substantial meal.
- Be sure to have some taco shells on the table for tacos.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of slow cooker should I use?
Many people do not even realize that there is more than one type of slow cooker or crockpot. For this recipe, we prefer using an oval cooker for more consistent cooking. A round one will also work great.
For a pot that is larger than three quarts, you should reduce the cooking time a bit. Alternatively, if you use a round cooker, you may need to increase the cooking time.
What kind of beef is good for taco casserole?
The typical ground beef used in taco casserole is 80% lean, but you can also use 70% lean because the fat is what gives extra flavor to the meat.
Also, you will be draining the excess grease before serving so the extra fat is not a big deal.
Is a crockpot and slow cooker the same thing?
There are small differences between the two. The main difference is the way the heat is distributed. For example, the slow cooker sits on a base that is heated and the crockpot is a pot that sits inside of a heated crock to heat it all over.
Slow cookers cook slower because they heat from the bottom only.
How to store leftovers:
- Store: Make sure the casserole is cooled to room temperature before putting it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will stay good for about three or four days in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: If you have not finished it all within a few days, put it in the freezer where it will stay fresh for up to 90 days.
- Thaw: For best results, put the leftovers in the fridge the night before serving to thaw.
- Reheat: Reheat the casserole in the microwave or in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
Moree Mexican recipes:
- Use high-quality cheese and shred your own for best results.
- For an even spicier casserole, leave the seeds in the jalapenos.
- Use reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix and you can cut over 800 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- To make your own Rotel, combine a can of plain diced tomatoes with an undrained can of chopped green chiles.
- Using whole wheat flour tortillas stand up to longer cooking times so they do not break down as much as regular corn tortillas.
Slow Cooker Taco Casserole
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup canned corn (drained)
- 1 can of 15.5oz black beans (drained)
- 1 can of 10oz diced tomatoes with green chilies (aka rotel)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 jalapenos (diced)
- 4 tablespoons Taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup salsa (medium or hot)
- 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
- 16 oz shredded cheese (or Mexican blend cheese)
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef.
- Stir in the chopped onions, bell pepper, taco seasoning, garlic, salsa, tomatoes, beans, and corn.
- Stir to combine and set aside
- Spray the inside of the crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.
- Spread the cooked rice on the bottom of the crockpot in an even layer.
- Sprinkle with half the cheese on top.
- Distribute the meat mixture evenly on top.
- Top with the remaining cheddar cheese
- Cover with the lid and cook on high for 2-3 hours.
- Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
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