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Contest-Winning Taco Casserole

My preschooler doesn’t eat ground beef unless it’s taco flavored, so I came up with this casserole we all like. To make assembly easy, I prepare the taco meat and freeze several bags at a time. I also cook the noodles over the weekend for a timely supper later in the week. –Kathy Wilson, Romeoville, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    7 servings


  • 3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2 cups nacho tortilla chips, crushed


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the cheese, salsa, tomatoes and taco seasoning. Drain pasta; stir into beef mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with tortilla chips. Bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through.

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Average Rating:
  • DWare5883
    May 17, 2020

    It’s good and quick but not amazing. I would just add the chips after 30 minutes to your desire. The chips loose the texture element the next day when heated up.

  • NJBrandt
    Mar 10, 2018

    Do we know what the caloric content is?

  • Terry
    Sep 22, 2017

    Quick and easy! Flavorful! Just what we need on busy night!

  • cat
    Sep 20, 2017

    I did not add tomatoes or onions or salsa. Hubby said add spaghetti sauce. He can't eat tomatoes. I added mushroom soup. It was really good and fun for my oldest daughter to cook. I used elbow macaroni. Very good idea! Loved it! My youngest daughter hates taco meat but she liked the dish.

  • Trina
    Sep 12, 2017

    My 12-year-old who refuses to eat tomatoes (but who loves pizza) ate every bite of this. It is really tasty. For 2 people you could definitely 1/2 the recipe and have plenty because it is heavy with the meat, pasta and chips. I made the full recipe but only used an 8 oz. jar of salsa and it was fine. I'm a single mom who needs quick and easy and I will definitely make this again.

  • Sudie
    May 30, 2017

    No comment left

  • jojomillnd
    May 5, 2017

    Very tasty! I used Ortega taco sauce instead of salsa and added more chips on top.

  • ooh!
    Jul 11, 2016

    Quick and easy! We welcome the leftovers! Yum!

  • LKimK77
    Jun 3, 2016

    Love this recipe. I add Gluten free penne pasta (12oz) Green chilies. Love it ! It even taste good cold the next day!!

  • luann8190
    Sep 18, 2015

    Even my picky eater friend loves this and makes it often now.