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Walking Taco Casserole is an easy meal idea that takes a Midwest staple and turns it into a delicious casserole! It’s a dish the entire family will enjoy!

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Walking taco casserole on a white plate topped with lettuce and sour cream.

Here in the Midwest, “walking tacos” are a staple for concession stands. Knowing I’d get a walking taco for supper always made the hours of sitting watching my brother’s sporting events a little more manageable! 😉

I find myself rarely making walking tacos at home simply because I don’t keep small bags of Doritos or Fritos on hand. However, I do have a large bag on hand from time to time and decided to turn the walking taco into a walking taco casserole recipe! Boy was I glad I did!!! This dish would be perfect for Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo and all the weekdays in between!

Why is it called a walking taco?

Ok, so for those of you who aren’t familiar with a walking taco, I suppose I should explain! A walking taco is when you take an individual bags of Doritos (or Fritos), open it, top the chips with taco meat, cheese and toppings and enjoy with a fork.

Since you don’t need a plate and they’re easy to carry “on the go,” they’re called walking tacos! This casserole version is just as tasty and easier with a family!

Ingredients needed to make walking taco casserole:  Ground beef, tomatoes, taco seasoning, water, cheese, doritos.

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground beef – I use lean ground beef, but you could opt for ground pork or ground turkey
  • Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • Taco seasoning – Store-bought or homemade taco seasoning would work
  • Water
  • Chips – Doritos are my preference, but you can also use Frito corn chips
  • Shredded cheese – You can use shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey jack or a Mexican blend cheese

Walking Taco Casserole vs Frito Pie

Have you ever heard of Frito Pie? It’s a similar recipe to this Walking Taco Casserole, but with Fritos and typically black beans (or pinto beans or kidney beans) and sometimes enchilada sauce.

How to Make Walking Taco Casserole

(Get full recipe with ingredient amounts in recipe card below)

Ground beef being cooked in a large skillet.

First, you’ll brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain excess grease then stir in the tomatoes (do not drain!), taco seasoning and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for 3 minutes.

A large skillet with cooked ground beef, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning and water.

Next, you’ll stir in half of the crushed chips and 1 cup of the cheese and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish (or an 8×8-inch baking dish).

Walking taco casserole in a pan before the remaining cheese and chips get put on top.

Sprinkle the beef mixture with the remaining cheese and chips. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese melts and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.

Crushed chips on top of a casserole.

Top individual servings with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Toppings for Walking Taco Casserole

One of my favorite things about this meal is the way it can be customized with toppings. For me, I love adding sour cream and a little hot sauce! Here are a few other great options: Diced onion or green onions, green chiles, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, guacamole, cilantro, etc!

Walking taco casserole on a white plate topped with lettuce and sour cream; a large bite on a gold fork.
How to Store Leftovers

Store the leftovers in an airtight container. I do recommend reheating this in the oven so the chips have a chance to crisp up again! You can also reheat this in the microwave, but the chips might be a little soft.

How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Making your own taco seasoning is super easy. It’s a mixture of several spices including chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, paprika and black pepper.

What to Make with Leftover Taco Meat

If you have leftover taco meat in the fridge, making Walking Taco Casserole would be a great option! To do so, you’ll add a pound of taco meat into the skillet and heat it up (skip the taco sauce and water). Then add the tomatoes and continue as the recipe states!

Walking taco casserole being scooped out of the dish.

Other Delicious Taco Night Recipes

Creamy Chicken Taco Soup – This soup requires very little prep work, yet results in a hearty, super flavorful soup! And the best part of all, it takes just 30 minutes from start to finish!

Easy Taco Pasta Skillet – This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal – it’s beefy, cheesy, and full of Tex-Mex flavors!

One Pot Mexican Beef & Rice – A jar of salsa and a packet of taco seasoning kick-start this easy meal making it a delicious dinner option with very little clean-up!


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5 from 1 vote

Walking Taco Casserole

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Walking Taco Casserole is an easy weeknight meal that takes a Midwest staple and turns it into a delicious casserole! It's a dish the entire family will enjoy!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • One 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes do NOT drain
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups crushed Doritos divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided


  • Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8×8" baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet; drain.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, water and taco seasoning.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in half of the crushed chips and 1 cup of the shredded cheese; pour into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and then the remaining chips.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly around the edges.
  • Top individual servings with your favorite toppings and enjoy!


Calories: 377.56kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.52g | Protein: 20.06g | Fat: 26.69g | Saturated Fat: 11.37g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.79g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9.3g | Trans Fat: 1.15g | Cholesterol: 81.65mg | Sodium: 801.7mg | Potassium: 225.59mg | Fiber: 0.88g | Sugar: 2.78g | Vitamin A: 550.23IU | Calcium: 226.61mg | Iron: 1.51mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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One Comment

  1. Lindsey F says:

    5 stars
    Double thumbs up from our young kiddos who normally pick out all tomatoes. They both asked for a second helping of this quick, delish dish!