Taco Casserole {Kids in the Kitchen}

posted by Andrea | 09/28/2016
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taco casserole

I’m back with another Kids in the Kitchen post today — and honestly, this recipe is so simple, even a very young child could help.

There are so many fun steps for kids — pressing out the dough, sprinkling shredded cheese, crushing up Dorito chips, crumbling the chips over the top of the casserole, eating a few chips while you work, etc. etc. 🙂

My kids LOVE taco meat, they love cheese, and they loves Doritos — so this meal is always a big hit with them.

Of course, I love the fact that if I have taco meat made up ahead of time (which I usually do) it only takes me 5-10 minutes to have this meal ready for the oven, and only another 20 minutes to bake.

I whip up a couple of salads and clean up the kitchen while food is in the oven, and I can literally have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

Taco casserole is one of my favorite quick-meal options for busy weeknights — plus, the kids love that they can help.

Recipe for Taco Casserole

serves 6-8

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg. refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 pound prepared taco meat (however you prepare your taco meat**)
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 2 c. crushed Cool Ranch Doritos

**I usually make my taco meat with diced onions and pepper. I only use 1/2 c. water to mix in with the taco seasoning and sub in 1/4 c. taco sauce for the other 1/4c. water (see photo below).

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Press crescent roll dough in the bottom of a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ casserole dish

Spread taco meat mixture over dough

Spread sour cream over meat mixture and then sprinkle cheese over that.

Crush chips (I didn’t have a full bag, so I just crushed them right in the bag) and pour over top of cheese

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with taco sauce, salsa, diced tomatoes, lettuce, or more sour cream (optional)

I personally would not freeze this recipe because I don’t think the crescent roll dough would freeze well — but you can easily freeze the prepared taco meat to use whenever you’re ready to make this casserole (or so many other meals!)

The rest of the meal is so quick and simple to throw together that, as I mentioned above, you can have it ready for the oven before your oven is even preheated!

What are your favorite 30-minute recipes?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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14 comments

  1. Chris

    10/13/2016

    I watched a cute “cooking with kids” Youtube that made me think of you. I don’t know if you allow links, so I’ll just tell you about it. It’s the recent “homemade crustables” on Do It On a Dime. She does videos cooking with her son. So cute!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ll have to look it up. Thanks!!

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  2. Alicia

    09/28/2016

    I absolutely LOVE simple meals like this. And honestly, the simpler meals are generally the ones my kids like best, too! I’ll be trying this very soon, thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yup, my kids too! In fact, the meals they like the best are just meat and potatoes but I can’t always make that ahead of time, so we do a lot of casseroles!

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  3. Mara

    09/28/2016

    We will definitely be trying this thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  4. Keli

    09/28/2016

    I make this all the time for my family. I do not put the sour cream on it though as some do not like it so it is served in the side with other toppings. I also just use plain tortilla chips. I never thought to use ranch ones. We have used nacho cheese ones as well.

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  5. Kristen

    09/28/2016

    Thank you!! I love quick meals that don’t require a ton of “hands on” time, so I can quickly get them going after work and still get other stuff done in the meantime. This looks delicious – will definitely be making it soon 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes! This meal requires very little hands-on time. I make it in the morning or during nap time and just pop it in the oven about 20-30 minutes before it’s time to eat

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  6. Barb T.

    09/28/2016

    I also love it that your children will help and eat with enjoyment almost all the the meals you make.
    I believe one of the main reasons they enjoy different meals is just that — they got to help make it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks 🙂 I’m basically just desperate to get something done during the day, so if I come up with ways for them to “help me” be productive, then it’s a win win for everyone! But I do think they eat better when they help make the foods 🙂

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  7. Karen Shireman

    09/28/2016

    That looks so yummy! I love that your kids will eat it……..my 8 year old will not eat taco meat. Preparing cooked meat and freezing has been a game changer for me. This recipe reminded me of a recipe I used to make years ago ~ I just googled it and found it. Charles Gibson’s Enchilada Casserole. Soooo good ~ I can’t believe this ever got taken out of my meal rotation.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I was somewhat surprised my kids liked this recipe as much as they did — because our taco meat was actually relatively spicy! Also, I’m glad you were able to Google your recipe 🙂 Put it back into your meal planning rotation ASAP!

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  8. Brenda

    09/28/2016

    We make this taco casserole too. Usually, I make a ton of taco meat when we have tacos and then a few days later, I make this casserole or we have nachos (if I haven’t frozen the meat yet).

    I also freeze plain cooked ground beef, then I can whip up spaghetti casserole, sloppy joes, hamburger helper or whatever really quickly, also.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes yes yes! We have LOTS of already cooked and pre-portioned meats in our freezer (ground beef, sausage, shredded pork and chicken, taco meat, etc.) This is a huge time-saver for me on a regular basis!

    [Reply]