I think this casserole tastes even better than a real taco, it is SO DELICIOUS! ...if you love tacos, then you will love this casserole! My Kittencal's Taco Seasoning Mix works great for this recipe. ALL ingredients can be adjusted to suit taste. It is best to prepare this casserole and bake right away as the broken tacos will get too soggy.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (or to taste)
- 1 bell pepper (use red or green, seeded and chopped)
- seasoning salt
- black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 (215 ml) bottle taco sauce (can use two bottles of taco sauce if desired)
- 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chilies
- 1 (14 ounce) sliced ripe olives, drained and divided (can use green or black()
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
- 1 (4 1/2 ounce) package taco shells or 1 (4 1/2 ounce) package white corn tortillas, broken into pieces
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 large firm tomato (can use 2 tomatoes)
- 3 sliced green onions (optional)
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook beef, onion, bell pepper, chili flakes and garlic until beef is no longer pink; drain then season with seasoning salt and black pepper (or cayenne pepper).
- Stir in water, taco sauce, green chiles, half of the olives and taco seasoning mix (you can use 2 packages of seasoning mix if desired for this).
- Cook over low heat for about 6-8 minutes.
- Layer HALF of broken shells on bottom of greased 13x9 baking pan; cover with HALF of meat sauce, then sprinkle with 2 cups (or to taste) cheddar cheese.
- Repeat with remaining broken taco shells, meat sauce and then top with remaining cheese (to prevent the cheese from getting hard, you can sprinkle on the last 10 minutes before the end of baking time and return to oven until melted).
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly, and cheese is melted.
- After baking, sprinkle with remaining olives, tomatoes and green onions.
- **NOTE** I sometimes drizzle bottled salsa sauce (mild or spicy) on top of the ground beef and then on top before baking.