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Taco Stack Casserole

Updated on January 9, 2016
Layers of tortillas, ground turkey and black beans seasoned with taco seasoning, Italian dressing, and salsa, along with melted sour cream and cheese.  Sit down and savor dinner together tonight!
Layers of tortillas, ground turkey and black beans seasoned with taco seasoning, Italian dressing, and salsa, along with melted sour cream and cheese. Sit down and savor dinner together tonight! | Source

A Favorite Recipe

Taco Tuesday began in our meal rotation when we were first married because they are so simple and we both like them. Eventually having tacos each week became a little boring, so we switched it up with different variations including taco salad, taco soup and taco stack.

Taco Stack is a nice meal in the taco rotation for our family. It can be made in advance and then popped into the oven after work. Perfect for a quick, warm meal. And oh so tasty. We have improved our cooking over the years by making more and more staples ourselves, one small change at a time. In taco stack, we use homemade tortillas, taco seasoning, Italian dressing, and salsa. Each addition of homemade items adds another delicious twist. But if you could only make one of these items yourself, we wholeheartedly recommend starting with salsa! The fresh ingredients make the taco stack pop!

Step 1: Prepare Meat Mixture

Source

Out of Taco Seasoning?

Try making your own. Simply mix together:

  • 1/2 cup chili powder, 1/4 cup cumin, 2 Tablespoons salt, 1 Tablespoon each of pepper and paprika, 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, and 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper.
  • Use 2 Tablespoons per pound of meat.

Out of Italian Dressing?

Dressing is simple, inexpensive, bursting with flavor, and healthier when made yourself. This is the dressing we like to use in Taco Stack and on salads. In a jar with a lid shake together:

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/3 cup white whine vinegar, 1 teaspoon each of Dijon mustard, thyme, basil, oregano, onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon each garlic and salt.
  • Store in refrigerator. Will solidify when cold, let rest at room temperature.

Taco Stack begins just as you would when making tacos. First you must brown your meat. We like to use lean ground turkey, but you could use another meat you prefer such as ground beef or shredded chicken. If you would like to sneak in some veggies, you could also add in some diced onion, carrot or celery as well. When cooked, drain if necessary. Turn heat to low.

Now typically the next step is to add taco seasoning and some water. Well we switched things up for a little more flavor by substituting water with Italian dressing. We prefer using homemade dressing and seasoning. Once the meat is cooked, add taco seasoning, Italian dressing, black beans, and salsa (homemade salsa is best). Mix. Let simmer a few minutes then turn heat off. This is the meat mixture we will use to create the taco stack.

Tip: Depending on the salad dressing and salsa used, the meat may be a little "liquidy." If so, you may carefully pour the liquid out. Or, in the next step, use a slotted spoon to keep the liquid behind.

Step 2: Assemble Taco Stack

Source

Don't Have Tortillas?

You can make them with just flour, oil, salt and water! Check out our whole wheat tortilla tutorial in our Cinco De Mayo Recipes.

Set up an assembly line of tortillas, cheese, sour cream, and meat mixture. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan lightly with oil (I just use a smear of coconut oil, but cooking spray works fine). Place 2 tortillas on the bottom of the pan. Top with half the meat. Add a few dollops of sour cream and spread. Sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with 2 more tortillas, remaining meat, sour cream and cheese. Top with final 2 tortillas and sprinkle of cheese.

You can also store the taco stack in a portable container to bring to a potluck or family gathering. We like to use this set by Anchor Hocking. It was given to us at our wedding and it has become one of our most used baking dishes!

Layering the taco stack

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First, lightly grease and add two tortillas. Then, spread half the meat mixture (ground turkey, taco seasoning, Italian dressing, black beans, salsa)Add dollops of sour cream. Spread the sour cream gently.  Sprinkle on some cheese.  Repeat once more and top with tortillas and cheese.
First, lightly grease and add two tortillas.
First, lightly grease and add two tortillas. | Source
Then, spread half the meat mixture (ground turkey, taco seasoning, Italian dressing, black beans, salsa)
Then, spread half the meat mixture (ground turkey, taco seasoning, Italian dressing, black beans, salsa) | Source
Add dollops of sour cream.
Add dollops of sour cream. | Source
Spread the sour cream gently.
Spread the sour cream gently. | Source
Sprinkle on some cheese.
Sprinkle on some cheese. | Source
Repeat once more and top with tortillas and cheese.
Repeat once more and top with tortillas and cheese. | Source

Taco Stack can be made in advance!

Step 3: Bake Taco Stack

One of the great things about this and most casseroles, is you can prepare in advance and refrigerate until you are ready to bake! I typically prepare this in the morning and bake for dinner, however, I have made it the night before and it worked well. If you are ready to bake now, simply set oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Enjoy!

Step 4: Eat!

Fresh Taco Stack cut and ready to eat!
Fresh Taco Stack cut and ready to eat! | Source

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 25 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: Serves 6
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Turkey, or other ground meat
  • 2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning**
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing**
  • 1 1/2 cups Black Beans, cooked (or 15 ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 cups Salsa**
  • 6 Tortillas**
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 1-2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded

**Homemade Ingredients

If you are in a rush, store bought ingredients work well. However, if you have time, consider preparing some of these staples ahead of time and storing them until you prepare this meal.

  • For homemade salsa check out our Cinco De Mayo recipes.
  • Tortillas are very inexpensive to make at home and you may already have the ingredients you need. Check out our whole wheat tortilla tutorial.
  • To make homemade Italian Salad Dressing, in a jar with a lid shake together: 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/3 cup white whine vinegar, 1 teaspoon each of Dijon mustard, thyme, basil, oregano, onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon each garlic and salt. Store in refrigerator. Will solidify when cold, let rest at room temperature.
  • To make homemade Taco Seasoning, in a jar with a lid shake together: 1/2 cup chili powder, 1/4 cup cumin, 2 Tablespoons salt, 1 Tablespoon each of pepper and paprika, 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, and 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper. Use 2 Tablespoons per pound of meat.

Instructions

  1. Brown ground turkey (or other ground meat) on a skillet. When cooked, drain if necessary. Turn heat to low. Add taco seasoning, Italian dressing, black beans, and salsa. Mix. Let simmer a few minutes then turn heat off.
  2. Set up an assembly line of tortillas, cheese, sour cream, and meat mixture. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan lightly with oil (I just use a smear of coconut oil, but cooking spray works fine). Place 2 tortillas on the bottom of the pan. Top with half the meat. Add a few dallops of sour cream and spread. Sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with 2 more tortillas, remaining meat, sour cream and cheese. Top with final 2 tortillas and sprinkle of cheese.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to bake or bake now. Set oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Enjoy!

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    • Eric Hatchitz profile image

      Eric Hatchitz 20 months ago

      I never would have even considered adding italian dressing as a substitute for water in the meat. I bet that really makes it pop! I am going to try that on our next taco night.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      I love easy to prepare meals. I must buy some tacos, thanks