This Ground Beef Taco Casserole is so delicious with its incredible zucchini and cheese crust topped with a flavorful taco meat mixture and gooey melted cheese. This will be a new family favorite! Bonus: this is a family-friendly gluten-free, low carb, and keto taco casserole. Perfect, right? Let's make it.
Watch How To Make A Taco Casserole
You'll Love This Ground Beef Taco Casserole Recipe
Use Up That Zucchini
Got lots of zucchini growing in your garden? I do! In fact, I accidentally let a zucchini grow too large, so I used it in this recipe, and it made the perfect 4 cups of shredded zucchini. The zucchini and cheese crust is delicious and adds amazing flavor to this taco bake! 🙂
You can make this casserole ahead of time by baking and freezing it, or you can assemble it and keep it in the fridge the day before you want to bake this. You can also bake the casserole and eat it for several days for lunch.
This is a perfect casserole if you are a mixed-diet household. While this is a low-carb and keto-friendly recipe, it should work for almost everyone in your house, whether they are following a ketogenic diet or not. This will make your life easier.
Low Carb Keto Taco Casserole
With 37.3 grams of fat and only 4.2 grams of net carbs, this is a perfect keto dinner idea - it's flavorful, satisfying, and filling!
Taco Casserole Recipe Ingredients
Here's what you'll need to make this zucchini taco casserole recipe:
- Fresh Zucchini - this recipe is great for using up all that zucchini in the garden.
- Pepper Jack Cheese - adding pepper jack cheese gives it a little more spice.
- Cheddar Cheese - if you can, always fresh grate your cheese for the best melting.
- Ground Beef - I used 80/20, but you can go with any percentage you prefer.
- Taco Seasoning - I use my own homemade taco seasoning recipe since it's so much healthier than store-bought packets. You can also use this delicious fajita seasoning too!
- Sour Cream - use low-fat or nonfat if you want to cut some calories and fat.
- Salsa - use any brand and spice level that you like.
- Optional - taco toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomato, green onion, olives, and sliced avocado.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Substitutions and Variations
- Refried beans may be used in place of ground beef, or in combination of both. Warm the beans and add taco seasoning. Because of the thickener in the seasoning mix, you will need to add some water to soften.
- Ground chicken or turkey can also be substituted for the ground beef.
- A Mexican cheese blend can be used in place of pepper jack and cheddar cheese.
Be sure to save this pin to Pinterest for later! 😉
How To Make Taco Casserole
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making this taco casserole recipe:
Make and Bake The Zucchini Crust
1. Drain shredded zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture.
2. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, eggs, half of the cheddar, and pepper jack cheese.
3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
Make The Taco Meat Mixture
4. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Cook until liquid is absorbed. Stir in sour cream and salsa to the taco beef mixture.
5. Spread the ground beef mixture evenly over the top of the zucchini crust. Top with the remaining half of the cheeses.
Bake The Taco Casserole
6. Bake the taco zucchini casserole until the cheese is melted and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.
How Long To Bake Taco Casserole
This taco casserole recipe takes about 20 minutes to make the delicious cheesy zucchini crust and then it finishes off in the oven another 20 minutes once the taco ground beef and shredded cheese are added.
What To Serve With Zucchini Taco Casserole
Here are a few ways to serve this low-carb and keto taco casserole recipe:
Top with your favorite taco toppings such as lettuce, diced tomato, green onion, olives, and sliced avocado.
Serve with extra sour cream salsa and side of tortilla chips.
Top Tips For Making Mexican Casserole with Beef
- Always use freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese that comes from packages is coated to keep it from sticking. This coating also prevents the cheese from melting.
- Make my healthy homemade taco seasoning (it's easy) or use a store-bought packet.
- Make sure that you've thoroughly removed the moisture from the zucchini. Sprinkling the salt over the zucchini while it sits draws out the moisture. Use your hands to gently squeeze the zucchini to wring the moisture out. If it still seems moist you can dab the zucchini with a paper towel.
Taco Bake FAQs
You can lower the fat in this recipe by using lower-fat cheeses and by substituting a fat-free sour cream for regular sour cream. You can also use leaner ground beef or substitute a lower fat ground turkey or chicken. Enjoy!
Yes, this taco bake is freezable! Bake and cool the casserole. Cover and freeze. To reheat, partially thaw the casserole overnight in your refrigerator. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking.
Note that if you have topped the casserole with fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, and green onion, the casserole cannot be frozen. You will need to remove the toppings before freezing.
Mexican taco casserole will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator after it has been baked. This casserole makes GREAT leftovers!
Taco Casserole Recipe
- 13 x 9 inch casserole dish
- 4 cups zucchini unpeeled and shredded
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese shredded and divided
- 2 cup cheddar cheese shredded and divided
- 2 pounds ground beef 80/20
- 1 recipe taco seasoning mix (or, 1 store-bought packet)
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup salsa
- Optional: taco toppings such as shredded lettuce diced tomato, green onion, olives and sliced avocado
Make and Bake The Crust
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Drain shredded zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture.
- In a large bowl, combine zucchini, eggs, half of cheddar, and pepper jack cheese.
- Spray a 13 x 9" casserole dish with nonstick spray. Press mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Make Taco Meat and Bake The Casserole
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain fat. Add taco seasoning mix and ¾ cup water. Cook until liquid is absorbed.
- Add sour cream and salsa to the meat and stir until combined.
- Spread the ground beef mixture evenly over the top of the zucchini crust. Top with the remaining half of the cheese.
- Bake until cheese is bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.
TOP TIPS: Make sure you remove as much moisture from the grated zucchini as possible. Sprinkling the salt over the zucchini while it sits draws out the moisture. Use your hands to squeeze the zucchini to wring the moisture out gently. If it still seems moist, you can dab the zucchini with a paper towel. VARIATIONS: Refried beans, ground turkey, or ground chicken may be used in place of the ground beef. Use a Mexican cheese blend instead of pepper jack and cheddar if desired. SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with your favorite taco toppings, refried beans, and fresh green salad with avocado dressing.
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