This Taco Bake puts a Tex-Mex twist on the comfort food classic shepherd's pie, with seasoned ground beef and black beans topped with cheesy green chile mashed potatoes and a refreshing avocado tomato salad!
This recipe was developed in partnership with the Texas Beef Council.
Today we're taking a little break from the recent bounty of holiday recipes for some good ol' comfort food! My family enjoys shepherd's pie and we're also big fans of any recipe with Tex-Mex flavors. So I decided to combine these two loves in this easy, flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs-delicious Taco Bake!
I originally developed this recipe for the Texas Beef Council when they asked me to create a Texas-inspired, beef-centered casserole recipe for the mouthwatering Recipe Central section of their website. I was eager to center my recipe around ground beef since I always have a few packages of it in my fridge and freezer. Ground beef is my go-to...if I didn't plan ahead and am scrambling to figure out what to make for dinner at the last minute, a pound of ground beef is almost always my solution since I have plenty of quick, easy ground beef recipes in my arsenal.
Taco Bake Ingredients
The result of ground beef tacos and shepherd's pie sitting in a tree...
- Russet potatoes, milk, butter, garlic salt, pepper, & extra-sharp grated cheddar. For the cheesy mashed taters.
- Diced green chiles. Optional but recommended to jazz up the Taco Bake topping.
- Lean ground beef.
- Garlic. Minced.
- Taco seasoning. Homemade taco seasoning or a store-bought packet is fine.
- Salsa. Again, homemade salsa or a jar of store-bought will work.
- Black beans. Don't come at me...as a Texan, I fully realize that traditional Texas chili eschews beans. So leave them out if you wish! But I personally think they make a nice addition to the filling of this Taco Bake recipe. 😉
How to Make It
This Taco Bake is a particularly great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (and when I make mashed potatoes, I always make extra for exactly this type of reason). Plus it's so simple to make!
- Brown your ground beef along with a little garlic, flavor with taco seasoning, and add salsa for as much heat as you like (depending on whether you choose mild, medium, or hot).
- Then stir in a can of drained black beans.
- Whether you start with fresh-made or leftover mashed potatoes, mix some grated cheddar and a can of diced green chiles into them and spread 'em on top of the beef mixture.
- Then top with a little more cheese and bake until golden and bubbly.
So easy, y'all, and SO DARN GOOD.
Taco Bake Topping
This recipe is hearty and comforting and perfect as is, but I like to add a fresh element to make it even better.
While my Taco Bake is cooking, I dice an avocado and a couple of tomatoes, chop a handful of cilantro, and stir in some salt, pepper, and lime juice for a simple salad to serve alongside (or atop!) the main dish.
I promise...the contrast of flavors and textures is complete and utter bliss.
So are you ready for a Tex-Mex twist on a comfort food favorite?
Whether you're looking to jazz up Taco Tuesday or you just want to use up some leftover mashed potatoes, this Taco Bake recipe is sure to be a hit!
More Tasty Beef Recipes
- Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
- Loaded Mexican Cornbread Casserole
- Parmesan Meatball Skillet
- One-Pan Cheesy Beef Taco Skillet
- Slow Cooker Beefy 3-Bean Chili
- Easy Baked Tortellini
Taco Bake (Tex-Mex Shepherd's Pie)
- 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk, warmed
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup extra-sharp grated cheddar cheese, DIVIDED
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles, drained
- 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, homemade recommended OR 1 package store-bought
- 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa , mild, medium, or hot, depending on your preference
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 lime, halved
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Stir in salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Use a hand-held masher to roughly mash the potatoes. Add the milk and butter and season with garlic salt and pepper, to taste. Mash the potatoes until smooth and then stir in ⅔ of the cheese and the diced green chiles. Cover the mashed potatoes and set aside.
- Arrange a rack in the center position of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- While the potatoes are cooking, crumble the beef into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned; drain and discard the drippings. Add the garlic to the beef and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the beef and pour the jar of salsa over the top; stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, gently stir in the black beans, and transfer the mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading into an even layer all the way to the edges, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- In the meantime, place the diced tomatoes and diced avocado in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from both halves of the lime over the top, sprinkle with the cilantro, season with garlic salt and pepper (to taste), and gently toss all of the ingredients to coat and combine. Top each serving of Taco Shepherd's Pie with a big scoop of Avocado Tomato Salad.