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Doritos Taco Casserole

This is a gooey, creamy, cheesy casserole layered with melt-in-your-mouth cheddar, lots of motzza, zesty Mexican taco beef and beans, tart sour cream, and Doritos Nacho Cheese chips crunch on top.

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Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: Makes 8 Servings

Equipment Needed

  • Fine mesh strainer
  • 5-quart sauté frying pan
  • Turner/Spatula
  • Scraper spatula
  • 5-quart baking dish

Ingredients

  • 10-oz pkg Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 pkg 1.25-oz taco seasoning
  • 2 15.5-oz cans pinto beans
  • 12 oz (3 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 16 oz (2 cups) sour cream
  • 8 oz (2 cups) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • non-stick cooking spray

Layering The Casserole

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 1 :  Layer 1/2 the crushed DoritosStep 2 :  Meat and bean mixtureStep 3 : Mozzarella cheeseStep 4 : Sour creamStep 5 : Cheddar cheeseStep 6 :  Out of the ovenStep 7 :  Other 1/2 of the Dortitos on top just before serving
Step 1 :  Layer 1/2 the crushed Doritos
Step 1 : Layer 1/2 the crushed Doritos
Step 2 :  Meat and bean mixture
Step 2 : Meat and bean mixture
Step 3 : Mozzarella cheese
Step 3 : Mozzarella cheese
Step 4 : Sour cream
Step 4 : Sour cream
Step 5 : Cheddar cheese
Step 5 : Cheddar cheese
Step 6 :  Out of the oven
Step 6 : Out of the oven
Step 7 :  Other 1/2 of the Dortitos on top just before serving
Step 7 : Other 1/2 of the Dortitos on top just before serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  2. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Crush Doritos. Place half the Doritos in the bottom of baking dish.
  3. In sauté pan, prepare ground beef with taco seasoning as directed on seasoning package. Drain and rinse beans in strainer. Stir beans into meat mixture. Pour over crushed Doritos in baking dish and spread evenly using turner/spatula.
  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over meat.
  5. Using scraper spatula, spread sour cream over mozzarella.
  6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly over sour cream.
  7. Bake in 375-degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Place remaining chips on top just before serving.
  8. Note: If you are going to refrigerate any or all of the casserole, refrain from placing chips on top until ready to reheat and serve. Elseways the chips will become soggy in the refrigerator.

About The Ingredients . . .

Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips

Doritos are a Frito-Lay brand of seasoned tortilla chips made from ground corn and corn, soybean, and sunflower oils. The nacho cheese variety is spiced with salt and powdered forms of onion, tomato, garlic, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cheddar and romano cheeses. The chips are crunchy and said to create “an explosion of nacho cheese flavor in your mouth."

Ground Beef

Ground beef is made from cuts of cow, bull, heifer, or steer meat that has been minced or ground with a grinder. Its commonplace for ground beef to be made from less tender, less preferred cuts of meat. The grinding process tenderizes the tougher meat. Fatty cuts are included to curtail dryness and enhance flavor. Importunately, it is necessary that a cooking temperature of 160-degree F is reached to destroy any bacteria that could cause illness.

There are four types of ground beef that can be purchased at the butcher or meat counter of your local grocery store (see table below). The higher the fat content, the more shrinkage will occur when cooking.

Types Of Ground Beef

Type
Fat Content
Cut From
Flavor
Regular
25% to 30%
trimmings, inexpensive cuts, brisket, shank
juiciest, most flavorful
Chuck
15% to 20%
around the shoulder
good
Round
12%
near the tail
less beefy
Sirloin
10% to 14%
midsection
dry

Taco Seasoning

Taco seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices used to add Mexican zest to meat. The blend will include seasonings such as powdered chili pepper, cayenne pepper, onion, and garlic; additionally cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, and salt. It can be purchased in hot to mild varieties.

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are medium- sized beans which belong to the family of kidney beans. They are thought to have originated in the region of South America. They have a light brown hue with flecks or speckles of reddish-brown color, thus the name “pinto” which translates to “painted” in Spanish. When heated, the specks or flecks fade and the bean turns a pinkish color. Pintos have a mild, earthly flavor and a creamy texture. Also referred to as red Mexican beans, they are often found in Mexican cuisine.

Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a white, semi-soft, springy, stringy, supple, milky cheese which originated in southern Italy. It is made by adding rennet to fresh curds, then allowing them to rest and sour until the desired flavor is achieved. Following that, the curds are heated in water or whey until they become stringy and elastic. Next, it is stretched (a process called “pasta filata” which means “pulled paste” or “spun paste”) and kneaded, and finally shaped into round balls.

The two most common types of mozzarella are: 1) Fresh, which is made from whole milk and, due to its high moisture content, has a short shelf life. It has a very soft texture and a delicate, sweet flavor. And, 2) low moisture, part-skim (low fat) mozzarella which is factory produced and has a longer shelf life. It has a drier, more elastic texture and less delicate flavor.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is made from milk cream which has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. The lactic acid causes the cream to become sour and thickened. Other ingredients like gelatin and guar gum are sometimes added to thicken the cream. It is a bland, white, semi-liquid dairy product with a sour, tart, or tangy zip to it.

Cheddar

Cheddar cheese is a hard, compact, crumbly, off-white to pumpkin-orange colored cheese that melts in your mouth. Its rich sapor ranges from creamy, mild, and mellow to sharp and pungent depending on how long it has been aged. Originating from Cheddar Village, Somerset, United Kingdom, it is now produced worldwide. It is most often made from whole cow’s milk. An enzyme called rennet is added to the milk so that it coagulates into curd (a custardy solid) and separates from whey (a watery liquid). The curd is then kneaded with salt, pressed through a mill, cut, stacked, and allowed to age. The longer the cheddar ages, the sharper and drier (more crumbly) it becomes.

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