Waste Not, Want Yes: Tacos and Taco Casserole


Okay. Who doesn’t have tacos in their regular menu rotation? It is a staple, right?

I like my tacos finely ground. I also like to make a casserole with the leftover meat the next day. The casserole recipe is from my lovely friend Bridgette! Thank you Bridgette! You’re the best.



1.5 lbs. ground meat (I prefer 93/7 ground beef)
White corn tortillas (I buy the 30 count package and make home made tortilla chips with the rest.)
3 cups shredded cheese (I like the Mexican four cheese. It is approximately 1 cup for tacos and 2 cups for casserole, but feel free to use less.)
Taco seasoning (I use around 1/2 more than they recommend. So, for this batch, 1 and 1/2 packets of taco seasoning. I just buy the large jar at Costco and measure it out.)
Water according to taco packet directions
10 oz. green enchilada sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Optional Extras:

Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Sour cream
Chopped Cilantro

Optional Sides:

Mexican rice
Refried beans


Heat vegetable oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Cook corn tortillas until slightly crispy. Fold over after thirty seconds in hot oil. Let simmer in oil on each side until lightly crisp.

Remove tortilla to paper towel lined plate. Repeat until you have enough taco shells that you need. Make a layer with paper towels every four-five tortillas. For my family of 4, I fry up 9. Turn off heat.

Cover tortillas with paper towel. Set aside.


In a large skillet, brown meat over medium high heat. Add Worcestershire sauce, pinch of salt and garlic powder at this time.


Mix taco seasoning and water.



Break meat up with spatula until crumbly and brown. Turn heat to low. Add taco seasoning/water mixture. Use a potato masher to get meat more finely crumbled. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes repeating with the potato masher as needed.


Turn off heat. Serve meat in taco shells with cheese and optional toppings. And serve with optional sides. I served these with rice and salad.

Now, save the rest of your taco meat for the next day in the refrigerator. You could also prepare the following recipe the same night and just refrigerate the whole casserole until the next day. I vary what I do based on how tired I am.

Taco Casserole

This is my sweet friend Bridgette’s recipe:

The next day,

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you have a convection oven, 325 degrees.


Take a small casserole dish and pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into the bottom. I prefer green.


Layer tortillas on top of the sauce. I just tear mine to fit into the pan.



Layer half of your leftover taco meat on top of the tortillas. Pour 1/3 of your enchilada sauce on top. Top with 1/3 of your cheese.

Repeat with the next layer, starting with tortillas.


For the final layer. Start with tortillas. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top. Pour remaining cheese on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 25 minutes. Uncover. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until cheese on top is completely melted and the edges of the casserole are bubbling.

Remove from oven. Turn off oven.


This is how I served it up. Thank you Bridgette for this recipe! I love it!


Beef Enchiladas


I make these beef enchiladas with my leftover meat from Tyler Florence’s Pot Roast Taco recipe. If you are not using that recipe, any shredded beef will do. They sell it in the refrigerated section or I am sure you could find an easy crockpot version. I just like using up my leftovers.

My husband raves about these. We all enjoy them. But at this point, both of my children are in braces. This is kind of a hard meal for them to eat. I cannot wait until I no longer have to worry about brackets. Popcorn, here we come!

This recipe makes 16 beef enchiladas. It really depends on how much meat you have left over from your tacos. Sometimes I only can make a dozen. It is the same sauce as my cheese enchilada recipe.

You will need:

2 11 x 7 pans to cook enchiladas in. Distribute 8 into each pan.
Sauce pan
One skillet


Shredded Beef made from Tyler Florence’s Pot Roast Tacos
4 dried ancho chile peppers
1 tsp. ground Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 cloves diced garlic (or one heaping teaspoon from a jar)
1 tsp. chicken base
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 small can of tomato paste
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups shredded cheese
16 corn tortillas
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Optional toppings:

Sour cream
Chopped cilantro

Optional sides:

Mexican rice
Refried beans

For this recipe, I adapted an Adobe recipe of Zarela’s (I recommend watching her video. It taught me a lot) and added a couple of items to make an enchilada sauce.

First, Rinse your dried ancho chiles. Cook the dried ancho chile peppers for about ten seconds each side in a skillet.

Remove. Break off top and shake out the seeds.


Soak chiles in a bowl for twenty five minutes.


Remove chiles. Add to blender with oregano, garlic, chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, chicken base, & salt. Blend until smooth.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour. Stir to combine, until it is, as Zarela says, “the color of a cockroach.” Which might be my very favorite cooking tip ever!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Add blended ingredients to butter and flour mixture. Carefully, this will splatter! Stir. Add tomato sauce. Stir until smooth. Let simmer on low heat ten minutes.


While sauce is simmering, heat vegetable oil in skillet. Add tortillas, one at a time. Fry quickly on each side until just beginning to bubble. About ten seconds each side. Remove to paper towel covered plate. For every four you fry, place two more paper towels on top.

When all tortillas are fried. Turn off heat. (Be very careful with hot oil! Do not pour down sink! This will ruin your sink! Let cool completely and discard.) Turn off heat to enchilada sauce.


Pour a little enchilada sauce in pan you are cooking the enchiladas in, to coat it. Take a tortilla and fill with shredded beef. Roll. Place seam side down in pan. Repeat 7 more times until pan is full.

Repeat the step above with another pan.


Pour sauce equally over Enchiladas in both pans. Distribute cheese equally over enchiladas.


Cover with foil and bake for fifteen-twenty minutes. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove pans. Turn off oven.


Serve with toppings and optional sides.


Tyler Florence’s Mexican Pot Roast Tacos


I have been making this beef taco recipe for years. It is so simple. So easy. And you will look like a hero when you are finished. Seriously, you will not believe how very quickly you can throw this together and be crowned “Queen of the kitchen.”

It is up to you if you want your family to curtsy or bow.



3 lbs. boneless top sirloin (I use a different cut of meat than him. I also used almost four pounds for the batch shown here, because I made beef enchiladas with the leftovers.)
1/4 cup of diced onion (I add less than him)
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 Tablespoons of Olive oil
1 Tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon ground Ancho Chili Pepper
1 Tablespoon cumin
3 bay leaves
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (and one can full of water)
Salt and pepper to season
A good amount of vegetable oil to fry tortillas in
Corn tortillas

Optional Ingredients:

Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Diced tomatoes
Refried beans to serve with
Mexican rice to serve with

I followed Tyler’s recipe here. Please see his recipe for full details on how to make these.


It will take about seven minutes to slightly brown all of your meat and throw the ingredients in the pot. And then you just wait three hours. It will smell divine in your house, in the meantime.


Browning meat. Easy peasy. I used my frozen diced onions and all ready minced for me garlic.


All put together, about to simmer for three hours. Here is a tip: check your meat and stir every thirty minutes or so. I was lazy during this batch, and I did not do that. Some of the meat had been sticking out of the mixture, unbeknownst to me. Talk about a tough piece of meat! That piece ended up having to be tossed. Which is really sad. All of the meat should be simmering prettily in the water, getting nice and tender.



When it is all done, the first thing you are going to do is, remove all of the pieces of meat to a bowl. The very next thing you will do is fish out the three bay leaves from the pot and throw them away. It might take a moment to find them. This is really important. Years ago, I did not do that and later found out one of the bay leaves was stuck to a piece of meat. I accidentally served that piece to my husband. He bit into the bay leaf and his whole mouth went numb. I had to relinquish my title that day. Be better than me and keep your throne.


Shred meat. Add enough liquid from pot until it is moist.


Here is the finished product. They were so yummy! I made my beef enchiladas with the remaining meat. I will show that recipe in a post to come. If you are in a hurry to make these (And why wouldn’t you be?), See my cheese enchilada post for my enchilada sauce recipe and follow my directions, but fill enchiladas with beef instead of cheese.


I shared this on Savvy Southern Style

And My Romantic Home