There’s nothing easier than slow cooker recipes, and I’m here to bring you a delicious one.
This crock pot beefy potato taco casserole is a great way to switch up your traditional taco night.
The best part of this dish is that it’s secretly healthy! While this hearty meal may taste like the perfect comfort food, each serving contains only 230 calories and has 20 grams of protein.
Whether you need a delicious way to switch up your meal prep, or you want a recipe the whole family can enjoy on busy weeknights, this recipe delivers.
How to make this crockpot beefy potato taco casserole
Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what to call this dish. Is it a slow cooker taco potato casserole? It is a potato & ground beef casserole? Is it crockpot cheesy potatoes & ground beef? I’ll let you call it whatever you’d like. Just know that this dish is packed full of potatoes, ground beef, and cheese. What’s not to love?
Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need for this slow cooker casserole:
- Lean ground beef
- Cottage cheese (my secret ingredient for bumping up the protein)
- Queso cheese dip
- Shredded Mexican cheese
- Russet Potatoes
- Taco Seasoning (I use Old El Paso, but you can also mix your own seasoning)
You can certainly tweak the ingredients if needed, but if you follow this recipe exactly as written, I promise you will not be disappointed.
First things first, we’ll start with large russet potatoes. As you can see here, the ones I chose to use were quite large…
Since we’re dicing the potatoes, the exact size doesn’t matter. All in all, aim for roughly 24oz total for the proper ratio in this dish. It’s okay if you use slightly less or slightly more potatoes, but that’s a good target to aim for.
Once I peeled my large russet potatoes, they weighed about 26oz, which was close enough for me.
Do you have to use russet potatoes?
Nope! Any potatoes you’d like to use in this recipe will work great. Redskin potatoes, sweet potatoes, hash brown patties, shredded hash browns, tater tots, frozen potatoes… it will all work here!
Personally, I think russet potatoes deliver the best flavor and texture, but you can use whichever you prefer.
Outside of dicing your potatoes, the only other prep required here is cooking the ground beef.
Simply add 1 lb ground beef to a pan over medium heat and let it sear for a couple of minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of salsa and one packet (1oz) of taco seasoning, mix everything up, and let the beef cook through.
Once the beef has browned, all that’s left to do is assemble the casserole.
Pour your diced potatoes or potato slices into the crockpot, then add the diced onions, queso cheese, and cottage cheese (note that the cottage cheese curds will melt down, so you do not need to worry about those).
Add your cooked beef mixture along with most of the shredded cheese, then mix everything up inside the crockpot.
Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top, then cover the slow cooker. Cook on high setting for 4 hours (you can also cook on low setting for 8 hours).
After 4 hours, the potatoes will be soft and ready to eat. Add some chopped green onions on top, then enjoy!
Note that I didn’t add any spicy elements to this casserole on purpose, because I like to top individual portions with hot sauce to my liking.
And since this recipe is packed with creamy potatoes, you may not feel it needs a side with it. But if you do want to pair this recipe with a side, tortilla chips (or corn tortillas) are great on the side, especially when paired with some guacamole or sour cream.
Does this recipe reheat well?
I love this recipe because you can easily toss it in the fridge and enjoy the leftovers throughout the entire week!
My recommendation is to separate this hearty taco casserole into individual portions, then pop those in the microwave for a couple of minutes to reheat when ready.
You can also throw leftovers into a large skillet over medium high heat if you want to give it a quick sear. When you reheat this way, you’ll get a slight crisp from the melted cheese in the pan, which is never a bad thing.
Substitution ideas & additions
When it comes to Mexican recipes, there are just so many complimentary flavors that it makes it nearly impossible to choose.
For this crockpot taco casserole, I wanted to keep it different from a typical taco casserole and keep the ingredients very simple. But, there is plenty you can add to this dish if you’d like. Here are some ideas:
- Add a layer of black beans or kidney beans to the crockpot to turn this into more of a crock pot cowboy casserole.
- Mix some chopped green chilies or jalapeno peppers for some added heat.
- Swap the cottage cheese for cheddar cheese soup for an extra cheesy flavor.
- Use tater tots to turn this casserole into tatchos.
- Double up all of the ingredients to make an extra large batch!
There’s truly no way to screw this one up (don’t take that as a challenge, please).
As long as you’ve got some meat, potatoes, and cheese, you’ll have the ultimate comfort food dish that will never disappoint.
- 1lb Lean 96/4 Ground Beef
- 1 Medium White or Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Cup (113g) Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
- 1/2 Cup (128g) Queso Cheese Dip
- 1 Cup (112g) Lite Shredded Mexican Cheese
- 2 Large Russet Potatoes (about 24oz total)
- 1oz Taco Seasoning Packet
- 1/2 Cup (120g) Salsa
- Green Onion for Topping
- Peel and dice your potatoes. You can cube them, dice them up small, or even cut into slices, depending on your preferences.
- Dice up your onion and set both aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, then add your ground beef. Let the beef cook for a few minutes before adding 1/2 cup of salsa and the taco seasoning packet to your pan. Mix everything up then let the beef cook through for about 5 minutes.
- While the beef cooks, add the potatoes to the crockpot along with the diced onion, cottage cheese, queso, and 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese (save 1/4 of the shredded Mexican cheese to add on top).
- Once the beef has cooked (it's okay if it's still a little pink) add that to your crockpot as well. Mix everything together well in the crockpot before topping it with the rest of the Mexican cheese.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, the potatoes will be nice and soft and all of the cheese will be melted together. Chop up some green onion, sprinkle on top, and enjoy!
- I use cottage cheese in this recipe as a way to add some extra creaminess and bump up the protein. It melts down beautifully and does not affect the flavor, but you can swap it out with any other cheese you prefer. I'd stick with something creamy, like cream cheese or cheddar cheese soup, rather than something like Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- This dish can be made with any ground meat- ground turkey or ground chicken would both work great.
- Once this dish has cooked, there will be some liquid in the crockpot. This is just oil runoff from the cheese, but it will all settle together as the dish cools.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1/8 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 235Total Fat 6gCarbohydrates 20gProtein 20g