Meals & sides

Toss the tiny bags: walking taco casserole

Skip those individual, itty-bitty bags of Doritos and buy the bag with enough packaging air to inflate a bike tire. Here’s another ex-in-law recipe—it’s like hockey rink concession stand season in a casserole, minus the hockey stink drifting down the hallway!

The only changes I’ve made to this dish over the years is adding onion to the ground beef, a layer of taco sauce or salsa to juice it up a bit, and a smidge more sour cream and cottage cheese.

Here’s two more family favorite, ex-in-law recipes that lasted longer than my marriage: broccoli ranch salad and homemade Snickers bars.

This reminds me of a joke my kids (DO NOT) love when I tell: “What do you call cheese that’s not yours? Nach-o cheese!”

Cheesy wishes,


Walking taco casserole (Mexican hot dish from my ex-in-law Sue)

  • Yield: Serves 8.


  • Medium or family size bag of nacho cheese flavored chips
  • 2 pounds ground beef or sirloin
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 packages taco seasoning
  • 1 (16 ounce) sour cream
  • 1 (24 ounce) cottage cheese
  • 1 cup salsa or taco sauce
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • Toppings of choice like shredded lettuce, black olives, sour cream, shredded cheese, taco sauce, tomatoes, etc.


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 13x9 pan or similar size casserole dish.

  2. Brown hamburger with diced onion until cooked thoroughly. Add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.

  3. In a bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese.

  4. Crush a few handfuls of nacho cheese chips into the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer crushed chips, 1/2 the meat mixture, 1/2 the salsa or taco sauce, 1/2 the sour cream mixture, and 1/2 the grated cheese into the buttered dish. Repeat layers and top with more crushed chips.

  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven.

  6. Garnish each serving with toppings of choice. Refrigerate leftovers.

Relax. I made a cheesecake, I didn't fold a fitted sheet.

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