Lawnmower Tacos

Lawnmower Tacos. This freezer-friendly meal is literally layers of crushed crunchy ground beef tacos, baked and served with classic taco toppings -the perfect kid-approved dinner for busy weeknights.

lawnmower tacos on a plate with the casserole in the background

Between practices, games, and appointments, sometimes dinner is an afterthought, but I love having relaxing dinners with my family every night. It gives us a chance to reconnect and learn about each other’s days.

However, cooking a meal from scratch every night cuts into the time we could be spending chatting around the dinner table, so a freezer meal every now and then is a life-saver.

I was given a copy of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead & Freeze Cookbook and it has seriously stepped my freezer meal game up. I let my kids pick a recipe and naturally they picked these “lawnmower tacos.” Don’t worry. No lawnmowers were used in the making of these tacos but they do look like they were run over by a lawnmower -hence, the goofy nickname.

By having this lawnmower taco casserole in the freezer, you can simply bake it whenever you’re ready and then let everyone top their plate as they please. My favorite perk of lawnmower tacos is you can make two -one for now and one to freeze for later. Enjoy!

ingredients for lawnmower tacos

Ingredients //

  • Ground Beef: An 80/20 makes make juicy, flavorful taco meat. Anything with higher fat may be too greasy.
  • Taco Seasoning: gives the ground beef spicy taco flavor.
  • Flour: helps thicken the chicken broth mixture the beef is simmered in.
  • Chicken Broth: is great for making tacos because it adds another layer of flavor to the meat.
  • Tortilla Chips: make sure they’re fresh!
  • Shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese: I definitely recommend shredding the cheese yourself. Bagged shredded cheese doesn’t melt as nicely as freshly grated.
  • Toppings: lettuce, olives, salsa, sour cream, etc. Whatever you love on tacos!

How to Make // The Steps

Ground beef cooking in a pan for lawnmower tacos

Step 1: Brown ground beef:

In a saute pan, over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain excess fat.

Step 2: Add seasoning and flour:

To the saute pan, add taco seasoning and flour. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Step 3: Add broth:

Then, add chicken broth and simmer until the liquid thickens (about 15 minutes).

Step 4: Crush tortilla chips:

Meanwhile, place the tortilla chips in a sealed bag and gently crush them into smaller bite-sized pieces.

Step 5: Assemble the casserole:

Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray and then layer chips, taco meat, and cheese in the pan followed by another layer in that same order. Once the meat cools, at this point you can freeze the casserole and bake it later. When you’re ready to bake it, be sure to thaw it in the fridge first.

Step 6: Bake casserole:

Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the tortillas are lightly toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve with a generous amount of taco toppings and enjoy!

ground beef with taco seasoning and flour for lawnmower tacos

Tips & Tricks //

  • This is a great recipe to double for a crowd or bake one now and freeze the other for later.
  • To crush the tortilla chips, place them in a sealed plastic baggie and gently press on the bag to break the chips into smaller pieces.
  • To make a spicy lawnmower taco bake, use a store-bought spicy taco mix or add some cayenne pepper to the ground beef mixture
lawnmower tacos in a casserole dish ready to be baked

Why are Lawnmower Tacos So Good?

  • Freezer-friendly. This taco bake is a lifesaver when there’s no time to cook.
  • Quick and easy dinner the kids will love.
  • Great for weeknights dinners and potlucks.
  • Lawnmower tacos are the ultimate comfort food.
lawnmower tacos in a casserole dish

Variations of Freezer Taco Casserole //

  • Meatless Taco Casserole: Use your favorite plant-based ground “beef” and add a layer of refried beans in between the “beef” and cheese.
  • Add veggies to the meat: To sneak in some vegetables, brown the ground beef with diced onion and bell pepper.
  • More taco topping ideas: In addition to lettuce, olives, salsa and sour cream, you can top lawnmower tacos with black beans, corn kernels, diced tomato, pico de Gallo, jalapenos, diced onion, cilantro, guacamole, etc.
  • You don’t have to use tortillas. Any thick, sturdy corn chip will do like Doritos or Fritos!
finished lawnmower tacos in a casserole dish

How to Store and Reheat //

Once cooked, store any leftover lawnmower tacos in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or oven.

Make-Ahead and Freezer Options //

Once you have assembled the layers and everything has cooled down, cover the dish and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight and then bake at 325 degrees until everything is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

lawnmower tacos on a plate with the full casserole in the background

FAQ //

Why is this casserole called “lawnmower tacos?”

This recipe is named lawnmower tacos for no other reason than the casserole looks like it took a trip through the blades of a lawnmower.

Can I make lawnmower tacos in the slower cooker?

To make this in a slow cooker, cook the taco meat mixture on the stove and then layer the casserole in a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until the cheese is melted and bubbly (about an hour).

More Taco Recipes //

Fish Tacos

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Baked Tacos

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos

Lawnmower Tacos

Lawnmower Tacos

Yield: serves 6

Lawnmower Tacos - this is one of my kid's favorite dinners. Crunched up tacos topped with all of your favorite taco toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 cups tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • lettuce
  • olives
  • salsa
  • sour cream

Instructions

  1. Brown beef in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook until it is no longer pink. Drain any fat. Add taco seasoning and flour. Cook for a minute. Add chicken broth. Simmer until thick, about 15 minutes.
  2. Put the chips in a bag and crush them up a little bit. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Layer chips, taco meat, and cheese. Add another layer. At this point, cover and chill before freezing.
  3. If frozen, thaw in the fridge. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Blog is the New Black

    LOVE love love make ahead meals! These look amazing.

    1. bakedbree

      I rarely make anything like this, but will from now on.

  2. Aimee @ ShugarySweets

    I love freezer meals, and I love Life as Mom!!! This looks yummy!

    1. bakedbree

      It is so kid-friendly!

  3. Lauren @ Part Time House Wife

    Such a convienent spin on taco’s! I only wish I had more room in my drawer freezer to store more pre-made meals like this! I’d do it all the time!

    1. bakedbree

      You really don’t need that much room. She talks about it a lot in the book. You should check it out.

  4. Brittany

    Just wanted to let you know of the little typo on this; it says LawnMOVER Tacos 🙂 Regardless, we are making this next week!

    1. bakedbree

      LOL. Thanks. Having a hard time spelling these days!

  5. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen

    I never thought of freezing chips that way! It would be a great time-saver!

    1. bakedbree

      You should get this book, it is great.

  6. The Squishy Monster

    I love the straightforwardness and layout of your blog…and THIS is seriously drool worthy!

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Squishy!

  7. Bree

    I agree-sometimes it is nice to have something to pull out of the freezer-with no additives like this one!

    1. bakedbree

      It is really nice to have dinner ready when life gets crazy.

  8. Kim Bee

    I am really digging this recipe. The fact that it’s easy and something you pop in the freezer for another time just takes it over the top for me. I love meals I can make two batches of and freeze one for another time. I need to get my hands on that book. I’ve not listened to podcasts before. I’m so behind the time.

    1. bakedbree

      It is a really great book. Nothing processed.

  9. Jessica

    How did I miss this? Thanks for such a nice review. This is my 8yo’s all-time favorite dish. 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome! Thanks for writing such a great book!

  10. Maria

    I have never freezed chips before. Anyway, thanks for the recipe, bakedbree!

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome!

  11. Lorrie

    Do you think making this in 2 8×8 pans would affect the recipe?

    1. bakedbree

      Nope, not at all.

  12. Jack

    This recipe is so awesome. I will try make with my wife

  13. Joel

    I love this recipe and you can store it in the freezer and just put it into the oven and have something great to eat!

    1. bakedbree

      Exactly!

  14. Joel

    That’s one of the easiest and best tasting recipes I’ve ever seen. The best thing about it is that you can prepare it and store it in the freezer and when you come back from work you simply put it into the oven and you are good to go!

    1. bakedbree

      I know! I just made this a few days ago. My kids love it just as much every single time I make it.

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