No time to whip up Tuesday tacos? This slow cooker recipe saves the day

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Everyone loves Taco Tuesday, but sometimes pulling off even a simple taco bar after work on a Tuesday evening can be too much. This taco casserole can save the day. It has all the delicious elements of your favorite tacos —spiced ground beef, tender beans, flavorful vegetables, tortillas and plenty of cheese. Best of all, it’s easy to put together in the morning, and then cooks in the slow cooker while you go about your day.
This casserole is delicious as is, but you can dress it up with any of your favorite taco toppings and fillings. I like to serve it with bowls of sour cream, salsa and guacamole and let people add their own as they like. Other toppings can include sliced olives, sliced scallions or pickled jalapeño rings.
Cooktop Cove
Slow cooker taco casserole
10 minutes
3 hours on high or 6 hours on low
3 hours and 15 minutes or 6 hours and 1 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
Nonstick cooking spray
6 flour tortillas
2 ½ cups shredded cheese: cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey Jack or a combo
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, carrots, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a spatula, until it is browned and cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne, and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add the beans both kinds and the tomatoes along with their juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes break down and most of the liquid is evaporated.
Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of the pot. Place two of the tortillas on top of the meat, covering as much of it as possible. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the shredded cheese. Continue layering meat, two tortillas and ½ cup cheese for two more layers of each. Finish with a layer of ½ cup cheese.
Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
Remove the lid of the slow cooker, and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on top. Replace the lid, and cook on high for about 5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted.
Serve hot.
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