Baked Tacos Recipe

I never thought about baking tacos in the oven before but it makes perfect sense. I really enjoyed how everything was warm and the cheese was melted. The process of making these delicious baked tacos is very simple. The taco meat is browned in the pan and seasoned, it is then mixed with refried beans, stuffed into taco shells, and topped with cheese. The tacos are then placed into a casserole dish and baked in the oven for a few minutes. After the tacos are done baking you can top them with your favorite condiments such a salsa, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole. If you want the tacos crunchy, you will want to make sure you place the shells so they are not touching each other. If you want to save time, you can use packaged taco seasoning instead. Enjoy. Adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.

2lbs ground beef
4 teaspoons dried minced onion
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
2 cups shredded Colby-jack cheese
18-20 hard taco shells
Optional Condiments-
lettuce (shredded)
tomato (diced)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl combine dried minced onion, chili powder, cornstarch, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Step 2: In a large skillet brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add refried beans, tomato sauce, and prepared taco seasoning. Mix well.
Step 3: Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, standing up. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through. Remove from the oven and top with any optional condiments for serving.
(Makes 8-10 Servings)


90 Responses to “Baked Tacos Recipe”

  1. Sook — July 6, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    Baked tacos! What a great idea!

  2. Goldy — July 6, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    can I replace the beans with another veggie?

  3. Bobby — July 6, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    Goldy – Yes, I don’t see why not. The mixture will probably be different though.

  4. Jennifer Francis — July 8, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

    I make these but add corn to the meat mixture!!! It’s really good!!!

  5. kareem — July 9, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    this will be my meal on friday!

  6. Mo — July 10, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    You can also substitute rice for the beans.

  7. David — July 18, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    Try using mashed chickpeas instead of the beans. They have a more neutral flavor and might be more tasty for folks who are not so fond of beans. They will really absorb the flavor of the spices and the meat. They have a smoother texture too.

  8. Barbara — July 18, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    I’ve been doing this for a long time. It helps to keep everything together. And the shells don’t break when you eat them. I put lettuce, tomatoe, and jalapeños on top of the meat and then put the cheese on top, then bake. YUM!!!

  9. Goldy — July 21, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Another perfect recipe as usual! I tried it with corn and it was great – ploy one question although draining the meat mixture, after baking some of the tacos were torn from the bottom – anyway to avoid? Thx

  10. Bobby — July 21, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    Goldy- So, you mean the tacos were stuck to the bottom of the baking dish? Hmm, I did not have this problem but you could try lightly greasing the bottom of the baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.

  11. Karen — July 21, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    I’ve been doing this for 30 plus years as well. It is so much better! 🙂

  12. Jennifer — July 27, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    This sounds awesome! So can we skip the step of pre-baking the taco shells? Silly question I know, since this will be baked, but I wanted to make sure they didn’t come out stale. Thanks, can’t wait to try!

  13. Bobby — July 27, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    Jennifer- You should not have to pre-bake the taco shells for this recipe.

  14. csmom — July 31, 2012 @ 7:35 am

    The bottoms of the shells were soggy. Any ideas on what I did wrong. They were still fantastic.

  15. Bobby — July 31, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    csmom – I am not sure, I did have a problem with some of them being soggy as well. I figured I just put them too close together in the baking dish.

  16. Elle — August 4, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    What’s a good way to keep the tacos from touching eachother in the dish if u have a whole bunch? Any gadget?! Thanks

  17. Cyndi — August 5, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    I found your recipe on pinterest and my girls couldn’t wait to have these for dinner. A nice change from just normal tacos. We made them tonight and when we opened our box of taco shells, they were all broke. We layered the taco shells on the bottom of the dish, topped with the bean/ meat mixture & cheese, then layered more shells, meat, cheese & baked for the 10-12 minutes. We added all of our toppings & served with Mexican rice. So the crushed taco shells weren’t a “fail”. The “taco bake” turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe! A dish my family can’t wait to have it again.

  18. Bobby — August 6, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    Elle- I am not sure exactly. I would probably use multiple baking dishes if you have them.

  19. Leslie — August 13, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    I found this on pinterest a few weeks ago and have made them twice so far. The second batch is actually in the oven as we speak! I loooove the fact that when my kids bite into their tacos, the shells do not go flying into pieces. It all holds together very nicely! What a great idea!

  20. Amanda — August 25, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    if you wanted them to be crispy you could try flipping over a cupcake pan and nestling the shells between the cupcake wells. this sounds great – will have to try!

  21. Rachel — August 25, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    My mom has been making this way for over 40 years! I now do it for my kids. It’s the only way we eat hard shelled tacos!


  22. Denise — August 27, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

    I can’t believe I never thought of this! Tried it tonight and it was great. Will never do the unbaked way again LOL. Kids loved them too. Thanks for the great “pin”.

  23. Amanda — August 28, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    Can I replace with soft tortillas?

  24. Bobby — August 28, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    Amanda- Sorry, I have never tried to make these baked tacos with soft tortillas so I cannot comment on how they would turn out. If you do try it, please let everyone know the results. Thanks.

  25. Deann — August 30, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    A suggestion for keeping them separate in a pan…a wire cooling/cooking rack.

  26. Katy — September 6, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    My tacos were so soggy that we ended up breaking the tacos up for taco salads. The flavor was delicious though and I’m going to try again and see if I have a better result next time.

  27. Hannah — September 6, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    I am trying this recipe tonight but I couldn’t find cayenne pepper will the seasoning mix stil be ok without it?

  28. Bobby — September 6, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    Hannah – Yes, the seasoning mix should be fine without the cayenne pepper. You could try adding some crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little spice.

  29. Kristen — September 9, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    DELICIOUS! loves it and you can make it healthy to with fat free ingredients. Love it!

  30. Dawn DeBois — September 10, 2012 @ 2:28 am

    You can’t really get soft shelled tacos from baking them in the oven. Back in the 60s we used to heat some oil in a skillet and dip the tortillas in very quickly, just to soften them. After we filled them with meat and cheese, we would secure them with 2 toothpicks to hold them closed (sort of like safety pins). Then we would cover them with foil and bake them. The tortillas would get somewhat crispy, but not as hard as store-bought hard shells. Now I prefer to steam my tortillas. Much more authentic and, IMO, tastier.

  31. April — September 20, 2012 @ 12:52 am

    to keep them from being soggy. ball up some tin foil. it takes about 4- 12 in pieces of a basic size roll. crumple them loosely and put them in the dish pressing to make them even with each other. The liquid will drain through. This may also fix any sticking issues too.

  32. Rachel — September 27, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    do you use corn tortillas? or do you use the already hard corn tortillas from the store?

  33. Bobby — September 27, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Rachel- I use the already hard corn tortillas from the store.

  34. Trish Wirtz — October 10, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    I have some corn tortillas, will that work, I don’t want to run to the store to get the hard taco shells 🙂

  35. Pam — October 11, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    I was wondering if you drained the grease off the meat more thoroughly, maybe it would help with the soggy shell issue. To save calories, after I drain the grease off my browned hamburger in a colander into the lined garbage can, I spray hot water over the meat (while it’s still in the colander) in my sink to remove any leftover grease. Of course adding the taco seasoning will make it moist/wet again, so the shells will probably still get soggy after baking them in the oven. Sounds like something good to try anyway!

  36. Bobby — October 11, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    Trisha Wirtz – I have not tried with with corn tortillas so I cannot predict what the results would be. If you decide to give it a try, please let everyonw know how it turns out.

  37. Eileen — October 13, 2012 @ 3:20 am

    Is it alright to omit the beans?

  38. Bobby — October 13, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

    Eileen- I have not tried it without the beans but I think it would be okay to omit them.

  39. Ann Marie — October 19, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    Made these tonight…I added spanish rice and green chilies to the beans and meat…they were so good i shamelessly scarfed 2 of them down in as many minutes. I will be making these again YUM!

  40. Christine — October 20, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    My mom has made them like this for 30 years. Surprised to see so many people don’t already do this. And you can make them without the beans, you don’t need another mix in.

  41. shannon — October 22, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    Can u omit the tomato sauce to keep from being so soggy as ppl are complaining of? I haven’t try them yet going to make tonight. Sounds sooooo yummy. Got to try em….. thanks.

  42. Bobby — October 22, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    shannon – I am not sure if omitting the tomato sauce would stop them from being soggy. If you do try omitting the tomato sauce, please let everyone know how it turns out.

  43. Angela — October 24, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    I tried this tonight and substituted tomato paste for the tomato sauce. The mixture was very thick, so I added 4 Tbsp water to it. Anyway, I did not have any issues with soggy shells.

  44. Andi — October 26, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Any ideas on how to store leftovers? Dont want to get soggy!!! Man these were delicious!!! What a great way to revive taco night!!!!

  45. marisela — October 27, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    I tried it with regular corn tortillas and they didn’t get crispy so next time I will do the already folded taco from the store. Great recipe though, I am always looking for new ways to eat taco. Thank you for the recipe.

  46. Bobby — October 27, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    Andi – Sorry, I am not sure how these would be stored without getting soggy.

  47. LuANn — November 1, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    I make baked tacos but put the ground beef in uncooked, mixed with an egg, taco seasoning, salsa onions gr. peppers or anything you want. It’s kind of like a mexican meatloaf. Put a little of the meat mixture in each shell with cheese on top and bake for 20 min. or so until meat is cooked through. Before eating, fill up with any other toppings you want.

  48. Jake — November 2, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    Skip the seasoning. Cook two pounds of hamburger, add two cans of Rotel, two cans of seasoned refried black beans. The absolute best filling for tacos ever! And a big batch can last all week if you double it and the leftovers are even better. Cheap, filling, plenty of protein, use ground turkey if you don’t want to use red meat. I use this for taco burgers, mainly.

  49. Sacha — November 4, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    I plan on making these tonight. I will only make 1/2 batch at a time since we only have a family of 3. Then I will make them again later in the week with the other 1/2 batch. I also plan on using the pre packaged taco seasoning package rather than making my own with all these seasonings. I don’t have them all and it just seems quicker and less expensive if you don’t already have those on hand. Can’t wait to try!

  50. Heather — November 4, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    I may try using mini taco shells. Might be good appetizers for a party.

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