★★★★★

Baked Tacos

 Take your tacos to the next level with this Baked Tacos recipe! Create the perfect meal with all your favorite taco toppings without the taco crumbling all over your plate.

Baked Tacos: create the best dinner, crunchy tacos that don't fall apart!

I know what you might be thinking. Really, Aimee, BAKED Tacos? What’s the point?

Well, let me tell you the point, since you asked (yes, pretend with me).

Baked Tacos are a great dinner idea to serve a crowd. Forget the mess of many bowls with toppings. These are easy, hassle free and always a hit!

With this taco recipe, you you prepare your taco meat ahead of time. Right before dinner, fill your shells with your meat and any other vegetables and taco fillings you like heated (corn, beans, peppers etc.).

Top with cheese and bake! The crispy shells with melted cheese and flavorful ground beef make the perfect base for adding all your favorite taco toppings.

Sprinkle with lettuce and tomato and serve with a few condiments like salsa, sour cream and guacamole. I can’t think of one single person who would be disappointed to see these baked tacos show up on their dinner table!

The real selling point of these tacos for me?

Baked Tacos: create the best dinner, crunchy tacos that don't fall apart!

Baking tacos helps create a texture in your taco shell that prevents them from crumbling at first bite.

Seriously. This is the major reason I wanted to give these baked tacos a try! I love hard shells for my tacos, but after one bite they become taco salad. Having a leftover pile of shell pieces, meat and lettuce on my plate takes away some of the enjoyment of eating a taco.

Baking the meat and cheese in the shells adds moisture to the shell so it won’t crumble–without making it soft like a flour tortilla.

It’s just perfect. And if you have kids, they will LOVE this!

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you need to make these baked tacos:

  • Ground beefGround turkey makes a good substitute, too.
  • Taco seasoning – Homemade from my favorite taco seasoning recipe or a packet of store bought seasoning.
  • Crispy taco shells
  • Water
  • Shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • Taco toppings – Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, peppers, guacamole, sour cream etc.
Baked Tacos: create the best dinner, crunchy tacos that don't fall apart!

These tacos are so quick and easy to make, especially if you prep the meat in advance!

How to Make Baked Tacos

STEP 1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook ground beef until browned. Drain grease and return to stove top. Add taco seasoning and water and simmer for several minutes.

STEP 2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place taco shells in a 13×9 baking dish. Fill with meat. (add beans and corn if desired) Top with shredded cheese and place in oven for 8-10 minutes.

Remove and top with lettuce and tomato. Provide additional toppings if desired. ENJOY!

What to put in tacos

You can stick with the simple meat and cheese filling in these tacos or add some extras to fill out your meal with even more flavor. I love tossing a can of black or pinto beans in with the meat!

Corn, diced onions, bell peppers and jalapenos are delicious when you add them to the taco meat before baking, too. The added vegetables will stretch the meat a bit so you may end up with leftover filling.

Store any filling that doesn’t fit in your taco shells in the fridge and add it to taco salads, nachos or burritos the next day! Anytime I can make more than one meal from the same meat, I take advantage.

Taco Toppings Ideas

I once had a friend who liked her crispy tacos plain–just meat and cheese. To each their own, I suppose, but I love adding different flavors and textured to my tacos with toppings.

Think beyond the standard lettuce, tomato and salsa. There are dozens of creative and delicious ways to make these Baked Tacos stand out from your usual Taco Tuesday meals!

Here are a few of my favorite taco toppings for baked tacos:

Or, if you’re like my friend (and lots of kids I know), enjoy a baked taco just as it is, with the spiced meat and cheese as the main focus.

Can you substitute ground turkey in tacos

Yes, ground turkey is a delicious substitute for the beef in these tacos. While I haven’t tried it with meatless beef substitutes, this method of baking tacos should work just fine with those ingredients as well.

Baked Tacos: create the best dinner, crunchy tacos that don't fall apart!

More Dinner Recipes

Yield: 12 tacos

Baked Tacos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Take your tacos to the next level with this Baked Tacos recipe! Create the ultimate dish to serve your family and friends, without your taco crumbling on your plate!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 12 Crunchy Taco Shells
  • 1 1/4 cups Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

Instructions

    1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook ground beef until browned. Drain grease and return to stovetop. Add taco seasoning and water and simmer for several minutes.
    2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400°F.
    3. Place taco shells in a 13x9 baking dish. Fill with meat. (add beans and corn if desired) Top with shredded cheese and place in oven for 8-10 minutes.
    4. Remove and top with lettuce and tomato. Provide additional toppings if desired. ENJOY!

Did you make this recipe?

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

Place a pan full of piping hot Baked Tacos on the table the next time you have a dinner party or Taco Tuesday night! You get all the delicious fun of crispy tacos with none of the crumbly mess with this taco recipe!

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 2, 2014

Comments & Reviews

  1. I loaded up the shells and let them sit on the counter for about 30 minutes until everyone was home… popped them in while people got cleaned up and seated. This was a yummy and easy dinner!

  2. You won’t hear a peep out of me for baking your tacos – I’ve had baked tacos before and they are FAB. Yours look to die for and save me a bunch of crumbly tacos shell mess. AND I was just thinking about starting up a “taco night” at home. 😀

  3. This is SO smart, Aimee! This really does cover all of those issues we have with crunchy tacos! I also love this for entertaining. We have a big crowd over for Halloween…this will be perfect! Pinned!

  4. This is SUCH an awesome time-saver dinner, Aimee! My family adores taco night, but I don’t really love all the time it takes to prepare all that—you can bet that THESE things are going on the menu next time! 😉

  5. This is how my hubby eats tacos too. I’m a soft shell all the way person, but he likes his hard shells baked to that soft crunchy perfection. Awesome dinner idea for busy nights and party time!

  6. What a fun idea and ” but after one bite they become taco salad” — YES! Sounds like this is the answer to the unintended taco salad prayers 🙂 pinned!

  7. Well, you talked me into it! I love the taste of hard shells, but never use them because of the crumble factor! I never thought to bake a taco…and I think this is brilliant! Count me in.. <3

  8. I love the idea of baking tacos! Because when you do it the other way and all the meat falls out of the other side, that can get super frustrating. This way is much smarter.

  9. We eat tacos on a regular basis, too! Love this idea for making the whole process easier and less messy!

  10. This is such a yummy idea!!! Tacos are always such a pain and really messy. I like that this is so easy! Pinned!

  11. What a great time saving idea. I always forget to heat my shells until the last minute. If I do it your way, I can have crunchy tacos with a hot filling. Perfect!

  12. No mess, perfect shell texture, and melty cheese. What’s not to love about a baked taco. I’m on board with you, Aimee. Pinned!

  13. I love that you put them in the baking dish and in the oven to get the shells warm and the cheese melted. Simple but genius!

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