In this post I’ll be sharing a delicious and Easy Cheesy Oven Baked Tacos Recipe.
Taco night at home is usually a meal that the whole family loves. Am I right? I am all for taco night any night of the week and not just for Taco Tuesday.
Perhaps my memory fails me but I don’t ever remember mama making tacos at home. I do remember that whenever we had tacos it was one of the very rare occasions that we went out to eat to have them.
There wasn’t a Taco Bell everywhere you went back then either…it was a Del Taco where we went for our taco dinners.
Have you ever taken time to read the instructions on a box of crunchy taco shells? Most people don’t. It was years before I ever did. I mean it is taco shells and how hard can that be? Right?
Turns out that you’re supposed to toast those shells in the oven. You know what? The toasting part really does make a difference.
So if you gotta toast those crispy shells anyways for better flavor then why not make baked tacos. Baking the tacos gets the cheese all melty and it really does make the shells taste a whole lot better.
Aren’t those tacos mouthwatering delicious?
Everyone has their perfect taco….kind of like how you like a sandwich or burger. We all have our favorite toppings depending on what type of taco we happen to be enjoying.
What is your perfect taco?
Sometimes we want soft tacos and other times we’re in the mood for crunchy shells.
I like the stand up hard shells for baked tacos because they just work well for the way they’re being placed in a baking dish.
It is also easier to add your favorite toppings to the stand up type of taco shell.
Oven Baked Tacos with Hard Shells
What meats work well in oven baked tacos?
- Seasoned Ground Beef (which is what I used for these tacos)
- Blackened Fish
- Carne Asada
If you prefer vegan tacos then you could use beans rather than a meat.
What toppings go on tacos?
- Sour Cream
- Refried Beans or other cooked beans (pintos or black beans)
- Pico de Gallo
- Pickled Jalapenos
- Cilantro (which tastes like soap to me so no thank you)
- Black Olives
- Taco Sauce
- Hot Sauce
The toppings list could go on and on.
Baked Tacos Recipe
What will I need to make this easy cheesy oven baked tacos recipe?
You’ll need ground beef, taco seasoning, a good melting cheese like cheddar or Monterrey Jack (I went with cheddar) and stand up crunchy shells. And your favorite toppings, of course.
What kind of ground beef is best for tacos? I prefer ground chuck because it has a nice fat content which keeps the meat moist and flavorful.
Start by preparing your seasoned ground beef by cooking it in a skillet over medium heat breaking it up and stirring until it is cooked through. Drain the beef well to get rid of excess grease.
Next, season the cooked ground beef with taco seasoning. Some folks like a lot…like the whole envelope. I usually use about half of the seasoning in an envelope. Then add a little water and stir so that the seasoning gets into every nook and cranny possible.
Allow the meat mixture to simmer until the liquid has all reduced and it is thickened.
Awesome Cheesy Tacos
The next step is to place your crunchy taco shells in a baking dish and arrange them however you like so they fit nicely.
First add a nice layer of cheese in the bottom of the each shell for two reasons. One, because the more cheese the better. Two, that layer of cheese is gonna keep the bottom of that hard shell from becoming a soggy mess.
Trust me on the cheese layer because I made baked tacos once without it and I will never skip that layer of protective cheesy goodness again.
Taco Tuesday Meal the Whole Family will Love
The next step is to add a layer of the seasoned ground beef. Evenly portion it out among the tacos, which were ten in this case because that is what came in the box.
If you happen to find yourself with leftover taco meat, it can be frozen for another time. Just place the leftover seasoned ground beef in a food storage bag, label it and pop it in the freezer until you need it.
Since I just prepared a pound of the meat filling it was just enough for ten tacos.
Cheesy Baked Tacos
Since these are cheesy baked tacos go ahead and add another layer of cheese. Cheddar makes it better in my book.
That sounded cheesy didn’t it?
Easy Oven Tacos
Pop those wonderful tacos into a hot oven and let them bake until that cheese is ooey gooey melted.
Favorite Toppings for Tacos
Now for the really fun part – the toppings! Either go ahead and fill each taco with the toppings that your family loves or give everyone their tacos to finish building themselves. A taco bar might be a fun idea.
Since we’ve already established that I love cheese in my oven baked tacos I’ll have some crisp lettuce, pickled jalapenos and maybe a dollop of sour cream please.
This is taco night done right my friends. You can’t go wrong with this delicious meal. The best homemade tacos ever!
How many tacos in a serving? I say it depends. I’m going with two. Some sources say that 3 is common and others 4-5.
What do you serve with tacos?
Great side options for your baked tacos include Spanish style rice, refried beans, a salad or chips and salsa. Those are more traditional options and most folks like them.
If you wanted to do a bit of meal prep for your taco dinner then you could already have your meat cooked and ready to be re-heated after a busy day along with having any veggie toppings chopped and ready to go.
This is a quick fix meal however and you’ll have it on the table in about half an hour without prepping ahead.
Easy Cheesy Oven Baked Tacos Recipe
Below you will find the printable recipe card for making these delicious cheesy baked tacos.
After the recipe be sure to check out a couple of more taco dinner options that you might enjoy as well.
- 1 pound of Ground Beef
- 1.25 ounce Taco Seasoning Packet
- 1/2 cup of Water
- 1 Box of 10 Crunchy Stand 'n Stuff Taco Shells
- 1 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Favorite Taco Toppings (see post for list of options)
- Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium high for 6-8 minutes breaking up the meat and stirring as it cooks through. Drain well of excess grease.
- Next, add the taco seasoning and water (note: you can use the entire seasoning packet, I only use half because that works best for us); stir and bring to a boil the reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the crunchy taco shells in a large rectangle baking dish then add a layer of cheese to the bottom of each shell (see notes) then a layer of the seasoned meat mixture and a final layer of cheese.
- Bake 5 minutes until the taco shells are toasted and the cheese is melted.
- Serve with your favorite taco toppings.
The first layer of cheese in the bottom of the shell keeps the crunchy shells from becoming soggy from the meat mixture.
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Serving Size:2 Tacos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 864mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 32g
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The Best Meals are homemade meals made with love!