Oven Baked Tacos

You’ll love these crispy, melty baked tacos! The filling is made from both beef and beans, so it’s extra delicious!:)

You'll love these crispy, melty baked tacos! The filling is made from both beef and beans, so it's extra delicious! :)

What’s better than–and easier than–regular tacos? Oven tacos! I’m totally serious! These have been a thing for a few years now, so you may have already seen them before. But if you haven’t tried them yet, you should. ASAP. They’re a great way to make tacos for a crowd and in general, they’re just a great change up from regular taco night. Plus, it’s also fun to make homemade crispy taco shells! Though it involves being extra careful when you’re working with hot oven racks, I bet kids would LOVE to watch corn tortilla shells transform into crispy shells.:) I mean… I do, so what kid wouldn’t? Haha.

You'll love these crispy, melty baked tacos! The filling is made from both beef and beans, so it's extra delicious! :)

I’ve made this recipe as written below a handful of times, but I’ve always thought about how I could switch up the filling but keep the concept the same. I haven’t ventured very far yet–just subbing black beans from refried beans, but that’s a tasty start! I think these tacos would be great with shredded chicken, carnita meat, fajita veggies, pinto beans, or any other filling your little taco-loving heart desires! No matter how you make it, this dish is a favorite. It’s hard to decide what the best part of these tacos are–the crisp homemade shells, the bubbly and melty cheese, or the flavorful beef and bean filling… but I do know that these tacos have been part of our regular taco rotation for a couple years now so I hope you try them! If you need any sides for taco night, why not try my Mexican RicePerfect Black Beans, or this yummy Guacomole Salsa? Enjoy!

You'll love these crispy, melty baked tacos! The filling is made from both beef and beans, so it's extra delicious! :)

one year ago: Turkey Sloppy Joes
two years ago: BBQ Baked Spaghetti
three years ago: Honey Lemon Thyme Iced Tea
four years ago: Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
five years ago: Spiced Waffles

Oven Baked Tacos

  • Servings: 8-10 tacos
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from Macaroni & Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 8 to 9 corn tortillas [or for an easier twist, premade hard taco shells]
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces refried beans [from half of a 15 ounce can]
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning  [about half of a store-bought packet]
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • taco toppings – chopped lettuce, avocado, tomatoes; sour cream; cilantro; etc.

Directions:

Begin by making the crispy taco shells. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In batches, microwave tortillas in a damp dishtowel or paper towel, if you prefer, for about 20-30 seconds until tortillas are pliable. Coat on each side with cooking spray, then lay on a cutting board or plate. When all are ready, open oven and carefully pull out the top oven rack partially. Drape tortillas over rungs so they are hanging upside down and forming that hard taco shell shape. If you prefer, you can remove the rack before you preheat the oven so you can do this step with a cool oven rack and just slide it back in. I found it easier to do it this way personally though. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, until crispy, then carefully remove from the oven with tongs and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Adjust oven temperature to 400 degrees, then spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a large skillet. Remove grease, then stir in tomato sauce, refried beans, and taco seasoning. Heat on medium-low for a few minutes to heat through.

Remove pan from heat and fill each cooled taco shell with the meat mixture. Stand each filled shell up in prepared pan. Sprinkle everything with cheese, then bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese melts. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

Note:

To reheat and retain the crispy shell, heat leftovers at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, checking carefully so nothing burns.

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole

This hearty egg breakfast casserole is full of bacon, hashbrown potatoes, red bell peppers [my fave!], and cheese. It’s sure to please!

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole - a delicious, hearty breakfast that is sure to please!

Weekends call for a delicious breakfast, do they not? While I’m a pancake-girl through and through, sometimes I don’t want to stand at the stove flipping pancakes for 30 minutes. Okay, it’s not always 30 minutes but sometimes it sure feels like it, especially when your family or friends are eating pancake after pancake while all you’ve had are the scraps. Haha, you laugh, but it’s true!:) So what do you do to avoid that situation? Make a casserole, of course!

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole - a delicious, hearty breakfast that is sure to please!

This breakfast casserole was part of my recent foray into eating up the food in my kitchen freezer so that I could move things out of the garage freezer in preparation for my freezer-cooking-before-baby extravaganza. Thank you, leftover half-pound of bacon! Thank YOU, half-bag of shredded hashbrowns! I know the bacon was recent, but those hashbrowns? Who knows! The freezer can be a sc-sc-sc-scaryyyy place. But the good news is, this casserole isn’t anything scary at all! It has all your favorite breakfast components packaged into one tasty treat. Since Ben and I can’t eat an entire pan of this goodness in one go, we parceled it out for breakfast all week long, making mornings a little easier.:) I know this will become part of our regular rotation because it was mighty delicious and has endless substitution possibilities. Enjoy, and happy weekend!

one year ago: Curried Chicken Salad
two years ago: Coconut Curry Popcorn
three years ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
four years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
five years ago: Chicken Pot Pie

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 60 minutes
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from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill [or 1/2 teaspoon dried]
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil [or 1 teaspoon dried]
  • 16 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook bacon on a skillet until crisp, then set aside on paper towels to cool. When cooled, chop into bite size pieces. Drain off most of the grease from the skillet, reserving about 2 tablespoons.

Add bell pepper and garlic to the skillet and cook until just beginning to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, pepper, dill, and basil. Add cooled bacon and peppers, stirring gently to combine. Fold in hash browns and cheese.

Pour into prepared pan, then bake for about 40-45 minutes or until set in the middle. Enjoy!

Casserole reheats well throughout the week, and individual servings freeze well too.

 

SRC: Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm!

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm! #secretrecipeclub

This month for Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to The Avid Appetite, a fun blog written by Rachel. Rachel lives in Jersey City with her family and shares her love of family, fun, and food through her wonderful blog that she’s maintained for 5+ years. So many of her recipes sounded so delicious that it was hard to just pick one! After checking out my options, I narrowed it down to Pepperjack Pimento Cheese Dip, her favorite Iced Coffee recipe, Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges, and Berry Baked Oatmeal… and my final pick, Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I wish I had time to try everything!

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm! #secretrecipeclub These buffalo chicken lettuce wraps certainly hit the spot! They were the perfect blend of spicy, creamy, cheesy, and cool. We enjoyed them during Selection Sunday last week [go Hoosiers!], but they’d be equally good during any sporting event, party, or get together. To be honest, buffalo chicken isn’t always my favorite–some versions are too spicy, and most versions are too messy–but this recipe may make me a diehard fan.:) If you like buffalo chicken, you’ll love this recipe!

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm! #secretrecipeclub

I changed a few things with Rachel’s original recipe–namely, using feta cheese and ranch dressing in place of bleu cheese and bleu cheese dressing, but the heart of the recipe is still there. If you’re a bleu cheese fan, knock yourself out, haha. I also added celery on top for some crunch! Yum! Thanks, Rachel, for this tasty treat!

one year ago: French Toast Casserole
two years ago: Tasty Mexican Lentils

three years ago: Quick Chocolate Pudding
four years ago: Alice’s Vanilla Tea-Infused Granola
five years ago: Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a meal
  • Time: 45 minutes
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from The Avid Appetite

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts or 4-5 chicken thighs – I used bone in, skin on chicken thighs but boneless skinless would work too
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil, if using boneless skinless chicken
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or bleu cheese
  • 1 head Boston or iceberg lettuce, washed and dried, then separated into individual leaves
  • 1/3 cup ranch or bleu cheese dressing
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken on a large baking sheet lined with foil. [If using boneless skinless chicken, brush chicken with olive oil.] Sprinkle chicken with pepper, paprika, and thyme. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Let rest for about 10 minutes to cool, then remove skin and bones and chop into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, place cream cheese, hot sauce, and feta in a large mixing bowl. Stir together and add chicken. Transfer mixture to an oven safe baking dish to heat through, or place in a skillet set over low heat. Cook until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, spoon buffalo chicken into prepared lettuce leaves. Drizzle with ranch dressing and top with celery.

Enjoy!

Be sure to check out all the other recipes made by my SRC friends this week at the link below!

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet

In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components–rice, chicken, and veggies–then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce… and sit back and enjoy! 

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet: In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components--rice, chicken, and veggies--then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce... and sit back and enjoy!

If healthier skillet meals and casseroles are my favorite things ever now [minimal dishes, no real need for a side dish cause you have the protein + veggies + starch all in one happy mix], I can only imagine how valuable they’ll be once Baby Volde arrives in May!:) I’m planning on doing some freezer cooking before his arrival, but those meals will eventually be depleted and when I go back to work having these sort of tasty yet healthy meals on hand will be key to my happiness. I’m sure of it! So I’m making certain I find some good recipes now so I’m ready then. If this Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet doesn’t fit the bill for easy, yummy, and delicious while still being healthy, then I don’t know what would!

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet: In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components--rice, chicken, and veggies--then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce... and sit back and enjoy!

This meal is SO good, you guys. If you’ve ever looked around my blog or know me in real life, you know that I’m a Mexican/Southwestern/Tex Mex food addict. I could go for tacos, black bean and rice bowls, carnitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas just about any day. It’s not any one thing about that kind of cuisine–the spices, or the cheese, or the toppings, but all of that at once. And this dish, though it’s not “Mexican” at all, it reminds me of a Mexican/Southwestern/Tex Mex-influenced meal thanks to the combo of chicken, black beans, rice, and tomatoes, plus all the yummy toppings! Cheese! Sour cream! Cilantro! Scallions! Yum!

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet: In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components--rice, chicken, and veggies--then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce... and sit back and enjoy!

Seriously, this stuff is ahhhmazingly good! Plus it has veggies, so that makes it good for you! Ha.:) But it does, right?!? Don’t be put off by the “spicy” label on this recipe. It’s really only lightly spicy… the cheese and ranch combo cools things down, and if your family doesn’t do spice, then omit the crushed red pepper and cayenne and use regular diced tomatoes instead of fire-roasted. No matter how you make it, everyone will certainly love it! Though I’m a fan of making this dish with leftover roasted chicken, you can certainly make it with other proteins like ground turkey, chorizo, or even leftover shredded pulled pork for a new flavor profile. Now I have a new dinner idea for later this week because I just so happen to have a bunch of leftover pulled pork in the freezer! Score!:) Enjoy!

one year ago: Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake
two years ago: Strawberry Yogurt
three years ago: Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
four years ago: Extraordinary Grilled Cheese
five years ago: The Best Egg Salad

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 minutes
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adapted from Well Plated

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups bell pepper, chopped [I used a mix of red, yellow, and orange]
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can no-salt fire-roasted tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes [depending on your preferred level of spice]
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 2-3 tablespoons homemade ranch seasoning [or one small package from the grocery store]
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water or additional chicken broth, if necessary
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  • chopped scallions, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragarent. Reduce heat to low and stir in black beans, tomatoes, and chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning. Stir to combine, then add red pepper, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. Add additional ranch seasoning to taste. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes or until hot.

When rice is cooked, stir into veggie and chicken mixture. Add up to 1/2 cup additional chicken broth/water if it is too thick to stir. Serve with cheddar cheese, cilantro, and scallions. For a creamy treat, stir in a bit of sour cream. Enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili

Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it’s a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

It’s another chilly week! Ben and I are certainly learning about good insulation versus bad insulation throughout this first winter in our house. Fortunately, winter in Nashville isn’t that intense. But unfortunately, when it is cold, I don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars in heating costs. So I do the next best thing–warm up from the cold with a hot ‘n hearty dinner! One of my long-time favorites that I somehow haven’t shared on the blog is this wonderful Chicken Quinoa Chili! It is so full of flavor, so simple, and so tasty. Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you–this dish can be made in the crockpot so all you basically have to do stir together, live your life, and come back for a tasty dinner.:)

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

This easy crockpot meal basically combines all the good stuff–chicken, spices, quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, corn, green pepper, onion, and garlic–with a little chicken broth to make an incredible Chicken Quinoa Chili. It’s seriously a Mexican-style soup/chili on steroids! And each bite is made better by the mass quantities of toppings. You can basically add any sort of taco, chili, or soup topping you like… but my necessary Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili toppings include: cilantro, cheese, and sour cream. If I have some diced avocado too, even better! #goodstuff The toppings just take this chili to the next level… but it’s still fabulously filling and delightful.

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!Before we go, can I let you in on a secret? Even though this chili is made what it is by the quinoa, I’m a little quinoa-ed out. For a long time, I was convincing Ben that it was the BEST-THING-EVER and I put it in everything. I think the rest of the internet did too.:) But now… I don’t use it very often so when I do, I want to make it count. And this is the type of dish where it really does count. Adding quinoa to what’s basically a chicken tortilla soup kicks it up a notch into a fabulous chili. Mmmm, tasty stuff! Hope you enjoy this awesome meal as much as we do.:)

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

one year ago: Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties
two years ago: Quick ‘n Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice
three years ago: Buffalo Pretzels
four years ago: Camp Tecumseh Baked Oatmeal
five years ago: Pork Chops with Red Wine Sauce

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 8 hours
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slightly adapted from Boys Ahoy

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts [about 1 1/2 pounds]
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 cups black beans, drained and rinsed [or 2 – 15 ounce cans]
  • 1 – 16 ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • shredded cheese, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
  • avocado, for serving
  • green onions, for serving
  • crushed tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

Place chicken at the bottom of a large crockpot. Sprinkle with cumin, crushed red pepper, and chili powder. Season with pepper. Top with quinoa and pour chicken broth on top. Then add tomatoes, black beans, corn, green pepper, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.

When finished cooking, remove chicken and shred with a fork, then return to crockpot and stir to combine. Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, green onions, and tortilla chips as desired.