Beef, Main Dishes, Recipes

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! ūüôā

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. ūüôā 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 Rice,¬†Perfect 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
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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.

Main Dishes, Pizza, Recipes

Taco Pizza

Some people are pizza purists, and some people are me. I like trying the most ridiculous and random types of pizza ever. My most recent favorite at a local pizza place? Pecans, sweet onion marmalade, gorgonzola and fresh rosemary. So, so good. That is definitely a combo I will be ordering again and maybe even recreating at home! And I am sure it’ll be nothing but good.¬†But for now, this Taco Pizza I made from Budget Bytes¬†is my favoritest homemade pizza of all time. A high honor, and for good reason.

Taco Pizza | The Pajama Chef

Tacos and pizza are amazing on their own, and together in one dish is a party you don’t want to miss! Each bite has layers of hot and cold ingredients and is just so flavorful!

Taco Pizza | The Pajama Chef

When thinking about this pizza, it’s hard to tell what the best part is–the refried bean/salsa sauce? The crunchy corn? The cheese? [oooh cause you can’t have pizza without cheese!] Or the fresh, cold pico, cilantro, and sour cream on top of it all? I’m not sure, but you pretty much can’t go wrong with this idea because it’s so¬†versatile. Any taco filling would be fabulous on this pizza. I think next time I might add some shredded chicken and sauteed peppers and onions for a fajita-type pizza. Oooh! And chunks of avocado and a drizzle of guacamole salsa. That’s what I’m talking about!!

Taco Pizza | The Pajama Chef

Even without meat though, this veggie pizza is super filling, and your family will be fighting over the leftovers. Ben and I sure were! Haha. Just kidding. I think.

It’s a good thing I didn’t make this yesterday on our fourth anniversary! ūüôā Instead, we spent the day¬†picnicking¬†at a local winery and enjoying each other’s company. Better than squabbling over a¬†delicious¬†pizza,¬†methinks. Teeheehee. Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Taco Pizza

  • Servings: 4-5
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from Budget Bytes
Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced + more for sprinkling
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 [15 ounce] can refried beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together tomatoes, onion, and cilantro for pico de gallo. Add black pepper to taste, set aside.

Add oil to a small saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.  Then stir in beans, salsa, and taco seasoning and cook until heated and smooth. Remove from heat.

Roll out pizza dough on pizza pan, par-baking crust if desired for 5-7 minutes [I usually skip this step!]. Then remove from oven and top with bean mixture, cheese, and corn. Bake for another 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Top with pico de gallo, cilantro, and a drizzle of sour cream [spoon into ziploc bag, cut off the corner, and squeeze over pizza]. You can also add a dash of hot sauce if that’s your thing. Enjoy!

P.S. SHAMELESS PLUG! Please check out and like my¬†new blog Facebook page… thanks!

Beans, Main Dishes, Recipes

{Green} Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Oops. After sharing that awesome guacamole salsa last week I never came back with these yummy vegetarian enchiladas! I was too busy finishing what I hope to be the FINAL draft of my thesis! Woohoo. But here they are now. GREEN enchiladas! How fun, methinks.

{Green} Bean & Cheese Enchiladas | The Pajama Chef

These enchiladas are pretty simple, but full of flavor. Refried beans–a healthy version–plus a dab of cream cheese for creaminess makes up the filling for the soft tortillas. Then these tortillas are basically bathed in that fresh guacamole salsa and topped with more cheese. Yum and yum and yum, right?¬†Ben and I found them to be ridiculously addictive and filling… they were gone in three days, tops.

{Green} Bean & Cheese Enchiladas | The Pajama Chef

I know these¬†enchiladas¬†are far from¬†traditional–no real enchilada sauce and flour tortillas instead of corn… but I hope you don’t mind too much, because they just taste so darn good. Plus they are pretty. Can’t beat pretty food! Enjoy! ūüôā

{Green} Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch Guacamole Salsa
  • 2 1/2 cups refried beans – I used this awesome healthified version from Rachel Cooks
  • 4 ounces cream cheese – I used¬†Neufch√Ętel
  • 8 soft tortillas
  • 4 ounces shredded cheese – I used half Extra Sharp Cheddar, half Monterey Jack

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 1 cup Guacamole Salsa in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together refried beans and cream cheese [microwave the beans first so the cream cheese melts]. Then divide the beans between the tortillas, roll up, and line in pan.

Top with another 1 1/2 cups Guacamole Salsa [or more if desired], then cover with shredded cheese.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.