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! 🙂

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
  • Print

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.

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Main Dishes, Other, Recipes

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium]

I like tacos alot. Actually, I love tacos. And all other forms of Mexican food, both traditional and Tex-Mex/Southwest. For a long time I thought you had to buy a packet to make tacos… that the seasoning was some foreign, mysterious substance that you couldn’t possibly replicate at home. Well, turns out that’s not exactly true. There are mystery things in some store-bought versions of taco seasoning but it turns out that I CAN make a version at home that we love, and we are better off for it.

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

Why? It’s cheaper, healthier, and more convenient. No more do I have to remember to buy taco seasoning at the store when I want to make tacos. I already have it in bulk in my spice cupboard, ready and waiting for when the mood strikes. And let me tell you… the mood strikes often. This taco seasoning has become my multipurpose Mexican seasoning. I use it in quesadillas, in black beans, in chicken salad, in quinoa, in rice. I use it all the time!

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

I hate having to pay people to do something I can do better myself and I cringe when I think of all the money we’ve spent on fancy low-sodium taco seasoning packets and jars. Neither Ben nor I have been put on a low-sodium diet or anything, but as I’ve mentioned on the blog before I’m not really into salt. I like salty foods of course but am really sensitive to it in restaurant food, processed foods, and the like. I know it ‘enhances’ flavors but for me, it almost ruins them. So I rarely add salt to things. I figure many ingredients naturally have salt in them anyways so what’s the point?

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

This taco seasoning isn’t a true sodium free spice blend because most commercial chili powders do include salt. That’s something new I learned while writing this blog post… interesting, huh? But I call this low-sodium because it doesn’t have any extra salt. It gets all its flavor from a variety of herbs and spices. Like all homemade spice blends, its totally customizable based on what you like. We like a little kick so I add crushed red pepper or red chili flakes for some heat, but feel free to adjust as you like. I’m so glad I found this recipe. It’s been a staple in my kitchen for about two years and I practically have it memorized. I decided now was the time to share it with y’all! Enjoy!

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Double Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
two years ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
three years ago: No-Bake Reese’s Bars

Homemade Taco Seasoning [Low Sodium] [adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • four pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper or red chili flakes

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or other airtight container. Shake to combine and store in a dark place to use as needed.

To make tacos, add 3-4 tablespoons to a pound of cooked ground beef or turkey along with a 1/2 cup of water. Simmer 4-5 minutes or until liquid is reduced.

Seasoning is also great with chicken or black beans!

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: roughly 3/4 cup.

Linked up with: Real Food Fridays.