Taco night happens often in our house, mostly because we love mexican flavors and tacos are easy to prepare and annihilate when it comes time to eat. Only now am I discovering the wonders of crispy oven baked tacos.
Even though we do eat tacos often, we rarely differ from the same menu – soft or crunchy tacos with ground beef and refried beans. Sometimes I’ll grab a bag of tortilla chips and make taco salad, but other than that we stick to what we know.
It’s the toppings that really change the game. Hot sauce, pickled jalapenos and green chilis, olives, red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese… to name a few favorites. Add salsa and ranch dressing to the side and there you go, one of my favorite meals.
The downside to any taco is when the taco stuffings outweigh it, making the tacos soggy and droopy, leaving you with a messy plate you have to eat with a fork. NOT COOL.
But when you bake tacos in the oven they crisp up, and the cheese melts all nice on top of the meat. Take them out and top them off with lettuce and your favorites. Even soft tacos get a nice crisp exterior, and hard tacos are reinforced so they don’t soak up the taco juices.
Oven baked tacos
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 of a yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Preferred taco seasonings (I used McCormick Taco Seasoning Mild Mix)
- Taco shells (I used Old El Passo Stand and Stuff Soft Shells, pack of 8)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Toppings: lettuce, olives, taco sauce, diced jalapeno, whatever you like
Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Line up the taco shells in the dish. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brown the ground beef with the diced onion, about 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t hesitate to really brown up the meat so it’s nice and crispy. It makes for smaller pieces and enhances the flavor of the meat. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, then drain any grease you have.
Add the taco seasoning to the pan with the beef and cook for five minutes on medium high heat.
Distribute the ground beef to the taco shells evenly. Top tacos with shredded cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tacos brown slightly and appear crispy.
Top with your favorite taco additions and enjoy with a side of refried beans or mexican rice.