Baked Tacos

Taco night has never been so delicious! Our Baked Tacos are made with a blend of seasoned beef, refried beans and salsa tucked in between layers of cheese. With our Baked Tacos, you can enjoy all the flavor of a traditional taco without the time and effort it takes to prepare.

baked tacos in a baking dish

What Is A Baked Taco?

If you’ve never sunk your teeth into a baked taco, here’s your chance. A baked taco is, of course, a taco that’s been baked with all the filling inside.

So instead of making taco meat and then setting aside grated cheese, beans and salsa for everyone to make individual tacos, it’s already done.

A ground beef filling mixed with refried beans and salsa gets stuffed into taco shells, nestled in between layers of cheese and baked. You end up with an incredibly crispy dish of tacos that everyone can dig into at the same time.

beef taco with cheese and guacamole

What Can I Swap Out For The Ground Beef?

Ground beef is our protein of choice when making this taco recipe, but there are definitely other options! You can use ground turkey or ground chicken to lighten these tacos up.

Another option is to use leftover, cooked chicken or grab a rotisserie chicken from the store. Shred the chicken and add it to the skillet along with the taco seasoning, refried beans and salsa.

ground beef with refried beans and cheese

How Do You Make Baked Tacos?

After you make the ground beef filling, place 10 taco shells in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish as pictured below. Use the Stand N’ Stuff taco shells if you can as they allow for more filling to be used.

Also, of course, they stand up nicely in the baking dish so that the filling stays inside the taco shell.

Add a layer of cheese to the bottom of each taco shell. This layer of cheese not only adds cheesy goodness, but it provides a barrier between the shell an the meat so that the shell doesn’t get soggy as it bakes.

Add the ground beef filling to each taco shell, followed by diced green chilis. Diced green chilis are very mild, but you can certainly leave them off these tacos if you prefer.

Our boys love a little spice so we usually add the whole can if chilis right to the beef filling. By adding the chilis to the top of the tacos like this, you can leave some plain if you need to.

Top the tacos with more shredded cheddar cheese and bake. Try spicing them up with a pepper jack cheese or use a Mexican blend cheese. You can even add different cheeses to the tops of the baked tacos for a variety of flavors!

Can Baked Tacos Be Reheated?

While we love the fact that these baked tacos take all of the assembly away from taco night, they are best enjoyed right away. The taco shell will get soggy as it sits, but we have a solution for that too.

Leftover tacos can be reheated in an air fryer or the oven to bring back some of the crispiness in the taco shell. They won’t be as crispy as they were originally, but they are for sure crispy enough to enjoy.

baked tacos in baking dish with toppings

Tips For Crispy Taco Shells!

Our first tip for getting crispy taco shells when making baked tacos is to add a layer of cheese to the bottom of the shell before adding the meat.

Some recipes call for adding a layer of black beans, but we wanted to come up with another solution since we know that everyone doesn’t want black beans in their tacos. The more beans the better in our house, but we aim to please everyone.

Another tip for getting the taco shells super crispy is to bake them for a few minutes in the oven before adding any of the filling.

Can You Make These Tacos In An Air Fryer?

Yes! In fact, using an air fryer to cook baked tacos results in the most crispy taco shell and in half the time. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you’ll need to cook the tacos in 2 batches, but since they’re done so fast it really doesn’t make much of a difference.

But if you’re looking for the ultimate crispy taco shell, definitely try the air fryer.

two baked tacos on a plate

What Can I Serve With These Tacos?

Tacos are kind of a meal all on their own, but we do enjoy our side dishes! Here’s some of our favorite sides that go well with tacos.

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baked tacos in baking dish with toppings

Baked Tacos

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Kick up taco night with these Baked Tacos! A creamy beef and bean filling stuffed into taco shells, nestled in between layers of cheese!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 10 Stand n’ Stuff taco shells
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilis
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, salsa for topping

Instructions

Oven Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Add the ground beef and cook while breaking up into crumbles until no pink remains. Drain any grease from the pan.
  3. Season the beef with the salt and taco seasoning, then add the refried beans and salsa and stir.
  4. Layer the taco shells in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (use the photos in the post for reference). Take 1 cup of the cheese and divide it between the taco shells. Fill the taco shells with the ground beef filling, dividing between the ten taco shells. Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the tacos as is or top with guacamole, sour cream or salsa.

Air Fryer Instructions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees if needed. Place as many of the tacos in the basket that will fit, ours will fit 6 but it depends on the size of your air fryer.
  2. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and the shells are crispy. *The air fryer cooking method produces the crispiest shells!

Recipe Notes

Pre-bake the taco shells for an extra crispy shell!

Reheat: To reheat leftover tacos in the air fryer, place the tacos in the basket of your air fryer and heat at 400 degrees for 4 minutes until crispy. To reheat tacos in the oven, place the tacos on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 8 -10 minutes until crispy.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American / Tex-Mex

Keywords: mantitlement, taco recipe, baked tacos, easy dinner recipes, ground beef recipes

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