Oven Baked Tacos are always a favorite at dinnertime with the family, or when feeding a crowd at a party. Crisp taco shells are filled with cheese and our favorite seasoned ground beef taco meat and then baked in the shells the cheese is melted.
This is one of our favorite taco recipes! Baking these shells with meat & cheese helps to keep everything together – which means more yummy food in the mouth and less on the lap! Add your favorite toppings and serve!
How to Make Oven Baked Tacos
The difference between these baked tacos and typical tacos is that the meat and a bit of cheese is added to the shells and baked for a few minutes.
Not only do they look so yummy packed together and standing upright in a casserole pan; they are easy to prepare, and even easier to grab and enjoy. You can also make these with pork or chicken. Just three simple steps to make this delicious crowd pleaser:
- Brown the ground beef and onion. Stir in taco seasoning, or (use Homemade Taco Seasoning), and diced tomatoes.
- Stack the taco shells side-by-side in a casserole pan and fill with cheese and meat mixture.
- Top with shredded cheese and bake until the shells are crispy and the cheese is thoroughly melted.
To Keep Baked Tacos Crispy
These tacos are naturally a little bit soft on the bottom due to the moisture from the meat. Here are a few tips to keep them as crispy as possible.
- Start with a thin layer of cheese in the bottom to create a barrier between the shell and the meat.
- Ensure your meat is cooked until all liquid is evaporated.
- Fill and bake just before serving. Once baked, serve immediately.
Can I use soft tortillas? While you can use soft tortillas for regular ground beef tacos, these baked tacos need a crunchy taco. I find the crisp taco shells that stand by themselves are the easiest to use.
Of course the best reason to make oven baked tacos is that they’re just plain delicious!
Baked Taco Toppings
Tacos just wouldn’t be the same without a generous array of toppings to choose from. Top all of the tacos at once right in the pan, this makes for easy serving! If you’d prefer, create a taco bar and let everyone add their favorite toppings. Here are our favorites:
- Sauces: pico de gallo, sour cream, salsa, tomatillo sauce, guacamole, enchilada sauce
- Fresh Toppings: chopped cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, mango salsa, lime, red cabbage slaw
- Flavor Boosters: cheese, jalapeños, homemade salsa, black olives, Coleslaw, onions (red or green)
- Spicy: jalapenos, chipotle, hot sauce, taco sauce
What to Serve With Tacos
The best side dishes for serving with tacos are the classics: refried beans, Spanish rice and an ice cold margarita, am I right? Serve these next to your oven baked tacos, and your family just might think they’re sitting in the best restaurant in town!
More Mexican Inspired Dishes
- Easy Ground Beef Tacos – A favorite dish perfected!
- Ground Beef Enchiladas – family favorite.
- Shrimp Tacos – perfect last minute option.
- Easy Fish Tacos – 20 mins from fridge to table!
- Cilantro Lime Rice – zesty, refreshing flavor.
- Easy Taco Salad – ready in 30 mins!
Cheesy Oven Baked Tacos
- 1 pound ground lean beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 1 onion
- 10 ounces canned tomatoes with chilis such as rotel
- 12-14 crisp taco shells
- 2 ½ cups cheddar or jack cheese divided
- sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cook ground beef and onion until no pink remains. Drain fat. Add in taco seasoning, undrained tomatoes and ¼ cup water. Cook until no liquid remains (about 5 minutes).
- Place your taco shells in a 9×13 pan. Use small balls of foil between every second shell to help them stand up if needed.
- Divide 1 ½ cups of cheese between the shells. Top with meat mixture divided between shells and finally top with remaining cheese.
- Bake 15-18 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with desired toppings and serve immediately.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)