Homemade, delicious beef taco meat is added into crunchy taco shells in an oven-safe dish and baked with cheese, allowing for multiple tacos to be assembled at once. Just add lettuce, tomato, and avocado after baking to make for the easiest Baked Tacos everyone in the family will love.
Busy parents know that serving dinner "family style" is much easier than individual plates, and that is exactly what this Oven Baked Beef Taco recipe is all about. Generally speaking, tacos themselves are a pretty easy dish to make; however, gathering all the toppings in individual bowls, then heating up the shells, then helping the kids make their tacos, etc... is where all your time gets consumed. I thought taco night was stressful when it was supposed to be easy until oven tacos came into my life.
This recipe is made up of a simple homemade beef taco filling cooked up, and then added into the taco shells with cheese and then baked in the oven.
Garnish all the tacos at once and serve family-style for an easy weeknight dinner everyone will love. It even got my kids to eat the tacos with a variety of toppings that they normally wouldn't add on their own. Though, it is easy to leave the toppings off for very picky eaters too!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe with quantities is listed below this text in the recipe card. If substitutions are available for this recipe, they'll be listed here. If you don't see a substitution you are looking for, feel free to leave a comment below.
- lean ground beef (feel free to swap this out with ground chicken or turkey)
- red onion
- tomato paste
- salt + pepper
- spices (this recipe uses a homemade taco seasoning, but you can also substitute it with store-bought taco seasoning)
- cornstarch (this thickens up the taco mixture, but if you are using store-bought taco seasoning with cornstarch already in it, you can omit this)
- refried beans (this adds some flavor and nutrition to the taco meat, as well as thickening it, but it can be omitted or swapped with canned rinsed and drained beans instead)
- beef broth
- crunchy taco shells
- shredded cheese
- taco toppings (the recipe suggests tomato, lettuce and avocado, but swap in your favorites)
A Word on the Taco Shells
Sometimes it can be a little annoying to arrange the taco shells in the dish, depending on the brand of tacos. If the crunchy shells are irregular in shape, it can be tricky to get them to stand up. To avoid this, look for the flat-bottomed taco shells many grocery stores have. If you can't find those and are struggling to get your taco shells to stand up, you can use bunched-up aluminum foil to stabilize any that are slipping down.
How to Customize Oven Tacos
Don't want to make beef oven tacos? Use this recipe as a template to make your own style of tacos! Simply swap out the beef taco recipe for any type of taco filling you want, and bake as the recipe suggests. The cheese is a very helpful component though if you are serving kids. The cheese helps keep the taco filling in for kids who have a tough time eating tacos. So keep that in mind when you are customizing it.
Watch It: Oven Baked Tacos
This Oven Taco recipe was lovingly developed, and I hope you enjoy. Making the recipe? Be sure to leave a comment with a star review on your experience! Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!Print
Homemade beef taco meat is added into crunchy taco shells in an oven safe dish, and baked up along with cheese before adding on lettuce, tomato and avocado to make for the easiest Baked Tacos everyone in the family will love.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 small red onion, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup refried beans
- ¾ cup beef broth
- 12 crunchy taco shells
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 avocados, diced
- Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.
- Heat a large pan over medium-high. Once hot add oil and beef. Cook beef until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. If a lot of fat has been rendered, drain off nearly all of it.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add onion and cook until onion is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, spices and cornstarch and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add refried beans and the broth and scrape up any browned bits. Cook until the mixture has thickened up and the broth has reduced about 5-7 minutes.
- Arrange 12 crunchy taco shells in a large baking dish (a 9”x13” glass dish works well here) so they are standing up.
- Divide the cooked beef filling between the taco shells. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add desired taco toppings and serve immediately!
Keywords: Oven Tacos, Baked Tacos