Oven-baked tacos are a great meal for a crowd and allow everyone to top with their choice of condiments. Baking tacos in the oven is a great way to make and serve tacos in bulk. The taco shells stay intact when you bite into them when they have been heated with the filling inside.
⏲️ Time needed
You’ll need about 15 minutes of prep time if you don’t already have cooked ground beef in the freezer. The tacos will bake for 10-12 minutes, so this quick dinner is ready to eat in under 30 minutes.
- ground beef
- diced green chilies
- homemade taco seasoning mix
- tomato sauce
- shredded Colby-jack or Mexican blend cheese
- hard taco shells
- optional condiments (lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, avocados or guacamole, sour cream, sliced olives, hot sauce, taco sauce, cilantro, green onions)
🌾 Adaptations for dietary restrictions
Gluten-free. Store-bought hard taco shells are usually made with corn and are gluten-free, but check the labels to be sure. If you want to make your own, be sure to use corn tortillas, not flour tortillas.
Vegetarian. Try our lentil taco filling for a vegetarian version, or substitute your favorite plant-based crumbles for the ground beef. I’m partial to Beyond Ground (if you sign up for Beyond’s mailing list, they send out coupons frequently).
📋 How to make oven-baked tacos
While the oven is preheating, brown the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Drain off any fat and/or liquid. Return beef and onions to the skillet and add green chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Spoon the taco beef mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. This is easiest if you prop shells against one another or use a taco rack (affiliate link) to keep shells upright. Sprinkle taco meat with cheese in each shell.
Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes (or until the cheese has melted and tacos are hot). Serve with optional condiments of your choice.
Oven-Baked Beef Tacos (30 Minute Recipe)
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 ounces diced green chilies, drained
- 4 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 8 ounces Colby-jack or Mexican blend cheese, shredded
- 12 hard taco shells
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced avocados or guacamole
- Sour cream
- Sliced olives
- Hot sauce, Chilula is our favorite
- Taco sauce
- Fresh cilantro
- Green onions
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Drain off any fat and/or liquid.
- Return to skillet and add green chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning.
- Mix well and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Spoon the taco beef mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9x13-inch baking dish, propping shells against one another or using a taco rack (affiliate link) to keep shells upright.
- Sprinkle taco meat with cheese in each shell.
- Bake at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes (or until the cheese has melted and tacos are hot).
- Serve with optional condiments of your choice.
- Substitute taco-seasoned shredded chicken to make oven-baked chicken tacos, or shredded leftover roast beef to make oven-baked shredded beef tacos.
- Add a can of refried beans to the tacos.
- Use your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce.
- Add a can of drained fire-roasted tomatoes to the meat mixture.
- Add cojita cheese after baking.
- Switch up your cheeses and try quesadilla cheese, cheddar cheese, or pepper jack.
- Serve with chipotle sour cream (add 2 tablespoons chipotle sauce to ½ cup sour cream).
🥗 Side dishes
Tacos are even better when paired with sides like these:
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