Cheesy Oven Baked Beef Tacos are always a hit with the whole family! Crispy taco shells filled with cheese and taco flavored ground beef then baked until melted and bubbly delicious!
What is a baked beef taco
The big difference between a regular taco and these baked tacos are that you add the cheese and taco meat filling to the shells and bake them for a few minutes.
They are easy to stand in a casserole dish and fill! Easy prep is always a win. These are perfect for a crowd too. Already ready to go and then everyone can add their favorite toppings.
A big hit with the kiddos too! These are super easy to eat - that melted cheese holds the meat in place and that means more in the mouths and less on the plate. Perfect for those little hands or messy adults ?!
The first time I made these for my family you would have thought I invented money or something. They just raved and raved about them. How something so simple made them so happy sure made this momma smile! Especially because I knew how easy they were to make! I gladly added this into my menu dinner rotation!
I sure hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does!
How to make baked tacos
- Brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic.
- Drain the taco beef of excess grease.
- Stir in taco seasoning, water, and can of diced tomatoes and chiles. Let that cook together until all the flavors come together.
- Stack taco shells side by side in a casserole dish.
- Fill with cheese, meat mixture, and then top with more cheese. (Doesn't that sound like a win)
- Bake until shells are crispy and cheese is melted.
Will the Tacos Shells get soggy
The tacos are a little softer on the bottom because you have some moisture from the taco filling. Here are some tips to help keep them nice and crispy!
- Make sure you thoroughly drain the meat of excess fat. Paper towels do the trick nicely.
- Allow taco beef mixture to cook and come together before filling shells.
- Add a thin layer of cheese to the bottom of the taco shells to absorb the moisture.
- Fill and bake just before ready to serve.
Will soft tacos work in this recipe? You certainly can use a soft tortilla and it will be delicious, however you won't get a crispy cheesy baked beef taco like pictured.
Can I make these Ahead of TIme?
If you make these and assemble them ahead of time they do get very soft. Not what you want with a crispy taco. What I recommend is to prep ahead of time.
- Gather and prepare all your toppings - go ahead slice the lettuce into shreds with a ceramic knife or by tearing, this will prevent it from browning. dice your tomatoes etc.
- Place toppings in serving bowls if setting up a taco bar, cover and store in the refrigerator so they will be ready for serving later.
- Prepare taco meat - make as directed the night before or in the morning of and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container (cooked it will last up to 3 days in the fridge) .
Can I freeze the taco meat in advance
Yes, you absolutely can! It stores well in the freezer for up to two months.
- After preparing taco meat let it come to room temperature.
- Then place in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible, and label and date.
- Thaw in the refrigerator and warm slightly on stovetop or microwave before baking. If it is ice cold it may not be as warm as you like once the cheese melts.
Toppings for Oven baked beef tacos
The sky's the limit when it comes to tacos and what is a taco without all your favorite toppings! There are a two approaches you can take. If you want super simple top these right in the casserole dish for a grab and go serving style. Or if everyone likes different things then create a make your own taco bar.
- Delicious fresh toppings: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, lime, cabbage, cilantro, diced avocado, more cheese, black olives
- Sauces or condiments: sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa (salsa verde), guacamole
- Add a little spice: fresh sliced jalapeños, pickled jalapeños, hot sauce, taco sauce, diced onion or pickled onion
Any way you serve cheesy baked beef tacos they are absolutely delish!
What to serve with Oven Baked Tacos
Other Mexican inspired dishes
- Ground Beef Doritos Casserole
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken
- Dorito Taco Salad
- Jalapeno Taco Cornbread Pie
Cheesy Baked Beef Tacos
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder) - optional
- 1 package taco seasoning
- ¼ cup water
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes and chiles
- 12 crispy taco shells
- 2 cups cheddar or mexican blend cheese
- taco toppings of choice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic until browned (5 to 7 minutes). Drain well on paper towel. Return to skillet and brown another minute, (if you like a nice crisp crumb).
- Add in taco seasoning, water and can of undrained tomatoes and chiles. Let cook until combined and thickens (about 5 minutes).
- Place shells in a 9 X 13 or casserole dish. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cheese on the bottom of the shells. Next layer taco meat by dividing evenly between shells. Then top with remainder of cheese.
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and taco shell are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
- Top with favorite toppings or serve toppings on the side taco bar style.