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Easy Oven Baked Tacos filled with seasoned ground beef and cheese in hard taco shells are perfect for a quick dinner on busy weeknights. The whole family loves this easy recipe, and it’s a great way to feed a crowd!

oven baked beef tacos in baking dish with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese

Easy Baked Taco Recipe

I grew up with ground beef tacos in hard taco shells — like Taco Bell. Good, but messy! These baked beef tacos have crispy shells with a cheesy filling that stays inside the shell. Instead of just baking the shells, you bake the tacos, filling and all!

It’s one of our favorite taco recipes to make on taco night, and an easy way to feed a crowd. Plus, they come together in just a few simple steps. Whether you have a large family to feed on Taco Tuesday or a house full of guests for Cinco de Mayo, this easy recipe is for you!

You may also like these taco-flavored ground beef recipes — crescent taco ring, taco tater tot casserole and cheesy taco pasta.

ground beef, taco seasoning, cheese, onion and hard taco shells.

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients for this easy taco recipe. You can find them in your grocery store or online. Full ingredient amounts are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Lean ground beef — hamburger meat
  • Vegetable oil — for frying the onion and pepper
  • Onion — optional
  • Jalapeño pepper — optional but adds flavor and spice
  • Taco seasoning — a packet from the store or homemade taco seasoning — a blend of cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic and other spices
  • Water or beef broth — adds liquid to the ground beef mixture
  • Taco shells — hard shells with a flat bottom work best
  • Shredded cheese — cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese

The best thing about tacos made with ground beef is they are super quick and easy. You can make taco meat in the Instant Pot or on the stove.

How to Make Baked Tacos

First, cook the onion and jalapeño pepper in a little bit of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

add taco seasoning to browned ground beef in skillet

Then, brown your ground beef. Stir in taco seasoning and some water or beef broth, and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. If you aren’t using lean ground beef, you may have to drain excess grease first.

Place the shells next to each other in a baking dish or casserole dish. Then, add some cheese on the bottom of each taco shell and your taco meat on top of the cheese.

ground beef inside hard corn taco shells

Adding cheese to the bottom of the tacos prevents them from getting soggy. We tried it and without the cheese on the bottom, and the tacos were so much better with cheese on the bottoms!

Next, add more shredded cheese over the meat mixture. It’s going to melt down quite a bit in the oven, so don’t be shy here!

shredded cheese over beef in  taco shells

Cooking Time

Pop the filled shells into a preheated oven, and bake for 10 minutes. You only need to bake the tacos until the cheese melts and the shells are golden brown around the edges.

Total cooking time for these crunchy tacos is about 15 minutes, including time to brown the hamburger meat.

In only a few minutes, you’ve got cheesy ground beef tacos.

ground beef and melted cheese in baked taco shells

Favorite Toppings

Remove the tacos from the oven, and serve with your favorite taco toppings. I like to make a taco bar and let folks choose their favorites. We love green lettuce or iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, olives, red onions, sour cream and homemade salsa, pico de gallo and guacamole!

crispy ground beef baked tacos in baking dish

How to Store and Reheat

Store any leftover tacos in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for three days before getting too soggy. Refrigerate or freeze any leftover taco meat.

The best way to reheat these tacos is in the oven or air fryer. I do not recommend microwaving them.

two baked tacos with ground beef and taco toppings on a dish.

Recipe Tip

Substitute the ground beef with your favorite protein. You can use ground turkey, shredded beef, ground chicken or shredded chicken. Though shrimp tacos are great, I would not use shrimp in this recipe.

Make beef and bean tacos using black beans or pinto beans.

Don’t skip the cheese at the bottom of the shell — It prevents tacos from becoming soggy! Use your favorite type of cheese. Whether it’s monterey jack, colby jack, or cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese, it’ll work!

Use a foil baking dish if you are serving these tacos at a party — easy to transport and clean-up, too! You can also line your baking pan with aluminum foil.

5 from 15 votes

Easy Oven Baked Tacos

By: Dee
Easy Oven Baked Tacos filled with seasoned ground beef and cheese in hard taco shells are perfect for a quick dinner on busy weeknights. The whole family loves this easy recipe, and it’s a great way to feed a crowd!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced, optional
  • 1 jalapeño pepper finely minced, optional
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • taco seasoning 1 packet or 3 tablespoons homemade
  • 1 cup water or beef broth
  • 12 taco shells
  • 3 cups shredded cheese Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
  • taco toppings
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Instructions 

  • Sauté onions and jalapeños in oil over medium heat until slightly soft
  • add ground beef, and cook until no longer pink, drain grease if needed
  • Add taco seasoning and water, stir, and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Place taco shells next to each other in 13 x 9 baking dish or foil baking pan.
  • fill shells with a little shredded cheese, then cooked ground beef mixture
  • Top with more shredded cheese
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and shells are lightly browned

Video

Notes

Onion and jalapenos are optional but add extra flavor. You can leave them out for a less spicier version.
Recipe makes about 12 tacos, as many as will fit in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. You can easily adjust the amounts needed to make more or fewer tacos as needed.
Use foil to line the baking dish, if you want, for easier clean up.
Don’t skip adding cheese to taco shells, as this will help absorb any liquid and prevent soggy tacos!

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 68mg, Potassium: 233mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoy these crispy tacos as much as we do! If you do make this easy dish, please leave a comment and star rating!

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Recipe first published in 2020 and updated in 2024.

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Noah says:

    So simple to make, even Dad can do it! So easy when you get the kind that stand up by themselves! Kids would eat this every day if they could!5 stars

  2. Cindy says:

    I missed the oven temperature and do you preheat?

    1. Dee says:

      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Just added that now — thanks!

  3. Catalina says:

    You said tacos?! Yes, please! These are perfect!5 stars

  4. Sara Welch says:

    I love making these tacos in bulk; so great for feeding a crowd or tacos lovers like my family! These were great; easily a new favorite recipe!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      SO happy to hear this! Thanks, Sara!

  5. Beti says:

    My family loved this!! I can’t wait to make it again!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      I’m so glad you liked them, Beti. Thanks so much!

  6. katerina says:

    We love tacos! This sounds SO delicious!5 stars

  7. Kevin says:

    Perfect for Taco Tuesday! I cannot wait to eat these!5 stars

  8. Kerri says:

    My husband made this last night and they were so delicious! He loved how easy everything was to put together!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      They are super easy! Thanks, Kerri — glad you all liked them!

  9. Beth says:

    These look so delicious and tasty! I’m bookmarking this for dinner! Can’t wait!!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Let me know how you like it, Beth!