Make an entire batch of delicious beef tacos in under 20 minutes! A refried bean and cheese mixture are secretly hiding underneath a layer of tacos to make a complete meal in a single pan. Super easy meal for taco night!
Taco night is the best night of the week, in my opinion. I love the options! Different kinds of meat, a variety of vegetables and then there are the toppings (my fave). Guacamole, salsa, cilantro, taco sauce, I could go on and on. I could also eat tacos every night of the week.
If you are looking to simplify taco night even further, you have found the right recipe! These babies are supremely easy, totally delicious, easy to cater to your liking and you end up with a huge one-pan meal! There’s a secret layer of cheesy refried beans hiding underneath a layer of tacos that is ready to be devoured. Serve this easy dinner for your next family taco night to make for some seriously happy tummies.
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TUTORIAL TO SEE HOW TO MAKE BAKED TACOS YOURSELF!
Enjoy the step-by-step video tutorial we have created for this recipe! Our goal is to make your time in the kitchen as easy as possible and to ensure that your version of this recipe is a success. See our full collection of cooking and baking videos on YouTube!
HOW TO MAKE OVEN BAKED BEEF TACOS
Cook 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink and drain. Add taco seasoning, 1/2 cup of water (or broth) and salt and pepper. Cook until liquid has reduced.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a can of refried beans in an even layer and top with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and half a bunch of green onions.
Arrange 12 hard taco shells standing upright in the prepared dish, on top of the bean mixture. Divide the ground beef between the shells, followed by additional shredded cheese. Bake covered in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and 5 minutes uncovered.
Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, remaining green onions and taco sauce and serve!
RECIPE NOTES – MAKE THESE THE BEST OVEN BAKED TACOS YOUR FAMILY WILL EAT!
Add up to 1/2 cup tomato sauce to the beef mixture (along with water or broth) for extra flavorful meat.
Replace the beef with ground chicken or turkey for a leaner meal or ground sausage for a more flavorful taco filling.
Add fresh or dried garlic to the taco meat for extra flavor, if desired.
Go as crazy as you’d like with the toppings, after the tacos are done baking. The more, the better! Better yet, set out bowls with different options and let everyone choose their own!
If you wish to transform these into chicken tacos, I have a delicious recommendation for you! Make my FAVORITE recipe for chicken taco meat in your Instant Pot and add them to the shells before baking.
To spice up the recipe, add 1/2 to 1 diced jalapeno pepper to the meat mixture. You could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the meat and use extra spicy salsa as a topping!
MAKING BAKED TACOS VEGETARIAN
This recipe is easy to switch out and enjoy as a vegetarian meal or you can also substitute other meats. Enjoy the refried beans as your base and add some whole black beans for added texture. White rice is another good layer option. If you prefer ground turkey or chicken, prepare that with the seasonings and add them to your tacos. Diced tofu works as well. Bake the tacos and then load up the tacos with fresh veggies.
SELECTING A RIPE AVOCADO
Chopped avocados are the PERFECT taco filling! If avocados go on sale, it’s great to pick up a handful and let them ripen at home. There are so many ways to enjoy them that they’ll never go to waste. Selecting an avocado that is ready to enjoy takes a little more knowledge, however. Try these simple tests to select your next avocado batch:
TEST 1 – A good test to check ripeness is to use your fingers and push gently into the avocado to see if it yields to pressure near the top where it was connected to the tree. If it gives freely and feels mushy, the avocado is past its prime. When the avocado is rock-solid and there is no give to touch, the avocado needs a few more days to ripen.
TEST 2 – Pop off the stem of the avocado where the avocado separated from the tree (see step 1 below for a visual). When you see a dark brown color revealed, the avocado is past its prime. If it’s impossible to remove the stem nub, the avocado is not ripe enough to eat. See a green color? Then a perfectly delicious avocado flesh is ready to be enjoyed!
FAVORITE CINCO DE MAYO RECIPES
In addition to these yummy baked tacos, here are a few of my favorite recipes to make for your next Cinco de Mayo gathering!
Easy Nacho Salad from Hot Pan Kitchen
HOW TO FREEZE TACO MEAT
Freezing taco meat is super easy, which makes it one of my favorite things about it! Once it has cooled, spoon it into a resealable freezer bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal tightly. Arrange the meat within the bag so that it is in a flat layer. Place the bag in the freezer so that it lies flat. Freeze for 3-4 months.
When you are ready to enjoy the meat allow it to thaw completely, preferably in the fridge overnight. Add the contents to a skillet and heat over medium heat until just heated through. Add a few tablespoons of broth or water, if needed.
USES FOR TACO SEASONING
If you grow tired of taco meat, we need to have a chat. Kidding, but here are a few other ideas for ways to use taco seasoning.
Stir it into any creamy dip (yum).
Use it as a rub on your next Rotisserie chicken or batch of ribs!
Add it to salad dressing for an extra zing.
Oven Baked Beef Tacos
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning or 2 Tbsp homemade seasoning
- 1/2 cup beef broth or water
- 16 oz refried beans
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- 1 bunch green onions sliced, also divided
- 12 taco shells
- 2 cups lettuce shredded
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
- Sour cream, cilantro and taco sauce for topping
- Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning and water or broth and cook until liquid has reduced.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the refried beans in an even layer and top with 1 cup of the cheese and half of the green onions.
- Arrange the taco shells upright in the prepared dish, on top of the bean mixture. Divide the ground beef between the shells, followed by the remaining cheese. Bake covered in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and 5 minutes uncovered.
- Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, remaining green onions and taco sauce and serve!