A few weeks ago my life changed.
I’ve given birth twice. I’ve run marathons. I’ve married the love of my life. All of these things were life changing.
And I’ve made baked tacos. This was also life changing.
Okay so let’s talk about taco night in your house….. does it look like what ours used to look like? A seemingly “easy” meal that’s not actually easy because guess what? You need to set out 1000 bowls of toppings all over the table. And then wash those bowls after the meal. And while we’re on the topic of washing let’s talk about cleaning up the shreds of lettuce and cheese and meat that are littered all over the table and floor after everyone clears out. It’s A LOT. Taco night is advertised as this simple go-to meal when really it’s not simple.
BUT…… baked tacos changed my mind.
When I serve baked tacos for taco night I don’t need to set out 1000 bowls of toppings on the table – because most of the toppings are baked INTO the tacos. And even better, there’s less mess scattered all over the table and the floor – because the toppings aren’t loose, rather they have been melted/cheese glued (it’s a term believe me) into the taco shells.
It’s for these reasons and more that baked tacos have changed my life.
You have been so patient waiting for this recipe. I have made baked tacos many times in the past few weeks but only just found the time to sit down and write it out – so THANK YOU for waiting. I promise it’s worth the wait.
Overall it’s quite simple. First, cook your filling – I prefer ground beef or turkey but it’s doable with cooked shredded rotisserie chicken, crumbled tofu, BBQ chicken, shredded beef, sliced flank steak, etc etc etc – then bake the filling in a soft taco shell with lots of shredded cheese. Once they are finished you can open them up, add the toppings, or just layer the toppings on top.
The key, I have found, is the shredded cheese. It acts as a glue that holds the toppings in place and the shells together. To visualize think of it as going – tortilla, cheese, filling, cheese, tortilla (folded) all on a sheet pan. Once the tortillas are all filled and folded, I pop a second sheet pan on top (to crisp both sides) and bake! For extra crispy tacos you can broil for a few minutes after the baking.
Keep it simple and serve as is, or garnish with sliced jalapeños, picked onions, cilantro, and serve with lots of guac, salsa and sour cream! How ever you enjoy them – just know together we are working on a taco revolution. Baked tacos forever!
Yields: 8-12 tacos
1 lb ground beef
Salt/Pepper to taste
Taco Seasoning to taste
3 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
8-12 taco sized corn tortillas
Preheat the oven to 425F
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the ground beef to the pan. Allow the ground beef to brown for 5 minutes, breaking into pieces as it browns. Add salt, pepper and/or taco seasonings as desired and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through.
Wrap the tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 45-60 seconds. This will make the tortillas easier to fold. If the tortillas crack when folding, heat them a bit longer.
Grease a baking sheet with canola oil (brush or spray) and lay 6 tortillas on the baking sheet. Cover half with shredded cheese. Place 2 tbsp of beef on top of the cheese then add another layer of cheese on top of the beef. Fold each tortilla in half. If necessary prop the tortillas against each other to help them stay closed. Brush tops lightly with oil or spray.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Place a baking sheet on top of the tacos (bottom of sheet tray against the tacos) and bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes until tacos are browned and crispy.
For extra crispy tacos you can broil for a few minutes after the baking. Serve as is, or garnish with sliced jalapeños, picked onions, cilantro, and serve with lots of guac, salsa and sour cream!