This oven baked beef tacos recipe is easy, cheesy, and sure to become a family favorite! You can have crispy tacos on the table fast since they're ready in about 30 minutes.
Why you'll love it
There's nothing better than perfectly seasoned ground beef, tons of melted cheese, and crunchy taco shells. These simple baked tacos are such a satisfying meal, and they're so quick to make! Everyone in your family can pile 'em up with their favorite toppings, so even picky eaters are happy.
These also use my homemade taco seasoning, which is so much tastier than store-bought. Don't worry, it doesn't have any obscure ingredients, just stuff you can easily find at your grocery store. It's definitely worth it making your own spice mix from scratch to make perfectly seasoned ground beef.
What you'll need
- Ground beef - I like 90% lean
- Seasoning - my signature blend has garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, and salt & pepper. The smoked paprika makes it stand out from the rest.
- Taco shells - I use flat-bottomed ones to make them easier to work with and not fall over
- Cheese - use your favorite blend. We chose Tex-Mex, but cheddar is great or even Monterey Jack.
- Toppings - see all my suggestions below!
How to make baked tacos
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Add the ground beef to a skillet. Once it's started cooking and you've broken it up a bit with your spoon, add in the spices. Cook it until it's browned, and drain the excess fat. Place the taco shells in a baking dish.
Spoon the beef evenly into each taco shell. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over top of each taco.
Bake until the cheese has melted, and top them as desired. Enjoy!
Toppings for these tacos
- Try sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to add some creaminess and for a cooling effect.
- Salsa is a classic choice to amp up the flavor.
- Avocado or Guacamole, red onions, iceberg lettuce, and chopped tomatoes are my favorite garden fresh toppings to add.
- A layer of refried beans would be fantastic as well.
- Freshly squeezed lime juice gives a bright citrus quality.
- Cilantro (or parsley if you have an aversion) is a must-have in our household.
- Want to kick it up a notch? Add a dash of hot sauce or sliced jalapenos.
Substitutions and variations
- You can use a premade taco seasoning mix if you prefer not to use the individual spices, but I definitely suggest trying our homemade seasoning first. Making your own just feels more special, and there aren't any preservatives or too much salt like there might be in a store-bought kind in a jar or packet.
- Try swapping the ground beef for ground turkey if you prefer.
- These tacos aren't especially "sauce-y", so I definitely recommend adding salsa, sour cream, guac, etc. to complement the warm spices in the ground beef.
Leftovers and storage
- Oven baked tacos are best eaten right away, but if you do have leftovers, store them in the fridge for a day or two in an airtight container, and keep the fresh toppings separate.
- Wrap them in foil and warm them up in the oven to reheat. Note that the shells probably won't crisp up as much as when first made. You could also try warming in the air fryer.
Questions about these baked beef tacos? Let me know in the comments, and as always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you've made one of my recipes. I'd love it if you left a star rating and review below.
Baked Beef Tacos
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 10 hard taco shells
- 1 cup shredded cheese (e.g. Tex-Mex blend or cheddar)
- Toppings: salsa, sour cream, avocado, red onions, lettuce, etc. optional, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Add the beef to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it begins to cook and you've separated it a bit with your spoon, add in the spices. Cook, while occasionally stirring, for about 8-10 minutes or until the beef has cooked through.
- If there's any excess fat released from the beef, spoon it out. Give the beef a taste and adjust ingredients if needed (e.g. add more smoked paprika). Season with salt & pepper to taste (chili powder usually contains salt so you may not have to add much).
- Arrange the hard taco shells in a 9x13 baking dish. Fill each taco shell equally with the ground beef mixture.
- Top each taco with the cheese.
- Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Top the tacos as desired and enjoy!
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. Nutrition info does not include additional topping as that is subjective/optional.