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Extra Cheesy Beef Oven Baked Tacos

These oven baked tacos stuff what I’ve dubbed the best taco meat ever and cheese into 15 corn tortillas for a perfect crowd-pleasing dinner or meal prep recipe. They’re super easy to make, and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to freeze some for later. 

Each oven baked taco has 11 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, and 3 Smart Points. So load up! 

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Ingredients for the Best Taco Meat Ever

I make A LOT of Tex-Mex recipes, but I feel confident saying this is one of the most flavorful ground beef mixtures I’ve ever made. Here’s what you’ll need (I’ll touch on modifications below)

  • ground beef, diced onion, minced garlic 
  • salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, chipotle chili powder (or chopped chipotles like in my ground turkey taco meat)
  • red enchilada sauce 

That’s it! Throw the onion, garlic, and beef in a pan to cook before stirring in the spices and sauce. 

diced onions and minced garlic cooking with ground beef for oven baked tacos

And you’re good to go. 

Update: If you love this beef mixture and want other uses, my taco meal prep bowls combine this beef with diced chiles and a load of veggies for a super high volume meal.

How to Make the Oven Baked Tacos

If you’ve made my baked chicken tacos, these beef tacos use the same tortillas and baking method. It’s crazy simple.

Microwave extra thin corn tortillas so they’re foldable, fill half of every tortilla with cheese-beef-cheese, fold and cover with a second baking sheet to press close, and bake. 

how to fold the beef oven baked tacos

Like I mentioned in my cheesy beef baked taquitos recipe, if you have trouble folding the tortillas, or they crack during folding, heat them a bit longer! You want them nearly too hot to handle.

Bada-bing-bada-boom. Extra crispy, cheesy, beefy tacos in bulk. 

Modifying Your Oven Baked Tacos

I’ll quickly run through a few ingredient questions. If I miss something, drop your question in a comment below. 

The Taco Meat

Like I mentioned above, the onions cook down and are barely noticeable in the finished product. But if you have an extra picky eater, a FODMAP sensitivity, or any other reason to avoid onions, leave ’em out. The taco meat will survive. 

You can definitely use ground turkey or chicken in place of beef. But be sure to match the fat content if possible. Or if you use a fattier cut of meat, you might drain some fat away before adding the spices and enchilada sauce. Too much fat will likely make the bottom of your tortillas soggy or run out during baking. 

Cheese

I love the melty-ness of mozzarella and the sharpness of cheddar, but you could go with any type of cheese in your oven baked tacos. Monterey jack would be the obvious choice to replace both cheeses.

It’s also worth mentioning, these tacos are extra cheesy. If you wanted to save a bit of fat, calories, and Smart Points, you could reduce the amount of cheese used. Just be sure to get some on both sides of the meat to fully seal the tacos. 

Tortillas

If you wanted to use regular corn tortillas to make larger oven baked tacos or even flour tortillas, both should work fine. Though you’ll likely need to modify the bake time.

As an estimate, I’d guess a thicker tortilla might take an extra 5 minutes. But don’t quote me on that. 

Reheating Your Oven Baked Tacos

If you’re going from the refrigerator, reheating the tacos in an oven or air fryer at 400 degrees for 3-5 minutes should do the trick. Just be sure not to burn the shells. 

For frozen, you can thaw at room temp or overnight before using the same instructions above. Or you can try reheating them wrapped in foil at a lower temp. That way they warm throughout without burning on the outside. 

reheating the oven baked tacos in an air fryer

Time will also vary based on how many you reheat and once. I pop two in the air fryer for about 3 minutes and think they’re even better reheated than fresh.

If you’re curious about my air fryer recommendation or any other tools or products I use, I have an Amazon list with everything in one place.

Creamy Salsa Dip

Update: I totally forgot to include the recipe for the creamy salsa dip! It’s basically the same thing I used for my copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch recipe—a 2:1 ratio of fat free Greek yogurt to salsa. You can also use more of the enchilada sauce or hot sauce like I did in my black bean and corn quesadillas recipe.

In this case, I used 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup salsa with a tablespoon or two of diced pickled jalapeño peppers.  

creamy salsa dip for cheesy beef oven baked tacos

You can get creative with different styles of salsa or additional ingredients. If you wanted to make your own salsa and freshen things up, check out the mango salsa from my chipotle bbq chicken tacos and the pineapple salsa from my shredded pork tacos recipes. 

Okay, I think that’s all ya need to know. These tacos are one of the most re-created recipes from my blog so if you have questions, I guarantee you can find hundreds of posts about them in my free Facebook group. And when you try these oven baked tacos, be sure to let me know what you think!  

beef and cheese oven baked tacos on a white plate with more tacos on a wire rack in the background

The Best Oven Baked Tacos

Yield: 15 tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Extra cheesy beef tacos baked in the oven in bulk.

Ingredients

Taco Meat

  • 1 lb Ground Beef, 96/4
  • 1 medium (200g) Yellow Onion, diced
  • 5 cloves (25g) Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Chipotle Pepper
  • 1/2 C (120g) Enchilada Sauce (I used Trader Joe's)

Oven Baked Tacos

  • 15 Extra Thin Corn Tortillas (I used Mission)
  • 1 C (112g) Finely Shredded Mozzarella (or your choice of cheese)
  • 1/2 C (56g) Finely Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar 

Instructions

Cooking the Taco Meat

  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic before adding to a large skillet with the ground beef over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook until no pink remains in the beef. While it cooks, mix the dry spices for the taco meat. Add them towards the end of cooking. Stir well.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the enchilada sauce, stirring everything together until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.

Assembling the Oven Baked Tacos

  1. Preheat an oven to 400F.
  2. Wrap the tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 45-60 seconds, flipping halfway through. This will make the tortillas easier to fold. Place the warmed tortillas on a large wire rack or baking sheet. (If you have trouble folding or the tortillas crack when folding, heat them a bit longer.)
  3. Place a generous pinch of cheese on one half of each tortilla. Follow the cheese with the beef and another pinch of cheese. Fold the tortillas in half, pressing down gently to seal. (Be careful to not press too hard and squeeze the beef/cheese out of the tacos.)
  4. Spray the tops of the tacos with a bit of cooking spray and place a baking sheet on top of them to prevent the tacos from opening during baking.
  5. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the tacos are golden brown and crisp. Be sure to check on them during baking as the extra thin tortillas can burn quickly. (Using a baking sheet on the bottom instead of a wire rack may extend the bake time. If you have trouble getting the tacos crispy, you can remove the top baking sheet after a few minutes once the tacos have sealed to speed up the process.)

Notes

  • Each taco has 3 Smart Points. 
  • You can swap the mozzarella and cheddar for monterey jack or another melty cheese. Since the base recipe is extra cheesy, you could reduce the cheese to save a few calories, too. 
  • If you use a fattier meat, be sure to drain some of the fat before adding the spice and enchilada sauce to prevent soggy tortillas or runoff during baking.
  • To reheat, air fry or bake at 400F for 3-5 minutes. Time may vary based on how many tacos you're reheating at once. 

Troubleshooting cracked tortillas:

  1. Microwave a bit longer before assembling and only microwave right before assembling.
  2. Don't add a piping hot beef mixture. 
  3. Avoid overfilling. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 tacos Serving Size: 1 taco
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 11g

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More Recipes with Extra Thin Corn Tortillas

If you want to make 45 oven baked tacos, you certainly won’t find any judgement from me. But just in case you want to put leftover tortillas to use in another way, here are a few of my favorite recipes: 

I really love these tortillas, okay? 

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Josh

Saturday 17th of April 2021

We tried these for the first time and they turned out great. The spiciness of the meat tasted great with the creaminess of the cheese. They’re great the day after, too. Prep and cook time were perfect.

Katie

Saturday 17th of April 2021

The BEST baked tacos! These are so easy and are just as good warmed up in the microwave or airfryer as they are fresh out of the oven. We love to make a dip out of fat free sour cream blended with a chipotle pepper (we buy the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and just blend a bit with the sour cream).

Caitlin

Friday 16th of April 2021

My boys demand these tacos! And I happily oblige :) Make sure your tortillas are really flexible (aka heat them enough) otherwise it will crack and break. Remember to spray the pan you use to press the tacos while baking too! I don't always have enchilada sauce so I sub salsa and that works well too. These freeze easily and reheat in the air fryer perfectly.

Carole McPherson

Monday 12th of April 2021

These are DE-LISH! I’ve made them twice and they are one of my husband’s favorite meals! I live in ATX, so I know my tacos! 🌮 I shared this with my best friend in Houston and she also raved. Thanks, Mason!! Cannot WAIT to try more of your recipes!

Emily P

Monday 12th of April 2021

Okay these are so good!! I’m dairy free and it was so easy to modify with my dairy free cheese (So Delicious is my favorite). I made my husband’s tacos with real cheese and he loved them too. I love recipes that are easy to modify for the lactose intolerant, and this is one of those! And the macros are great!

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Thanks for the DF cheese tip!