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!
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.
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.
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.
You can also use other protein options like my Mexican shredded beef or chicken.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And to take your game to the next level, combine some fresh tomatillos, salsa verde, pickled jalapeño peppers, and cilantro with Greek yogurt and ranch seasoning. See my creamy jalapeño ranch dip for precise measurements.
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!
The Best Oven Baked Tacos
Extra cheesy beef tacos baked in the oven in bulk.
- 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
Cooking the Taco Meat
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic before adding to a large skillet with the ground beef over medium-high heat.
- 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.
- Reduce the heat and add the enchilada sauce, stirring everything together until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
Assembling the Oven Baked Tacos
- Preheat an oven to 400F.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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:
- Microwave a bit longer before assembling and only microwave right before assembling.
- Don't add a piping hot beef mixture.
- Avoid overfilling.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 tacos Serving Size: 1 taco
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 11g
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:
- Healthier King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- Crispy Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Tostadas
- Healthier Chilaquiles (these use the same enchilada sauce from this recipe, too)
- Bean and Cheese Air Fryer Taquitos
I really love these tortillas, okay?
Tuesday 14th of February 2023
Mine cracked after I put the cookie sheet in top. Does that have something to do with not microwaving them long enough?
Friday 17th of February 2023
It does. Working in batches should help keep the warm while you're filling and folding all the others. The extra thin tortillas can be especially unforgiving. Sorry for the cracked tacos!
Thursday 29th of December 2022
Anyone ever do these with street taco shells for more of a mini taco?
Sunday 29th of January 2023
I'm not sure I've ever seen it done, but I imagine it would work fine. Might be a little tedious to make all of them, however.
Thursday 15th of September 2022
These are still the absolute best tacos ever! I don’t even make box tacos anymore. These are a favorite in my house.
Thursday 6th of January 2022
These are so easy and delicious! I followed your recipe to a tee and they turned out fantastic! I folded up some aluminum foil and made a long, narrow “weight” to place on top of the tacos for the first 7 mins, then took them off for the last 7 mins. Perfect!!
Monday 29th of November 2021
These make for such a quick/easy meal or snack! I have also subbed the beef for shredded chicken breast or sometimes rotisserie chicken with good results.