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Oven Tacos

Oven Tacos

When I shared the recipe for oven tacos, way back in 2011, for my ground beef recipes series I had no idea how popular they would become.

The response to this recipe and that whole series has been more than I imagined. I had no idea you all loved tacos and ground beef so much.

All this time I thought ground beef was boring and too basic to share, but it turns out that you all are just like me. You are looking for quick and easy, family and budget friendly meals. And you all love ground beef recipes as much as I do.

Oven Tacos

Oven tacos are one of my favorite quick and easy go to meals. They are a great way to change up your basic taco night.

Mexican type foods are one of my family’s favorite foods. They are usually quick and easy to make. Not only that many of them contain ground beef and beans, which are both inexpensive ingredients to serve.

A lot of times when people think of ground beef and beans, they think they are boring because they are often served in the same ways over and over again. The number one tip I have for making your family love basic meals is to change them up. Change the seasonings, change the cheeses, change how you make them. Serve the same foods in new ways.

That is exactly what I have done with these oven tacos. They are really just a basic taco served in a different and fun way.

Oven Tacos

My family loves these so much because they remind them of something we have had at a Mexican restaurant. Can I just say that I enjoy hearing that something I made tastes like something that was more expensive and came from a restaurant. I take comments like that as quite the compliment.

We eat a lot of tacos in our house and since we love these so much they are on the menu plan often. They were a nice change from regular tacos. And I think these would be perfect to serve at a kid’s party or to a bunch of teens. Quick and easy, budget friendly food always work well for serving large groups.

I also love that these are an easy gluten free meal as long as the taco seasoning and shells are gluten free. Oven tacos are one of those regular meals that just happen to be gluten free.

This meal is also easy to turn into a freezer meal simply by freezing the filling. Cook up the ground beef bean mixture and freeze it. When your are ready to serve just defrost, fill the taco shells, sprinkle with cheese, and bake as directed.

Oven Tacos


5 from 1 vote
Oven Tacos
Oven Tacos
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Author: Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 8 ounce tomato sauce
  • 1 package taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese
  • 18-20 hard taco shells
  • lettuce salsa, sour cream, etc for serving.
  1. Brown ground beef. Drain off any fat and add refried beans, tomato sauce, and seasoning.
  2. Spoon mixture into taco shells.
  3. Place filled shells into a 9x13 pan, standing up. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Notes: If you are gluten free be sure to read labels on the taco seasoning and taco shells to be sure they are gluten free. For those of you with a smaller family you may want to half this recipe. You could also easily stretch this for a larger group and get a few more tacos out of it by adding extra beans.


Oven Tacos from

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. These look great. I like the fact that I can omit cheese (dairy allergy) on this. Love your new hamburger series. Do you have other hamburger recipes that are optional with cheese, as a lot of them seem to go hand in hand? Thanks!

    • Yes, I will be sharing several that do not have cheese. I love cheese, but know that many can not have it and cheese also adds to the cost of the dish, so non cheese meals are great for many reasons. Although I will admit I love my cheese. 🙂

      • Thanks so much for your quick reply. 🙂 I am allergic to dairy protein, not dairy lactose. So I can’t cheat now and then. I do miss it but am used to it for the most part. 😉 Unfortunately even soy and rice cheeses have whey in them, which is dairy protein.

        I will look forward to your recipes. Thanks again!

  2. My mom’s friend used to make oven tacos for us all the time about 20 years ago. I totally forgot about them until now. Thanks for posting!

  3. This sounds great!

  4. Yum!

  5. These look fantastic! We love Mexican food, and I almost always mix either refried or black beans into the taco meat. I’m trying to work out of my pantry this week, but these are going on the menu. I have most of it. Thanks!

    • I wanted to add – there are only four of us. I was thinking of mixing all of the meat filling, but only baking about half of the tacos. Either put the rest of the meat in the freezer or bake the rest of them the next night.

  6. This is a great recipe for my family. There are only 5 of us, but I’ve found that making tacos with 1 lb of ground beef we don’t have any left over. This is a problem because my husband takes left overs for lunch and if there are no left overs, he goes for fast food. However, if I use 2 lbs of ground beef it is way too much, so by halfing your recipe and stretching the ground beef with the beans, I think our problem will be solved! Thanks!

  7. I love this idea too. BTW, I also love that I can save the recipes to ZIP list now. 🙂

  8. I really like doing “different” things with ground beef – same ole same ole gets really boring.
    Couldn’t save this recipe on Ziplist for some reason (but then again I’ve been having computer issues all day) but I will come back and grab this one for sure.

  9. If you are allergic to Casein, this is the best cheese ever. It melts beautifully, makes fantastic mac and cheese, and is also Soy Free. I have two kids who eat Gluten and Casein Free and this is by far the best cheese substitute we have found.

  10. Thanks for the great ideas ! Also we usually swap for ground turkey or bison tofu so I needed more ground meat recipes.

  11. So good, so good, SO GOOD!!! I saw these and new that we HAD to have them, and SOON – so last night I picked up some taco shells on the way home from work, and voila! A new family favorite is born. 🙂

    Thanks for ALL the great family-friendly, budget-friendly recipes you post, Lynn. You site is one of my faves for getting ideas!

  12. Just made this for supper. The family loved it! And, as I mentioned above, I made the full meat part, but only baked 9 of the tacos. I put the rest of the meat in the fridge and will bake the other batch tomorrow night.

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed it for dinner! And using the rest of the filling or a second night or even freezing it for use later is a great idea.

  13. This recipe was a huge hit at our house. I have already made the tacos twice and they were requested again last night!

  14. I used this idea of mixing the beef with refried beans and baking the tacos with leftover shredded pot roast (about a pound). It was fantastic! I used a lot less cheese (frugal, less fat and I plain didn’t want to shred more than what was left in the bag). I love that the beans make it so easy to fill the tacos and easy to eat, too.

  15. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried them tonight. These are SOOOOO tasty. My boyfriend, who is very picky, LOVED these. He couldn’t stop eating them.

  16. I would omit the beans and add chopped sauteed onions, carrots, and green pepper, shredded cheese and a dash of salsa to the meat mix. Then top with some extra cheese before baking.

  17. Tried these tonight except I used leftover chili as my filling. We absolutely loved them bit was kind of like a haystack in a shell but better! Thanks for the easy and economically friendly recipe.

  18. Loved them! Big hit at dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing!

  19. These look really good! But I have a question…. does the bottom of your taco shells not get soggy from the meat mixture sitting in them for that amount of time?

  20. I made these last week, but used leftover chicken (we had roasted chicken last Sunday and I made two). I LOVE this recipe and so did my family. So easy and very yummy!

  21. Could I swap refried beans for maybe Ranch Style beans instead? Hubby won’t eat refried beans.

  22. This is my familys new favorite! Thanks for reinventing the taco 🙂

  23. Hi Lynn! Just wanted to pop in and tell you that these tacos are soo yummy! My daughter loves tacos but turns her nose up at beans, so I fed them to her without her knowing and she said they were the best tacos ever…then I told her the secret ingredient was refried beans and she didn’t even bat an eyelash, she loved them so much…pretty good coming from a 7 yr old!

    Thank you!!

  24. Very tasty and all three kiddos gobbled them right up! Mine fell apart on the bottom and they were pretty messy, but still delicious. I wonder if it might have been because I left out the beans– hubby won’t eat them. They may have been a bit thicker and not quite as saucy with beans mixed in.

  25. Glad you liked them! It may have been the no beans or I have also noticed that some brands of shells do hold up better than others. I am glad they tasted good for you.

  26. Made this recipe tonight. It is my second recipe from this sight. Husband loved them. Ate six, and said he could still keep eating them. Thanks for posting such great recipe’s.

  27. This looks yummy! Thanks for sharing.

  28. Lisa thomas says

    We loved this recipe. I halved it but added more beans. My husband detected the refried beans (not a big fan),but still loved the tacos. We pretty much ate them straight from the pan! We will be adding it to our meal rotation, perhaps even trying a shredded chicken version soon. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  29. YUMMM…Making these for dinner tonight and just posted it on my FB…Thanks for the great recipe!

  30. Wow…so good! Everyone loved it and it’s now our favorite taco meal!

  31. Lynn, I made these this week and hubby couldn’t stop complimenting me on them! I doubt I’ll ever make tacos the traditional way again. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes, and as Lyn stated above, these could easily be made without the cheese and still taste delish. I chose to make the homemade taco seasoning because of the MSG in the packaged mixes, and it was super yummy. Sharing your link to this recipe on my blog! Blessings, Anna

    • Thank you so much. That is really nice. I am so glad that your family enjoyed them. We had them last night for dinner and they are often on our menu plan. Thanks for reading!

  32. Gabrielle says

    I’ve admired this recipe for months and finally made it tonight. It’s a HUGE hit with my family, so simple and just perfectly tasty. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  33. Since I discovered your recipe, my family ONLY wants tacos made this way! The shell doesn’t fall apart when you eat them. Kids can’t even tell the refried beans are in there. I’ve even made them with green enchilada sauce mixed in….yum. I’m a hero now! Thanks Lynn!

  34. Hi,
    I was wondering about the soggy bottoms on the taco shell. Could you recommend the best taco shells that held up and if commenters want to add the shells that were too soggy.

    • These are going to get a little soggy and not stay quite as crisp because you do bake them filled, but I have not had trouble with them getting really soggy. I have tried various brands and have found the name brand shells to be the best. I hope that helps.

  35. This is our favorite way to make tacos now. They are great, especially since I must eat gluten-free. I also can’t have dairy so I make 2 dishes: one has cheese in and on top of each taco, and the other contains no cheese. I’ve read the comments about the Daiya “cheese” and will try that next time I make these.

    • So glad your family enjoys them. I agree we love them because both the gf eaters and regular eaters love them in our house. An easy gluten free meal everyone can enjoy.

  36. is there any way that they’d “hold” in a warm oven during church for potluck?

    • They might. I think the shells may be a little softer if you did that. I would reduce the cooking also if you tried that. Everything is cooked so all you are really doing is heating them anyway, so a really low oven for longer would probably work.

  37. Love this idea. Can these be assembled and frozen? Would love to have this ready as a pop in the oven option on a busy day.

    • The filling freezes really well, I thing the shells would get really soggy if you froze them with the filling inside and the texture would not be the same. I do often make a large batch of filling though and freeze it and it works well.

  38. These were delicious! I added a diced jalapeno, a small can of green chilies and my homemade taco seasoning. They weren’t soggy, just soft and the kids liked that the shells didn’t crack apart like they normally would’ve. I’ll have to blog about these soon, already pinned them. 🙂

  39. I made these this weekend and they were awesome. So easy and my whole family loved them. thanks for a great addition to my menu!

  40. Made these for friends this weekend and they are AMAZING! Everyone raved about them. So glad I found this recipe!

  41. I love this idea, Lynn. Just like you, my family loves Mexican food, and we seem to eat the same thing over and over.
    I love the idea of just changing the way something is done, like baking the tacos instead of making them on the spot. Plus what a great way to keep everything hot. I think this will be on our menu this week! Thanks.

  42. Maria Miller says

    We really love this recipe. It is a great way to serve tacos to a crowd!

  43. Teresa Rouzer says

    I feel a craving for tacos coming on! Why didn’t I think of standing up the shells to fill them? Doh! I can make your recipe with half the ground beef (just cooking for one here) and freeze the remainder as “taco beef” to have later as tacos or a taco salad.

  44. Teresa Rouzer says

    I made the oven tacos last night and they turned out great! Oven baking the corn tortillas hanging from the oven rack was such a great idea and they turned out crispy and formed perfectly. I won’t ever have to buy boxed hard tacos again!

  45. These are so yummy!! I made them once before but leaving out the beans since all 7 of us don’t like beans (bummer since they’re so cheap!) But I was just thinking as I was looking through these recipes again that I might substitute rice for the beans. I did that with your Mexican tortilla pie and our whole family loves it!! Thank you for coming up with such great recipes and yet they aren’t complicated and can be tweaked to each family’s preferences!

  46. Do the refried beans hold everything together because they’re sticky or does it matter? Could I use baked beans just as well? Thanks.

    • I have done it with black beans and it works fine. Baked beans would give it a different flavor and I think might be have too much liquid. But just about any other bean like black beans or pinto beans would work fine.

  47. sondra spencer says

    Made these last week. They were great! Will be making these again!

  48. Made a version of these tonight. Different filling, same concept. Was stunned that Bryan adored them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  49. 5 stars
    My husband loves these! I can’t wait to test out all the different fillings I can use. So, SOOOO good!


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