Make the crispiest oven baked tacos by flipping over your muffin pan— and filling them with simple ingredients like lean ground beef and shredded cheese.
I’m almost positive the last time I had a hard shell taco I was in college dining at Taco Bell. Don’t judge. If you’ve had a late night beverage in college you might have visited that establishment too… Anyways, because my boys love the crunch that comes with any chip or cereal, I wanted to try my hand at making homemade tacos. Homemade and healthier than the Taco Bell kind. I know I’m not the first to make oven baked tacos. Nor will I be the last. But I’ve finally found a way to bake the tacos perfectly— while combining the simple flavors of ground beef and shredded cheese. Topped with your favorite taco fixings and you have yourself one deliciously crunchy meal!
The key to getting the crunch of the shell just right is HOW I baked these oven baked tacos. It all started with an upside down muffin pan! I’ve seen recipes in which the taco shells are stacked in a baking dish then baked that way. My shells just wouldn’t stay stacked when I tried that. So being the resourceful and stubborn cook that I am I wouldn’t take no for an answer and opted for the unlikeliest of bake ware.
Now my family ate these tacos as photographed. I usually doll-up my soft shell tacos with sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and salsa. But these tacos didn’t need anything else. Which is fine by me— I knew my family was getting a healthy meal without much else on their plates. Protein is one of the trickiest foods to get kids to eat IMO. But thankfully ground beef crumbles pass the test with my boys [especially when they are topped with cheese and eaten with a crunchy taco shell]. So when we have a good thing going at mealtime, such as the devouring of lean beef and cheese, I tend to stick with what’s working and not crowd their plates. Dad’s included!
So here’s to simple meals that make you, the home cook, feel gourmet. All thanks to one delicious protein and a $10.00 muffin pan!
- 1 lb. lean Ground Beef [93% lean or leaner]
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning [I halved this recipe]
- 12 hard taco shells
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Ground Beef and cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings; season with taco seasoning.
- To assemble the shells, flip over muffin pan and arrange the shells so they are resting between each cup. Fill each shell with a couple of scoops of the beef mixture and pack down into the shell. Repeat until all the shells are filled. Top each taco with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes (or until all the cheese is melted).
Disclaimer: I am proud to partner with the Michigan Beef Industry Commission to bring you healthy recipes made with beef. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own.