I had never tried oven baked tacos before, but they are delicious and a great change for taco night. These were really yummy and the addition of refried beans to the taco filling makes them softer and the tacos less crumbly. Big thumbs up from the hubby! Baking the tacos in the oven with the filling slightly softens them and makes them easier to eat (yes it is still a bit messy but isn’t that is the fun thing about taco night?). The filling also makes a delicious taco dip – very man friendly – perfect for that big game boys night.
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1/2 cup, small diced onion (about 1 small)
- 1/2 cup, small diced green pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 540 ml can of Aylmer Accents Chili Seasonings Diced Stewed Tomatoes
- Homemade Taco Seasoning: 2 tsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, 1/4 tsp Kosher (coarse) salt, 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 lb (454 g) of extra lean ground beef
- 398 ml can of refried beans (I used PC brand original refried pinto beans) *Note: choose a brand that is lower in fat and sodium
- 1 cup of grated light old cheddar cheese
- 1 package of 12 hard taco shells
- Taco toppings (sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, etc.)
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic; cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook the veggies until the liquid has mostly evaporated, another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the taco seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in the ground beef and cook until no pink remains, 5-10 minutes.
- Once beef has browned, stir in the refried beans until completely incorporated and warmed through and bubbly, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove taco filling from the heat and preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you assemble the tacos.
- In a 11 x 7 or 9 x 13 baking pan (or another pan where they fit best) arrange the 12 taco shells carefully. Fill the shells with the desired amount of filling. You may have some filling leftover, but that is ok – it makes a yummy dip with nacho chips!
- Top the shells with 1 cup of cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove tacos from oven and serve with desired toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, etc!)
*Notes for making dip (above is our mini dip dish using our filling leftovers):
- Instead of filling tacos, fill a 9 x 13 baking dish with the beef mixture, top with grated cheddar cheese (I would then pop it in the oven for a few minutes to make the cheese bubbly). Then top with taco toppings – lettuce, tomato, green onion, olives, cilantro, etc. Have fun and make it your own. You could even do a cream cheese layer on the bottom, before adding the taco filling on top, and then the cheddar and taco toppings. Serve with nacho chips.