This simple Beef Tacos recipe delivers crispy shells, melty cheese, and endless topping possibilities, all baked to golden perfection in your oven. Perfect for weeknight dinners, family gatherings, or fun game-day spreads, these Baked Tacos will surely be a crowd-pleaser!

An overhead picture of hard shell tacos in a casserole dish.

It costs approximately $16.65 to make these baked tacos. The recipe makes six servings and costs around $2.78 per serving. 

What You’ll Love About This American-Style Beef Tacos Recipe:

  • Quick and easy: They use ground beef, which cooks fast and is simple to find.
  • Flavorful: Seasoned beef and fresh toppings like salsa, cheese, and guacamole make them tasty.
  • Family-friendly: They’re a crowd-pleaser that most people enjoy.
  • Affordable: Ground beef and tortillas are budget-friendly ingredients.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost:

Per Serving Cost: $2.78

Recipe Cost: $16.65

  • 1 pound ground beef – $4.83
  • 1 ounce packet taco seasoning – $0.99
  • ⅔ cup water – $0.00
  • 6 ounces Colby Jack cheese – $2.99
  • ½ cup diced tomato – $0.36
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce – $0.50
  • 12 hard taco shells – $4.19

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in March 2024.

All of the ingredients to make this recipe labled with text overlay.

How To Make Baked Tacos

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. Brown and crumble beef in a skillet over medium heat. Add taco seasoning and water. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until water is absorbed and the mixture is saucy. 
  2. Stand shells upright in a baking dish.
  3. Fill each shell with 2-3 tablespoons of meat. 
  4. Top with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake tacos for 5-10 minutes in a 350-degree F oven until the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve with desired toppings.

A picture collage showing how to make baked tacos, everything from browning the meat to baking them with cheese until warm and melty.

Recipe Variations:

American-style baked tacos are all about fun and customization! Here are some easy recipe variations to turn them into your own delicious creation:

  • Meat Swap: Swap ground beef for shredded chicken, ground turkey, or crumbled tofu.
  • Spicy Kick: For a spicy kick, add diced green chiles, a sprinkle of chili powder, or a dash of hot sauce to the beef mixture.
  • Soft or Hard? Go classic with crispy, hard taco shells, or switch it up with soft tortillas made from flour or corn.
  • Creamy Meat Filling: For a creamy touch, mix in sour cream, plain yogurt, or guacamole.
  • Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle on chopped fresh cilantro for a fresh flavor.
A pile of the finished tacos in a baking dish.

Serving and Storage Tips:

SERVE: The toppings I list in the recipe are just a suggestion. Use your favorites to customize the recipe to fit your taste!

STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just crisp them in a 400-degree F oven for 5 minutes. Then add your toppings and serve!

Recipe FAQs:

Why put taco shells in oven?

The baking process can help crisp up the taco shells, providing a satisfying textural contrast to the soft filling.

How do you keep taco shells open in the oven?

I like to use the taco shells with the flat bottoms. They stay up better, and you can stuff them with more filling!

How long do you put a taco shell in the oven?

You will want to bake these tacos for five to ten minutes or until the cheese is melted. Use this time frame as a guide, as each oven may bake differently.

Four hard shell tacos on a white plate.

More From Food Folks and Fun:

The finished hard shell tacos with tomatoes and lettuce.
5 from 4 votes

Baked Tacos

Recipe Cost $ $16.65
Serving Cost $ $2.78
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
6 people
This simple Baked Tacos recipe delivers crispy shells, melty cheese, and endless topping possibilities, all baked to golden perfection in your oven.


  • skillet
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • wooden spoon
  • 9×13-inch baking dish


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 ounce packet taco seasoning
  • cup water
  • 12 hard taco shells
  • 6 ounces Colby Jack cheese shredded
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce


Prep Oven:

  • Move the oven rack to the middle position.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make Taco Meat:

  • Brown the beef in a skillet on medium heat, crumbling meat as it cooks.
  • Drain any excess grease and return the meat to the skillet.
  • Add the contents of the seasoning packet and water.
  • Stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes until most of the water has blended and beef is saucy. Remove from heat.

Assemble Tacos:

  • Stand taco shells upright in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of meat into each shell.
  • Top with shredded cheese.

Bake Tacos and Serve:

  • Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  • Serve with tomato and lettuce and your favorite taco sauce.


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 813IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 3mg

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5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I never knew tacos could be made this way. Sounds awesome!

  2. These look so delicious and healthy! Can’t wait to try!

  3. Kristin K says:

    Another choice for hard taco shells, are the soft tortilla shells! Then, you filled the middle with whatever you want, and wrap it up like a burrito! One good thing about soft shells is that they don’t fall apart!

  4. john hutchens says:

    these look great and would be awesome for a party

  5. denise low says:

    I want to try this recipe. Sounds great. Thank you for the information.

  6. wow. This way better and I love it. My taco I made it unhealthy. This taco is so healthy
    Thank you for sharing

  7. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist says:

    Oven tacos? I love this idea. Must try it soon.

  8. Joy @ Joy Love Food says:

    We love tacos at my house, these sound so good, and easy too, I will have to give them a try!

  9. love the idea of oven tacos! great for weeknights!

  10. Quick and easy! Great way to feed a crowd!

  11. Debra @ Bowl Me Over says:

    Love baked tacos, they also keep well in the fridge – great recipe!

  12. Simple and straightforward. Can’t go wrong with these Baked Tacos.

  13. The Baked Tocos are nice and easy. Great dinner dish for family dinner