How To Make Hard Taco Shells In Your Oven, Plus . . . A Recipe For Baked Tacos!

This recipe has got to be one of the bigger successes I have had in the kitchen in a long time! Everyone in the family LOVED these!  Not a speck was leftover, which is always a sign that it really and truly was a HIT.

This dish has so many things going for it, that there wasn’t much chance it would be a FAIL, but one never knows with me. :-)

First of all….it’s TACOS!  I honestly don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t like tacos in one form or another.

It’s quick and easy to make.

It’s got a “Make Your Own” aspect to it…which always makes me happy.

AND…it’s gluten-free!

Oh yeah…and it’s delicious.

Let’s start with the DIY portion of this dish…making the taco shells.

I can count on ONE HAND the number of times I have actually ever purchased hard taco shells from the store. I like the way one guy referred to them in a comment I read. He called them overpriced preformed tortilla shapes. lol.  That pretty much sums it up right there. They are always a disappointment. Especially since crisp taco shells are my favorite.

So this tip for making crunchy taco shells in your oven was mind-blowing to me. Why oh why haven’t I known about this before now!  All the wasted years that have gone by! ;-)

Let’s not waste another minute!

How to Make Your Own Baked Taco Shells

by Eating Well

Working with 6 tortillas at a time, wrap in a barely damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on High until steamed, about 30 seconds. Lay the tortillas on a clean work surface and coat both sides with cooking spray. Then carefully drape each tortilla over two bars of the oven rack. Bake at 375°F until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes.


baked tacos


What??? That’s IT?? Ridiculously easy. The only thing that makes it even slightly difficult is having to do more than one batch. Of course, in hindsight, I could have definitely done another row of shells on the back of the oven rack. Oh well, next time…because there is definitely going to be a next time…and a next time…and a next time…

Now that we have our shells, we are ready to make Baked Tacos! Why I never thought of this before completely mystifies me. It makes perfect sense. I especially like how the cheese is nice and melty instead of cold like on a traditional taco.


baked tacos

I have posted my version of the recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures below…but you really just need to make taco meat/filling like you usually do, fill the shells and bake them casserole style! I decided to try a variation on Lynn’s recipe and we all liked it a lot! We might just have a new go-to way to eat tacos around here. (Just between you and me, I didn’t tell No. 3 son – aka The World’s Pickiest Eater – that there was refried beans in the taco meat…and he didn’t even notice. I think he ended up having six! lol. shhhhh)

Baked Tacos

Adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 15 ounce tomato sauce
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning or 2 – 3 Tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning)
  • 1 – 2 cups shredded cheese (I didn’t measure)
  • 18-20 hard taco shells (I think I used 15, but I crammed them pretty full)
  • Your favorite taco toppings.


baked tacos
Brown ground beef. Drain off any fat and add refried beans, tomato sauce, and seasoning.
Spoon mixture into taco shells.
Place filled shells into a 9×13 pan, standing up. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.


baked tacos

baked tacos

As you can see from the picture…I topped my taco with a Tomatillo Salsa that I purchased at a local restaurant called Loco Lizard Cantina. It is THE BEST green salsa! I really need to figure out how to make a homemade version of it. It was soooooooo good on the baked tacos! (If anyone has a good recipe…please share!)


baked tacos

Wow…writing about these tacos is making me hungry for them all over again. Maybe no leftovers is not such a good thing afterall. :-)



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  1. Angela says

    Did you use flour or corn tortillas? Did you have any problem with the cooking spray dripping into the bottom of your oven? And finally :) , were the baked tacos soggy on the bottom?
    Thanks! Love your site!

  2. Dustin says

    If you want an easy tomatillo sauce do this: Get a cookie sheet out and put on bout 8-10 pieces of garlic cracked but with the paper skin still on, a seeded jalapeno, half an onion and a bunch of tomatillos to take up the rest of the space. Cover everyone in about 4tbsp of olive oil and some sea salt. Bake in a 400d oven for about 20 min or until you see the jalapeno is a lil charred on the edges and some of the tomatillos popped. Then just throw them all in a food processor and blend!

  3. Mary Malone says

    Thanks again, Jillee for One MORE Good Thing! Actually 2 more if you count baking your shells over the oven grate. I check your blog EVERY SINGLE DAY!

  4. Bev says

    If you want gluten free, don’t use flour…. unless it’s gluten free flour. I suggest corn tortillas.

  5. KimH says

    I grew up along the Texas/Mexico border and we always fried our tacos hard. We use 2 forks to handle them and get a little oil in a skillet hot, drop it in, let it bubble, turn it over, fold in half, hold the sides apart by sticking a fork in them, turn them over again to let the other side get cooked a bit & then drain on a paper towel lined paper plate.
    I know.. if you have ‘grease” issues, your way is better.. but if you dont.. the above is traditional and wonderful. You can fry them to your preferred amount of crispness.

    I love this whole post though.. Doing the tortillas in the oven like that is genus and so is cooking the tacos.
    Yum!!! Tacos, one of my 4 food groups. ;)

  6. Landon says

    Can’t wait to try this. My kids LOVE tacos! I make my own taco seasoning & buy the components to make what we want instead of the boxed kits. I’ve never thought of baking tortillas into taco shells, but that is genius! Will be making this next week. =)

  7. Trixie says

    I don’t know how to make tomatillo salsa, it looks difficult but I have a recipe for a WONDERFUL Cilantro dipping sauce. If you like cilantro, you will LOVE this sauce.

    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
    1 garlic clove, peeled
    1 Tbsp white vinegar
    1 tsp sugar
    1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix
    Dash Cayenne Pepper
    Juice of one medium lime

    In a blender, mix all ingredients and blend until smooth.
    Chill until serving.


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