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