5 from 2 votes

Favorite Baked Crispy Beef Tacos

 April 1, 2024

There is nothing that will take your next taco night to the next level quite like the perfect beef taco. These are my Favorite Baked Crispy Beef Tacos, and they come together in under 30 minutes. Made from just a few simple and easy ingredients, these tacos are a staple recipe in my household, and I know they will become a staple in your household, too!

A baking sheet of the crispy beef tacos, sitting on a wire cooling rack next to a bowl of guacamole

Friends, when I was a teenager, there was nothing I loved more after a long school day than to hop in the car with my friends, drive to a specific fast food joint (you know which one!), and grab a bunch of tacos to eat in the car. These crispy tacos were simple, filled with just ground beef and cheese, for a delicious, melt-in-your mouth bite. They were my favorite!

So, when my boys requested a beef version of my Crispy Chicken Tacos the other day, I knew I needed to make my own version of the fast food classic. And lo and behold, not only are they just as good… they’re even better.

These tacos are simple, filled with just cheese and perfectly-seasoned ground beef. All you need is a little fresh onion, garlic, cilantro, and chilis (oh, and the perfect homemade taco seasoning – see below) to bring these delicious tacos to life. It’s so easy! And with this recipe coming together in under 30 minutes, it makes for a delicious weeknight dinner, or after-school snack, to satisfy your cravings for both tacos and teenage nostalgia.

What You Need to Make These Better-Than-Takeout Beef Tacos

  • Olive Oil: I like using olive oil in this recipe, because it is full of heart-healthy fats. However, you can use any oil of your choosing.
  • Yellow Onion and Garlic: Fresh onion and garlic are key to making any good taco recipe. I recommend using a yellow onion here, for that nice, mild flavor.
  • Ground Beef: Ground beef is a classic ingredient in tacos. I use 90/10 ground beef for a leaner option, but any type of ground beef will work well.
  • Taco Seasoning: You can use a premade taco seasoning, or make your own! See below for instructions.
  • Chopped Green Chilis: Chopped green chilis add a little bit of heat, without making these tacos too spicy.
  • Cilantro: No taco recipe is complete with without cilantro, and this recipe is no exception.
  • Lime: The juice of one lime adds the perfect amount of acidity!
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese: You can use either dairy or non-dairy cheese, in this recipe. Both work just as well, and taste absolutely delicious!
  • Corn Tortillas: The key here is to make sure that the corn tortillas are soft and pliable. See below for my “hack” on how to do this!
A pan of the beef filling, sitting on a countertop with a spoon resting in the pan
Then, stir in the chopped cilantro, along with a cup of the shredded Mexican cheese and the lime juice. Stir until everything is completely incorporate and the cheese has melted.

How to Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

Part of what makes these tacos shine is the perfectly-seasoned ground beef mixture. While you can absolutely use a pre-made taco seasoning packet, you can also make your own! It’s the perfect way to save a few extra dollars, or prepare a big batch of taco seasoning, ahead of time. I love keeping a jar of this seasoning in my pantry for taco tuesdays!

To make this homemade taco seasoning, simply add 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper to a small bowl and mix to combine. Then, use as directed. That’s it!

A baking sheet, topped with the tortillas, actively being assembled into tacos. A pan full of the beef mixture can be seen sitting next to the tray
Warm the tortillas, then line them up on a baking sheet. Working quickly, fill each tortilla with a scoop of the meat mixture and add a sprinkle of remaining cheese on top. Gently close each taco, making sure that the tortilla doesn’t break.

How to Make The Perfect Weeknight Dinner in Under 30 Minutes

To make these tacos, start by preheating your oven to 400F.  While the oven is preheating, heat a pan, on the stove, over medium heat, and add in the olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add the diced onion and garlic and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to soften.

Next, add the ground beef, taco seasoning and green chilis, and use a spoon to break down the beef into crumbles. Allow the mixture to cook until the beef is completely browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Once the beef is done cooking, remove the pan from the heat.

Next, stir in the chopped cilantro, along with a cup of the shredded Mexican cheese and the lime juice. Stir until everything is completely incorporate and the cheese has melted.

Then, prepare the tortillas. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute, until they’re soft and pliable. You want the tortillas to be as soft as possible so they don’t break. If they aren’t soft and pliable after one minute, then dampen the paper towel again and microwave for 30 seconds more. Next, get out a baking sheet. Working quickly, fill each tortilla with a scoop of the meat mixture and add a sprinkle of remaining cheese on top. Gently close each taco, making sure that the tortilla doesn’t break. If needed, you can take a spoon and place it on top of the taco to hold it closed. 

Then, place the tacos in the oven and allow them to bake for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes are up, turn on the broiler and allow the tacos to cook for 2 additional minutes, until they’re nice and crispy. Watch them carefully, so that they don’t burn.

Once they’re done, the tray from the oven. Garnish the tacos with with chopped cilantro, guacamole, or my avocado lime crema, if desired. Then, serve and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A tray of the crispy beef tacos, sitting on a wire cooling rack next to a bowl of guacamole
gluten-free/Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free

Favorite Baked Crispy Beef Tacos

5 from 2 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
SERVES 4 Servings (2 Tacos Each)
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There is nothing that will take your next taco night to the next level quite like the perfect beef taco. These are my Favorite Baked Crispy Beef Tacos, and they come together in under 30 minutes. Made from just a few simple and easy ingredients, these tacos are a staple recipe in my household, and I know they will become a staple in your household, too!

Ingredients

For the Tacos:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion finely diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef I use 90/10 ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning you can also make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 4.5 Ounce Can Chopped Green Chilis
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro chopped
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mexican Cheese divided
  • 8 6 Inch Corn Tortillas very soft – in order to soften them, wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave them for 1 minute

For Serving:

  • Guacamole
  • Avocado Lime Crema grab the recipe here!

Instructions

  • To make these tacos, start by preheating your oven to 400F. 
  • While the oven is preheating, heat a pan, on the stove, over medium heat, and add in the olive oil.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the diced onion and garlic and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to soften.
  • Next, add the ground beef, taco seasoning and green chilis, and use a spoon to break down the beef into crumbles. Allow the mixture to cook until the beef is completely browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the beef is done cooking, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Next, stir in the chopped cilantro, along with a cup of the shredded Mexican cheese and the lime juice. 
  • Stir until everything is completely incorporate and the cheese has melted.
  • Then, prepare the tortillas. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute, until they're soft and pliable. You want the tortillas to be as soft as possible so they don’t break. If they aren’t soft and pliable after one minute, then dampen the paper towel again and microwave for 30 seconds more.
  • Next, get out a baking sheet.
  • Working quickly, fill each tortilla with a scoop of the meat mixture and add a sprinkle of remaining cheese on top. Gently close each taco, making sure that the tortilla doesn’t break. If needed, you can take a spoon and place it on top of the taco to hold it closed. 
  • Then, place the tacos in the oven and allow them to bake for 10 minutes.
  • After the 10 minutes are up, turn on the broiler and allow the tacos to cook for 2 additional minutes, until they're nice and crispy. Watch them carefully, so that they don't burn.
  • Once they're done, the tray from the oven.
  • Garnish the tacos with with chopped cilantro, guacamole, or my avocado lime crema, if desired. Then, serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. 5 stars
    These are AMAZING!!! whole family loved them! There was a mention of lime juice in step 6 if the instructions, but no lime juice is mentioned in the ingredients, just FYI. Thank you for another delicious, fast recipe!

    • I am so thrilled your family loved this recipe, Jocelyn! Thank you so much for your review!

  2. I am making these right now – love all your recipes and your cookbook.
    Just checking – did you happen to switch the chili powder and cumin amounts in your taco seasoning recipe? I normally use chili powder as a base, not cumin.