A family friendly weeknight meal. If you have never had a baked taco before, prepare yourself to never go back! The texture of the taco shell- and the melted cheese are to die for. Here’s how to make them: The tacos are assembled with crispy shells, seasoned taco beef, chopped tomatoes, salsa and a generous amount of Cabot Monterey Jack or 4 Cheese Mexican Shredded Cheese. Next the tacos are packed into a baking dish and baked to melt the cheese. Top with lettuce and cilantro. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder, or a generous pinch cayenne
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup water
10 crispy corn taco shells
½ cup salsa
½ cup finely diced tomatoes
8 ounces Cabot Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese, or Cabot 4 Cheese Mexican Shredded Cheese (about 2 cups)
1 cup shredded lettuce
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 10 mins | Total: 40 mins
PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Line a 9 by 13 baking dish with foil. Mist foil with cooking spray.
HEAT oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beef, and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon until the beef is browned, and only a small amount of pink remains, 4 to 6 minutes.
ADD onion and garlic, and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until the beef is completely browned and the onions are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and chipotle or cayenne. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, and stir to combine. Add water and bring to a simmer, stirring.
STAND taco shells up, side-by-side in the baking dish. Fill each one with the beef mixture, dividing evenly. Top beef with tomatoes and salsa. Top with Cabot Monterey Jack (or Cabot 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese), dividing evenly. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
SERVE tacos hot with lettuce and cilantro.
These were very good. I've always heated the shells first and then added the ingredients. This is especially good because the cheese gets all gooey. You definitely want to eat them all as soon as they are ready as they will get soggy. I made mine with shredded chicken instead of the beef – very versatile recipe.