5 from 8 reviews

Crispy Beef Tacos (Baked Not Fried!)

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I am not joking when I say I have been making these crispy beef tacos for my family once a week for the last month! Taco night is always fun, but now we look forward to taco nights even more with this flavorful, easy recipe.

They are a breeze to prepare on busy weeknights and require minimal cleanup. Plus, I am always looking for new ways to use ground beef in recipes, and this one fits the bill.

For other ways to use ground beef, my husband always requests these Cheeseburger Sliders, my toddler is obsessed with this Hamburger Macaroni, I love this Asian-style ground Beef and Noodles, and the whole family always asks for my classic Spaghetti and Meatballs.

But back to this recipe! These tacos are completed with a creamy, slightly smoky, and subtly spicy chipotle crema and an array of fresh and vibrant taco toppings like guacamole, cilantro, shredded lettuce, pickled red onions, and sour cream.

Their irresistible combination of crispy shells, flavorful beef filling, and customizable toppings elevate the humble taco to a whole new level of deliciousness. I know you’ll love them!

tacos on a sheet pan garnished with cilantro and red onions.

Why this recipe works

  • Baked, not fried!
  • Made in under 30 minutes.
  • Ease of preparation.
  • It’s less messy since there is no frying involved.
  • Great for parties!
ingredients needed to make beef tacos in small glass bowls.

Ingredients

For the ingredient measurements and the entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • Ground beef: Go for 85% lean/15% fat or 90/10. You can also use ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken as an alternative.
  • Taco Seasoning: You can use store-bought taco seasoning for convenience (which I usually do!) or make your own blend using chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Corn Tortillas: I like to make these with corn tortillas for an authentic flavor. The 6-inch tortillas are the perfect size for these tacos!
  • Shredded Cheese: Colby Jack is my favorite for these tacos, but you can also use a Mexican blend, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack cheese. I recommend not buying the pre-shredded cheese because it usually doesn’t melt as well as grating it fresh.
  • Diced Green Chiles: add the perfect flavor and complement the ground beef.
  • Chipotle Crema: This creamy, smoky sauce adds a delicious kick to my tacos. You can blend chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with sour cream, garlic, honey, lime juice, and seasonings.
tacos on an aluminum sheet pan.

Step by Step Directions

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

  1. Cook the ground beef.
  2. Add the seasonings and remaining ingredients then stir in cheese.
  3. Warm tortillas by wrapping them in a paper towel and microwaving them for 30 seconds – to 1 minute.
  4. Place some ground beef on half of the tortilla, top with cheese, and fold. Repeat!
  5. Bake on a prepared baking sheet until crispy!
beef tacos garnished with cilantro, cheese, limes, and red onions.
a taco being dunked into chipotle crema.

Expert Tips

  • Prep Your Tortillas: Warm the corn tortillas slightly before assembling the tacos. This makes them more pliable and prevents them from cracking when folded. I like to warm them easily in the microwave!
  • Season Well: Season your filling generously with taco seasoning. Use seasoning from a packet, or your favorite homemade taco blend.
  • Use Cooking Spray or Oil: Lightly coat the assembled tacos with cooking spray or brush them with oil before baking. This helps to achieve a crispy exterior and golden brown color.
  • Add a Layer of Cheese: Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on top of the filling before baking. This adds flavor and helps seal the tacos and prevent them from opening up during baking.
  • Don’t Overfill: Avoid overfilling the tacos, as this can make them difficult to handle and prone to falling apart. Aim for a moderate filling that allows the tacos to be folded easily.
  • Monitor Baking Time: Watch the tacos while baking to prevent them from becoming too crispy or burning. Baking times may vary depending on your oven and the size of your tacos, so check them periodically.
  • Add Toppings After Baking: Add fresh toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and sour cream after the tacos are baked. This preserves the freshness and texture of the toppings and allows you to customize each taco to your liking.
cheesy beef tacos on a white plate with sour cream drizzled over the tops.

Storage

  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, if they last that long!
  • Reheat in the oven for 10 minutes or so, or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

What's your favorite taco topping?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

5 from 8 reviews

Crispy Beef Tacos (Baked Not Fried!)

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 tacos
These Crispy Beef Tacos offer all the crunchy goodness of a traditional taco but without all the excess oil! You will love how easy they are to bring together in less than 30 minutes and the simple-to-make chipotle crema to dip and dunk! Add all of your favorite fresh and vibrant taco toppings to add color and of course enhance the overall taste experience. Make them for your next weeknight dinner or a party snack!

Ingredients

For the tacos

  • oil (can use canola, vegetable, or olive oil)
  • 1 lb. ground beef (85% lean/15% fat or 90/10.)
  • 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (I just used seasoning from a packet for convenience!)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1, 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. colby jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • 8-10, 6-inch white corn tortillas

Chipotle crema

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. honey or sugar
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt to taste

For serving

  • sour cream, shredded lettuce finely chopped, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled red onions, etc.

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil or spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray. (I use a standard half sheet pan 18×13). Set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, drain the excess fat.
    oil, 1 lb. ground beef
  • Return to the burner and add in the taco seasoning, water, garlic, lime juice, diced green chiles, salt, and pepper to taste.
    2 Tbsp. taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 lime, juiced, 1, 4 oz. can diced green chiles, salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated, stirring occasionally ~5 minutes.
  • Then stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese and stir until combined. Turn off the burner & remove from heat.
    8 oz. colby jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • Wrap the tortillas in a clean towel or paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute. This helps warm them so they don’t break apart while assembling. Making them more pliable is helpful!
    8-10, 6-inch white corn tortillas
  • Working on one half of the tortilla, spread about ¼ cup of the beef mixture down on the tortilla. 
  • Top with a little bit of shredded cheese.
  • Fold the tortilla over to seal. Lightly brush the top of the tortilla with just a little more oil.
  • Repeat with remaining taco filling and tortillas. Careful not to fill them too much because it will ooze out and get messy. I bake about 6 at a time on a baking sheet, you should yield ~8-10 tacos. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and crispy! (no need to flip)
  • While they are baking, you can make the chipotle crema. Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust according to your preferences.
    1/2 cup – 3/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream, 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1 tsp. honey or sugar, 1/2 lime, juice, 1 clove garlic, salt to taste
  • Serve the tacos with your favorite toppings and the crema. 
    sour cream, shredded lettuce finely chopped, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled red onions, etc.

Notes

  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, if they last that long!
  • Reheat in the oven for 10 minutes or so, or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1taco, Calories: 322kcal (16%), Carbohydrates: 15g (5%), Protein: 18g (36%), Fat: 21g (32%), Saturated Fat: 10g (63%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 67mg (22%), Sodium: 521mg (23%), Potassium: 246mg (7%), Fiber: 2g (8%), Sugar: 1g (1%), Vitamin A: 631IU (13%), Vitamin C: 3mg (4%), Calcium: 229mg (23%), Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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Elizabeth

These are SO delicious!! Perfect for dinner!

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Nikki

This recipe was soooo yummy and flavorful! I loved that the meat doesn’t get dried up in the baking process and all the flavors are so good. I had a little trouble keeping the tortillas folded before baking so I baked for 5 minutes to get the cheese all melty, took the tacos out, folded them, and put them back in for 15 minutes more. Worked great! Will definitely be making these regularly!

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Christina

Awesome Recipe! I overfilled mine just a little, but they were still Amazing!

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Caitlin

These were SO good. I didn’t even get to snap a picture because they were gone so fast. I didn’t make the cream this time because I didn’t have everything I needed, but we will next time!

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Kipp

Wow! These were delicious.
Any tips on keeping the tortillas from tearing and opening ?

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Karen

These were fantastic! Taste was delicious and easy recipe to follow. I baked mine in the oven for only 13 minutes and they were VERY crispy for me at that point (on the verge of burning). Next time I make them, I’ll probably only bake them for 10 minutes. Could be that my oven was warmer, but I would recommend checking them around the 10 minute mark. But extremely delicious and will 100% make again!!!

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Jenna

These were incredible!! Not one was leftover! My toddler was also gobbling these down. Don’t skip on the sauce. It’s so delicious:)

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Lisa

The recipe calla for 8 oz cheese in the meat filling, but then also says to add cheese to each assembled taco. How much additional cheese is needed or just a few sprinkles to seal the taco? Making these tomorrow for Taco Tuesday!! Thanks!!

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