In the rhythm of our daily lives, especially on busy weekdays, we often yearn for a meal that not only satisfies our hunger but also adds a spark of excitement to our dining experience. These delightful Baked Tacos bring a delightful fusion of flavours and textures to your weeknight dinner table – this is not just a meal; they’re a mini fiesta waiting to happen, promising both incredible taste and the joy of assembling your own delicious creations.
Crunchy taco shells filled with seasoned ground beef, a hearty sprinkle of cheese, and an array of vibrant, fresh toppings that awaken your taste buds. Each bite offers a symphony of sensations – the crispiness of the shell, the savoury richness of the beef, the creaminess of mashed avocados, the zing of tangy salsa, and the coolness of shredded lettuce. It’s a harmonious collision of flavours that will leave your family or guests running for seconds.
But what makes these Baked Tacos truly exceptional is their versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, you can customise these tacos to suit your preferences. Layer on as much or as little of each ingredient as you like, and don’t forget to add your personal flair with extra toppings like jalapenos and labneh or sour cream.
As you prepare these Baked Tacos, make sure to get your family involved. You’ll find that the process itself is an enjoyable culinary adventure. Sautéing the ground beef with a blend of spices fills your kitchen with irresistible aromas. Mashing avocados for the creamy mixture and whipping up a quick, fresh tomato salsa adds a touch of homemade goodness to the dish. And when you slide the assembled tacos into the oven, watching the cheese melt and bubble to perfection is a feast for the eyes and senses. Whether you’re serving a hungry family or hosting a casual get-together with friends, these Baked Tacos are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Hope you enjoy this delicious dish and create a memorable weeknight dinner that’s not only fun and flavourful but also a testament to the joys of sharing good food and great company.
Basic Ingredients for Baked Tacos
Ground Beef: The heart of these Baked Tacos, ground beef offers a savoury, meaty foundation. It’s seasoned with a mix of spices, providing depth and flavour to the dish.
Onion: Finely chopped onions bring a touch of natural sweetness and a gentle crunch to the filling. They harmonise with the savoury beef, creating a well-balanced flavour profile.
Spices (Salt, Chili Powder, Cornstarch, Ground Cumin, Red Pepper Flakes, Dried Garlic Powder, Dried Oregano): This ensemble of spices works in concert to elevate the ground beef. Salt enhances overall taste, while chili powder imparts mild heat. Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent, and ground cumin introduces earthy warmth. Red pepper flakes add subtle spiciness, dried garlic powder contributes aromatic depth, and dried oregano brings herbal complexity to the filling.
Avocado: Mashed avocados add a creamy and luscious element to the tacos, balancing the richness of the meat. They also bring a mild, buttery flavor.
Lime Juice: Lime juice not only brightens the avocado mixture but also adds a zesty kick, enhancing the overall taste.
Paprika: Paprika introduces a subtle smokiness and a touch of earthy sweetness to the avocado mixture.
Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are a key component of the salsa, providing juicy, vibrant bursts of flavor. They add a tangy and slightly sweet note to the tacos.
Red Onion: Finely chopped red onion lends a mild sharpness and a lovely crunch to the salsa. It also offers a hint of sweetness.
Coriander: Fresh coriander brings a refreshing herbaceous quality to the salsa, along with a citrusy aroma.
Olive Oil: A dash of olive oil helps bind the ingredients in the salsa and contributes a subtle richness.
Chili Pepper: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, chili pepper adds a spicy kick. Adjust the amount to suit your spice preference.
Jalapeno: Sliced jalapenos provide a fiery element for those seeking an extra kick of heat in their tacos.
Labneh or Sour Cream: Creamy and cooling, labneh or sour cream is the perfect topping to balance the flavors and add a luscious texture.
Shredded Lettuce: Crisp, fresh shredded lettuce adds a refreshing crunch to the tacos, enhancing the overall texture.
Taco Shells: The taco shells themselves are crucial as they provide a sturdy vessel for holding all these flavorful ingredients together.
Meat Filling: If you prefer a different protein or want to go vegetarian, you can use ground chicken, turkey, or even plant-based meat alternatives.
Avocado Mixture: If avocados aren’t your thing, you can create a similar creamy element using Greek yogurt or a dairy-free yogurt alternative.
Tomato Salsa: Customize the salsa with ingredients like diced bell peppers, corn, or black beans for added flavor and texture.
Extra Toppings: Feel free to get creative with your toppings – add diced red bell peppers, pickled onions, or even sliced olives.
Preparation Tips for Baked Tacos
- When sautéing the ground beef, ensure it’s cooked thoroughly and well browned. This adds depth of flavor to the meat.
- As you assemble the tacos, warm the taco shells in the oven briefly to make them extra crispy before adding the fillings.
- Prepare all your ingredients in advance, including the avocado mixture and salsa, so you can assemble the tacos quickly and serve them while they’re still hot.
Serving Tips for Baked Tacos
- Serve the Baked Tacos immediately after assembling to enjoy them at their best. Let each person customize their taco with their preferred toppings.
- Consider offering a variety of hot sauces or salsas on the side for those who want to add an extra spicy kick.
- Serve with a side of Mexican rice or refried beans for a complete meal.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container. However, it’s best to store components separately (e.g., meat, avocado mixture, salsa, and taco shells) to maintain their freshness.
- Reheat the meat and taco shells separately in the oven or microwave, and then assemble your tacos for serving. This helps prevent the shells from becoming soggy.
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp dried garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 500 g ground beef
- 2 cups shredded cheese, (Mexican Mix)
- 2 soft avocado, mashedwith a fork
- ½ lime, juiced
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tomatoes, finely chopped
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
- ½ chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup jalapeno
- 1 cup labneh or sour cream
- 1 cup lettuce, shredded
- 12 taco shells
- In a medium size skillet add brown minced meat. Add onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. Season with salt, chili powder, cornstarch, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, dried minced garlic, and oregano.
- In a small bowl, mash the avocados with a fork and season with a bit of salt and lime juice.
- To prepare the salsa, mix the tomatoes, onion, fresh coriander, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder.
- To prepare the baked tacos. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the taco shell, open side facing up, in a large rectangular oven-proof baking dish. Place in the oven and allow the shells to crisp up for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the tacos out of the oven and begin to layer the fillings. Add a couple spoonful’s of the beef mixture on the base, top with a spoonful of shredded cheese. Bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add your favourite toppings. I like to add avocados, tomato salsa, shredded lettuce, jalapeno and a dollop of labneh.