Classic Baked Tacos

Tray of baked tacos with creamy sauce

What is better than a Classic Baked Taco? Really, not much. As a kid growing up, one of my favorite weeknight meals was ground beef tacos. It was perfectly simple, ground beef, taco seasoning, lettuce, and cheese. For the longest time it was just so simple to make tacos with the store bought seasoning. Quickly, I realized how easy and cheap it was to make my own seasoning at home. I’ve spent some time perfecting it over the years but now I refuse to go back to the package seasoning.

Tray of baked tacos with creamy sauce

Classic Baked Tacos

Course Main Course, Seasoning
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 package hard taco shells
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • ½ jalapeno chopped and seeds removed
  • ½ red onion sliced thinly
  • ½ bell pepper sliced thinly
  • ¾ cup water

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cube beef bullion broken up

Spicy Cilantro Sour Cream

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice


  • Preheat oven to 400°

Tacos & Seasoning

  • In a large saute pan cook ground beef or ground turkey until cooked and drain grease
  • Slice and chop red onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno
  • Once grease is drained add pepper, onion, and jalapeno to pan with meat and turn heat to a medium flame
  • Add in all seasoning and ¾ cup of water to the saute pan
  • Let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and you have a thick sauce mixed with the meat and veggies
  • On a baking tray like 10-12 hard taco shells upright
  • Fill each taco shell with taco mixture
  • Cover all of the tacos with cheddar cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, once the cheese starts to turn a golden brown
  • Remove from oven and top with spicy cilantro sour cream

Spicy Cilantro Sour Cream

  • Add all ingredients to bowl and mix well
  • Let sit in fridge for 10-15 minutes before serving
Baked tacos with creamy spicy sour cream

Ground Beef vs Ground Turkey

The tacos pictured are made with ground beef, but we actually prefer these Classic Baked Tacos with ground turkey instead. We find that the ground beef is too greasy, even after draining the grease. Ground turkey absorbs the flavors from the seasoning when simmering more than ground beef does. Ground beef is usually cheaper to purchase and definitely holds the sauce better than ground turkey does. Either meat option chosen for this recipe are bound to make some delicious Classic Baked Tacos!

White plate with baked tacos and spicy sour cream

Kick it up a notch

The recipe above makes a Classic Baked Taco and the spice is just right. No one likes a taco that is too mild, you want to taste the spice a bit. We wrote to add 1/2 of a jalapeno removing the seeds. That ensures you get the flavor of the jalapeno without too much heat. We do like to keep the seeds in most times we make this to get that heat up a notch. The melted cheese also plays a part in making these tacos a bit milder, so don’t be afraid to make these extra cheesy! For your taste buds, really.

Try out some of our other tacos!

From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

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