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When I first heard of this recipe, I thought, “There is no way that this could possibly work.”  You may have had the same thought as me.  How could you bake taco shells filled with meat, beans, and cheese and have them come out of the oven, in any way, edible?  How would they possibly end up crispy and not just a soggy mess?

It’s like magic.  It totally works and they are completely delicious.  I may never go back to my original way of making tacos.  The meat is seasoned with a tasty combo of spices and the addition of refried beans provides a nice texture to the filling.

Plus, how can you go wrong adding a healthy layer of cheese?  It’s dairy,  so that makes it a health food, right?  A little is good, more is always better!  🙂

Heads up: The original recipe calls for tomato sauce but I was out, so I used a 1/2 cup of salsa.  Oh, yum!  Good swap!

Baked Tacos

Baked Tacos

Adapted from BlogChef.net

2 lbs ground beef
4 teaspoons dried chopped onion
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
Shredded cheese
18-20 hard taco shells

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Combine spices and set aside. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain off all excess liquid.  Season meat with salt & pepper.   Add refried beans, tomato sauce (or salsa) and spices. Mix well and heat through.
Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish*, standing up.  (You want to place them in the dish so that they hold each other upright.)  Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell.  Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through and brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and top with any optional condiments for serving.

*Some visitors on the BlogChef site commented that their tacos stuck to the dish.  To remedy this, I just lightly sprayed the dish before loading it up with the shells.  They came right out.  The only thing holding them back was tasty, melty cheese!