Thursday, February 13, 2014


I've been seeing lots of recipes floating around online for baked tacos.  You fill your taco shells with cooked meat, beans and cheese, then stand them up in a casserole dish and bake them.  Then you add your cold toppings.  Sounds fabulously easy!  I headed to the store and found these super cool shells:

I was looking forward to super stuffing them with delicious filling!  I opened the box like an excited child on Christmas morning, and this is what I found:

Christmas is RUINED!  I was faced with a few options: cry, go to the store for more shells, or be an innovator.  Crying is for babies.  The store was filled with people stocking up on toilet paper, milk and bread for the snowstorm.  Only one option left.  My uncle had actually just texted earlier that day to let me know about a little enchilada casserole he whipped up.  He had tons of enchilada filling, sauce and cheese, but not enough stamina to roll all those enchis.  Instead, he layered it in a baking dish and said the results were outstanding.  Thanks for the inspiration, Uncle Dave!

First, brown and crumble a pound of ground beef.  Add an undrained can of chili beans, a cup of salsa and a packet of taco seasoning.

Medium heat gives the perfect kick!

Simmer the meat mixture until the liquid reduces, about 10 minutes.



You want it to be a little liquidy, so the taco shells don't stay completely hard and crunchy.  I've had casseroles with flour tortillas, which turn into a gooey mushy layer.  Corn tortillas are good, but kind of disintegrate in the liquid.  Taco shells seem like the happy medium!  Time to layer.  Broken shells, meat mixture, cheese, repeat.


1 lb extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 can medium heat chili beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1 box taco shells
2 cups shredded cheddar (or mexican blend or whatever you'd like!)
sour cream, salsa, lettuce, toppings!

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown and crumble ground beef.  Add undrained beans, taco seasoning, and salsa.  Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat.  Break taco shells and place about half on bottom of 8x8 baking dish.  Add half of meat mixture and spread to cover evenly.  Sprinkle on one cup of cheese.  Repeat layers.  Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes.  Uncover and broil for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is perfectly browned and melty.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then cut into 4 pieces.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Disclaimer:  I may have seemed incredibly optimistic throughout the ordeal of a ruined baked tacos recipe.  This is why:
My cooking partner for the evening.


  1. My mom always called this "Mexican Lasagna" when I was growing up. :)

    1. It's funny because I've been planning to make an actual mexican lasagna using those cool fresh frozen lasagna noodles they sell at Harris Teeter. I'll keep you and Dee posted :)