The baked flavor and crispiness that you get in the oven really enhances the taco filling. I especially like the way the texture of the hard taco shell changes as it bakes- the bottom of the shell becomes a little more chewy, while the top edges crisp up.
Baked tacos are a little easier to eat, too. The filling stays put with the cheese melted over it, and the chewier texture prevents the crunchy-shell-fall-aparts. And serving dinner couldn't be easier: the dish of hot, already-made tacos, a plate of toppings, and you're done!
You can halve this recipe to get about 10 tacos.
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 can refried beans
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning (I used my homemade taco seasoning)
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese
18 to 20 hard taco shells
toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, etc.
1. Brown ground beef and drain off any fat. Stir in refried beans, tomato sauce, and seasoning. Bring to a simmer and mix well.
2. Remove from heat. Spoon meat mixture into taco shells (fill shell about 1/4 to 1/3 full, to leave room for cheese and toppings), standing them up in a 9 X 13 pan as you go.
3. Tuck a couple of tablespoons of cheese onto each filled taco.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through and just starting to brown.
Recipe adapted from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures