I hate to admit it, but it was only a year ago when my kids first learned what a taco was. I know. (Can we still be friends, Jessie?!). The discover happened when I brought a book home from the library titled Dragons Love Tacos. After reading the title, before cracking open the book, one of my gingersnaps asked, "Mom - what's a taco?".
Um. What? Seriously?!
Well you know what that meant. I promptly added tacos to our menu for the next week. And everyone loved them. Except for the whole falling apart thing. I think deep down that's why I never made tacos for my family. The whole falling apart after the first bite thing is just a little too messy and annoying. My kids were feeling it.
But tonight I made these. Oven tacos are it! With the meat, cheese, and beans already baked into the shell, there isn't much left that tends to fall out and everything just held together better. My son made it down to his last two bites of taco before things crumbled to bits - and he was so proud of himself! Three cheers for oven tacos!
adapted from MIH
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 cup refried beans
1-2 cups grated cheese
10-12 hard taco shells
Taco topping ideas:
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large skillet, brown meat and onion on medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid and grease. Return to pan and add seasoning, tomato paste, water, and beans. Mix well and cook for a few minutes.
Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9x13 baking dish, standing up. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell. Place pan in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted fully. OR, do it in two batches so you get extra fresh tacos! As you pull out the first batch of 4-5 tacos and serve everyone, quickly throw together the rest and let them bake while you are enjoying your first taco!
Remove from oven, throw on your toppings, and enjoy!