Crispy Beef Tacos

4.7 from 15 reviews

Low-fat baked taco shells with delicious beef filling


  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Cooking oil spray or vegetable oil and a basting brush
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water, beer, or beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For serving: shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, avocado, salsa


  1. Make the tortilla shells:
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Sprinkle the tortillas with a little water and microwave for 30 seconds or so to soften. Spray or brush lightly with oil. Lay each tortilla over 2 oven rack bars. Bake for 9 minutes, then remove tortillas from bars and set upright on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and turn oven OFF while you make the filling.
  3. For the filling:
  4. Saute onion in about 1/2 teaspoon or oil (or use cooking spray) for 10 minutes over medium-high heat until translucent and slightly browned.
  5. Add cumin and chili powder and stir for 10 seconds.
  6. Add garlic, jalapeno, red pepper, and beef.
  7. Break the meat into large chunks and add water.
  8. Continue to stir the meat, breaking it into smaller pieces with the water.
  9. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
  10. Add oregano and salt and simmer another 5 minutes to evaporate excess water.
  11. Fill the taco shells with the beef and serve with the toppings of your choice.


Of course you may use store-bought crispy taco shells, or even flour tortillas for soft tacos, which would be safer if you have small children. Choking Ahogo!
Also, you will probably have enough beef mixture for 10 tacos, actually, but 8 is how many tortillas will fit easily in most ovens. You could of course bake more in cycles. Or use leftover taco filling for a taco salad the next day.

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