About 6-7 yrs ago, I came across a baked taco recipe. Boy, did it ever look mouth watering. I mean I love a good taco. Soft shell or hard shell, I personally don’t care. The taco just has to be good. I try to cook low sodium and healthy to a point. This recipe, as good as it looked, I had to alter it to fit us. The thing I like about a hard taco shell is the crunch. If I have a good crunch and the taco it’s self doesn’t fall apart, you have a keeper. At least in my opinion. Who really wants meat, veggies and or sauces running down one’s hand? I know I don’t. I want my hard taco all in tacked. And that is exactly what these baked tacos are. A taco that stays intact while enjoying every mouth watering bite.
I’m one who likes to sneak veggies, my kids don’t fully enjoy in anything I can. This is loaded with butternut squash. You can use sweet potato as well. I just find butternut squash cooks much quicker, on a busy week night and has much more flavor. My kids think the butternut squash is chopped up carrots. And I have stuck with that. Do what you need to do as a parent to get certain foods in your kids. Little white food lies I don’t think matter that much as a parent. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
I have had an overwhelming (which I think is awesome) amount of friends, ask me for this recipe often. So often that I wrote it down in my notes on my phone, so all I have to do is copy and paste it to our chat.
- 1 can of black beans do not drain
- Garlic clove presses of minced
- Taco seasoning
- Juice of one lime
- Some chicken stock or water
In a small pot combine all the black bean ingredients. Cover with a little bit of water or the broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Let cook for about 10-15min on low, until liquid reduces a bit.
- 2lbs 15/80 ground beef
- 1/2 Red onion diced
- 2 cloves of Garlic pressed or minced
- 1/2 Jalapeño (optional)
- 1-2 red bell peppers finally chopped
- 1 cup of finally chopped Butternut squash. Pea size. Need to hide from the kiddos
- 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
- Taco seasoning of your choice.
In a pan sauté (jalapeño) onions, until soft and a little caramelized. Go ahead then and add the ground beef, garlic and taco seasoning. Once the meat is all browned and broken up, add the tomato paste and mix all together. Add a little bit of water to deglaze the pan and make the meat a little wet. Add butternut squash and cook for about 5 mins until squash is tender. Then add the bell pepper. Stir to combine.
As that is all cooking, take the bean mixture and remove from heat. Take a potato masher and start mashing the beans so they make a paste. You don’t have to make it all mashed up. Once you get the consistency you want, pour into the meat and mix up. You don’t want the beans to watery. You want more of a paste.
Take a baking dish or casserole dish and a pack of taco shells. Use some parchment paper and rip into small pieces. You will need to use them for every other shell.
Fill the shells halfway full and place straight up. Every other shell, wrap the parchment paper so it is raised above the top part of the shell. This is so it’s easy to separate and the shells don’t stick together. Once you have all the tacos in the dish, cover with as much shredded cheddar as you want. Bake at 350 degrees, until cheese starts to melt. Then broil for a couple mins, until cheese starts to crisp up a bit.
Cool and serve.
Note – I don’t have salt or pepper in here. Use only if you feel the flavors need to be pulled out. So taste the mixture first before adding salt. Most taco seasonings have salt in them.
I hope you enjoy this Baked Taco dish as much as my family does. ENJOY!