Crunchy Classic Beef Tacos (Day 10 of the 12 Days of Tacos)

Recipes, The 12 Days of Tacos

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned beef taco? I know I do! Especially since it’s my final Taco Tuesday for this year’s 12 Days of Tacos. Only two days left to go!

I love adding new twists to the classics when I’m creating new recipes to share, so I thought I’d shake things up a bit when it comes to this well-loved dish. As a kid we NEVER bought hard taco shells, so I often don’t think of them when I’m making tacos now. The soft ones definitely have the benefit of being less messy, but there is something super tasty about a crispy hard taco shell too!

So, these beef tacos are done up inside some crunchy hard corn shells, THEN topped with cheddar cheese, THEN put in the oven to melt the cheese, THEN topped with the rest of your tasty taco toppings. YUM!

Also, if you’re still buying pre-made taco mix, read on for the recipe for your own homemade taco seasoning! You’ll never have to buy store bought again!

Crunchy Classic Beef Tacos

Serves: 6 (2 per person)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 2lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • 12 hard taco shells
  • Lettuce, tomato, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, salsa, or any other favourite taco toppings!

Taco Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more/less depending on how much heat you like) TIP: start with less and add more after tasting your finished product. You can always add more heat but you can’t take it away!
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

*You know how when you buy pre-made taco seasoning mix the recipe calls for water to be added to your sauce? That’s because there’s cornstarch in the mixture, which is what turns the powder into a thick sauce when you cook it. In our recipe you don’t need water because the cornstarch will thicken once it’s mixed with the tomato sauce* If you are making a recipe that does not include onion and garlic with the meat, add 1 tbsp of each garlic powder and onion powder to your seasoning!

1. Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat. When it is cooked through drain away extra fat.

2. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Mix well. Turn the temperature up a bit so the sauce boils (just for about 10 seconds), then reduce heat to simmer and let it thicken. If it’s very saucy let it simmer for a little longer so some of the extra liquid boils off.

3. Pre-heat oven to 350F

4. Grate Cheese

5. Arrange hard taco shells in a baking dish so they won’t tip over or spill. Fill each taco shell 1/2 way with ground beef mixture and top with grated cheese

6. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling

7. Remove from oven, and top with your choice of taco fillings.

8. Enjoy the mess!

If you want to save a bit of time, the ground beef mixture can also be made in a slow cooker: Simply put ground beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce and spices into slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours (it can get a bit mushy if you leave it too long), then prepare the rest of your tacos as directed.

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