Crispy oven baked chicken tacos

A baking dish of hard shell ground chicken tacos.

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5 from 2 reviews

Crispy oven baked chicken tacos are made with seasoned ground chicken, crunchy taco shells, salsa, refried beans and melted cheese, five simple ingredients that bake into crispy, chewy, cheesy perfection! 


Units Scale
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 12 hard taco shells
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup salsa (mild or hot)
  • 2 16-oz cans refried beans
  • 4 to 5 cups (3/4 to 1 pound) grated cheddar or Monterey Jack or shredded taco cheese blend

Baking Dishes: Two  9x9 square baking pans


  1. Heat oven to 400F.
  2. In a wide skillet over medium-high heat, warm about a tablespoon of oil. Add the ground chicken and press it evenly into the skillet. Let the meat cook for 3 minutes without stirring so the bottom browns. 
  3. Season the chicken with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin and salt. Break the ground chicken up into small pieces as it continues to cook. Cook until the outside is lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 more minutes. 
  4. Mix in the salsa. Turn off heat. 
  5. Evenly spread one can of refried beans over the bottom of each 9x9 square baking pan. 
  6. Gently arrange 6 hard taco shells in each pan, nestling them into the refried beans so the shells stand up straight. To make the shells fit, line up 4 in a row horizontally on one side of the pan then arrange two more vertically on the other side of the pan. 
  7. Put the pan in the oven and bake the shells for 5 minutes. 
  8. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of grated cheese into the bottom of each shell. 
  9. Add two spoonfuls of chicken taco meat into each shell, dividing it up evenly among the shells until you’ve used up all of the meat. If some of the meat spills out of the shells onto the refried beans, don’t worry about it. 
  10. Scatter the remaining cheese over the meat in each taco shell and over the refried beans.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is completely melted. 
  12. Serve immediately with taco toppings like salsa, cilantro, green onion, shredded lettuce or cabbage, avocado, sour cream, etc. 


You can substitute ground beef, pork or turkey. If using beef or pork, drain off excess grease after cooking the meat.