Chicken/ Quick and Easy

Cheesy Baked Chicken Tacos

These cheesy baked chicken tacos are a quick and easy weeknight dinner for your family and kids that’s ready in under 30 minutes. Pair it with your favorite toppings and enjoy some crispy, flavorful tacos.

Several cheesy baked chicken tacos stacked together topped with sour cream, tomatos, cilantro, red onions and shredded lettuce.

Today we’re making some cheesy baked chicken tacos. It’s the perfect answer to busy weeknight meals or when you have a crowd to feed. You can also make them for Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, taco night, the Super Bowl, potlucks, parties, or cookouts.

This simple 7-ingredient recipe is packed full of flavor with crispy taco shells stuffed with refried beans, shredded chicken and lots of melty cheese. Make all that even tastier with your favorite toppings. You can get as creative as you like with both the fillings and topping choices.

This recipe is a great way to turn rotisserie chicken into a quick meal that serves up to 10. If you don’t have rotisserie chicken, any kind of cooked or leftover shredded chicken will do. The best thing about this recipe is how you can switch up the filling with any kind of taco meat.

Try stuffing them with these slow cooker beef tacos, slow cooker chicken tacos, or these instant pot chipotle chicken tacos. You can also switch out the chicken with ground beef for some simple cheesy baked beef tacos. Let’s start making some tacos!

Ingredients in Cheesy Baked Chicken Tacos

Ingredients to make cheesy baked chicken tacos in prep bowls.

CHEESY BAKED CHICKEN TACOS RECIPE TIPS

Taco shells – Use the ‘Stand ‘N Stuff tacos’ from Old El Paso. They stand up on their own so you don’t have to worry about balancing them while baking. They also have lots of different flavors you can experiment with like nacho cheese, ranch, a hint of lime, or Takis. I managed to fit them in a 9×13 casserole dish by arranging 8 tacos in a straight line with 2 off to the side.

Onions – I used fresh onions, but adding some onion powder to the chicken will also work.

Several cheesy baked chicken tacos stacked together topped with sour cream, tomatos, cilantro, red onions and shredded lettuce.

Chicken – I deboned and shredded some store-bought rotisserie chicken to make things easy but feel free to use any kind of cooked chicken you have on hand. Some ideas from recipes I have would be these slow cooker shredded chicken tacos or instant pot chipotle chicken tacos. Try them out and skip the onions and taco seasoning step. Just make sure all the chicken mixture is cooked down so the shells don’t end up soggy.

Taco seasoning – You can use your own taco seasoning if you have a go-to. There are plenty of pre-packaged seasoning brands to pick from like Taco Bell, McCormick and Old El Paso. Old El Paso has a few more flavors like chicken tacos, chipotle chicken, cheesy tacos and Al Pastor.

Several cheesy baked chicken tacos stacked together topped with sour cream, tomatos, cilantro, red onions and shredded lettuce.

Diced tomatoes – I used Rotel for more flavor but any kind of diced tomatoes should also work. Rotel combines diced tomatoes with green chiles but can be switched up with a can of regular diced tomatoes. If you do end up doing this, add a 4 oz. can of green chiles to the mix. Rotel also has a ton of flavors to experiment with like original, mild, hot, fire-roasted, Mexican-style lime and cilantro. TIP: Fully drain the can of tomatoes so the chicken mix isn’t too watery which will result in soggy-bottomed tacos.

Refried beans – Layering the refried beans at the base of the taco shells acts as a moisture barrier. This helps stop the chicken mix juices from seeping through and cracking or splitting the tacos. I only used half a (16 oz.) can of Old El Paso refried beans so they didn’t overpower the chicken. If you’re a fan of refried beans though, feel free to use the full can.

A side by side prep shot of cheesy baked chicken tacos before and after baking.

Mexican cheese blend – I used a shredded 4-cheese blend with Monterey Jack, Asadero, Cheddar and Queso Quesadilla. An 8 oz. package of cheese will yield about 2 cups of shredded cheese. You can also use a 3-cheese Mexican blend or a Taco cheese blend.

Baking – You can bake these in the oven on a sheet pan or in a 9×13 casserole dish. For extra crispy taco shells, you can also pre-bake them for 5 minutes before adding in the fillings and baking them again with the cheese.

Air frying method – Air fry the tacos in batches in a preheated air fryer at 350°F for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Reheat – To reheat, bake the tacos at 350°F for 5 minutes or until the cheese has heated up and is melty again.

A close up shot of a half eaten chicken taco with toppings.

Taco Toppings Ideas

  • Sliced avocados
  • Diced red onions
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Cotija cheese
  • Sour cream

Customize It

Switch out Rotel – Try using chunky salsa in place of Rotel if you’re not a fan of the green chilies.

Zest it up – Add a tablespoon or two of lime juice to the chicken to zest it up.

Make it smoky – Add some smokiness to the chicken with some smoked paprika or ancho chili powder.

Add some heat – Spice it up with jalapeños, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, or hot Rotel.

And that’s about it. Enjoy your cheesy tacos and let me know how you liked them in the comments below!

MORE TACO RECIPES TO TRY

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Several cheesy baked chicken tacos stacked together topped with sour cream, tomatos, cilantro, red onions and shredded lettuce.

Cheesy Baked Chicken Tacos


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10 tacos 1x

Description

These cheesy baked chicken tacos are a quick and easy weeknight dinner for your family and kids that’s ready in under 30 minutes.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 10 Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff taco shells
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (about 1 lb. shredded chicken)
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet taco seasoning
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Rotel diced tomatoes, fully drained
  • 8 oz. refried beans
  • 1 package (8 oz.) Mexican cheese blend

TOPPING IDEAS
Avocado, tomatoes,  red onions, jalapenos, cilantro, green onions, shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.


Instructions

  1. Over medium-high heat in a skillet, saute the onions in some oil until soft, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the shredded chicken, taco seasoning and water according to the taco seasoning packet instructions. Saute until the water cooks down and the chicken is heated through.
  3. Add Rotel and stir to combine, simmering until most of the juices from the tomatoes are cooked down.
  4. Spread the refried beans at the bottom of each taco shell, top with chicken mixture and finish with a generous topping of shredded cheese.
  5. Line the taco shells in a casserole dish or baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  6. Dish and serve hot with your favorite toppings.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I deboned and shredded some store-bought rotisserie chicken to make things easy but use any kind of cooked chicken you have on hand. 
  • Fully drain the can of Rotel and cook down the liquids in the chicken mixture to minimize soggy tacos. You can use chunky salsa in place of Rotel if you’re not a fan of the green chilies.
  • Zest it up – Add a tablespoon or two of lime juice to the chicken to zest it up.
  • Make it smoky – Add some smokiness to the chicken with some smoked paprika or ancho chili powder.
  • Add some heat – Spice it up with jalapeños, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, or hot Rotel.
  • This recipe is versatile! Feel free to switch up the meat fillings and just use this recipe as a guide on how to convert them into baked cheesy tacos.
  • Scroll up to RECIPE TIPS for more useful tips, suggestions and ingredient substitutions.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins

♡ Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. You can learn more about it here.

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