Cheesy Baked Tacos
1 pound ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey or ground beef)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 hard shell corn taco shells
1 can refried black beans or regular refried beans
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or shredded cheddar
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices and then into half
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, optional
sour cream, for serving
hot sauce, like tabasco (optional), for serving
Preheat oven to bake at 400 F.
Heat the oil in a medium sauté or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken and salt to the pan and cook, stirring often, until cooked through. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder and stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes, taste and add more salt if needed. Using a slotted spoon, move the chicken from the pan into a bowl and set aside.
Move the refried beans from the can into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Set a 9x13 inch baking dish on the counter.
Take one tortilla shell and smear a few spoonfuls of the warm refried beans on the bottom. Add a couple spoonfuls of the ground chicken and place in the baking dish. Repeat the filling with remaining shells and stack them into the baking dish so they are standing upright. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the shells and move pan into the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tops of the tortilla shells are brown and crispy.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the shredded lettuce and cilantro over the top of the baked tacos. Place a half tomato slice in each taco and serve with hot sauce and sour cream on the side.