These Jack in the Box Tacos have crispy shells filled with seasoned ground beef, American cheese, shredded lettuce, and taco sauce. This copycat recipe is simple to make and you can easily turn them into Jack in the box mini tacos or tiny tacos.
Jack in the Box is one of the most popular fast-food franchises in the U.S, famous for its seemingly endless array of burgers, chicken sandwiches, and breakfast options. Still, one of their most successful menu items is the classic Jack in the Box Tacos.
These tacos have been popular with high school and college students for years due to their low price point. 99 cents will get you two of these tasty tacos. Many of us have memories of hitting up the Jack in the Box drive-thru for a few of these tacos after a fun night out. If you’re feeling nostalgic, why not relive the experience by recreating them in your own kitchen?
Fun fact: Americans eat about half a billion Jack in the Box Tacos each year!
Ingredients for Jack in the Box Tacos
- Ground Beef: Opt for a leaner 90/10 beef for this recipe. Less fat ensures your tacos won’t be greasy or soggy.
- Refried Beans: Get canned refried beans at the supermarket or online from brands like Old El Paso.
- Chili Powder: Add some spice to your tacos with chili powder.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds lots of flavor to your beef. If you prefer, substitute with freshly minced garlic.
- Ground Cumin: This warm, earthy spice can be substituted with ground coriander or fennel seeds.
- Mild Taco Sauce: Choose your favorite store-bought taco sauce, or make your own by combining tomato sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and white vinegar. Use a spicier sauce if that’s your preference.
- American Cheese: Jack in the Box uses American cheese for their tacos, but you can use slices of mild cheddar or Colby cheese.
- Shredded Lettuce: Use your choice of romaine, iceberg, or butter lettuce to add some crunch to your tacos.
- Soft Corn Tortillas: We recommend using soft corn tortillas, then frying them to a crisp. You may also use flour tortillas if that’s what you have on hand.
- Egg: You’ll need to dip your soft tortilla in an egg wash before frying, for a golden brown, crispy shell
- Vegetable Oil: Use a neutral oil for frying your taco shells. Vegetable, canola, or corn oil may be used.
Tips & Tricks for Making the Best Jack in the Box Tacos
- Drain the fat after cooking the ground beef: You’ll be using lean beef for this recipe, but still take the time to drain any fat after cooking. This ensures your tacos won’t be greasy or soggy and they’ll be better able to hold their shape.
- Use soft shell corn tortillas: We recommend using soft tortillas instead of purchasing crispy shells. You’ll be frying your taco shells for a fresh, warm, crispy encasing for your tacos.
- Make sure the oil is hot enough before frying: Before dipping your tortillas into the oil, ensure it’s hot enough. 350 F is enough to ensure they’ll be fried to crispy perfection.
What is Jack in the Box Mini Tacos / Tiny Tacos?
These are miniature versions of Jack in the Box tacos, without the lettuce, cheese and sauce. These bite-size snacks are made with a crispy outer shell packed with ground beef. You’ll get about 15 of them in a serving and they’re usually served with a creamy avocado lime dipping sauce.
- Vegetarian Jack in the Box Tacos: Vegetarians don’t have to miss out on these tasty Jack in the Box tacos! Simply replace the ground beef with your favorite vegetarian filling like roasted cauliflower, tofu, or lentils.
- Tuna Jack in the Box Tacos: Try this tasty pescatarian option by replacing beef with a fresh tuna salad. Combine canned tuna with mayonnaise or sour cream, chopped onion, chopped cilantro and fresh lemon juice.
Is There Pork in Jack in the Box Tacos?
Jack in the Box Tacos are traditionally made with beef. If you prefer, you can definitely fill your tacos with seasoned ground pork or pulled pork.
What is the Filling in Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos?
Unlike their full-size tacos which are made with beef, Jack in the Box uses ground chicken for their Tiny Tacos. The seasoned ground chicken is encased in a miniature crispy taco shell, about 1/6th the size of the bigger taco.
Are Jack in the Box Tacos Good for You?
If you’re looking for a healthy option, Jack in the Box Tacos are not the best choice. These tacos are fairly high in fat and sodium, which is exactly what makes them so tasty. Jack in the Box Tacos are a guilty pleasure that you can enjoy when you’re not on a strict diet.
How Much are Jack in the Box Tacos?
These budget-friendly tacos are sold by the pair for only 99 cents. That works out to just under 50 cents per taco, for a deal that you might not find elsewhere. Jack in the Box has not raised the price of these tacos in many years.
If You Like This Recipe Try These Out
If you tried this recipe, let me know how your Jack in the Box Tacos Turn out in the comments below!
Homemade Jack in the Box Tacos Recipe
For the Fillings
For the Tacos
- 12 soft corn tortillas (5-6 inches)
- 1 egg beaten
- vegetable oil for frying
- Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and break the meat apart with a wooden spoon.
- Cook the beef for about 6 minutes or until it’s browned, stirring occasionally. Drain the fat.
- Add refried beans, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, taco sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
- Spoon out about 1/12 of the mixture and place it onto the center of a corn tortilla. Fold the tortilla and seal the edges using the beaten egg.
- In a separate skillet over medium heat, add about ¼-inch vegetable oil. Once hot add the folded tacos. Fry both sides until crispy.
- Once cooked, transfer the tacos to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Use a knife to open the tacos slightly and add half slice of American cheese and shredded lettuce. Drizzle with more taco sauce for serving.