Jack In The Box Tacos


We are super classy, and so are you, so we know you’ll want to see this…

Actually, let’s not kid ourselves, if we were as classy as we are both pretending to be, we wouldn’t be here talking about a Jack in the box taco recipe, would we? Deep fried, crispy goodness that we know isn’t really what the experts mean when they talk about ‘five a day’… We don’t know about you, but forbidden fruit definitely tastes the sweetest. In this article we are going to talk you through how to make Jack in the box tacos.

jack in the box tacos copycat

How To Make Jack In The Box Tacos

Just as the ‘Big Mac’ is McDonald’s signature dish, Jack in the box tacos are the leading item in their namesake’s menu. With over 554 million of them consumed in America, there has to be something good about them, right?

There isn’t a great deal of magic involved in making Jack in the box tacos, but if you’ve eaten one, why would you expect anything else? The simplicity of them, both in the restaurants and making them at home, is one of the reasons that people devour them in such large numbers.

The only vegetable that features in this recipe is lettuce. (No, the corn in the corn tortilla doesn’t count, however, we might give you a pass on the refried beans).

One of the key secrets to this recipe is cooking the beef slowly. The filling will effectively be cooked twice. Once when you make it and the second time when you fry the tortilla. If you overdo it the first time you aren’t going to get the beef nice and soft, but probably a little bit on the well done and crispy side.

Whilst cooking you have to stir the beef constantly. Jack in the box tacos aren’t full of lumps, but filled with a smoother textured beef.

To give them the spicy flavor for which they are famous you are going to need chili powder. When we tweaked this recipe, we were quite surprised as to how much we needed to get it up to the right ‘temperature’. If you aren’t a spice fan then feel free to tone it down and halve the amount. If you prefer a taco that you’ll remember for days, feel free to go all in with another spoonful or two of chili. We use chili powder in this recipe, however if you have fresh chili then that will work too.

The main failure point in this recipe is when you come to fill and fold the tacos. If they aren’t the freshest or are a little thick then they might break in the middle. But we’ve got a couple of tips to help you out…

About 15 seconds in the microwave, on a high heat, for each tortilla will make them soft and pliable enough to shape. Any longer and you risk actually cooking them so be careful.

If you don’t have a microwave, no problem. Use a piece of baking parchment to secure the round ‘spine’ of the tortilla as you fold it, the extra strength will stop it splitting.

Don’t overload your pan of hot oil when it comes to frying, or you may end up with soggy tortillas, and we want crispy.

Ok Now that we have talked about the finer points lets get deep down and dirty with our Jack in the box taco recipe: –

Jack In The Box Tacos

4 from 144 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Make 12 of these delicious Jack in the box tacos at home. This copycat tacos recipe is so good you’ll be disappointed you didn’t make more.


  • 500 g 500 ground beef

  • A large pinch of salt

  • 70 g 70 refried beans

  • A large pinch of black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon 1 of chili powder

  • 70 ml 70 mild taco sauce (or hot if you are brave)

  • 1 liter 1 of canola or peanut oil

  • 6 slices of kraft cheese slices

  • 3 handfuls of chopped lettuce


  • Take a medium or large frying pan, and place it over a medium to low heat. Add the beef as soon as the pan is on the heat, you don’t need it to warm up before you start cooking.
  • Stir the beef constantly, you want to continually poke and move it until it is broken down into a soft and smooth consistency. One the beef releases its fat, pour it away.
  • Add your refired beans to the beef and stir vigorously to incorporate it. You can stop cooking the beef now, so set it aside.
  • Tip your chili powder, salt, pepper and a spoonful of the taco sauce mixture into the beef and give it another good stir.
  • In a separate pan heat your cooking oil on a medium to high heat. Place a wooden spoon into the oil to see if it’s hot enough. When it is, the spoon should bubble vigorously.
  • Lay out your soft tortillas in a pile. Place a heaped tablespoon in the center of the tortilla and wet half of the exposed edge with a little water. Press the edges together until they are sealed. (if it won’t stick, use a little flour and water to make a sort of glue).
  • Carefully slide two tacos at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don’t splash.
  • After about 2-3 minutes flip the tacos in the oil and fry for one more minute.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on a rack. Once they are marginally cooler pry open the taco and add a spoonful of lettuce, a slice of cheese and a teaspoon of the taco sauce.
  • Dig in and enjoy.

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Nutrition Facts

12 servings per container

Serving Size1 servings

  • Amount Per ServingCalories150
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 9g 14%
    • Saturated Fat 3g 15%
  • Cholesterol 38mg 13%
  • Sodium 688mg 29%
  • Total Carbohydrate 5.2g 2%
    • Dietary Fiber .8g 4%
    • Sugars 1.2g
  • Protein 11.6g 24%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


    Ok so we won’t win healthy choice awards for this Jack in the box taco recipe. But hopefully we will win your admiration as they are utterly delicious. They are just a little oily, but that’s what makes us love them so much. Now don’t worry, just go for it, and worry about it afterwards.

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