Jack in the Box Taco copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Jack in the Box Taco

Score: 4.30. Votes: 10
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Older than both McDonald's and Burger King, Jack in the Box is the world's fifth-largest hamburger chain, with 1,089 outlets by the end of 1991 in thirteen states throughout the West and Southwest. The restaurant, headquartered in San Diego, boasts one of the largest menus in the fast food world.

Now taste for yourself the homemade version of Jack's most popular item with this copycat Jack in the Box taco recipe. The Jack in the Box taco has been served since the inception of the chain, with very few changes over the years. If you're a fan of the Jumbo Jack or any of Jack's Shakes click here for my clone recipes.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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Get This

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup refried beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup Ortega or Pico Pica brand mild taco sauce
  • 12 soft corn tortillas
  • 3 cups cooking oil (Crisco brand preferred)
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 1 head finely chopped lettuce
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Jack in the Box
    • Instructions

      1. Slowly brown the ground beef over low heat, using a wooden spoon to chop and stir the meat, keeping it very fine and smooth. A potato masher also works well.

      2. When the beef is brown, drain the fat.

      3. Add the refried beans and use the wooden spoon to smash the whole beans into the mixture. Remove from the heat.

      4. Add the salt, chili powder, and 2 tablespoons of the taco sauce to the mixture. Remove from the heat.

      5. In another skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until hot. (Test with a small piece of tortilla—it should bubble when dropped in the oil.) Crisco oil will give the food a taste closest to the original.

      6. Spread 1/12 of the beef mixture on the center of each corn tortilla.

      7. Fold the tortillas over and press so that the beef filling acts as an adhesive and holds the sides together.

      8. Drop each taco into the pan of hot oil and fry on both sides until crispy.

      9. When cooked, remove the tacos from the oil and place them on a rack or some paper towels until they are a little cooler.

      10. Pry open each taco slightly. Add 1/2 slice of American cheese (cut diagonally) and some lettuce. Top with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the remaining taco sauce.

      Makes 12 tacos.

      Tidbits: Try to use very thin tortillas for this recipe so that they won't crack when you fold the filled tacos in half before frying. It's best to use warm tortillas and even moisten them along the middle where you will be folding, for additional flexibility.

Average rating:

Score: 4.30. Votes: 10
Rating of votes (10)
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Jeannine Gruenwald
May 7, 2020, 22:29

Just wanted to say thanks! We are in lock down (Covid crisis) and we really wanted tacos. This recipe was easy and delicious! We loved it. One thing that helped keep the tortillas from breaking was to heat them in a pan on each side before filling. Thanks again

Aug 2, 2018, 01:37

There used to be Jack in the Boxes in Maryland, where I grew up. These tacos were my go to after a night of drinking. I have been using this clone for many years now, since they sold out to Taco Bell. I was so sad to see them leave the state, and SO HAPPY when Todd came out with this clone! It was what prompted me to buy my first TSR book, and now I have them all! BEST clone of the JitB!!! HIghly recommend ALL of Todd's books!

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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