TSR Version of Jack-In-The-Box Tacos by Todd Wilbur

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins

www.TopSecretRecipes.com I was totally addicted to these tacos when I was a teen-ager, I remember going through the drive-thru and ordering a big bag of these for all my friends (in the back seat, necking).I'm guessing at the prep and cook times. This is from Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 12 cup refried beans
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 14 cup mild taco sauce (Ortega or Pico Pica brand or any smooth taco sauce, no chunks of tomato and stuff)
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (try to use thin ones and warm them up before using so they don't crack when you fold them)
  • 3 cups cooking oil, crisco oil will give the tacos a taste closest to the original
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 1 head finely chopped lettuce


  1. Slowly brown the ground beef over low heat, using a wooden spoon to chop and smoosh the meat, keep it very fine and smooth.
  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, creating a smooth texture.
  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 into the oil).
  6. Place 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a frying pan, and heat the oil slightly, place the tortillas one at a time in the frying pan warming both sides, remove the heated tortilla ( this will help to reduce cracking on the tortilla when you fold it over.).
  7. Spread 1/12 of the beef mixture on the center of each corn tortilla.
  8. Fold the tortillas over and press so that the beef filling acts as an adhesive and holds the sides together.
  9. Drop each taco into the pan of hot oil and fry on both sides until crispy.
  10. When cooked, remove the tacos from the oil and place them on a rack or some paper towels until they are a little cooler.
  11. 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.


Most Helpful

My DH claims these tacos tasted just like JIB. He took one bite and smiled saying..."Mmmmm memories..." Only change that was made was putting the meat and all seasonings with the refried beans in the food processer for a little while...it gave the meat and beans the perfect texture! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! This was a winner!

1Roze4me August 27, 2010

OK...I am not one that would normally change a recipe. The closest Jack in the Box to NY is in South Carolina and I've been craving these for years! I tried this recipe. The cosistency of the meat was great but the flavor was not as spicy. I played around and think I have it mastered! You be the judge! Instead of regular refried beans I used the Old El Paso (Green Chiles) Refried Beans. Additionally, instead of using chili powder I used the Old El Paso (Hot & Spicy) Taco seasoning Mix. They are incredible! Does anyone have any ideas as to how to keep the shells from splitting when folded? I tried warming them....it helps somewhat but doesn't elimiate the problem completely.

blocky January 03, 2011

To all of you that are complaining because the ingredients aren't the same as JITB tacos, listen up. This is a recipe created by Todd Wilbur, known for his Top Secret Recipes cookbooks. He explains in his books that even if he got the exact recipe, it would be useless because it contains ingredients that the home cook can't get. So what he does is CLONES the dish. He uses easy to find ingredients and gets as close as possible to the real thing. Ok?

KimberLovesTMBG August 21, 2010

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