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Taco Cups Recipe

Who can resist the allure of a snack-sized, flavorful, cheesy treat? These Tasty Taco Cups are a fun and simple twist on traditional tacos. They're perfect for parties, appetizers, or even a unique dinner option. These mini taco delights are made using wonton wrappers for the base, filled with seasoned beef and melty cheese, then topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh tomatoes and green onions.

Taco Cups Recipe
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Wonton wrappers might not be a staple in everyone's pantry but they're key to this recipe. They're usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near tofu and other Asian ingredients. They are thin squares of dough that are perfect for creating these bite-sized taco cups. Another ingredient, taco seasoning, can be found in the spice aisle. If you prefer, you can make your own blend at home.

Essential Ingredients for Tasty Taco Cups

Olive oil: This is used to cook the ground beef. It adds a subtle flavor and helps to keep the meat from sticking to the pan.

Ground beef: The main filling of the taco cups. It's rich in protein and takes on the flavors of the added seasonings quite well.

Taco seasoning: This blend of spices gives the meat its taco flavor. You can buy pre-mixed packets or make your own.

Diced tomatoes: Adds a touch of freshness and acidity to balance out the richness of the meat and cheese.

Wonton wrappers: These are used as the base of the taco cups. They become crispy when baked, creating a satisfying crunch.

Cheddar cheese: Melted over the top of the meat, it adds a creamy, tangy flavor.

Sour cream: A dollop adds a cool creaminess that complements the spiciness of the taco meat.

Green onions: Provides a burst of fresh flavor and a pop of color.

Fresh tomatoes: Adds a refreshing, juicy element to each bite.

Cooking spray: Prevents the taco cups from sticking to the muffin tin.

One reader, Betteanne Nicholson says:

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These taco cups are a game-changer! The flavors are amazing, and they're so easy to make. The crispy wonton wrappers add the perfect crunch, and the cheesy, savory filling is just delicious. Plus, they're so cute and fun to eat. I'll definitely be making these again!

Betteanne Nicholson

Techniques Required for Making Tasty Taco Cups

How to cook ground beef: Cook the ground beef in a pan over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spatula and stirring constantly until it is cooked through.

How to layer taco cups: Layer the wonton wrappers and the cooked beef and cheese in a muffin tin, ensuring an even distribution of ingredients in each cup.

How to bake taco cups: Bake the assembled taco cups in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the cheese is melted.

How to garnish taco cups: Top each taco cup with a small dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions and fresh tomatoes before serving.

How To Make Taco Cups

Create a fun twist to the usual tacos by using wonton wrappers to create these taco cups. Apply tomatoes, cheese, beef, and cream and serve!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2tspolive oil
  • 1lbground beef
  • 2tsbptaco seasoning
  • saltto taste
  • 14ozpetite diced tomatoescan
  • 24wonton wrappers
  • cupsCheddar cheeseshredded
  • ½cupsour cream
  • ¼cupgreen onionssliced
  • ¼cupfresh tomatoesdiced
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.

  2. Add the beef to the pan. Use a spatula to break up the meat, stirring constantly.

  3. Add the taco seasoning and salt to taste.

  4. Cook the meat for 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the canned tomatoes.

  5. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place one wonton wrapper into the bottom of each muffin cup.

  6. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of meat into each cup and top with approximately 2 teaspoons of cheese.

  7. Place a second wonton layer on top of the cheese, then add the remaining meat and cheese across all the muffin cups.

  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are browned and cheese is melted.

  9. Top each taco cup with a small dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions and tomato, then serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 389.73kcal
  • Fat: 17.72g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.05g
  • Trans Fat: 0.61g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6.80g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.49g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.88g
  • Fiber: 1.95g
  • Sugar: 1.30g
  • Protein: 16.67g
  • Cholesterol: 51.61mg
  • Sodium: 524.14mg
  • Calcium: 160.27mg
  • Potassium: 259.80mg
  • Iron: 3.41mg
  • Vitamin A: 67.03µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.16mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing Tasty Taco Cups

When preparing the wonton wrappers for the taco cups, it's important to press them firmly into the muffin tin to create a well-defined cup shape. This will ensure that they hold their form while baking and can adequately contain the ground beef and cheese. Additionally, to prevent the wrappers from becoming too soggy, you can lightly toast them in the oven before adding the filling. This will give your taco cups a nice, crispy texture that contrasts well with the savory filling.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Taco Cups

Plan ahead: Prep the taco meat and assemble the taco cups in advance to save time on busy days.

Use pre-made ingredients: Consider using pre-made taco seasoning and canned diced tomatoes to cut down on prep time.

Batch cooking: Make a double batch of taco cups and freeze the extras for quick and easy meals later.

Organize ingredients: Pre-measure and organize all the ingredients before starting the recipe to streamline the cooking process.

Invest in a muffin tin: Using a muffin tin allows for simultaneous baking, saving time and effort.

Substitute Ingredients For Taco Cups Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar smoke point and flavor profile to olive oil, making it a suitable substitute for cooking the ground beef.

  • ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a leaner alternative to ground beef and can be used as a healthier option in the recipe.

  • taco seasoning - Substitute with homemade taco seasoning: Making your own taco seasoning allows you to control the sodium and spice levels, and it often results in a fresher and more flavorful seasoning blend.

  • wonton wrappers - Substitute with corn tortillas: Cut the corn tortillas into small rounds and press them into the muffin tin to create a similar base for the taco cups.

  • cheddar cheese - Substitute with Monterey Jack cheese: Monterey Jack cheese has a mild, creamy flavor and melts well, making it a good substitute for cheddar in this recipe.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to sour cream, providing a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture.

  • green onions - Substitute with chives: Chives have a mild onion flavor and can be used as a garnish to add a pop of color and flavor to the taco cups.

  • fresh tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used as a convenient substitute for fresh tomatoes, especially when they are not in season.

How to Beautifully Present Taco Cups

  1. Elevate the taco cups: Carefully arrange the taco cups on a sleek, rectangular plate, ensuring they are evenly spaced and visually appealing.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle finely chopped cilantro and parsley over the taco cups to add a pop of color and a touch of freshness.

  3. Drizzle with a zesty sauce: Create a beautiful drizzle pattern of a homemade chipotle lime sauce on the plate for an added burst of flavor and a visually stunning presentation.

  4. Incorporate edible flowers: Place a few delicate edible flowers around the taco cups to add an elegant and sophisticated touch to the dish.

  5. Use a unique serving vessel: Consider serving the taco cups on individual mini wooden boards or slate plates for a modern and upscale presentation.

  6. Add a touch of heat: Sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika around the plate to add a hint of smokiness and a visually striking element to the dish.

  7. Create a symmetrical arrangement: Arrange the taco cups in a symmetrical pattern on the plate, ensuring each cup is positioned precisely for a visually appealing and professional presentation.

  8. Incorporate contrasting textures: Add a small pile of crispy tortilla strips next to the taco cups to provide a delightful textural contrast and elevate the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Taco Cups

  • Oven: Used for baking and roasting food items.
  • Large pan: Used for cooking and sautéing ingredients.
  • Spatula: Used for flipping and stirring ingredients in a pan.
  • Muffin tin: Used for baking and shaping the taco cups.
  • Cooking spray: Used for greasing the muffin tin to prevent sticking.
  • Measuring spoons: Used for accurately measuring small amounts of ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining and mixing ingredients.
  • Baking sheet: Used for placing the muffin tin in the oven for baking.
  • Olive oil: Used for cooking and adding flavor to the ground beef.
  • Cutting board: Used for chopping and preparing the fresh tomatoes and green onions.
  • Cheese grater: Used for grating the cheddar cheese.
  • Serving platter: Used for presenting and serving the taco cups.

Storing and Freezing Taco Cups

  • Let the taco cups cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled taco cups in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. They will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the taco cups:
    • Wrap each cup individually in plastic wrap, making sure to remove as much air as possible.
    • Place the wrapped cups in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, label with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat refrigerated taco cups, place them on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.
  • For frozen taco cups, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
  • Note: The wonton wrappers may lose some of their crispness after being stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but they will still taste delicious.

How To Reheat Taco Cup Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover taco cups on a baking sheet and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. This method helps to retain moisture and prevent the wonton wrappers from becoming too crispy or burnt. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

  • If you prefer a crispier texture, you can reheat the taco cups in an air fryer. Set the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the taco cups in the basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

  • For a quick and easy method, you can use the microwave. Place the taco cups on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. This helps to prevent the wonton wrappers from drying out. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds, or until heated through. Be careful not to overheat them, as this can cause the wrappers to become soggy.

  • If you have a toaster oven, you can use it to reheat the taco cups. Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the taco cups on the wire rack. Toast for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and slightly crispy.

  • For a stovetop method, you can use a steamer basket. Fill a pot with about an inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the taco cups in the steamer basket and cover the pot with a lid. Steam for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps to retain moisture and prevent the wonton wrappers from becoming too crispy.

Interesting Fact About Taco Cups

Taco cups are a versatile dish that can be customized with various toppings such as guacamole, salsa, or jalapenos to suit individual preferences.

Is Making Taco Cups at Home Cost-Effective?

This tasty taco cups recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of affordable ingredients such as ground beef, wonton wrappers, and canned tomatoes makes it a budget-friendly option. The versatility of the recipe also allows for customization based on available ingredients, reducing the overall cost. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Are Taco Cups Healthy or Unhealthy?

The tasty taco cups recipe, while undeniably delicious, may not be the healthiest option due to a few key factors:

  • The recipe relies heavily on ground beef, which can be high in saturated fat and calories, especially if a higher fat content is used.
  • Cheddar cheese is also high in saturated fat and calories, and the recipe calls for a significant amount (1¼ cups).
  • Wonton wrappers, although crispy and tasty, are made from refined flour, which lacks fiber and nutrients compared to whole grain alternatives.
  • Sour cream adds additional fat and calories to the dish.

However, the recipe does include some healthier elements, such as the use of olive oil, which is a heart-healthy fat, and the inclusion of tomatoes and green onions, which provide some vitamins and minerals.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Opt for lean ground beef (90% lean or higher) or replace half the beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lower fat content
  • Reduce the amount of cheddar cheese used, or choose a lower-fat cheese like part-skim mozzarella or reduced-fat cheddar
  • Experiment with whole grain wonton wrappers or use lettuce cups as a low-carb, high-fiber alternative
  • Swap sour cream for plain Greek yogurt, which is lower in fat and higher in protein
  • Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in the recipe, such as adding diced bell peppers or onions to the meat mixture, or topping the cups with shredded lettuce and diced avocado for added fiber and healthy fats

Editor's Opinion on Tasty Taco Cups Recipe

This taco cups recipe is a delightful twist on traditional tacos. The use of wonton wrappers creates a crispy and flavorful base, while the combination of seasoned beef, cheese, and toppings adds a burst of Tex-Mex flavors in every bite. The recipe is easy to follow and perfect for entertaining or a fun family dinner. It's a versatile dish that allows for customization with various toppings, making it a crowd-pleaser. Overall, it's a fantastic and innovative way to enjoy the flavors of tacos in a convenient and portable form.

Enhance Your Taco Cups Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty guacamole with ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, red onions, and a squeeze of lime juice for a refreshing side dish.
Mango Salsa: Whip up a sweet and spicy mango salsa with fresh mango, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro to complement the savory taco cups.
Cornbread: Bake a batch of golden, buttery cornbread to serve alongside the taco cups for a comforting and satisfying side dish.
Black Bean Salad: Toss together a vibrant black bean salad with black beans, corn, bell peppers, and a zesty vinaigrette to add a burst of flavor to the meal.
Churros: Finish off the meal with a plate of crispy, cinnamon-sugar coated churros for a delightful and indulgent dessert.

Delicious Alternatives to Taco Cups

Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers: A delicious and healthy recipe that combines ground beef, rice, and a variety of vegetables stuffed inside colorful bell peppers, then baked to perfection.
Mouthwatering Chicken Alfredo Pasta: Indulge in this creamy and flavorful pasta dish that features tender chicken, al dente pasta, and a rich alfredo sauce made from scratch.
Refreshing Watermelon Salad: Enjoy a light and refreshing salad that combines juicy watermelon, crisp cucumber, tangy feta cheese, and fresh mint, all tossed in a zesty vinaigrette dressing.
Decadent Chocolate Lava Cake: Treat yourself to a decadent dessert with a warm and gooey chocolate center, surrounded by a moist and rich cake, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Pair with Taco Cups

Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Indulge in a creamy and rich pasta dish that combines tender chicken with a velvety Alfredo sauce. The flavors meld together perfectly to create a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stroganoff: Savor the hearty and savory flavors of tender beef and mushrooms in a luscious sour cream sauce. This classic dish is sure to warm your soul and leave you feeling completely satisfied.
Desserts:
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate dessert that oozes with a molten center. The warm, gooey chocolate paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
Apple Pie: Savor the comforting aroma of cinnamon and baked apples with a classic apple pie. The flaky, buttery crust encases the sweet and tart apple filling, creating a timeless dessert that is perfect for any occasion.

Why trust this Taco Cups Recipe:

This recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, featuring ground beef seasoned to perfection with taco seasoning and paired with the delightful flavors of cheddar cheese and sour cream. The use of wonton wrappers adds a unique twist, creating a crispy and flavorful base for the taco cups. With the addition of petite diced tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, this recipe promises a burst of freshness in every bite. Trust in the simplicity and deliciousness of these tasty taco cups, and you won't be disappointed.

Share your thoughts on the Taco Cups Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
FAQ:
Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?
Yes, you can definitely use ground turkey as a leaner alternative to ground beef. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Can I make these taco cups ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the taco cups ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve, simply reheat them in the oven until they are warmed through.
Can I use a different type of cheese?
Of course! Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese such as Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican blend to customize the flavor to your liking.
Can I use corn tortillas instead of wonton wrappers?
While the wonton wrappers provide a crispy texture, you can certainly use corn tortillas. Simply cut the tortillas into smaller circles to fit into the muffin tin and adjust the baking time as needed.
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make a vegetarian version, you can substitute the ground beef with cooked and seasoned black beans or a meatless crumble alternative. Adjust the seasoning to enhance the flavors and enjoy a delicious vegetarian taco cup.

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