Crispy Baked Taco Muffin Cups

So a few weeks ago after a very, VERY stressful day at the office the last thing I wanted to do was truly put effort into dinner.  It was cold, traffic was a nightmare because Mother Nature is seriously ticked off at the people of Pittsburgh therefore has decided to give us nothing but snow, ice and sub-zero temps for months on end and did I mention work was rough?  Now I cook dinner every night and it’s a rarity that I don’t – either I’m sick or I’m just not home yet from work.  I had every intention on cooking but seriously I so was praying for Mr. Fantabulous to take one look at my pitiful face and say “Honey, can we just have Cheerios for dinner?” alas he didn’t.  I got the kiss on the cheek followed by the ‘how long til dinner babe?’ standard comment.  Fortunately I stopped at the butcher’s and got 2 pounds of ground beef.  I was going way easy – we’re talking tacos.  Simple, done in minutes and hardly any prep work other than chopping up the veggies.  Well about 1/2 way through his 4th or 5th taco he looks at me and says “You know honey, I kinda really don’t like tacos.”  Wait, what?  You’ve inhaled at least 4 and NOW you tell you kinda don’t like them??? Well he explained why and it was pretty much when he was single and living on his own, far from home they were free with happy hour therefore that was dinner.  LOL

However that didn’t help me out as I had a pound of taco meat left over.  Sure I could have frozen it or ‘twisted his arm’ and made him eat it the next day but I am not that cruel.  I had to figure out a new way to use it.  Something whimsical if you will. Since the weekend was upon us I had supply shopping to do and picked up some gorgeous flour tortilla shells.  I love them things as you can use them in savory dishes, desserts or just brush some with butter, cinnamon/sugar then bake into yummy sweet chips!  As I was putting my supplies away I spied that container of taco meat.  Now I know what you’re thinking – just make beef burritos. They freeze beautifully and reheat just as awesome. Sure they do but I really wanted the taco meat again as it’s awesome!  LOL  So I decided to have some fun with the meat and my tortillas.


I’m thinking mission accomplished on making these fun don’t you think?

See I am a texture type person when it comes to eating.  I love the combination of a creamy and crunchy factor in every bite.  That kind of explains why I like on a sandwich albeit ham & cheese or peanut butter & jelly a crunch factor which ends up being a few potato chips, pretzels or corn chips.  LOL Maybe it’s just a Pittsburgh thing – do you guys in other states/countries do this as well?


Anyway back to this texture thing. One of my all time favorite Mexican dishes are their taco salads in the super crunchy but deep fried taco bowl. Yeah, I work out way too much to partake in them (as often as I’d like) so I had to come up an equally crispy one that is baked. If you recall, I showed you how to make crispy taco shells out of flour tortillas that are baked in the oven!  Same thing for crispy taco bowls too!


By baking the tortillas I got my crunchy factor and was able to pretty much re-invent the taco muffin!  You can make these big sized (like in the jumbo muffin tins) or cut them down to fit into regular cupcake tins.  These make awesome dinners, lunches or if you go with the smaller sized ones, KILLER appetizers!  Now I haven’t made the mini version of these though those are next to be made.  With how many parties we have here, I can whip out trays of these in no time with all types of fillings – beef, chicken, turkey, seafood and vegetarian.  Something for everyone!


BUT wait, there’s more!  Don’t stop at the savory side of things!  Brush them with butter, cinnamon and sugar, bake with maybe some apples in to and top with a scoop of ice cream!  Not only do you have dessert but you can eat the bowl too!  You know how I love that aspect! So as I whipped these babies out I realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast and it was already close to 1:30pm.  No wonder my tummy was growling.  I quickly went and did the photo shoot and then sat down to partake in one of these lovely ladies. It was every bit of yummy as I had anticipated!  Full on crunch without all that fat from deep frying the shells!


About half way through my breakfast er lunch… brunch (but it wasn’t Sunday and to me Sunday is the only day you can have brunch) Mr. Fantabulous came out to the kitchen and just like clockwork made the face of “OMG you kicked my puppy and stole my bike!” or in other-words “How dare you eat without me even though I literally just ate 30 minutes ago???” But I was too into this dish and kind of blew him off.  So he then proceeded to sit down across from me at the table and said “Man that sure looks good, what is it?” Me, being me, muttered between stuffed mouth “Tacos, but you kinda don’t like tacos remember so I didn’t make you any”.  LOL

Yeah I know, I’m evil.  LOL  Meanwhile he missed the 5 other ones sitting on the kitchen counter behind him. He said “yeah but those aren’t real tacos, those are something more awesome!” and then I heard the chair schooch closer to mine. Yes I said “schooch” – you know that sound your chair makes when you scoot it in but instead of standing up to pull it in, you leave your big ol’ butt on the chair and try sliding it in while still sitting on it.  Thus we have schooch.  You’re welcome for expanding your vocabulary.


As he schooched closer I ate faster to where it was a contest. Trust me I wasn’t even done chewing the one bite in my mouth before I was shoveling in the next bite.  I was just hurting myself (and again, being evil to my hubby).  Finally he said “HEYYYYYYYYYYY WTH man, aren’t you gonna share???”  As I picked up the last bite, I put it to his lips and quickly shoved it in my mouth and said “Nope, you don’t like tacos.”  LOL Folks the look I got.. OMG it was PRICELESS!  He was speechless (for the first time in his life I swear) and just sat there.  I leaned in to give him a kiss to which he pulled away and said “No, I don’t like tacos and you have taco breath now” Hmph!  LOL  Seriously, I love that man almost as much as I love messing with him.  I quickly got him his own to which his beautiful eyes lit up… and then I got him a 2nd one and THEN I was allowed to give him a kiss – taco breath and all.  LOL


Crispy Baked Taco Muffin Cups


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  • 6 - 8” flour tortillas for burritos, warmed
Taco Meat
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Taco Seasoning - see below how to make
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, if desired
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced onions
  • Chunks of Avocados
  • Corn Chips
Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Spray 6 large muffin tins or 12 standard size muffin cups with cooking spray. *note if using the standard muffin pan use a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 2 rounds from each tortilla.
  3. Place the tortilla in the muffin tin and using the bottom of a glass jar gently push the tortilla in.
  4. Mist the tortilla with olive oil.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 6 minutes to slightly crisp up (just barely golden brown).
  6. Brown beef in a skillet and drain the fat.
  7. Add the taco seasoning mix and water and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
  8. Remove the slightly cooked tortillas from the oven and spoon about 1-2 Tbl of refried beans down.
  9. Next add 1-2 Tbl of taco meat over the top.
  10. Next spoon about 2 tsp of black beans.
  11. If adding salsa, add 1-2 tsp over top.
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes and remove from the oven.
  13. Evenly divide the cheese over top of the taco muffins and put back in the oven to bake for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  14. Remove muffins from tin and top 1 tsp of tomatoes, onions and avocados.
  15. Place a heaping dollop of sour cream on top and garnish with cilantro and a corn chip.


5 Responses to “Crispy Baked Taco Muffin Cups”

  • Annie says:

    Gahhh….they’re so cute! I want to make mini margaritas to go with it.

  • Kristine McAllister says:

    OMG! I cant wait to make these! I planned a taco night this week so these are taking the traditional tacos place for sure! Stay warm!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Kristine!

      That’s awesome! It’s funny as since these apparently aren’t “real tacos” per Mr. Fantabulous he loves them. LOL Men 😉

      Let me know what type of filling you use – beef/chicken etc? I’ve made it with beef, chicken, shrimp and all veggies (black beans, corn, green chilies). I’m stuck on which one I love the most. LOL The best part of these, because they are single servings, you can make a few different kinds at once.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

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