Taco Bites

September 18, 2010 at 7:27 am | Posted in Food | 6 Comments
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These delicious little taco bites are easy to make, and always well received.  This recipe makes around 50 little taco cups, and takes about 45 minutes start to finish.  I suppose you could use those nacho chips that are already shaped like cups instead of won ton wrappers if you want to save some time.  Read on for the recipe…

You will need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp dried onions
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 12 oz pack won ton wrappers
  • 2/3 of a 16 oz can refried beans
  • 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • toppings to taste – sour cream, olives, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes…

Won ton wrappers can be found in most grocery stores.  In both of my local stores it is near the tofu and other vegetarian stuff, which is found in the produce section.  Round gyoza wrappers would make better cups, but I can’t normally find them.

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with oil, and tuck the wrappers into the cups to shape.  Wrappers are fragile and dry out quickly, so keep the extras covered in the packaging while you work.  If you have nails, use something else (like a rolling pin or spoon handle) to shove the wrappers down.

Since these mini cups will be standing on their own they will need flat bottoms.  Make sure that the wrappers are mostly tucked in, and that the edges are pushed to the side allowing maximum space for filling.  Bake for 5 minutes at 350*F.  Depending on the size of your muffin tin you may have to make a few batches in order to use up the wrappers.

While your wrappers are cooking, brown the ground meat and dehydrated onions.  I like to rinse my meat once its cooked to drain off the fat, and then add the spices.  Once it is entirely cooked stir in just enough salsa (around 1/4 cup) to moisten the meat and add a little additional flavor.

While the rest of your wrappers are cooking, prepare your toppings.  The cold ingredients need to go on right before serving, so package them to take with you if you will be transporting the taco bites.

Line up all of the cooked shells on a baking sheet or two.  Lightly spray the shells with oil, so that they will brown in the oven.  Scoop the can of refried beans into a ziplock bag (preferably a freezer bag since they are thicker.)  Snip off a corner large enough to allow the bean pieces through, and squirt around a teaspoon of beans into each cup.  I tried spooning the beans in the first time that I made these – it is much simpler and quicker to squirt them in.  Don’t skip the beans – you need a thin layer of beans on the bottoms of the cups to keep the shells crisp, and to prevent the salsa or grease from the beef from leaking through.

Spoon your beef into the cups, using the back of the spoon to spread the beans if needed.  Be sure to leave a little space for toppings.

Sprinkle the cups with cheese (apologies for the fuzzy photo.)  Bake at 350*F for 5 minutes, until the cheese melts and the beans are warmed.  If you are transporting these, or making them ahead, you are done for now.   If you refrigerate them, you will need to bake for about 15 minutes at 350*F to warm them up.

Just before serving, top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream, additional cheese, salsa, and whatever else you like on tacos.  It is easy to sprinkle everything on top of them all, and the sour cream can be squirted on the same way as the refried beans.

For a lower fat version: use fat free refried beans, light turkey instead of beef, and fat free sour cream.  With all the spices you won’t notice that the turkey isn’t beef.

For a low msg version: use 2 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tbsp oregano instead of taco packet.  Leave off the tomatoes, and use a tomato free salsa.

For a made from scratch version: make your own amazing salsa, simple won ton wrappers, refried beans, and use the above substitute for the taco seasoning.

If you have leftover cups (which you shouldn’t) you can also spoon pudding and cool whip into them for dessert – delicious!

Taco Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp dried onions
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (see note in recipe)
  • 12 oz pack won ton wrappers
  • 2/3 of a 16 oz can refried beans
  • 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • toppings to taste – sour cream, olives, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes…
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with oil, and tuck the wrappers into the cups to shape.  Wrappers are fragile and dry out quickly, so keep the extras covered in the packaging while you work.  If you have nails, use something else (like a rolling pin or spoon handle) to shove the wrappers down.
  2. Since these mini cups will be standing on their own they will need flat bottoms.  Make sure that the wrappers are mostly tucked in, and that the edges are pushed to the side allowing maximum space for filling.  Bake for 5 minutes at 350*F.  Depending on the size of your muffin tin you may have to make a few batches in order to use up the wrappers.
  3. While your wrappers are cooking, brown the ground meat and dehydrated onions.  I like to rinse my meat once its cooked to drain off the fat, and then add the spices.  Once it is entirely cooked stir in just enough salsa (around 1/4 cup) to moisten the meat and add a little additional flavor.
  4. While the rest of your wrappers are cooking, prepare your toppings.  The cold ingredients need to go on right before serving, so package them to take with you if you will be transporting the taco bites.  (I have let them sit out for an hour when bringing somewhere and they were still good – the toppings got a little warm but everyone still loved them.)
  5. Line up all of the cooked shells on a baking sheet or two.  Lightly spray the shells with oil, so that they will brown in the oven.  Scoop the can of refried beans into a ziplock bag (preferably a freezer bag since they are thicker.)  Snip off a corner large enough to allow the bean pieces through, and squirt around a teaspoon of beans into each cup.  I tried spooning the beans in the first time that I made these – it is much simpler and quicker to squirt them in.  Don’t skip the beans – you need a thin layer of beans on the bottoms of the cups to keep the shells crisp, and to prevent the salsa or grease from the beef from leaking through.
  6. Spoon your beef into the cups, using the back of the spoon to spread the beans if needed.  Be sure to leave a little space for toppings.
  7. Sprinkle the cups with cheese.  Bake at 350*F for 5 minutes, until the cheese melts and the beans are warmed.  If you are transporting these, or making them ahead, you are done for now.   If you refrigerate them, you will need to bake for about 15 minutes at 350*F to warm them up.
  8. Just before serving, top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream, additional cheese, salsa, and whatever else you like on tacos.  It is easy to sprinkle everything on top of them all, and the sour cream can be squirted on the same way as the refried beans.

My taco seasoning:2 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tbsp oregano instead of taco packet.

Printed from randomcreativity.wordpress.com

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6 Comments »

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  1. Ok, these sound easy and great for a fingerfood type event. Will I be able to find the wonton wrappers at my local Wally World? I just love your creativity, Rachel. Always look forward to see what you’re doing next.

    • 🙂 Thanks Amy. I know WalMart and LeBlancs have them – Albertsons probably does too, I’m not sure about Winn Dixie though…

  2. Can I bake the wontons the night before?

    • I don’t see why not – I have made too many in the past and stored them in a ziplock to use later 🙂

  3. taco bites

    These little bites are awesome…I used the round gyoza wraps…I love the idea of using the rolling pin to press the wraps into the muffin tins…I filled my up a bit to much so just threw on sour cream and a pickled jalapeno slice…next time I’ll be more careful so I can get the lettuce on too…very tasty and easy to prepare…made for For Your Consideration tag game…


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