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Mini Party Appetizer
I needed an easy appetizer last weekend and these wonton taco cups were screaming my name. Not only do they have all of the classic Mexican flavors, but they are perfectly bite-sized and delicious. They hold their shape wonderfully and are very easy to eat with your hands.
These taco cups start with a base of crispy wonton wrappers and are filled with a mixture of browned ground beef and chili beans cooked in a flavorful taco seasoning. They’re then finished off with shredded cheddar cheese and baked in the oven until golden and melty.
And while they make an amazing appetizer, these would also be a fun and easy way to celebrate Taco Tuesday. They basically taste like a mini handheld version of crispy baked ground beef tacos, but without the corn tortillas. We love serving them with Mexican rice or cilantro lime rice to make it a complete meal.
- Spray the pan. Make sure to generously spray the bottom of each muffin cup with nonstick cooking spray before adding the wonton wrappers. The last thing you want is for the wontons to get stuck to the pan!
- Cookie scoop. Use a small cookie scoop (or Tablespoon) to scoop the meat mixture and cheese into each taco cup. This way each cup has the same amount and you won’t accidentally overfill (or underfill) any of them.
- Wonton wrappers. Because most wonton wrappers are refrigerated in order to keep them moist, it’s important to not keep them out on the counter for too long or they can dry up and become less pliable. When preparing the taco cups, I like to keep the wonton wrappers covered with a damp paper towel.
- Freshly grated cheese. The key to perfectly melted and gooey cheese is grating it yourself! The pre-shredded bags have extra additivities that keep it from fully melting, so I’d recommend grating a block of cheddar cheese with a cheese grater for best results.
Taco Cup Variations
- Wontons: If you can’t find wonton wrappers, flour tortillas would make a great substitution. Simply cut the tortillas into quarters, then press two of the pieces into the bottom of the muffin pan to form a cup. Then add the filling on top.
- Meat: To lighten it up, feel free to use ground turkey instead of beef. These would taste delicious made with shredded chicken as well.
- Filling: You can bulk up the filling a bit more by adding in corn, diced veggies or white rice.
- Sauce: Any type of creamy sauce tastes delicious on top. I love salsa ranch, but a cilantro lime crema or even just plain sour cream also works great.
- Spice: If you like heat, feel free to mix some red pepper flakes, hot sauce or chopped jalapenos into the filling.
To finish off these mini taco cups, add on a few of your favorite toppings before serving. The extra flavors and textures really take them to the next level!
- Sliced avocado or guacamole
- Diced tomatoes or pico de gallo
- Shredded lettuce
- Green onions
- Black olives
- Sour cream
- Avocado lime dressing
- Sliced jalapenos
You can use egg roll wrappers or my favorite substitute is to use a flour tortilla cut into 4 pieces and then use two pieces per taco cup.
Sure! Just add additional beans or refried beans. A recipe that is truly for everyone.
Let them rest in the pan for up to 5 minutes before trying to remove them. After 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge of each cup and they should slide out.
Yes! Make ahead up to 24 hours, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to bake.
More Mexican Appetizers
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions, sour cream, guacamole
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Press 1 wonton wrapper into the bottom of the pan and set aside.
- Cook the meat in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chili beans, salsa and taco seasoning. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about ten minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place about 1 Tablespoon of meat and 1 Tablespoon of shredded cheese in the bottom of each cup. Then place another wonton wrapper on top and fill with the remaining meat and cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the wontons just begin to brown and these cheese is bubbly.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ranch and salsa. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Once taco cups are done, drizzle a little salsa ranch over top and add desired toppings. Serve while warm.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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