These mini taco cups turned out to be a lunch our kids loved–and a built-in, whole-wheat snack too!
I used leftover taco meat & beans from taco night, about a cup to make a dozen mini taco cups, which served 4 small kids. Of course the math would change with the ages of your kids, so adjust accordingly.
And prepare to dazzle.
It’s a one-two punch this meal: just when your kids think they’ve had the greatest lunch ever, in comes the tastiest snack of the week from awfully humble beginnings, the scrap pile.
That’s right, we made crispy cinnamon-sugar strips from the leftover tortillas and all I can say is, they were gone in a flash.
Even served at room temperature, the kids all loved these mini taco cups. (One was served in a lunchbox, the other three at the tiny table in my kitchen.)
What you’ll Need:
- *Ground beef mixture with taco seasonings
- Whole-wheat tortillas
- Shredded cheese
- Lettuce or spinach
- Chopped tomatoes
- Diced avocados
- Melted butter
- Cinnamon & sugar
*Use whatever combination of ground beef, beans and taco seasonings your crew likes. Ours is a combination of chili powder, paprika, garlic salt and cumin. Plus salt and pepper.
I like to throw in a chopped pepper plus a can of diced tomatoes to add more nutrition to an already beloved meal.
Tip: Combine ground beef with a can of beans (rinsed and drained) for an economical way to make your protein go further.
Start by cutting out circles. These are whole-wheat tortillas. I used a knife to trace around a jar of salsa because it gave me circles that were the right size…
Enough to cover the bottoms of a muffin pan cup with about an inch coming up the side. I got 3 circles per tortilla.
I used a quarter cup measuring cup to fill the taco cups mostly full with the meat and beans mixture.
Then sprinkled with cheese.
Into a HOT oven — 400 degrees, F — for about 10 minutes made them crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside. (And they held up fine when refrigerated overnight for lunch the next day.)
Top with lettuce, tomatoes and avocados or let the kids add their own toppings if logistics allow.
Tip 2: Don’t throw out those scraps! They make the best snacks ever.
Remember those tortilla leftovers? Start by slathering them with melted butter.
Right on a baking sheet, with a non-stick liner, coat all the scraps with melted butter (even semi-melted like ours!) Then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Seriously, sprinkle then sprinkle some more. You can’t overdo this step.
Then comes the sugar. Here, you can overdo it so just sprinkle.
I didn’t flip them but I did mix the whole mess together with my hands before flattening out again in a single layer.
These ALSO go into the oven, either with the tacos or maybe you make them while the minis are baking like I did. 400 degrees F for about 7-9 minutes and you’ll get crispy, delicious snacks your kids will love.
And if they don’t please mail them to me immediately because my kids Hoovered ours so fast that I barely got to enjoy more than one crispy bite.