As you may know, I’m a big fan of tex-mex cuisine. I haven’t really enjoyed much of it, though, because I can’t really trust myself in a restaurant where I can just get a margarita within 2 minutes or mindlessly eat chips and queso (I swear, my stomach is a bottomless pit when it comes to chips and queso). It’s kind of sad how much I miss it, because really, it’s just food right? At least I try to tell myself that when I’m reaching for a Ben & Jerry’s pint at the grocery store.
I first heard about these “cupcakes” when I met Emily of Emily Bites at IFBC last year in New Orleans. Emily’s blog features healthier recipes, which I can really appreciate, so when I heard about them, I swore I’d make them ASAP. Well, I sort of forgot about this recipe, like I always seem to do, until my coworker mentioned them recently. (Random thought of the day: For some reason, I find it SO weird when I find out people I know are reading food blogs. I know blogs are usually very popular, but where I live, a lot of people are really unfamiliar with the concept of a blog.) Anyway, when she brought up how much she LOVED these things, I had to make them ASAP. Unfortunately, wonton wrappers were out of stock for about 2 weeks, which really stunk. I contemplated cutting egg roll wrappers, but eventually, I found a pack in the store. SCORE!
The night I made these, my husband kept asking what I was cooking. When I said taco cupcakes, I’m sure the poor guy was pretty darn confused. When they came out of the oven, I quickly threw a few on a plate and scarfed them down. These are delicious! The crunchy wonton wrappers make it seem like you’re enjoying a crunchy taco, minus getting neck aches from leaning over to eat a taco. My husband was pretty darn surprised about the taste too, so these will definitely be a part of our regular recipe rotation in our house. Besides being tasty, while these cupcakes don’t seem that large, they are pretty darn filling too! Just a small note, though…the main thing that I changed was that I used corn instead of black beans (since I am not a fan of beans, personally). I’m sure they’re wonderful with beans too, and I imagine with beans, they’re even more filling!
Source: mildly adapted from Emily Bites
- cooking spray
- 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil
- 1/2 lb. 90% lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup canned corn, drained
- 16 wonton wrappers (found in the produce section)
- 5 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of queso (plus more for drizzling)
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prep your muffin tin by misting 8 of the cups in a muffin tin.
- Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add the ground beef as well as the taco seasoning, and cook the meat, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula, until the meat is browned. Add the corn to the meat and cook the mixture (stirring often) for a few more minutes, until the mixture is warm.
- Gently push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of 8 of the muffin tin cups, and spoon a tsp. of the queso into the bottom of the wonton wrapper, using the spoon to spread the queso evenly along the bottom. Add some of the meat mixture into each cup (evenly using 1/2 of the mixture for all 8 of the muffin cups), and then add some of the salsa into each cup (evenly using 1/2 of the salsa for all 8 of the muffin cups).
- Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese (evenly using 1/2 of the cheese for all 8 of the cups). Then, gently push another wonton wrapper on top of the cheese, and layer the “cupcakes” the same way you just did (queso, meat mixture, salsa, shredded cheese) using the rest of the layering ingredients.
- Bake the “cupcakes” for 18-20 minutes until the wontons are golden brown. The tips of the wonton wrappers will get seriously dark while in the oven if you want the rest of the wonton wrappers to get pretty crispy. Allow the “cupcakes” to cool for 5 minutes before taking them out of the muffin tin. Feel free to drizzle them with more warm queso after baking. Enjoy!