Taco Cups

Taco Cups are a fun twist on tacos. Small tortillas or flaky puff pasty is baked with a layer of cheese until golden and crisp. Ground hamburger is cooked in a delicious homemade taco sauce, then filled inside crunchy, cheesy, taco cups. Add all of your favorite taco toppings, and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner, lunch or fun appetizer.

I love tacos. Taco night is always a hit at my house. There’s something about being able to customize your own dish at the table that makes it fun. Plus, if you aren’t crazy about a certain ingredient, you can skip it and not feel obligated to eat it.

These Taco Cups are fun to make and eat. I grew up eating ground beef tacos, stuffed in a traditional hard shell, but my toppings always found a way out of the shell. These taco cups keep the ingredients together better.

Here’s what you need to know…

This taco cup recipe is simple, so there’s not much to explain about these. If you choose to use puff pastry, you will have a lighter, more flaky shell. The tortillas are a bit tougher to stuff into the muffin, tin, but not too tough. It doesn’t have to look perfect. I found it easiest to crimp the edges of the tortilla, or fold the edges over each other, as I gently pressed the bottom of the tortilla into each lightly greased well. Sprinkle cheese into the bottom of each, then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tortillas are lightly golden brown.

While the tortillas are baking, I like to make the taco meat. Using a large skillet, add the taco meat, crushed tomatoes, and spices to the pan. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until no pink remains, then stir in the remaining cheese until melted.

Now it’s time to assemble. Fill each taco cup with meat, then add your favorite taco toppings, or save this for when you serve them at the table. I added additional cheese to mine, tomatoes, lettuce and onion. I served the taco cups with sour cream, but you can also add salsa and guacamole.

If you make these taco cups recipe, please leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing your feedback about my recipes. Make sure you find me on instagram, or youtube, where you can find the cooking video for this recipe.

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Taco Cups

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


Taco Cups are a fun twist on tacos. Small tortillas are baked with a layer of cheese until golden and crisp. Ground hamburger is cooked in a delicious taco spiced sauce, then filled inside crunchy, cheesy, mini taco cups. Add all of your favorite taco toppings, and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner, lunch or fun appetizer.


Units Scale
  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 Street Taco Style Flour tortillas (4 1/2 inch tortillas) OR frozen puff pastry
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded


  • Lettuce, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Onion, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly spray a 12 count muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Press each tortilla into the prepared 12 count muffin tin. Or, if you choose, you can use puff pastry. This will be flakier and lighter in texture. You will have to fold the edges over each other slightly. Use your fingers to gently press the bottom of the tortilla into the well of each muffin tin. If using puff pastry, cut into squares, then gently press into the well of each muffin tin.

3. Evenly sprinkle ¾ cup Mexican cheese into the bottom of each. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden in color. The bottom of the shell will puff up. That is okay. You can press it down with a spoon after removing from the oven. After it is removed from the heat, it should deflate.

4. While the shells are baking, add ground hamburger, crushed tomatoes, water or beef broth, chili powder, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin to a large skillet over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat apart with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ¼ cup cheese and cook for an additional minute or two, or until sauce is thickened.

5. Fill the taco meat into each taco cup. Top with a touch more cheese, if desired, tomatoes, lettuce and onions. Serve with your favorite taco toppings (sour cream, salsa and guacamole). Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican

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  1. I found you by scrolling Instagram and saw this recipe! I’ve needed inspiration lately for simple, delicious, healthy meals. I just made this with ground turkey, keeping everything else the same! It turned out perfectly!! Thank you so much and I can’t wait to try more of your fun recipes!

    1. Jocelyn,

      I am so glad you found my page on instagram and were able to make and enjoy this recipe! That makes me so happy! I love your idea to make the Taco Cups with ground turkey. Hope you get to enjoy my other recipes, too! Stay tuned for some good, easy weeknight meals I’ll be sharing soon :).

  2. These were so fun to make. I took them as appetizers and everyone raved about them. I have a friend who is a salmon fanatic so I made one with salmon for her. She said it was great. I think you can use just about anything in them. I ended up using street taco size tortillas and they were perfect for the muffin pan. A little thicker but once baked they came out perfect. Great for football season too. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Cheri,

      You’re right these are very versatile and definitely perfect for football season. They could even make great breakfast cups for the week ahead :). I am so so happy to hear that you and your friends enjoyed them! The salmon sounds delicious in them. Thank you for making the recipe!


  3. I just found you on IG and wanted to see if your web page is full of the annoying pop ups, ads, etc…
    Thank You, for not having all that junk on your site!!!!!! I refuse to use those and I am thinking I found my new “GO TO” Recipe Gal!!! Thank You! KC

    1. KC,

      You are so sweet! I know what you mean. Those pop-ups are super annoying! I hope you find some yummy recipes to make :). Thanks for checking out my website!


  4. Oh, WOW….
    These Taco Cups were delicious! Wish I knew when my boys were little. Adults now with kids of their own. Sent recipe to them, share with my grandkids. Great 👍 bonding time.
    Thx for sharing!

    1. Bobbie,

      I am so so happy to hear that! Thank you for making them and sharing the recipe with others. I really appreciate it. Yes, I agree. These are so fun to make with the family :). Happy Sunday!


    1. You can purchase crushed tomatoes from the store. It comes in a can, just like the diced tomatoes can. It’s similar to tomato sauce, so if you can’t find crushed tomatoes, then you can substitute for tomato sauce.

      Hope you enjoy!


    1. Addie,

      You could try placing the taco meat in a slow cooker set to medium heat. Cook the shells ahead of time, then add the warm meat to the shells once the guests arrive. The warm taco meat should warm up the cheese. Hope that helps and hope you enjoy them!


    1. Becky,

      Yes you can! I would just leave the cheese out and bake the tortilla cups. The tortilla cups can just sit out, then, at room temperature. Fill them with the taco meat mixture and your favorite toppings the day of the event. I hope you enjoy!

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