Taco Cups: A Delicious Twist on Taco Night

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Taco night is a beloved tradition in many households, but sometimes the classic taco can get a bit messy or difficult to handle, especially for parties or gatherings. That’s where Taco Cups come in – a convenient and delicious way to enjoy all the flavors of a taco in a neat and portable package. In this blog, we’ll explore what exactly Taco Cups are, their health benefits, what makes them irresistible, the ingredients you’ll need, step-by-step instructions on how to make them, tips for success, serving suggestions, necessary equipment, and an expert note for those seeking to elevate their Taco Cup game.

What are Taco Cups?

Taco Cups are miniature versions of tacos, made by using wonton wrappers or tortillas as a base in a muffin tin. They are filled with all the classic taco ingredients such as seasoned ground beef or turkey, cheese, salsa, and topped with various garnishes like lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream. The beauty of Taco Cups lies in their versatility – you can customize them with your favorite ingredients just like traditional tacos, but in a more compact and manageable form.

Health Benefits of Taco Cups:

Taco Cups offer several health benefits, particularly when prepared with nutritious ingredients and mindful cooking techniques. Here are some key health benefits of Taco Cups:

  • Portion Control: Taco Cups are made in individual servings, making it easier to control portion sizes compared to traditional tacos, which can sometimes be oversized. Controlling portion sizes can help prevent overeating and contribute to weight management.
  • Balanced Nutrition: By incorporating a variety of food groups into Taco Cups, such as lean protein from meat or plant-based alternatives, vegetables, and whole grains from tortillas or wonton wrappers, you can create a well-balanced meal. This balanced nutrition provides essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals necessary for overall health and well-being.
  • Lean Protein: Using lean protein sources like ground turkey or chicken in Taco Cups reduces saturated fat content while still providing essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Lean protein supports muscle growth and repair, aids in weight management, and helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Plenty of Vegetables: Taco Cups offer an opportunity to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet, such as tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers, and avocados. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, which support immune function, digestion, heart health, and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
  • Whole Grains: Opting for whole grain tortillas or wonton wrappers in Taco Cups adds fiber and nutrients compared to refined grain options. Whole grains provide sustained energy, support digestive health, and may lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
  • Reduced Sodium: Making Taco Cups at home allows you to control the amount of salt and sodium in the recipe. By using homemade or low-sodium taco seasoning and limiting added salt in other ingredients, you can reduce sodium intake, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease.
  • Customizable Ingredients: Taco Cups are highly customizable, allowing you to choose ingredients based on your dietary preferences and nutritional needs. Whether you prefer vegetarian options with beans or tofu, dairy-free alternatives with vegan cheese, or gluten-free options with corn tortillas, you can tailor Taco Cups to suit your individual health goals.
  • Increased Vegetable Consumption: Taco Cups provide an opportunity to increase vegetable consumption, especially for those who may not typically consume enough vegetables. Adding a variety of colorful vegetables to Taco Cups not only enhances flavor and texture but also boosts the nutritional value of the meal.

What You Will Love About This Recipe:

There are numerous reasons to love Taco Cups. Firstly, they’re incredibly versatile – you can customize them to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Whether you’re a meat lover, a vegetarian, or following a gluten-free diet, there’s a Taco Cup variation for you. Secondly, Taco Cups are perfect for parties and gatherings. Their individual portions make them easy to serve and eat, eliminating the need for plates and utensils. Lastly, Taco Cups are just downright delicious. With layers of savory meat, gooey cheese, and fresh toppings, every bite is a flavor explosion that’s sure to satisfy your taco cravings.

Ingredients you needed:

  • Ground beef
  • Tomato salsa
  • Beef broth
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cumin
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tortillas
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Toppings:

  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Guacamole, optional

What are the layers of a taco?

The layers of a taco typically include:

  • Base: The base of a taco is usually a tortilla, which serves as a vessel to hold the fillings. Traditional options include corn tortillas or flour tortillas, but there are also variations like lettuce wraps or crispy shells.
  • Protein: The protein layer is the main filling of the taco and often consists of cooked meat or alternatives such as seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken, pork carnitas, grilled fish, shrimp, tofu, or beans. The protein is seasoned with various spices or sauces to add flavor.
  • Cheese: Cheese is a common layer in tacos, adding richness and creaminess. Popular cheese options include shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, queso fresco, or crumbled cotija. The cheese can be sprinkled directly onto the protein or melted on top.
  • Toppings: Toppings are added to enhance the flavor, texture, and freshness of the taco. Common toppings include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced jalapeños. Other options may include avocado or guacamole, salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce.
  • Garnishes: Garnishes are optional but add a final flourish of flavor to the taco. Garnishes may include a squeeze of lime juice, a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, or a drizzle of crema or Mexican-style sour cream.

Tips for Making Taco Cups:

  • Don’t overfill the wonton cups or tortilla cups with filling, as they may become soggy.
  • Feel free to get creative with the fillings – try different meats, cheeses, and toppings to customize your Taco Cups.
  • If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought taco seasoning mix instead of making your own.
  • To make ahead, you can assemble the Taco Cups up to the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Tips for Serving and Enjoying Taco Cups:

  • Serve Taco Cups with additional salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side for dipping.
  • Pair Taco Cups with a side of Mexican rice or a fresh salad to round out the meal.
  • Taco Cups are great for parties and potlucks – set up a toppings bar with various toppings so guests can customize their own.

Equipment:

To make Taco Cups, you’ll need:

  • Muffin tin
  • Skillet
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Optional: pastry brush for greasing the muffin tin

Expert Note:

For an extra flavor boost, try adding a layer of refried beans or black beans to the bottom of each wonton cup or tortilla cup before adding the meat and cheese. This not only adds protein and fiber but also helps hold everything together.

Conclusion:

Taco Cups are a fun and delicious twist on traditional tacos, offering all the flavors you love in a convenient and portable package. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a tasty snack, Taco Cups are sure to satisfy. With their versatility, health benefits, and easy preparation, Taco Cups deserve a permanent spot in your recipe repertoire. So next time you’re planning a taco night, why not switch things up and give Taco Cups a try? Your taste buds will thank you!

Thank You

Thank you so much for reading this blog! I hope you try this recipe and that you enjoy it as much as my family and I did! When you do make this, be sure to tag me on Instagram @pure_plates_recipes!

See you soon!

Love, Your Pure Plate!

Low-carb made with Love

Taco Cups Recipe

Taco Cups Recipe

Course Appetizer

Ingredients
  

  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • ¼ 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
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 low carb tortillas 4 1/2 inch tortillas
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Toppings:
  • 1 tomato diced
  • red onion thinly sliced
  • Guacamole optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Lightly spray a 6 count muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Press each tortilla into the prepared 6 count muffin tin.
  • Use your fingers to gently press the bottom of the tortilla into the well of each muffin tin.
  • Evenly sprinkle ¾ cup mozzarella cheese into the bottom of each.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden in color.
  • While the shells are baking, cook the ground beef, cook, breaking the meat apart with a spatula, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • When it’s almost cooked through add salsa, 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.
  • Stir in remaining ¼ cup cheese and parmesan cheese and cook for an additional minute or two, or until sauce is thickened.
  • Fill the taco meat into each taco cup.
  • Top with tomatoes, onions and a slice of jalapeno.
  • Serve with your favorite taco toppings (sour cream, salsa or guacamole).

Enjoy and love your Pure Plate!

    Keyword Taco Cups

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