Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos

Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos are absolutely delicious. You can make Taco Bell crispy tacos fresh for your family anytime with this easy recipe. You could also use this meat as a topping for nachos, inside burritos, and so much more. Enjoy your own homemade Taco Bell tacos from the Taco Bell iconic menu items.

five copycat Taco Bell crunchy tacos.

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The Best Crunchy Tacos

Who doesn’t love these famous crunchy tacos? Crispy on the outside, a well-seasoned ground beef mixture on the inside, and topped with cool and refreshing lettuce and cheese.

Why Are Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos So Good? 

Hard shell tacos sometimes get a bad rep. People like to complain they’re difficult and messy to eat, so they opt for soft tacos instead. That’s a mistake.

The crunch of a hard taco shell is the ideal complement to the perfectly seasoned ground beef and other toppings that come on Taco Bell tacos. But if you can’t run to the border, you can always make your hard shell Taco Bell tacos at home. 

Why This is the Recipe You Must Try

There are many copycat Taco Bell meat recipes online, but out of all of them, Taco Bell chose to link to this one. That is a pretty good recommendation right there.

Sure, the list of seasonings may be a little long, but you can easily double or triple the recipe, ensuring there is plenty for the next time you want to make seasoned ground beef.

Taco Bell Meat

This taco seasoned beef from Taco Bell is used in many different recipes. You can use it in your own Crunchwrap, the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza and so many more Taco Bell items.

Taco Bell Seasoning

This seasoning recipe is a salt-free version, so it is not an exact duplication of their recipe, but it is really close. You can add salt to the seasoning mix if you want it in the blend of spices.

You can purchase their retail version of the Taco Bell Taco Seasoning Mix, but this one doesn’t contain any artificial flavorings or colorings, and it is pretty easy to make.

Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos Ingredients

For convenience, the recipe is divided into two parts; how to make Taco Bell meat and how to prepare the tacos. 

To make this Taco Bell ground beef recipe, you’ll need:

  • Masa harina
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Seasoning salt
  • Paprika
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic salt
  • Sugar
  • Dried minced onion
  • Beef bouillon powder
  • Ground chuck

Masa harina is dried and ground flint corn soaked in an alkaline solution. It is popular in Latin cooking as an instant corn dough and thickener. If you can’t get masa harina, use an equal amount of cornflour instead. 

To put together the hard shell tacos, you’ll need:

  • Hard crunchy taco shells
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Sour cream

Roma tomatoes are a good choice because they are denser than beefsteak or slicing tomatoes. Grape and plum tomatoes are also great options.  Keep in mind you can always top your tacos with some of your personal favorite toppings.

Taco Bell crunchy tacos ingredients.

How to Make Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos

It is best to prepare the seasoned beef for this Taco Bell tacos recipe ahead of time. 

To make the seasoned beef:

  1. Mix together the masa harina, crushed beef bouillon cube, and seasonings in a bowl.
homemade Taco Bell meat seasoning in a bowl.
  1. Stir in a cup of water and set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Crumble in the ground beef and cook until brown.
  4. Transfer the cooked ground beef to a strainer and rinse the meat under hot water to remove all the grease. Let the ground beef drain well.
  5. Meanwhile, wipe out the same pan you used to brown the meat and heat over medium-high.
  6. Return the drained beef to the pan and pour the water with the dissolved seasonings over the top. 
browned ground beef and Taco Bell meat seasoning in a skillet.
  1. Simmer until most of the water is gone.
  2. Remove from the heat.
homemade Taco Bell seasoned meat in a skillet.

To assemble the taco:

  1. Warm the taco shells in a 350-degree oven. Although this is an optional step, it makes a big difference in both the taste and texture of the tacos.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of seasoned beef to the shell, lettuce, cheese, and any other toppings you want. Avoid overfilling the taco shell, or most of it will wind up on your plate.
  3. Serve while the meat is still warm. 
five homemade Taco Bell crunchy tacos.

How To Make a Taco Bell Crunchy Taco Supreme

Regular Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos come with seasoned beef, shredded lettuce, and cheese, but the Supreme version comes with all that plus tomatoes and sour cream. 

How To Serve Taco Bell Tacos 

Tacos are one of those meals that are better to assemble at the table. Allowing people to do it themselves keeps things easier for you and ensures everyone is happy. 

What Goes With Crunchy Tacos 

There are many toppings you can add to tacos. Some of the most popular are:

  • Diced raw onions
  • Guacamole
  • Beans
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Hot sauce

Make it tacos a complete meal with a few sides, like nacho friescharro beansSpanish rice, and sopapillas. And it would be a shame to forget margaritas.

How To Store Left Over Tacos 

Store the seasoned meat separately in a container in the fridge for up to three days. If you want to keep it for longer, let the meat cool and put it in a freezer bag. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months.

Use the vegetables the same day you prepare them. 

copycat Taco Bell crunchy tacos on a board.

Love Taco Bell? Try These Recipes

Easy Mexican Food Recipes for Taco Night!

Be sure to check out more of my copycat Mexican restaurant recipes and the best Taco Bell recipes here on CopyKat.

five copycat Taco Bell crunchy tacos.

Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos

We all want to run to the border, but you can make the famous Taco Bell crunchy tacos at home. 
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos, Taco Bell Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 236kcal

Ingredients

Beef Filling

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon masa harina
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
  • 1 1/3 pounds ground chuck

Shells and Toppings

  • 12 taco shells
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • Sour cream optional

Instructions

Beef Filling

  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the meat, and mix well.
  • Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet (preferably nonstick) and brown, stirring well.
  • Remove from the heat. Dump the meat into a strainer in the sink, rinse with hot water, and drain off the water and grease from the beef.
  • Return the beef to the pan.
  • Stir in the spice mix and 3/4 to 1 cup water.
  • Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until most of the moisture has cooked away. Remove from heat before the meat is completely dry.

Tacos

  • If you like, you can refresh the taco shells in the oven at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • To assemble the tacos, spoon a few tablespoons of the meat into each taco shell.
  • Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream, if desired. Serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 555IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1.6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. William

    The big “secret” to why Taco Bell has such amazing tacos is how they prepare the meat. I used to work at Taco Bell when I was younger and the main difference between how Taco Bell makes their meat and how all recipes (including the instructions on the seasoning packets) do it is simple. Taco Bell adds the seasoning mix to the meat when it is raw (which also gives a better texture and eliminates big chunks of meat), cooks the meat, and then drains off the grease by using a big slotted rake and raising the front of the pan. At home, I use a spatula to move the meat to one side of the pan, raise that side of the pan with a trivet or a metal spoon (off the heat of course) and then scoop out the drained meat with a slotted spoon. The flavor cooks through the meat and gives a smooth texture.

  2. yanagi

    5 stars
    Eat your taco over a tortilla, all the goodies fall onto it so you can fold it up and have one soft taco. That way you don’t waste any good stuff.

  3. DavidF

    Can you try to figure out their beans recipe? Please, try to copy everything such as their base items, like rice, beans, and some sauces. This way we their menu items at home.

  4. Kathy Johnson

    I just want to give you a big thank you for all your hard work. I am 71 , in my days we had recipe books for all these recipes and now I can just pick up my phone. You have made it all so easy for us foodies.👏Bravo keep up all your hard work because we appreciate it so much.

  5. Nita Lloyd

    Would love to have a recipe for fajitas that were made at Fajita Junction – I know some of their location were Corpus Christi, Tx, Austin, Tx, San Antonio, Tx and I am sure many more.
    Any help with that recipe will be appreciated

  6. Samantha

    The video is not the same as the printed recipe. printed recipe says to rinse and drain the meat before adding seasonings. So which is it??????????

  7. Sybil

    I too remember what Taco Bell used to be. I hadn’t eaten there in years and one day I went with a friend. This isn’t what I wanted or liked. I ate there often in the late 70’s in Houston and I now live in Indiana. I thought maybe it was the locale but I hear you.

  8. Gregg

    At what point did this become a place to flame Taco Bell? I thought this was about Stephanie’s recipe. Tweaks and thank you’s. I understand all the rage and that’s ok, but not here. More posts about big corporations than FOOD. Yup we are here for FOOD! My gosh, I was looking for recipes and ended up listening to people rage about having to breath oxygen to sustain life… Thanks for the recipe Stephanie, keep up the good (hard) work.

  9. The Man You All Want To Be

    I just wasted about 15 mins of my life reading about fast food being unhealthy. Alot of angry people spouting off about things that changed in life. Its nice that someone wants to recreate a part of a delicious and a more healthy option. Thank You ! But all this crap about Yum and unhealthy food is a bit much. Who cares about that crap. Every single day you have choices. You have the power of the internet to research all kinds of things to help with your choice. If you dont like it fine but like all controlling people do, dont try to make others not like it because you have a problem with it. Everyone wants to tell others how to live, decorate, build, drive a car and so on. Let it go… Lets others enjoy it if they want. Someone even mentioned the political term leftist in this ..really ..over a recipe..there are some F-ed up people running around out there so just do what you want and enjoy life while these people suffer in attempst to control y’all…peace and love !!!

    • DavidF

      I think what people are angry at, is that Taco Bell has gotten so expensive and doesn’t give you as much food now. That’s what is really riling people up, or that’s what has got me so wanting to copycat it and make it at home.

      • Stephanie Manley

        Well, I can say I liked the way Taco Bell tasted better when I was in college(I went a very long time ago…), you could get two standard menu items and a small drink for about 2.00. I went to college in the early 90s. I still order the same thing, but I pay a lot more.

  10. Amanda Moore

    I’m so happy I found this recipe. I swore off of Taco Bell a few years ago, but still get the cravings every now and then. This will no doubt satisfy when those cravings hit. Thanks for sharing!

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