Mini Taco Cups

Once upon a time, I made homemade taco tortilla bowls. And I felt like a kitchen rockstar.

Fast forward to once upon another time and I decide to morph the idea of the homemade taco tortilla bowl into a one-shot mini taco cup (using inspiration from my college days when one of our favorite meals was BBQ cups…a recipe for another time) because in case you didn’t know, everything tastes better in miniature form. The instant I pulled the mini taco cups out of the oven and served them for dinner, according to my kids, my kitchen rockstar status reached an all-time peak. I mean, really, can you even stand the cuteness?

Mini Taco Cups

There are no complicated flavors here. Simple saucy taco meat and tortillas cut to size. Slightly bigger than bite-size, these are perfectly proportioned for little eaters. And for adults? Well, they are so small, you don’t have to feel guilty if you pile up a mountain on your plate and go at it. Sure, they are a bit messy to eat so if licking your fingers is out of the question, be respectable and use a fork. We took the finger food stance and had a great time doing so.

Mini Taco Cups

What To ServeChips with salsa or this Ultimate 7-Layer Dip
Steamed veggie or this Fresh Green Bean Salad
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Rustic Crusty Bread {A Simple How-To}
Two Years Ago: BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing
Three Years Ago: Oatmeal Chocolate Caramel Bars

Mini Taco Cups

Yield: Makes about 16 taco cups

Mini Taco Cups

Note: If you can't get your hands on 10-inch tortillas, feel free to use smaller sized tortillas, just plan on needing more than 4-5 since you'll probably get fewer circles cut out of each tortilla. If you'd like to make the meal even heartier and stretch the meat mixture, try spooning in a teaspoon or so of refried beans into the bottom of each tortilla cup before adding the meat/sauce mixture.


  • 4-5 large 10-inch flour tortillas, white or wheat
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese (or a combination)
  • Taco toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, olives, etc.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease two muffin tins. Cut 4-inch circles (using a cookie cutter or a round shape, like a lid, you can cut around with a knife or kitchen shears) from the tortillas. You'll need about 16. Microwave the cut tortillas for about 10-15 seconds until pliable. Nestle one tortilla in each muffin tin, pressing the tortilla into the bottom and corners of the tin. Set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the ground beef or turkey, salt and pepper over medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until cooked through 5-8 minutes. Drain any excess grease. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Scoop a spoonful of meat and sauce into each tortilla cup. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tortillas are lightly golden around the edge and the filling is hot and bubbly. Carefully remove the cups from the muffin tin and serve with any taco toppings of your choice.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

35 Responses to Mini Taco Cups

  1. Erin says:

    My kids loved these! Okay, my husband and I did too. We devoured them all. Something about anything in miniature… Anyhow, thanks for another great recipe!!

    • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

      Hello Erin – Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. So glad you loved these! Mel will be happy to hear it as well.

  2. Malachi’s Science Celebration says:

    […] had Taco Cups for […]

  3. Taco Cups says:

    […] Adapted: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Filed Under: Entrees, One Dish, Recipes, Turkey, […]

  4. Carolyn Kiely says:

    I love your recipes. Made these for a wedding shower lunceon. I only wished that when I print out recipes for immediate use or for future use, that a small picture of the dish printed with the recipe.

  5. Kaela says:

    I made these a few weeks ago and happened to have some of your slow cooker BBQ shredded chicken leftover from the night before – sooooo yummy with the chicken!!! Making them for supper tonight for the third time already πŸ™‚

  6. Michelle says:

    I made these today and they were SO good, So easy, and SO fun!! My kids loved them as well. I was lazy and only made 12 instead of 16 (didn’t want to dig out my other muffin tin) so I just made them meatier. Next time, we definitely need more so I think I will make 12 meat ones and use a can of refried beans (see how many that fills up) so we have a bit more to go around. It was perfect for today though, because nobody wanted a heavy meal. It was a nice filling afternoon snack for us. πŸ™‚

  7. Kim says:

    So good! We loved these. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Olivia says:

    Oh how I love your site! You are a super woman chef/mom! The only complaint I have is that I would like to see more vegetarian meals. Maybe next week? πŸ™‚

  9. New Food Favorites | baileyshenanigans says:

    […] recipe at […]

  10. Yokasta says:

    Thank u my 4yr old loved this (He said “Mommy, These are the
    Best tacos in the world!” That does it for me. Thank u for sharing!

  11. heather says:

    Made these a few nights ago… my kids loved them! Thanks for the recipe : )

  12. Shannon says:

    Thank you, thank you! One of my boys is a very picky eater which has made dinnertime a challenge. He has always turned up his nose at tacos but he loved these little cups. Hooray!

  13. Marisa says:

    I made these last night and they were a big hit. The tortillas were really fast to cut out. I just used a lid and cut around. I think I cut through 4 tortillas at once. Thanks for the great idea!

  14. Lindsey says:

    I made these the other night, bc they looked so yummy. However, I used wonton wrappers instead of the tortillas. They fit so well down in the muffin cups, fry up crispy just like if you used large scoops chips, and saved me some time of having to cut out rounds from the tortillas. Just a thought, and they were DEMOLISHED! Seriously, didn’t even stand a chance with my family. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

  15. Barbara says:

    I did them a couple of years ago using Scoops tortilla “chips”. They were a hit, but that’s too much non-allowable sodium for us. Flour tortillas are a no-way-buy item for us. They’re unhealthy. I would consider doing them again with corn tortillas, though.

  16. Dixie Dixon says:

    Ah hem….are we really referring to MY BBQ cups? πŸ™‚ Or Dixie Cups as we like to call them at my house. πŸ™‚ Man I always feel cool when I make it on here some how. Just knowing I have influenced your food world in some positive way makes me happy. In other news, what a brilliant adaptation. I think I might have to try those out!

  17. Julie says:

    Hi Mel, These look great! I LOVE your blog and many of our recipes have become staples! Thank you for blogging! I am noticing that I am only getting sporadic email notices when you post something new. I was getting them all until just recently. Do I need to change a setting or something? I hate to miss anything! Thanks much!

  18. It is SO true that everything is better in mini-form. Like, mini burgers? So much better than full size ones! Anyhoo, these look amazing!!

  19. Laura says:

    This is awesome! We eat taco salad at least once a week. This will be a fun variation!

  20. Ava says:

    Will try! Mel, I love when you do your little features ie: recipes the world forgot, recipes using shredded chicken etc. Is there a place where I can access these lists? I cant figure out how to search for them and I can’t ever find them again.

  21. Stacy P says:

    Even though I’m eating my way in seafood through Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA at this very moment, those mini-taco cups are totally and completely awesome and now I’m sitting in a hotel really really CRAVING those things!
    You ARE a rockstar, Mel!

  22. Hey Mel!

    Just wanted to let you know that I featured your delicious Creamy White Chili on my blog today!

  23. Julie says:

    Made them last night and they were a hit. I used 1 1/2 lbs. beef (large family) and I put the seasoned meat in the food processor and gave it a couple of pulses. Then I used a medium cookie scoop to put the meat into the cups. I made 20 taco cups (had enough meat for 24, but ran out of tortillas). The family absolutely loved them. Next time I will use a smaller scoop and make more cups. And yes, I was the rock-star mom last night! Thanks, Mel.

  24. angela @ anotherbiteplease says:

    hello i wanna be a rockstar mom…so making these…and yes cute!

  25. Holly says:

    Made these for dinner tonight — teenager proclaimed them a “keeper”! Thanks!

  26. Julie says:

    Brush the leftover tortilla pieces with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

  27. These are brilliant, can’t way to try them!

  28. Mel says:

    Lynn – I used flour tortillas.

  29. Lynn says:

    ‘flour’ or corn tortillas?

  30. Love miniature anything! My kids might eat tacos if I do them like this! Great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Karly says:

    Woh. I am a taco freak and you somehow managed to make them even better! Love this!

  32. Teresa says:

    I love this idea…mini anything is so cute. I would like to learn how to make homemade white tortillas. Have you ever tried making a homemade version of a tortilla?

  33. Kim in MD says:

    What is it about mini food that makes it tastes better? These are so stinkin cute, Mel! These would be a fun appetizer for a Mexican/Southwest theme party or football/Superbowl party!

  34. StephenC says:

    That. Is. So. Cool.

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