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These mini taco bites are a simple and adorable way to serve one of everyone’s favorite dishes as an appetizer instead of a main!
The scoops are a perfect vessel for people to pick up, pop in their mouths, and enjoy a twist on taco night with just one bite.
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Perfect for parties and appetizers, these mini tacos are easy to make for any occasion!
I love the idea of miniature versions of food. I’ve done this with taco hand pies which are another favorite around here, but when I’m hosting a larger crowd and need good party food with little effort, I tend to go with this easy taco bites recipe. This serious the best food that will be gobbled up really quickly!
These little bites are made with Tostitos scoops tortilla chips filled with seasoned ground beef, topped with sour cream, freshly grated cheddar cheese, zesty tomatoes, or whatever else you want to add. You can assemble them for your guests, or you can set out the chips and fillings for people to help themselves.
Like a traditional taco bar, people can decide what fillings they want in theirs, and that’s the beauty of having bite-sized samplers – you can try a few different topping variations. You could use this recipe as a base for making a full-sized taco bar, too.
Finger Food for your next party
They’re the perfect appetizer that comes together quickly, which is always what you want! They are perfect for game day, a New Year’s Eve party, or a family potluck.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- They’re super easy to make, and quick to pull off. It’s a matter of cooking the taco filling and filling the chips. Things like salsa and guacamole can be homemade or store-bought, it’s up to you.
- I love the versatility of these mini taco bites. You can switch up the protein, have an assortment of add ons to choose from, and they can be served any time at all.
- They taste like a taco in a mini bite! Perfect for little hands, they’re kid-friendly and mess-free too!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use your prep time to make a few of the components in advance. Cook the taco meat ahead of time and reheat it just before serving.
You can also do things like grate cheese, dice tomatoes, make a homemade salsa or guacamole.
Store everything in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the taco bites.
I use 1lb of beef and 60 scoops of tortilla chips. You can easily double the recipe for more than 60 taco bites if needed. You can also halve the recipe for a smaller crowd.
Grab a few mini muffin pans and place the taco bites in each one of the cups. Cover with plastic wrap to transport them, then remove the plastic and warm them up in the oven.
What to serve with Taco Bites
I love the idea of setting up an area where people can serve themselves. A taco bite bar if you will. Just be sure to remind people not to overload one bite. There’s always room to come back for another one!
The scoops can be arranged with the beef taco meat and then people can choose to load it up with any of their favorite taco toppings, such as:
- Diced tomatoes/pico de gallo/halved cherry tomatoes
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- Diced bell peppers
- Refried beans or mashed black beans
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges (for lime juice)
- Diced red onions
- Sour cream – a small dollop of sour cream in each of the taco cups is perfect
- Guacamole or diced avocado
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
Any leftover taco meat can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can always use it to make more taco bites, but then again, you could use leftovers to make Mexican stuffed shells for dinner.
If you can’t get your hands on scoops, you can use wonton wrappers baked in mini muffin tins instead. You’ll want to layer a few wrappers to make sure they’re sturdy enough. You can use flour tortillas or corn tortillas cut into rounds with a cookie cutter, and baked in the same way.
For a lighter version, swap the ground beef with ground turkey instead. You can also use the filling from my spicy chicken soft tacos recipe instead.
I use my favorite homemade taco seasoning, but store bought seasoning works too.
You can also use any type of cheese you prefer. If cheddar isn’t your jam, try something with a kick. Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Lean ground beef. I use 92% lean. You’ll have less excess grease to worry about!
- Tomato sauce. Use any tomato sauce you have on hand. Adding it to the cooked ground beef gives it a rich tomato flavor as well as helps to prevent the beef from drying out.
- Water. Helps to distribute the sauce evenly by thinning it out just a bit.
- Taco seasoning. If you have spices like cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and oregano, you can make a jar of my homemade taco seasoning and keep it on hand for future uses.
- Tortilla chips. The scoops are what you’re looking for.
- Cheddar cheese. I always recommend grating your own cheese, as it does taste a lot better. However, your friends and family will still love you if you use pre-packaged shredded cheddar.
- Sour cream. Use whatever sour cream you prefer. Low fat, full fat, it’s up to you.
- Shredded lettuce. Here’s where you can cut back on the total time it takes to prepare. Use a bag of shredded lettuce!
- Diced tomatoes. Be sure to dice them small enough so that you can get at least a few morsels on top of each of the taco bites.
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Arrange the chips/scoops on your serving platter.
Lay them out in a single layer, and be sure to use a platter that’s easy to carry from one place to the next.
Make the filling
Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break it up as it cooks.
Once the crumbles are cooked and no longer pink, drain the fat. Sometimes it’s easiest just to tilt the pan a bit, and use paper towels to soak up the grease.
Then, stir in the sauce, water, and add the taco seasoning. Continue cooking until the meat is fully cooked and the mixture has thickened.
Add the ground beef mixture to the scoops. Remember, don’t overfill them, you want to leave room for the other fillings too.
To each one, add sour cream. Use a ziplock bag with a corner cut off for easy piping.
Add cheddar, lettuce, tomato. Top with sliced green onions if you like!
You can also leave some empty and allow people to top their own. Enjoy immediately!
More appetizers you’ll love:
- Thai chicken meatballs – made with fresh flavors like lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and cilantro, these appetizer meatballs are an explosion of flavor.
- Classic deviled eggs – you can’t get any easier or any better than classic deviled eggs. Everyone loves them and they’re easy to make ahead and transport easily too.
- Sausage stuffed mini peppers – a filling of spicy sausage, cream cheese, and aromatics fill each mini pepper that gets baked with extra cheese on top.
- Jalapeno popper cheese ball – it’s everything you love in jalapeno poppers in the form of a cheese ball, perfect for dipping!
Make the ground beef filling
- In a skillet, brown the ground beef, drain the fat.
- Add the sauce, water, and seasoning, continue cooking until fully cooked, and thickened.
- Lay the tortilla chip scoops out on a serving platter.
- Add the ground beef mixture to each cup.
- Top with cheese, sour cream, lettuce and tomato.
- Serve immediately.
If you have leftover ground beef – make more taco bites!
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.