I’m going to let you in on a secret. Are you ready? Here goes…We don’t do Taco Night in my house.
What? you gasp. You don’t have Taco Night Tuesdays?
No, you misunderstand. We don’t do Taco Night. We do Taco Nights. Taco Night Tuesday, Taco Night Wednesday, Taco Night Thursday…you get the picture. One of our absolute favorite recipes to make is Mini Chicken Taco Cups.
Taco Night Rules
When you’re eating as many tacos as my family is, there are two things to keep in mind:
- Keep your recipes simple, yet tasty
- Keep things interesting
These Mini Chicken Taco Cups are the perfect answer! They have all the flavor of a taco in a neat, bite-size morsel. Perfectly seasoned beans and chicken, melty Cotija cheese, and a bold kick of flavor from your favorite salsa on top. These mini taco cups also come together in an hour, and if you use a rotisserie chicken even less; that is why we make these all the time.
You can customize these savory bites
Yes, there are always options!
- You can mix and match the toppings and the spiciness to your liking.
- Salsa or Picante sauce – just use your favorite and then you choose mild, medium or spicy for a bold experience
- Not into chicken, add seasoned shredded beef or pork, both are delicious
- Leave out the guac or cilantro if those aren’t your thing or go crazy and add more
- Let’s talk shredded cheese on top, go with sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese
As you start planning your next Tuesday night dinner party (hint: you’re serving tacos and you don’t actually need to invite any guests), add these items to your grocery list and you’ve got all you need for the perfect bite-size appetizer. Or dinner. Or dessert. Can you eat tacos for dessert? Why not.
- Refried beans
- Chicken- (rotisserie chicken is great for this)
- Spices – use your favorite Mexican spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, corriander
- Cotija cheese
- Sour cream
- Cilantro (for garnish)
How to make Mini Taco Cups with Tortillas
Step 1. The easiest way to make the taco cups is to cut small size rounds from 11″ flour tortillas. To cut 5″ round tortillas I use a plastic container as a cutter. Nothing fancy, but it works, so just look around your kitchen.
Step 2. Place a ½ tsp. of olive oil in the bottom of each cup of a muffin pan and press in the tortilla circles, then bake for 5-7 minutes. This helps crisp up the tortilla before you put the filling inside.
Step 3. Prepare the chicken by poaching for 10-12 minutes then shred into small pieces. Mix in your favorite Mexican seasonings like a sprinkle of chili powder and coriander plus salt and pepper to taste. You can definitely be creative here with all kinds of seasonings.
Step 4. In a small bowl add the refried beans and mix in 2 tablespoons of the salsa plus cumin and garlic powder.
Step 5. Next fill each cup with the seasoned refried beans, shredded chicken, and Cotija cheese.
Step 6. Bake the cups for 5-7 minutes. While they are baking prepare your toppings. My favorites are salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and a sprinkling of cilantro. All the great flavors you will find in a taco.
Step 7. Once the bites are done remove from the muffin pan and add your toppings and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro, then put all these crispy taco cups on a platter and serve.
Simple, tasty, and definitely not your average taco. Your Taco Tuesdays are about to get a lot more interesting.
More bite-sized appetizers from One Hot Oven
Mini Chicken Taco Cups
Poaching Chicken for Shredding
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tsp. cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Preparing the taco filling
- Preheat oven to 425 °. Use a 12 cup standard muffin pan.
- With a 5" round cutter, cut 3-4 rounds from the tortillas
- Place a ¼ tsp. of olive oil in the bottom of each muffin-pan cup. Press the tortilla into the cup. Bake the tortillas for 5-7 minutes until golden brown
- Place the shredded chicken a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of salsa.
- Mix the refried beans, with 2 tablespoons of salsa, cumin, and garlic powder.
Assembling the Taco Cups
- Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the refried bean filling in the bottom of each taco shell. Next place 1 tablespoon of shredded chicken and top with Cotija cheese crumbles.
- Bake the taco cups for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Garnishing the Taco Cups
- Top each taco cup with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and cilantro.
Poaching Chicken for Shredding
- In a large pot place the chicken in the bottom and season with cumin, salt and pepper.
- Cover the chicken with 1" of water
- Put the pot on the stove and bring to a gentle boil. Next, turn the heat down so the water comes to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes. The temperature should register 165°
- When done remove the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Shred the chicken by using two forks to pull the meat apart. If the shreds are too long for your recipe you can dice the chicken.
Add a simple Mexican Corn Salad to the taco night menu for a tasty and colorful side dish.
No matter what night it is, make sure to celebrate with great food.