Loaded Taco Bites

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Although they may be small, these Loaded Taco Bites are bursting with flavor! These fun and festive beef taco appetizers are perfect for game day or a party.

Loaded taco bites with tomatoes, lettuce, and olives.

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Taco Bites Appetizer: A Cinco De Mayo Snack

While this finger food may not exactly be authentic Mexican cuisine, it’s still a great snack for Cinco de Mayo, a holiday most commonly seen as a celebration of Mexican culture in the United States.

What many US Americans don’t know is that Cinco de Mayo is not actually Mexico’s Independence Day, but rather a commemoration of their unlikely victory against the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1861. While it’s a fairly small holiday in Mexico, the United States celebrates Cinco de Mayo with Mexican (and Mexican American) food, drinks, music, and cultural parades.

Why This Mini Taco Bite Recipe is a Keeper

These homemade taco bites are the perfect appetizer for game day or your next party. Just like a full-sized taco, these little bites are made with beef, cheese, and all your favorite toppings.

  • Make Ahead: You can make this easy taco bites appetizer ahead of time. Just fill the phyllo tarts with beef and refrigerate, then bake and top when you’re ready to serve them.
  • Easy Ingredients: All of the ingredients can likely be found in your pantry or fridge.
  • Party Favorite: Mini taco bites are a fun party food that will be gobbled up at your next party or gathering.

If you’re looking for more taco recipes, try these: Carnitas Pulled Pork Tacos, Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, and Black Bean Taco Stuffed Peppers.

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How Far in Advance Can I Make Taco Bites?

A tray o f the appetizer with lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.

You can make these appetizers about a week in advance by filling the dough shells and refrigerating them. Just make sure to add the rest of the toppings right before baking.

Taco Bite Ingredients

This easy to prepare appetizer can be made with leftover taco meat. They are easy to eat and feel free to use any type of meat you enjoy in traditional taco.

Ground meat, pastry cups and vegetables to make the appetizer.
  • Taco Meat: 80/20 ground beef works best for this recipe, meaning it’s 80% lean and 20% fat.
  • Taco Seasoning: Try making our taco seasoning recipe or use your favorite recipe for taco meat.
  • Phyllo Shells: While tacos are typically made with flour tortillas or corn tortillas, this recipe uses phyllo shells, which you can bake in the oven. Fill these dough shells with the ingredients, then bake them.

See the recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.

Variations and Substitutions for Taco Cups with Taco Meat for this Party Food

  • Tostitos Scoops Tortilla Chips: Instead of phyllo shells, you can fill tostitos Scoops chips with the taco ingredients for a crunchy variation on these mini bites.
  • Muffin Tin: Instead of a baking sheet, you can bake these bite-sized homemade tacos in a mini muffin tin.
  • Fillings and Toppings: Fill and top these taco little bites with whatever you want. Some ideas include cilantro, black olives, and chopped onion. As for the cheese, use Mexican blend cheese, cheddar cheese, or pepper jack cheese.
  • Ground Turkey: Ground turkey is a healthier alternative to beef for these mini tacos.
  • Make Taco Shells: Make your own shells with wonton wrappers or cut flour tortillas into bite-sized form or use a cookie cutter to cut. Place small pieces into the opening of a mini muffin pan, brush both sides with oil and bake.

How to Make Mini Taco Bites

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These are the basic steps for making loaded taco bites. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions.

A series of photos showing the process of making the ground beef filling.

Step 1: Cook Ground Beef and Break Beef into Small Pieces

Add ground beef to a large skillet over medium heat, along with diced onions and garlic. Simmer until no longer pink and stir to combine.

Step 2: Add Taco Sauce

Stir in taco sauce. You can use hot or mild taco sauce for this step, cook over medium-high heat.

Step 3: Season

Add taco seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper.

A series of pictures showing different types of food in mini cups, featuring loaded taco bites.

Step 4: Fill Phyllo Shells

Place phyllo shells on a prepared baking sheet and fill them with cooked ground beef.

Step 5: Bake

Place shredded Mexican cheese on top of the taco filling and bake.

Step 6: Top

Top each bite with the rest of your toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Decorating the cups for that finishing touch.

Favorite Taco Bites Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Store them in an airtight container and refrigerate, then eat up to three days later.

Taco bites can be as spicy as you want them to be. Add hot sauce or chili powder if you want to make spicy mini taco bites.

Yes; decrease or increase the ingredients proportionally to double or half the recipe.

A tray of loaded taco bites on a table.

Expert Tips for Making Easy Taco Bites

Everyone will be thanking you for sharing this delectable appetizer. A pound of ground beef and a few other bits and you are the hero of the party.

  • Freeze Extras: Keep these delicious beef taco bites on hand by freezing them.  Simply prepare them to the point where you’re ready to bake them. Instead of baking, pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, simply bake as many as you’d like and top with your favorite taco toppings.
  • Get Creative with Toppings: Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream are classic, but you can also top them with your favorite avocado guacamole, refried beans, or jalapenos.
  • Diced Shrimp: Try replacing the ground beef with diced shrimp.

What to Serve with Loaded Taco Bites

Loaded taco bites with tomatoes, lettuce, and olives.
5 from 13 votes

Loaded Taco Bites

Yield: 30 tarts
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Although they may be small, these Loaded Taco Bites are bursting with flavor! Enjoy these beef taco appetizers at a party, or as a game day snack.
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review below!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Ground beef
  • ½ cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Taco sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon All Purpose Seasoning Blend
  • 30 Mini phyllo shells
  • ½ cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded

Toppings:

  • ¼ cup Lettuce, chopped
  • ¼ cup Guacamole
  • 1/4` cup Sour Cream
  • 10 Black Olives, chopped
  • 15 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add ground beef, onion and garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up beef into small crumbles and stirring occasionally.
  • Add taco sauce, cumin, salt and pepper; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is heated through.
  • Place frozen phyllo shells on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Spoon beef mixture evenly into shells; Top with cheese.
  • Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until shells are crisp and cheese is melted.
  • Top tarts with your favorite taco toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and olives, as desired.

Expert Tips

  • Freeze Extras: Keep these delicious beef taco bites on hand by freezing them.  Simply prepare them to the point where you’re ready to bake them. Instead of baking, pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, simply bake as many as you’d like and top with your favorite taco toppings.
  • Get Creative with Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, and sour cream are classic, but you can also add guacamole, black olives, jalapenos, or any of your other favorite taco toppings.
  • Diced Shrimp: Try replacing the ground beef with diced shrimp.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.4mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Appetizers and Dips
Cuisine: Mexican

10 thoughts on “Loaded Taco Bites”

  1. 5 stars
    These beef taco tarts are my new favorite go-to party food recipe. This is so easy to make and they literally fly off the plate!! Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply

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