These Semi-Homemade Cheesy Mini Tacos are just in time for your NCAA March Madness parties for the Final Four and the National Championship! This appetizer is an easy-peasy, semi-homemade, crowd-pleaser that will delight all of your taco loving friends and family. (So, essentially everyone you know, because who doesn’t love tacos??!!)
The “cup” portion of this yummy appetizer is made from phyllo dough and can be found in the pastry/dessert section of the freezer aisle at your local supermarket. I know my local Safeway, Lucky, and Whole Foods all carry different brands of the same product. Typically phyllo dough is a pain in the booty to work with, but these cups are already pre-formed and ready to fill. They can be a life saver when you need to whip up a quick appetizer or dessert in a pinch. (I have even filled them with a soft cheesecake mixture for a last minute dessert. My freezer is always stocked with at least a few of these packages because of their versatility.)
Are these Semi-Homemade Cheesy Mini Tacos healthy? Heck no! But they taste damn good and fit perfectly with any sporting event viewing on TV, OR a family movie night, OR any gathering of hungry humans who want delicious treats! Plus, they come together in under 30 minutes – you can’t go wrong with that!
Semi-Homemade Cheesy Mini Tacos
Makes 30 bite size pieces
- (2) packages of frozen mini phyllo shells (15 shells per package)
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped (approximately ¾ of a cup)
- 1 package of taco seasoning (I prefer Lawry’s or McCormick’s)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 ¾ cups of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- approximately ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 3 green onions, white and light green parts finely diced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 15 pickled Jalapeno slices, cut in half
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Once the meat is approximately halfway cooked, add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion is softened and the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat.
- Add the taco seasoning and stir to distribute among the meat and onions. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese and cook until the cheese is melted and the mixture is thick. Remove from heat (approximately 5 minutes). Place the mini phyllo shells on a baking sheet and spoon the meat and cheese mixture into each cup, dividing evenly between each one.
- Place the baking sheet on the center rack of your preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheddar on top of the shells, dividing equally. Place back into the oven for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Gently spoon a dollop of sour cream on each cup and then sprinkle the tops with the diced green onion. Top each mini taco cup with a piece of tomato and pickled jalapeno and serve warm. Enjoy!
- Note: This recipe can be partially made ahead. Follow the recipe until after you add the cheese to the taco meat mixture. Once the cheese has melted in the skillet, remove from heat and allow to cool before placing in a covered container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until ready to use. Reheat the meat and cheese mixture before spooning into the phyllo cups and completing the recipe.