Mini Taco Salad Cups are the perfect party appetizer!
If you are looking for an appetizer for your next event or big game day party look no further. Everyone loves mini versions of food and these Mini Taco Salad Cups are no exception!
Almost all of the elements of this recipe can be done ahead of time which really helps when you are having an event or party. You can easily personalize these little taco cups to fit your taste and guests. We customized ours with both carnitas and seasoned ground turkey.
Fillings and Toppings for Mini Taco Salad Cups
There are so many ways to build these taco cups, so let your imagination be your guide. You don’t need a large quantity of any single topping but a variety is best. We season our meat with our own Taco Seasoning Mix.
Any shredded or crumbled seasoned meat works perfectly
Here are some of the fillings and toppings we like in our taco cups:
- Seasoned Carnitas – we use the recipe on our website
- Crumbled turkey or ground beef with our Taco Mix
- Chicken – shredded and seasoned
- Shredded lettuce – we used Iceberg but any sturdy lettuce or cabbage will work
- Shredded Cheese – cheddar is traditional, but crumbled Cojita cheese is also perfect
- Diced Tomatoes – keep the pieces small because these cups are minis
- Diced Avocado – cut these just before serving because cut avocados turn brown quickly
- Cilantro leaves are the perfect garnish
- A dash of your favorite hot sauce on top of each cup is just enough
- Lime Crema made with sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, and chopped cilantro
- Seasoned black or pinto beans
Making Lime Crema Topping
Making lime crema is quick and makes for a zesty topping. It’s great on tacos, nachos, or on top of tortilla soup or Chile Verde. In a bowl, combine sour cream, a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 tablespoon) along with some lime zest, and a tablespoon of chopped cilantro.
Serving Mini Taco Salad Cups
It’s helpful to line a platter with lettuce leaves to nestle the taco cups so they stay upright. When filling the cups start with meat or beans, then continue laying with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, crema, cilantro, and hot sauce.
Making the Tortilla Cups:
Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin tin to bake the mini shells.
The easiest way to make the little cups is to start with 5″ or 6″ corn tortillas. If you can’t find these smaller tortillas you can just cut the larger ones to fit.
The tortilla will require softening so wrap the stack in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30-seconds. Don’t skip this step because the tortillas need to be softened before you can shape them into the muffin tins for baking.
Place each softened tortilla into a muffin tin cavity, pinching the sides together to form a cup and then bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to finish cooling. It’s best to make the cups the day of serving.
Mini Taco Salad Cups
- Muffin tin
- 12 5" corn tortillas
- 2 cups carnitas, seasoned cooked turkey or ground beef, or seasoned shredded chicken
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup avocado, diced
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 12 dashes hot sauce of choice
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- ½ tsp lime zest
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Prepare all filling ingredients and set aside.
- Prepare Lime Crema by combining sour cream, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and lime zest.
- Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.
- Wrap the stack of tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Don't skip this step as the tortillas need to be softened to be molded into muffin tins.
- Place each softened tortilla into a muffin tin cavity, pinching the sides together to form a cup.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and remove to a rack to cool.
- Once cooled place the tortilla cups on a platter.
- To each tortilla cup add a heaping tablespoon of meat. Continue to layer with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, crema and cilantro leaves. Add a dash of hot sauce to each cup.
- If desired line the platter with lettuce leaves to keep the tortilla cups level.
Unfortunately my tortillias just split apart wwhile trying to put in the muffin tin…..I did microwave in wet paper towel first…..used white corn tortillas, maybe corn would have worked bettee.
Hi – so sorry to hear you had issues with your tortillas and would love to troubleshoot this for you. I think yellow corn works best because they are sturdier, but white should work too. There are a few reasons they can split – they were a little too wet from the paper towel, or on the opposite end they were too dry or cold (I keep mine in the refrigerator so always have to warm them). Another thought is occasionally when we buy them they are already stale (no way to know this when we buy at grocery store) and older tortillas lose their moisture and can be crumbly. I hope this helps and that you will give it another try!
Will they stay crispy if I bake the cups in the morning and serve with a cold filling at night?
Hi, Yes just keep the cups in a sealed container, in a cool dry place, until you are ready to use. Don’t refrigerate or they will get soft.
What adorable little cups! I bet kids would love these. The lime crema sounds like an amazing choice for a topping.
These salad cups are so cute and sound delicious! Thanks for a great party food idea! Love it.
This mini taco salad cups are a great way to shake up taco Tuesdays! They are easily customizable for everyone at the dinner table too.
I LOVE these! Perfect for my next get together! Gonna impress my friends!
Made this for the family and it was a hit!