Introduction: Balanced Appetizer

It's a well known fact that tacos are delicious but, they are also very messy to eat. When watching the big game or during socialization, it's best to have a snack or appetizer that you can eat during the commercial breaks and not get all over you. Taco cups can be as healthy as you want without skipping out on any of the taste. If you are making this for a party, I would create a small taco cup bar. This can be done by baking the cups and putting all the ingredients in bowls on a table, then let the guests assemble their own taco cups. Everyone prefers a different taco and this gives the guests something to do during breaks. This also will keep the taco cups fresh.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes (optional)
Suggested time of preparation before guests arrive: Less than 1 hour (Best served warm)
Keep in mind that times may change, keep a close eye on what you are doing

What you will need:

Small muffin tin
Tortillas 1 package
Taco meat OR beans OR both (about 1 can or 1/2 lb.)
Salsa 1 jar
Lettuce 1 bag or 1 head of iceberg
Sour cream 1 cup (more or less)
Mozzarella cheese 1 cup (more or less)
Any other taco fixings: olives, hot sauce, tomatoes, guacamole, taco seasoning etc.

Step 1: Shaping the Tortillas

Cut your tortillas into a circle about the size of your palm. Keep in mind how many you want to make and try to use as much of the tortilla as possible.

Next press one of the tortilla circles into a greased muffin pan so that it looks like a little cup. This will be the base of your taco cup.

Bake the cups at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

***You will find that you have extra bits of the tortilla that cannot be included into your creation. These extra bits can be cut up into slices and baked for about 10 minutes in your oven at 350 degrees. These little crunchies can now be added to your taco cup, eaten as a snack alone, or added to top a salad.

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

While the cups are baking, this is your time to chop, open, and get spoons for all of your ingredients.

The basics that are recommended are:

-Opened can of kidney beans, drained, and with a spoon near it
-Chopped up lettuce into small strips with a small tongs (or your washed fingers)
-Opened jar of salsa with a spoon near it
-Opened container of sour cream with a spoon near it
-Pour some mozzarella cheese into a bowl and put a spoon near it

Suggestion: If you want meat in your taco cups you can add chunks of cooked chicken, small steak strips, or ground hamburger with a bit of taco seasoning

Step 3: Assembly!

When your tortilla cups are baked, they should be hard like a chip. Wait for them to cool and then add ingredients into the cup. Fill them however high you want, with whatever you want in them, and in whatever order you think looks best. (Keep the open on 350 degrees if you want to cook your taco cups after assembly)

I recommend assembling the cups in this order:

Beans, meat, or both (bottom)
Mozzarella cheese (top)

Then bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes)

Top off with:

Sour cream (Suggestion: You can put the sour cream in a plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner if you want to squeeze out a sour cream design onto your taco cups)

Step 4: Bake 'em

Baking is optional, however if you do not bake your cup, i suggest microwaving the meat, beans, or both, before assembling the cups. Also keep in mind that if you are baking your taco cups, that not all the ingredients need to be heated (lettuce)

Suggestion: As mentioned in Step 3, i recommend baking the cup at the start and then later the beans, meat or both and cheese only, but try to adjust it to your own liking!

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