Crispy shells, tender, seasoned Flank Steak, and loaded up with all your favorite toppings, Mini Beef Taco Cups are the perfect all-in-one meal!
This post is in partnership with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. We received compensation, but all opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting brands that keep Compston Kitchen going!
Are you fans of "build-your-own" plate meals? We most certainly ARE! With two young toddlers with growing palates, we love encouraging food experimentation (and mealtime fun!) when it comes to building nutritious, balanced meals. Everyone has the opportunity to mix and match with their favorite fillings and make it all their own!
We start with a base of colorful fruits and vegetables, add whole grains and a family favorite protein, like beef. Beef is an excellent source of high-quality protein and delivers 10 essential nutrients including B-vitamins, zinc, and iron that support active, growing bodies. We feel good knowing that our whole family is getting the best nutrition at mealtimes with beef.
These Mini Beef Taco Cups are the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish for any occasion, from a tasty party app to easy weeknight meal. They are quick, customizable, and incredibly delicious. And in our opinion, anything in mini form is an automatic win.
What You Need To Make This Recipe
- A Muffin Pan
We use a muffin pan to create our crispy, crunchy "cups". We love flexible silicone pans but any kind will work!
- Flour Tortillas
Flour tortillas are flexible and crisp up well. We've tested with corn tortillas but found they cracked more easily during the baking process and don't hold the fillings quite as well.
- Beef - Flank Steak recommended
Lean cuts like the Flank Steak are perfect for tacos. They are flavorful, juicy, tender, and work well with marinades and dry rubs. We like to slice them into strips, sear them, and then dice them into bite-sized pieces for our mini tacos. Flank Steak should be sliced thinly across the grain before or after cooking to get a tender eating experience. Marinating will also boost its tenderness too. If Flank Steak is unavailable, Skirt or Sirloin Steaks are great substitutes.
- Taco Seasoning
Use your favorite mix or try our simple homemade blend (recipe below).
- Black Beans
Beans add fiber, vitamins and minerals to these taco cups. You can swap them out with favorite canned bean in their place. Vegetarian refried beans are also super tasty.
- Diced Peppers or Tomatoes
Vegetables add crunch, fiber and fresh flavor. We like to add ours after baking, but they can be added with the other filling ingredients if you prefer a softer veggie.
- Shredded Cheese
You can't have tacos with CHEESE! Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend adds that gooey, cheesy touch.
Salsa makes the perfect topper. For tasty variations, replace salsa with enchilada sauce, pico de gallo, or hot sauce!
- Guacamole and/or Sour Cream
We like to add healthy dollops of guac and sour cream to our tacos right after pulling them from the oven. When serving as a party appetizer, we alternate guacamole and sour cream for serving.
- Cilantro, Scallions, and Jalapeños for topping
The sky is the limit when it comes to toppings! Freshly chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeños red chili flakes - use your favorites!
Why We Love This Cut
Flank Steak is one of our most-used cuts of beef and we're sharing a few reasons why we love cooking with it so much.
- A lean, yet very flavorful cut. Flank Steaks don't require much to make them shine. A simple dry rub or marinade enhances this cut's natural flavor and tenderness. Slicing thinly against the grain helps ensure a tender, delicious finished product.
- It provides important nutrients. Each 3 oz cooked serving contains about 24 grams of high quality protein and supplies 10 essential nutrients like zinc, iron, choline, and B vitamins important for growth and development.
- Cooks Quickly. Flank Steaks are best prepared when seared, braised, or grilled and can make tasty and nutritious weeknight dinners happen fast.
- Versatile Cut. From steaks to wraps to a quick stir fry, Flank Steak is a perfect choice.
How To Make This Recipe
Start by preparing your beef. Remove any patches of visible fat, then slice AGAINST the grain into thin strips. This helps ensure the beef stays tender and juicy when cooked.
Once sliced, toss strips with taco seasoning. Place in the fridge while you prepare your tortilla cups. Dry rubs can be applied up to 2 hours prior to cooking.
Gently fold tortillas into muffin tray cups and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until crisp on all edges. "Cups" should hold form when removed from tray.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with a splash of avocado oil and cook strips for 2-3 minutes, each side, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
Fill tortillas with beef, beans, and cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Add dollops of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa to cups and garnish with cilantro, scallions, and any additional favorite toppings.
Serve with a fresh salad and enjoy!
Mini Beef Taco Cups
- 12 street taco flour tortillas
- 1 lb beef Flank Steak
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 cup canned, rinsed black beans
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- ½ cup salsa
- guacamole and sour cream for topping
- cilantro, scallions, jalapeño slices for garnish
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- ¼ cup garlic powder
- 2 tbsp seasoned salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Trim visible fat off of steak. Slice steak, against the grain, into thin ¼" strips. Season generously with taco seasoning.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet and avocado oil over medium high heat. Cook beef strips for 2-3 minutes, each side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Let rest for 5 minutes prior to dicing into bite-sized pieces.
- Gently fold tortillas into each cup of muffin tray. If tortillas are too rigid, gently warm between damp paper towels in the microwave for 5-second intervals.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until tortillas are slightly crisp on all sides.
- Fill cups with beef and beans and top with cheese. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Top with diced peppers, salsa, and all of your favorite toppings. Pair with a fresh salad and enjoy!