Mini Chicken Taco Cups

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to taco night – it was definitely one of my favorite meals we had. Not much has changed now that I’m an adult :) I don’t actually make tacos at home all that often though, at least not the basic version I remember from childhood with the seasoned ground meat. We’ve expanded our horizons a bit with a few fish tacos that have become favorites, but recently I craved something more nostalgic and though we certainly aren’t opposed to it on occasion, I was hoping to avoid a certain fast food take-out restaurant.

We had leftover shredded chicken in the fridge so I opted to use that instead of the ground turkey I might otherwise have turned to in creating these tacos. I didn’t find any tortillas in the house, but that was probably a good thing, as it motivated me to try these adorable wonton cups I’ve had bookmarked for a while. The idea is really simple – brush wonton wrappers with a little oil, then shape them into cups using a mini muffin pan and bake until golden and crisp. They were the perfect little vessels for our tacos, sturdy enough to stand up to lots of filling without any rips or tears. You could make any kind of taco you want with these, or even fill them with your favorite salads or dips. The possibilities are endless!

Mini Chicken Taco Cups

Everything is cuter in mini form, and it turns out tacos are no exception :) Cinco de Mayo is quickly approaching and I think these would be great on your menu, maybe even with a few different fillings. I have a couple more ideas for Cinco de Mayo coming your way this week. Assuming, of course, I can stop watching Revenge long enough to get them posted. I just started watching that show last week and am completely hooked! Anyone else a fan?

Mini Chicken Taco Cups
wonton cups from Ellie Krieger, otherwise TCA original

{Note: The recipe calls for just a little bit of crushed tomato. You could definitely use canned, but I didn’t want to open a whole can just for a small amount so I actually pulsed some tomatoes in my mini prep and used that instead.}

Wonton Cups
24 wonton wrappers
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Tacos
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning (I used this recipe to make mine)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
tomatoes, lettuce, scallions, sour cream, avocado, salsa (or your favorite taco toppings)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray your mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (mine has 24 wells-if yours only has 12, you’ll need 2).

Working with a few of the wonton wrappers at a time, lay them on your work surface, and brush both sides with a little of the oil. Press each into one of the wells of the mini muffin tin – the sides will overlap and stick up over the top of the well. Repeat until you’ve brushed all of the wontons and fit each into the pan. Sprinkle the salt evenly among the cups. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the wonton cups are crisp and golden brown.

To make the filling: Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, and when it starts shimmering, add the onion to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the taco seasoning, cooking just for a minute or so to toast the spices. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the chicken to the pan, mixing to coat the chicken in the spices. Add the crushed tomato and chicken broth, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cooking just for a few minutes until the liquid has mostly evaporated.

To assemble: Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture into each wonton wrapper. Top with about 1 teaspoon of cheese per cup (you could use more if you wanted, but I left space for other toppings). Place the wonton cups back in the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese and warm the chicken through. To serve, top the mini tacos with your favorite taco fixings – I used sour cream, tomatoes and scallions.

Makes 24 mini tacos