5 Taco Bell-Style Recipes You Can Make At Home

On busy weeknights when you’re short on time after work, you may find yourself making your way to the drive-through once or twice. And for those sick of burgers and fries, Taco Bell is a no-brainer. Nutritionally speaking, it’s not the best option. It’s no secret that the food you’re getting is greasy and unhealthy, and eating out all the time does damage on your wallet, too. It’s time to see how you can have a Taco Bell-style dinner that’s just as tasty and twice as healthy. Here are five recipes that rival some Taco Bell originals.

1. Chicken Quesadilla

Chicken quesadilla

Chicken quesadilla | iStock.com

A classic and a favorite among Taco Bell lovers, the chicken quesadilla is cheesy on the inside with some solid crunch on the outside. The spicy cheese sauce is the real star, and you can easily make it at home. Here is Todd Wilbur’s recipe to make the perfect copycat chicken quesadillas.

Ingredients:

For the creamy jalapeño sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeño slices (bottled)
  • 2 teaspoons juice from jalapeño slices (from bottle)
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt

For the chicken

  • 4 chicken breast tenderloins
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 large flour tortillas (10 inches in size)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 slices American cheese

Directions: Begin by making the creamy jalapeño sauce. Combine all of the jalapeño sauce ingredients into a small bowl, cover and chill so the flavors can develop, stirring occasionally. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Marinade the chicken tenderloins in vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the tenderloins for 3 to 5 minutes each per side. Slice the chicken thinly when finished.

To build your quesadillas, preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Lay one tortilla into the hot pan and put about ¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a ¼ cup of shredded jack cheese on half of the tortilla. Use half a slice of American cheese and place with other cheeses. Arrange about a ¼ cup of sliced chicken over the cheese and spread 1 tablespoon of your jalapeño sauce over the empty half of the tortilla. Fold the sauce-covered half of the tortilla over onto the half that is filled with cheese and chicken and press down with a spatula. Cook for about a minute, turning the quesadilla over to brown on the other side. Slice into four pieces and serve.

2. Crunchwrap Supreme

Browning ground beef

Browning ground beef | iStock.com

The Crunchwrap Supreme is a staple on Taco Bell’s menu — it delivers texture, flavor, and satisfaction. This hexagonal meal is similar in style to a quesadilla, and is packed with beef, cheese, and fresh veggies. The homemade version is equally delicious, and it just happens to be healthier. Try this recipe from Life In The Lofthouse and you certainly will not be disappointed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can nacho cheese or queso cheese dip
  • 6 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 6 tostada shells or corn tortillas
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Nonstick spray for cooking

Directions: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef through and crumble it. Drain the grease and stir in the taco seasoning mix, adding water if the seasoning calls for it. Warm the nacho cheese sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Warm the flour tortillas by putting them on a plate and microwaving them for 20 seconds.

To begin assembly, lay a flour tortilla on a flat surface. Spread ½ cup of taco meat onto the center of the tortilla and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of your warm nacho cheese over the meat. Place one tostada shell or crispy corn tortilla on top of the meat. Spread a layer of sour cream over the tostada shell and top with lettuce, tomato, and shredded Mexican cheese.

To fold the crunchwrap, begin with the bottom of the tortilla and fold the edge up over the center. Work your way around folding the flour tortilla over the fillings in the center. When you finish, there will be a spot left open in the center — here, you can cut a small piece of a flour tortilla and tuck it in the center so that it is covered. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and grease with cooking spray. Working one at a time, cook wrap, cut-side down, until golden and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is golden, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with remaining wraps. Serve at once.

3. Taco Bell’s Classic Tacos

taco with chili con carne

Fresh tacos with tortilla chips and salsa | iStock.com

Maybe your ideal meal is just a plate of tacos loaded with beef, cheese, and whatever fresh toppings you want without any other bells and whistles. This copycat recipe for a classic Taco Bell taco calls for plenty of spices to make your own seasoning blend, which recreates the flavor perfectly. Here’s Blog Chef’s recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1⅓ pounds lean ground chuck
  • 1½ tablespoons masa corn flour
  • 4½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon beef bouillon
  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ head shredded lettuce

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine masa corn flour, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt, paprika, cumin, garlic salt, sugar, minced onion, and beef bouillon. Mix your seasoning and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the meat into the skillet and cook until browned, breaking the meat up into small chunks using a spatula as it cooks. Drain off the excess and add ¾ to 1 cup of water and the homemade taco seasoning to the cooked beef. Mix well and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until almost all of the moisture has cooked away.

Place your taco shells into a baking dish and into the over for 7 to 10 minutes to crisp and warm. Before assembling your tacos, allow the shells to cool a bit. For assembly, add a few tablespoons of taco meat and add lettuce and cheese on top. Serves 6.

4. Enchirito

cheesy enchiladas with red enchilada sauce

Cheesy enchiladas with red sauce and rice | iStock.com

This delicious concoction has all of the usual burrito suspects — beef, beans, and cheese — plus an enchilada sauce and even more cheese. This menu item is no longer available, but have no fear, you can easily recreate this recipe yourself. See how with this version from Amanda’s Cookin’.

Ingredients:

  • 6 extra-large flour tortillas (burrito size)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix (or try this homemade blend)
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 (15-ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can enchilada sauce or Amanda’s homemade sauce
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Brown the ground beef and drain, and add taco seasoning mix and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Prepare your homemade enchilada sauce or empty can of sauce into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Warm refried beans and tortillas — both can be warmed in the microwave.

To assemble, spoon 2 tablespoons of seasoned beef into the middle of the tortilla. Add diced onion to taste and 3 tablespoons of refried beans over beef. Fold into a burrito and top with warm enchilada sauce. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top. Alternatively, you can also place your burritos in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake the burritos uncovered for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the cheese is melted. Serve at once.

5. Bacon A.M. Crunchwrap

Breakfast taco with eggs, cheese, and tomatoes

Breakfast taco with eggs, cheese, and tomatoes | iStock.com

If breakfast is more your style, then you’re probably loving the Taco Bell breakfast menu. Filled with bacon and eggs in a crispy shell, the Breakfast Crunchwrap with bacon is a delicious morning treat. You don’t even need the drive-through, because this recipe is one you can easily make at home — you might even make it a new breakfast staple. Here is From Away‘s recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 strips diced bacon
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 frozen hash brown patty
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large flour tortilla or flour wrap
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons spicy ranch dressing
  • Hot sauce, if desired

Directions: In a skillet set over medium-high heat, brown bacon until crispy. Transfer to paper towels, drain and set aside. Once the pan is cool, clean the fat out of the pan with a paper towel. Then, add oil to skillet and heat until simmering. Add frozen hash brown patty and fry, flipping occasionally until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a paper towel and clean out pan with paper towel once again. Add butter to the pan and add eggs, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally with spatula until eggs scramble. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble, heat tortilla in microwave for a few seconds until soft. Top with one slice of cheese, add scrambled eggs, and add bacon. Then, top with the hash brown patty and as much spicy ranch or hot sauce as desired. Fold the top part of the tortilla down to cover the filling halfway, and continue folding the tortilla into a hexagonal shape, moving in a clockwise motion. Place folded tortilla seam side down in a skillet over medium-high heat. Press the wrap down with a spatula and grill until sealed and browning, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Serve with hot sauce.