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Making The Taco Bell Chalupa At Home | But Better

This is far from a traditional chalupa, but by golly we are gonna make it better.

This is far from a traditional chalupa, but by golly we are gonna make it better.

Chalupa Shell:

  • 2.5 cups (375g) all purpose flour

  • 2.5 teaspoons (11g) baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon (7g) fine sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) vegetable oil

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk

  • 2 quarts (2000 ml) frying oil

Seasoned Beef:

  • 1.25 lbs (560g) fatty ground beef (1lb/450g Chuck roast, ¼ lb/112g bacon)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons (35g) tomato paste

  • 1.5 teaspoons (2g) cumin powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon (1g) mushroom soup base powder

  • 2 teaspoons (3g) smoked paprika

  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

  • 1 cup (240ml) water

Queso Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced

  • 1 poblano, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon (9g) all purpose flour

  • 1.5 cup (360ml) milk

  • 1/2 lb (225g) cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1/3 lb (150g) yellow American cheese, grated

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, very thinly sliced

  • 1/2 jicama, peeled, and very finely julienned

  • 3 tablespoons (11g) cilantro, very finely chopped


  • Full fat sour cream

  • 1 roma tomato, diced

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 cup (200g) cheddar cheese, fresh grated

  • 1 cup (200g) Monterey cheese, fresh grated

  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


Chalupa Shell:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add flour, sea salt, granulated sugar, baking powder, and whisk all that together. Add milk and vegetable oil.

  2. Mix by hand until you form a rough dough. Knead for 2-4 minutes. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

  3. Divide dough into 8 even pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into disks about 6 inches wide. Using a fork, lightly poke holes throughout the entire rolled dough.

  4. In a large pot of frying oil heated to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit, place the dough and allow to fry for 15 seconds. Remove and form into a taco shape using a pair of tongs. Place back into the frying oil, use the tongs to keep the taco shape. Fry for another 30 seconds, until the dough maintains its shape without the tongs. Fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove and drain on a wire rack and season to taste with salt.

Seasoned Beef:

  1. Heat a medium sized saucepot over medium high, and add the ground beef. Press the beef down with your hand and sear for 3 minutes.

  2. Begin stirring the ground beef often until the beef begins to crisp.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add tomato paste. Saute for 1 minute.

  4. Add cumin powder, onion powder, mushroom soup base powder, smoked paprika, and salt to taste. Continue cooking for 30 seconds.

  5. Add water and bring to a boil over medium high. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Cut the heat, and add the garlic. Mix until incorporated.

Queso Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepot, heat the butter until melted over medium high. Add in yellow onion, poblano, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes or begin to soften. Add flour and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add milk, and continue to heat and stir constantly until the milk begins to thicken. Cut off the heat and add in cheddar cheese and American cheese.

  3. Gently stir until everything is melted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.


  1. In a medium sized bowl, add iceberg lettuce, jicama, and cilantro. Toss together until incorporated.

Let's Get Cooking

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