This is the perfect Cheesy Gordita Crunch Copycat Recipe, just like the one found at Taco Bell! It's a hard shell taco wrapped in flatbread stuffed with cheese.
How to make this recipe
Heat a large skillet over high heat, breaking up ground beef with a spoon and seasoning with salt & pepper. Add taco seasoning and cook for 10 minutes until fully cooked.
Make your spicy ranch sauce: mix sour cream with ranch seasoning and hot sauce.
Divide cheese overtop of flatbreads, then bake in the oven for 5 minutes until cheese has started to melt.
Divide taco meat among hard taco shells and set aside.
Remove from oven, then wrap flatbreads around hard taco shells. The cheese acts as a glue.
Add spicy ranch sauce to tacos, followed by lettuce and a tiny bit more cheese. Serve and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Extra-lean ground beef – extra lean ground beef will keep this recipe leaner than other ground beef options. However, if you're looking to shed even more calories off of this dish, use ground chicken or turkey in place of ground beef.
- Taco seasoning – if you don't have taco seasoning, you can make your own by mixing equal parts of chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of chili flakes.
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Hard taco shells – the hard taco shell adds the crunch to this recipe, but you can create your own hard taco shell from a regular corn tortilla.
- Cheddar cheese – cheddar cheese will give you the authentic Taco Bell taste but Tex Mex blend, or another grated cheese of your choice will work.
- Mini flatbreads – mini flour tortillas or mini corn tortillas will also work in place of flatbreads.
- Iceberg lettuce – the iceberg lettuce will add the fresh crunch to the tacos but if you are in a pinch you can use chopped romaine lettuce.
Spicy ranch sauce
- Sour cream – sour cream is a calorie conscious choice for this recipe but an alternative is to just use ranch dressing instead
- Ranch seasoning – use a store bought ranch seasoning blend or make your own by combining dried parsley, onion flakes, garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper.
- Hot sauce – opt for a pepper hot sauce like Tabasco, Frank's or Cholula.
Making the spicy ranch sauce
Making the spicy ranch sauce is easy! You will need sour cream, ranch seasoning and hot sauce. To make the spicy ranch sauce, all you have to do is combine your sour cream, ranch seasoning and a chili pepper based hot sauce like Tabasco.
To take this ranch sauce to the next level, add dried buttermilk powder or nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste. I know that these two ingredients can be pretty difficult to find in the grocery store so they're optional!
Here are a few swaps you can make to the spicy ranch sauce recipe I have listed:
Sour cream: I used sour cream to cut the calories in this recipe but you can use ranch sauce instead. If you do, this omits the need to use any ranch seasoning.
Ranch seasoning: Use store-bought ranch seasoning or make your own by combining dried parsley, onion flakes, garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper.
Hot sauce: Use a chili pepper based hot sauce like Tabasco, Frank's or Cholula.
Cheesy Gordita Crunch calories
The cheesy gordita crunch from Taco Bell is 500 calories per taco. With my recipe, four servings (four tacos) are listed at 426 calories. This means you can enjoy four tacos with less guilt than Taco Bell's cheesy gordita crunch.. Not only are you able to make four delicious tacos for less calories, you're also able to make them within less time than it would take to go through the drive thru to purchase them!
Storing and reheating
If you have any leftovers, you will be able to store them in the fridge. Just wrap your tacos without any toppings in foil, store them in the fridge for up to three days and when you're ready to enjoy them warm them up in the oven while they're wrapped in foil. After the tacos have warmed up, put the spicy ranch and your toppings on and enjoy!
You can also double the portion of ground beef and add any leftovers in the freezer for up to three months in an air tight container. When you're ready to enjoy your leftover meat just transfer the frozen beef from the freezer to the fridge the night before. After it has defrosted, warm the beef in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
More restaurant copycat recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- I get all my free-range beef from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze any leftover beef in glass meal prep bowls for up to 3 months
- Get these metal taco holders for easy assembly – they can be used to heat tacos into the oven too!
Cheesy Gordita Crunch Copycat Recipe
- 1/2 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 hard taco shells
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided (plus more for serving)
- 4 mini flatbread
- 1 cup iceberg lettuce
Spicy ranch sauce
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp ranch seasoning
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce (such as tabasco)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat a large skillet over high heat, breaking up ground beef with a spoon and seasoning with salt & pepper. Add taco seasoning and cook for 10 minutes until fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, mix sour cream with ranch seasoning and hot sauce. Divide taco meat among hard taco shells and set aside.
- Divide cheese overtop of flatbreads, then bake in the oven for 5 minutes until cheese has started to melt. Remove from oven, then wrap around hard taco shells, pressing gently.
- Add spicy ranch sauce to tacos, followed by lettuce and a tiny bit more cheese. Serve and enjoy!