Serves 3-4.
Prep Time:
Total Time:
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Homemade chalupa shells are so much better than Taco Bell! These can be filled pretty much any Tex-Mex filling!
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Helpful Equipment:

Thermometer good tongs

How to make your own chalupas with shells that are crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. These shells hold up to a lot of filling.


1 pound ground beef
1/4 onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 Teaspoons cumin seeds (I left mine whole but you could toast them and grind them if you wanted)
1 Teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 Teaspoon cayenne
Pinch of salt

Chalupa Shell: (I found this recipe that I adapted. I was happy with it)

Makes 6 shells, I recommend doubling it so you have some room for error.
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 Cup milk
Oil for frying

Additional Toppings:

Grated cheese
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Sour cream


1) Add oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Once your oil is hot, add onions and let them cook for a few minutes until they soften. Then add all the spices and cook for another minute.

2) Stir in ground beef and cook over medium heat until beef is browned.

3) Prep other ingredients like lettuce, cheese, and any other toppings you want.

4) For the shells, add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir them together. Then cut the butter in until it resembles pea-sized pieces. I just used my fingers for this.

5) Stir in the milk and bring the dough together into a ball.

6) Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 even pieces.

7) Heat about two inches of frying oil to 350 degrees in a shallow pan.

8) Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it out to a 6 inch circle.

9) Gently slide the dough into the hot oil. It should immediately float and puff. Let the dough fry for 30 seconds on side one. Use tongs to flip the dough over and gently fold the dough in half (like a taco shell). Hold the dough in that shape as it fries for 30 seconds. Roll the shell over to cook evenly. It should be done after about 2 minutes of frying.

10) Remove the shell and let it drain on a paper towel. When it’s fried, it should hold it’s shell shape. Repeat with all the shells. You can keep the finished shells warm in a 200 degree oven.

11) After the shell has drained and cooled, fill them with ground beef and lots of toppings.