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All your favorite taco fixings inside a warm, fluffy piece of fried bread! Homemade chalupas are a knockout dinner the whole family will go crazy over.

Switch up taco night and try some of these other Mexican-inspired recipes next: molletes, tostadas, or chile relleno!

3 chalupas on a blue-green serving platter.

What is a Chalupa?

If you’ve never had one from Taco Bell before, here’s what a chalupa is and why they’re so great! Chalupas are a tasty Mexican dish known for crispy fried tortillas topped with various delicious ingredients. (You can customize them however you like!) This recipe makes fresh chalupa wraps by mixing flour, baking powder, and milk to create the dough. After frying, you fill them with seasoned ground beef, pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado, lettuce, and cheese.

Give making chalupas at home a shot – it’s easier than you’d think! You’ve got basic ingredients and straightforward directions to whip up these mouthwatering Mexican goodies right in your own kitchen. So whip up a fresh batch of fry bread, grab your toppings, and get ready to create a dinner the whole family will love!

For the Chalupa Shells:

Chances are you have everything in your pantry to whip up the delicious fried wraps. From there, all you need is some taco meat, fresh veggies, and any sauces or dressings you’d like to add!

  • All-Purpose Flour: To give your chalupa wraps structure.
  • Baking Powder: A leavening agent that helps the chalupa wraps rise and become nice and airy.
  • Salt: So the wraps don’t taste bland!
  • Whole Milk: Adds moisture and richness to the dough.
  • Vegetable Oil: Used for frying the chalupa wraps until they’re crispy and golden.

Toppings

  • Ground Beef: The main protein for the chalupa filling. You can also use ground pork, turkey, minced chicken, or chorizo if you wish!
  • Diced White Onion: Adds a mild, sweet onion flavor to the ground beef filling.
  • Taco Seasoning: So the meat has the perfect amount of flavor. Use packaged taco seasoning or try making your own!
  • Water: So the meat mixture stays moist.
  • Pico de Gallo: A fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. You can also use any other kind of salsa you prefer, or omit it entirely.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Adds a rich, cheesy flavor to the chalupas.
  • Diced Avocado: For some creamy goodness.
  • Lettuce: Shredded to add crunchy texture.
  • Sour Cream: A creamy, tangy topping that complements the flavors of the chalupas.

How to Make Homemade Chalupas

I know it can be intimidating to fry your own chalupa wraps, but trust me, it’s actually pretty simple! The dough is super easy to make, and each wrap only needs to be fried for a couple minutes in a skillet or saucepan. No deep fryer needed!

Chalupa Wrap

  1. Dry Ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, baking powder, and salt whisk by hand to combine.
  2. Add Milk: Pour half the milk into the bowl and using a dough hook, mix the dough on medium speed, gradually add more of the milk until it has all been added.
  3. Rest: Once everything has come together and the dough is smooth, remove it from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rest 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. Shape: When the dough has rested, divide it all into 2 inch rounds. Place the rounds on a floured surface and roll them all out about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. You can either roll them with a rolling pin or flatten and stretch them using your hands.
  5. Fry: Add the vegetable oil to a skillet and heat it up over medium high heat. When the oil is ready, begin frying the chalupa wraps one wrap at a time by carefully placing them in the oil, frying for 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer to Plate: The wraps should puff up and be a golden brown color. When they are done, remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil.
  7. Rest: Allow the wraps to rest a little before filling.

Fillings

  1. Heat Up Skillet: Heat a large skillet up over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook Beef and Onions: Place the ground beef into the skillet with the onions and cook the meat until it is nearly entirely browned, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add Water and Taco Seasoning: Add in the ¼ cup of water and taco seasoning, stir to coat all the meat entirely. Continue to cook until the beef has fully cooked and all the water has evaporated.
  4. Fill Wraps: Fill the chalupa wraps with a generous serving of meat, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado, lettuce, and sour cream.
  5. Enjoy: Serve fresh!
Collage of the wraps being fried and the ground beef being browned in a skillet.

Tips for Cooking Your Wraps

  • Let the Dough Rest: After whipping up your chalupa wrap dough, make sure you let it rest in a covered bowl. Allowing it to rest for around 45 minutes to an hour helps it relax, making it easier to handle when you’re shaping it.
  • Get Your Oil Hot: Your vegetable oil should be around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the chalupa dough. Test it by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil (it should sizzle) or using a cooking thermometer.
  • Fry in Small Batches: Don’t overcrowd your pan. Only fry one or two pieces of dough at a time so they cook through evenly!
  • Drain Excess Oil: After you fry them, transfer your chalupa wraps to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil.

Chalupa Toppings

You can customize the toppings as much as you want! Add black beans, refried beans, guacamole, sub out the ground beef for ground turkey, or any number of changes to fit your taste!

Closeup of 3 chalupas filled with beef and vegetables.

Storing Leftovers

Chalupas shine brightest when they’re served fresh and hot, straight out of the frying pan. Those crispy wraps and warm fillings? That’s what makes them irresistible! Although they’re best served immediately, if you have leftovers, here’s how to store them:

  • Leftover Wraps: If possible, store your wraps separately from the toppings so they don’t make the bread soggy. In an airtight container, your wraps will stay good for about 3 days at room temperature.
  • Meat and Toppings: My general rule of thumb is to keep taco meat in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat over the stove on medium heat with a splash of water if needed to add moisture. Avocados are best served the same day to keep them from turning brown, but pico de gallo and other veggies can be stored in separate containers in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Want to Serve Your Leftover Chalupas Warm?

For that freshly-baked effect, add your leftover chalupa wrappers to a baking sheet and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

A chalupa being picked up.

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Chalupas

By: Alyssa Rivers
All your favorite taco fixings inside a warm, fluffy piece of fried bread! Homemade chalupas are a knockout dinner the whole family will go crazy over.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Chalupa Wrap

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk warm
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Fillings

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ white onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Sour cream

Instructions 

Chalupa Wrap

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, baking powder, and salt whisk by hand to combine.
  • Pour half the milk into the bowl and using a dough hook, mix the dough on medium speed, gradually add more of the milk until it has all been added.
  • Once everything has come together and the dough is smooth, remove it from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rest 45 minutes to an hour.
  • When the dough has rested, divide it all into 2 inch rounds. Place the rounds on a floured surface and roll them all out about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. You can either roll them with a rolling pin or flatten and stretch them using your hands.
  • Add the vegetable oil to a skillet and heat it up over medium high heat. When the oil is ready, begin frying the chalupa wraps one wrap at a time by carefully placing them in the oil, frying for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • The wraps should puff up and be a golden brown color. When they are done, remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil.
  • Allow the wraps to rest a little before filling.

Fillings

  • Heat a large skillet up over medium high heat.
  • Place the ground beef into the skillet with the onions and cook the meat until it is nearly entirely browned, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add in the ¼ cup of water and taco seasoning, stir to coat all the meat entirely. Continue to cook until the beef has fully cooked and all the water has evaporated.
  • Fill the chalupa wraps with a generous serving of meat, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado, lettuce, and sour cream.
  • Serve fresh!

Nutrition

Calories: 2843kcalCarbohydrates: 323gProtein: 133gFat: 110gSaturated Fat: 44gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 43gTrans Fat: 6gCholesterol: 381mgSodium: 3250mgPotassium: 4782mgFiber: 12gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 1260IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 1781mgIron: 29mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican, Mexican American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m Mexican-American from Texas. I used to spend my summer vacations in Mexico. I don’t know what part of Mexico you got this recipe from, but the chalupas I remember started with a crispy corn tortilla deep fried in oil. Then you spread a layer of refried beans, a layer of your favorite shredded cheese, sprinkled lettuce and tomatoes and pico de gayo. You could also add avocado if you wanted. They were never served with bread.