Taco Bell Chalupa Supreme copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Taco Bell Chalupa Supreme

Score: 5.00. Votes: 3
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I’m not sure when it happened, but it appears Taco Bell recently changed its seasoned beef recipe. I hacked the recipe several years ago for the book TSR Step-by-Step, and I recall the recipe had much more oat filler, so that’s how I cloned it. Taco Bell came under fire in 2011 for the significant amount of oats in the recipe that the chain was listing as “spices,” and after that, Taco Bell was more transparent about ingredients. But somewhere along the way it appears the company tweaked the recipe to include less filler and more flavor, so I decided I had to create a new Top Secret Recipe for the beef.

This recipe makes a duplicate of the beef currently served at Taco Bell. If you want to turn it into a Chalupa—which the restaurant makes by deep frying the flatbread used for Gorditas—the instructions are here. But you can also use this new, improved beef hack for anything you’re copying, whether it's tacos, burritos, Enchiritos, Mexican Pizzas, or a big pile of nachos.

The secret ingredient in our hack is Knorr tomato bouillon. This flavor powder adds many ingredients found in the original recipe and provides the umami savoriness that’s required for a spot-on clone of the famous seasoned ground beef. To get the right flavor, you need to find "Knorr Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor" powder, in a jar. Not the bouillon cubes.

Smother your creation in mildhot or diablo sauce. Try all my Taco Bell copycat recipes here

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Seasoned Beef
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef (20% fat)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili powder (I used Gebhardt)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Knorr tomato bouillon with chicken flavor powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 (6-inch) flatbreads
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/Jack blend
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Taco Bell
    • Instructions
      1. Make the seasoned beef by combining everything except the water in a medium bowl. Use your hands to work all the dry ingredients into the ground beef, then transfer the beef to a large sauté pan over medium heat.

      2. Break up the meat as it cooks. Continue cooking until no more pink is showing and there are no large chunks of beef.

      3. Add the water and cook for about 4 minutes or until the water has cooked out. Cover and set aside.

      4. To make the chalupa shells, fill a large skillet with 2 inches of vegetable oil and preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.

      5. When the oil is hot, add a flatbread and fry it for 10 seconds, then use tongs to fold it in half while it's in the oil. Hold the flatbread there for a bit until it doesn’t open up, then fry it for 30 seconds per side or until golden brown. Remove to a rack or a paper towel–lined plate to drain and repeat with the rest.

      6. Build each chalupa clone by spooning seasoned beef into a fried shell. Add sour cream on top of the beef, then add lettuce and tomato, and top it off with the shredded cheese blend.

      Makes 4 servings.
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Score: 5.00. Votes: 3
Rating of votes (3)
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david fullerton
May 5, 2021, 00:34

Hot Dog!!! Finally, a good recipe for Taco Bell's seasoned beef. We've tried to make a copycat / clone of it, and we got pretty close. But, I think that this recipe is SPOT-ON. Not sure about the Chalupa, but the Taco Meat is as close to Taco Bell's as you can make at home. Or, at least in my opinion, it is.

Michele Jacobs
May 28, 2019, 17:21

The seasoning for the beef is spot on! Haven’t tried the flatbread- usually make fry bread, but I’m sure good and way easier. If anyone is looking for a great copycat, this is the one.

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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