Beef Taco Scoops

The Beef Taco Scoop: This fun-sized appetizer filled with refried beans, taco beef, and gooey cheese is perfect for your next party!
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. As Amazon Associates and through other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases if you click on a link – at no extra cost to you. We only promote products we actually use and truly love!

Alex and I were doing some creative brainstorming for new recipes the other night when inspiration struck. We were thinking about the foods we know best and how we could take a unique approach to them, and the conversation obviously found its way towards tacos. Who’s surprised at this point?

While imagining myself digging into a plate of delicious, crispy corn tortillas filled with beans and meat and cheese, an idea hit me. Ever since I was a kid, whenever we’d have beef taco night my sister and I would take a handful of Tostitos Scoops and make them into mini tacos. We’d take a spoonful of taco beef and whatever other toppings we had (which always included cheese) and carefully arrange it in a Scoop. It tasted just like a taco, but bite-sized! And it was the best way of eating up those delicious taco fillings once all the tortillas were gone…

So I began to wonder, could we make a “fancier” version of this ingenious mini taco that could be served as an appetizer or party snack? 

The answer: Oh yes we could.

Beef tacos in tortillas shaped like scoops served on a plate

As soon as I suggested the idea, Alex and I knew it would be a winner. That’s why our Beef Taco Scoops were the first of many recipes from our brainstorming session to be tried in the kitchen. And we have to say, it was more successful than we thought it would be! We had managed to achieve all the flavors and textures we’d imagined, all on the first try.

Aptly named after the inspiration behind them, our Beef Taco Scoops emulate the flavors of a crispy beef taco while capturing all the fun of eating mini tacos out of Tostitos Scoops. Made with yellow corn tortillas and filled with refried beans, taco meat, and shredded Mexican-blend cheese, these little snack bites taste just like the tacos I ate growing up. With a scoop of our Homemade Guacamole on top, they might just be the cutest tacos we’ve ever eaten!

Beef taco in a tortilla shaped like a scoop topped with guacamole.

These Beef Taco Scoops are also very easy to put together, as long as you have a muffin tin and a little bit of patience working with the tortillas. All you have to do ahead of time is cook up some taco beef. Then it’s just pressing tortillas into the muffin tin and filling them with beans, beef, and cheese! Bake them for only 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, crispy taco scoop snack.

Beef taco scoops assembled in a muffin tin before bakingBeef taco scoops assembled in a muffin tin before baking

Our Beef Taco Scoops make a great party snack or appetizer. If you’re a taco fanatic like us, they’re the perfect guest-friendly way to serve tacos at a party! They’re the optimal size for grabbing off a serving tray, and their fun Tostitos Scoops-style shells keep everything nicely contained (no messy overflowing tacos here!). They’re also super easy to bake, transport, and reheat if necessary. Just leave them in the muffin tin and you don’t have to worry about bumpy car rides (and accidental spills) on the way.

Although you might have to worry about eating them all before you even get to the party.

Beef taco in a scoop-shaped tortilla topped with guacamole with a bite taken out.

We’re already looking forward to serving these the next time we host a game night or football party! So if you’re looking for a tasty and easy taco-themed snack for your next party, try our Beef Taco Scoops. They’re sure to be a hit!

No ratings yet

Beef Taco Scoops

This fun-sized appetizer filled with refried beans, taco beef, and gooey cheese is perfect for your next party!
Servings 12 scoops
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg Old El Paso taco seasoning
  • ¼ medium red onion
  • 1 medium jalapeno
  • 8 oz canned refried beans
  • 12 small yellow corn tortillas
  • Shredded Mexican-blend cheese for topping
  • Homemade Guacamole* for topping


  • Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain excess liquid, then season with Old El Paso taco seasoning according to package directions.
  • While the beef is cooking, dice the red onion and jalapeno.
  • Transfer cooked beef to a bowl. Add red onion and jalapeno, stirring to combine, and set aside.
  • Heat refried beans in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring halfway through, until slightly warmed.* Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  • Place 3 corn tortillas between sheets of dampened paper towels and microwave for 15-20 seconds to soften.*
  • Transfer softened tortillas to the muffin tin, gently pressing the tortillas into the wells to form a cup shape.*
  • Scoop about a spoonful of refried beans into each tortilla cup, just enough for a layer on the bottom.
  • Next, scoop a few spoonfuls of the beef mixture into the tortilla cups, filling them almost to the top. Press down gently with the back of a spoon as you go to really pack in the filling.
  • Repeat steps 6-9 with the remaining tortillas, working in batches of 3 to form your taco scoops.
  • Just before baking, sprinkle the tops of each taco scoop with as much shredded Mexican-blend cheese as you desire.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Let cool for at least 2 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.*
  • Transfer taco scoops to a serving tray or plate, top with a dollop of guacamole, and serve!


Homemade GuacamoleTop these taco scoops with our easy homemade guacamole recipe for added flavor!
Refried beans: We recommend heating the refried beans just enough so that you can easily spoon them into the tortillas. They don’t need to be hot, since they’ll warm up plenty when the taco scoops go into the oven.
Softening the tortillas: Corn tortillas will break very easily if they aren’t warm, so don’t skip this step! We also recommend working in batches of 3, since you’ll want to shape and fill the taco scoops while the tortillas are still warm.
Forming the tortilla cups: This step can be tricky, so have some patience! Corn tortillas are pretty flexible when warm so you should only have to press very gently with a few fingers. Don’t worry if they don’t sit perfectly in the muffin tin wells at first – once you start filling them, they’ll sink in and take a more rigid shape.
Removing from the pan: The best way to get these out of the pan is with a butter knife. Slide it between the edge of the tortilla and the pan and gently pry each taco scoop out, using your free hand for extra support.
Preparing ahead of time: If you want to make these ahead of time for a party or potluck and need to travel with them, no sweat. Just prepare everything up to step 12 and seal the muffin tin tightly with plastic wrap. Once you’re at your destination, remove the plastic wrap and bake as normal!
Reheating leftovers: These reheat super well in the oven, and they don’t even need to go back in a muffin tin! Just place them on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for about 8 minutes. The tortillas will crisp up nicely this way.
Want more?Sign up for our newsletter here and never miss a new recipe!
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a rating and a comment below, and don’t forget to share with your friends and family if you loved it!
Share with us on Instagram!Post a picture of what you made and mention @candidcooksblog or tag #thecandidcooks!
Follow us on Pinterest!Visit our profile @thecandidcooks and don’t forget to pin this recipe!
Author: Nicole
Calories: 186kcal
Course: Appetizer, Appetizers, Snack, Snacks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ground beef, jalapeno, onion, party, refried beans


Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

Join our email list and never miss a new recipe!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Looking for kitchen inspiration? Head over to our shop to see what we cook with every day, plus recommendations for foodie gifts and eco-friendly products.


Join our email list to get new recipes delivered straight to your inbox every week. Plus, we'll send you a free copy of our weekly meal planner as a thank you!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

The Candid Cooks © Copyright 2021