Give Taco Night a fun new twist! You’ll make the whole family grin from ear-to-ear when you toast tortillas to create Crazy Taco Faces for dinner this week.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to be a contributor to Kleinworth & Co, a very creative blog where Gina Kleinworth shares recipes, gift ideas, crafts, simple and cost effective ways to decorate your home, creative and fun projects for the kids and photography tips. One of the ideas I shared was Crazy Taco Faces, a fun food idea you can make with your kids. At our house, Tuesday dinner is typically “Taco Tuesday”, but we like to mix it up by offering a wide variety of Mexican dishes in addition to traditional tacos. Some weeks we have enchiladas; some weeks we have fish tacos; and some weeks we have shredded beef tortilla wraps. Anything of that genre is fair game for “Taco Tuesday” at our house, so you can imagine how delighted my kids were when we decided to make Crazy Taco Faces one Tuesday for dinner.
How to Make Crazy Taco Faces
Crazy Taco Faces are a creative twist on traditional soft tacos. You and your kids will have a blast using olives, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots and taco sauce to make silly faces. If your family prefers crispier tacos, I would suggest you spritz or lightly brush all of the corn tortillas with olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes before you begin assembling the Crazy Taco Faces. This will make the corn tortillas crispier from the beginning. Otherwise, they tend to get soft once you add the beans, meat and cheese.
What You Need:
- 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1 pound of ground beef or turkey
- 1 chopped onion (optional)
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 1 can of refried beans
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Black olives
- Shredded carrots
- Grape tomatoes
- Shredded romaine lettuce
- Taco sauce
1. Prepare the ground beef or turkey. In a large pan on the stove, brown the ground beef or turkey. Throw in a chopped onion if you choose. Once the meat is browned, add the packet of taco seasoning and water (per the instructions on the packet).
2. Create the first layer. Use cooking spray to lightly grease a large baking sheet. I also like to line the baking sheet with foil before I spray it to make clean-up after dinner a little easier. Place tortillas on the baking sheet for as many Crazy Taco Faces as you plan to make. Spread a thin layer of refried beans on each of the tortillas. You can skip the refried beans if you don’t care for them, but the refried beans really help the Crazy Taco Faces stick together.
3. Add ground meat. Spoon the seasoned taco meat on top of the refried beans for each of the Crazy Taco Faces.
4. Sprinkle with cheese. Shredded cheese also helps the Crazy Taco Faces to stick together, so liberally add cheese to each of the tortillas. We used mozzarella since that’s what we had on hand, but any shredded cheese will work for the inside of the Crazy Taco Faces.
5. Top with another tortilla and bake. Place a tortilla on top of each of the Crazy Taco Faces. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt inside the Crazy Taco Faces.
6. Add more cheese. Carefully remove the Crazy Taco Faces from the oven. The corn tortillas may have started to turn up at the edges, so gently push the edges back down. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top of each tortilla. Again, any cheese will work here as long as it’s the same color (e.g. I wouldn’t use a colby jack blend or something two-toned for this part). Return the Crazy Taco Faces to the oven and bake for another five minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
7. Add eyes and noses. Now is the fun part. Create faces by using black olives for eyes, half a grape tomato for a nose and shredded carrots for eyebrows. We returned ours to the oven for another 4 minutes but if they’re hot enough to you, you could move on to the next step.
8. Put on a happy face. Put taco sauce in a resealable bag, then cut off a small corner of the bag. Use the bag to creatively decorate your Crazy Taco Faces with smiles, frowns, or jagged monster grins.
9. Transfer the Crazy Taco Faces to plates and serve. Use a large spatula to move the Crazy Taco Faces from the baking sheet on to a plate. Top those silly guys and gals with shredded lettuce for hair before serving.
Crazy Taco Faces makes a fun family dinner or a heavier snack if you’ve got leftover taco meat in the fridge from another meal. They’d also work great with shredded chicken or fish. If you’re a vegetarian you can skip the meat altogether and just go with the refried beans. No matter how you change them up, one thing is for certain — when your kids see this meal, they’re going to smile as big as these Crazy Taco Faces!
Before you go, check out these other Easy Dinner Ideas!
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