Copycat Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Copycat Taco Bell's Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
You can make a spot-on copycat of Taco Bell's Cheesy Gordita Crunch at home in under 30 minutes.

Updated: Mar. 26, 2024

Who doesn’t love a good copycat recipe? From a copycat Crunchwrap Supreme to Chipotle’s chicken recipe, any time we can bring a homemade version of our favorite fast food or restaurant menu item into our kitchens, we’re happy. This copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch recipe from Taco Bell is no exception.

Loaded with perfectly seasoned beef and a drizzle of spicy ranch dressing, these tasty tacos are encased in a fluffy flour tortilla and finished with tasty taco toppings. Added bonus? This is one restaurant copycat recipe that even beginner home cooks can master. It’s easy, it’s cheesy and it can be on your table in under 30 minutes. Now that’s what we call fast food!

Cheesy Gordita Crunch Ingredients

Copycat Cheesy Gordita CrunchTMB Studio

  • Ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • Water
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Flour tortillas
  • Taco shells
  • Spicy ranch salad dressing
  • Optional toppings: Additional shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped red onion and lime wedges

Directions

Step 1: Brown the beef

Copycat Cheesy Gordita CrunchTMB Studio

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.

Step 2: Season the beef

Copycat Cheesy Gordita CrunchTMB Studio

Stir in the taco seasoning and water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: You can use store-bought taco seasoning or make this homemade seasoning for tacos.

Step 3: Melt the cheese

Copycat Cheesy Gordita CrunchTMB Studio

Meanwhile, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over one side of each tortilla. Place on a microwave-safe plate; heat, uncovered, on high for 15 to 20 seconds or until cheese is melted.

Editor’s Tip: Not into prepping one shell at a time? Use the oven instead. Arrange the flour tortillas on a large sheet pan. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese, then transfer the tray to a preheated 400°F oven. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese starts to melt; remove the tray, and immediately wrap each cheesy tortilla around a taco shell. Return to the oven for another 1 to 2 minutes. Then finish the recipe as directed below.

Step 4: Add the ‘crunch’

Copycat Cheesy Gordita CrunchTMB Studio

Immediately wrap each tortilla around a taco shell while they’re still warm.

Step 5: Fill and serve

Copycat Cheesy Gordita CrunchTMB Studio

Fill with beef mixture, drizzle with spicy ranch dressing and serve with the taco toppings of your choice.

Editor’s Tip: You can choose your favorite brand of spicy ranch or make your own. We especially love this jalapeno ranch dip!

Cheesy Gordita Crunch Tips

How can you make a Cheesy Gordita Crunch your own?

While our recipe sticks to the original Cheesy Gordita Crunch ingredients, don’t be afraid to deviate. Make this recipe with seasoned ground chicken or turkey, try it with a batch of slow cooker al pastor pork or use the filling from this vegan taco recipe.

If you’re feeling ambitious, play around with making your own flour tortillas or pillowy homemade naan, which is closer to what Taco Bells uses to wrap their Cheesy Gordita Crunch tacos.

Can you make a Cheesy Gordita Crunch ahead of time?

While the cheesy taco shells are best prepped just before serving, you can certainly make the rest of the recipe ahead for on-demand Cheesy Gordita Crunch tacos anytime you want them. Prep the seasoned beef as directed and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also prep any taco toppings ahead and store them in individual containers until ready to serve.

Copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 flour tortillas (6 inches)
  • 8 taco shells, warmed
  • 8 tablespoons spicy ranch salad dressing
  • Optional toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped red onion and lime wedges

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over 1 side of each tortilla. Place on a microwave-safe plate; heat, uncovered, on high for 15-20 seconds or until cheese is melted. Immediately wrap each tortilla around a taco shell. Fill with beef mixture. Drizzle with spicy ranch dressing. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Nutrition Facts

1 taco: 357 calories, 22g fat (9g saturated fat), 60mg cholesterol, 929mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 18g protein.