DIY Ta-Cones: Fun, Healthy & Portable Taco Cones

Preparation 13 min.
Cook Time 16-18 min. (plus 5 min. cooling)
Total Time 13 minutes
Serves 9-10 Taco Cones (see note)     adjust servings

 

Ingredients

Taco Meat Filling (enough filling for about 9-10 Taco Cones, see note)

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion (from about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar thick and chunky salsa (see note)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (preferably organic or reduced-sodium), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (no need to thaw if frozen)
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning (see note)
  • 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

DIY Cones (ingredients listed are enough to make 1 cone, the exact number of cones you will need to make varies – see note on yield)

  • 1 Flatout flatbread (we like MultiGrain with Flax for this recipe)
  • 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/16 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Optional Additional Fillings and Toppings

  • chopped lettuce (we use romaine), chopped tomatoes, additional minced cilantro, reduced-fat sour cream, hot sauce, and/or your other favorite taco toppings

Instructions

Taco Meat Filling:

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, onions, and garlic until ground beef is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to crumble beef. Drain if needed.

Add salsa, black beans, corn, and taco seasoning to skillet, stirring thoroughly to combine. Continue cooking about 5 minutes longer, until heated through.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheese and cilantro.

Cones (refer to photos in post for a step-by-step visual guide):

Meanwhile, for each cone, lay one flatbread on a large microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle the flatbread evenly with cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese on top of seasonings, concentrating more of the cheese toward the outer edges of the flatbread.

Microwave flatbread for about 30-45 seconds, just until cheese is melted. Remove flatbread from microwave and immediately (while cheese is still very melty) roll it into a cone shape, bringing the short ends toward each other. Press firmly but gently around the edges to make sure they are sealed by the melty cheese.

Place a crumpled ball of parchment paper (NOT aluminum foil, wax paper, or paper towel) into the cone to help it hold its shape. With the cone laying on its side on the plate, sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon cheese in a little pile near the tip of the cone. Return the cone to the microwave for about 30 seconds, just until the teaspoon of cheese is melty. Remove flatbread from microwave and immediately fold tip of cone up, gently pressing it into the teaspoon of melted cheese to hold it securely in place and close off the tip of the cone.

Set cone aside until you're ready to proceed with filling it and serving. We find that allowing the cones to sit for at least 5 minutes is ideal, as they are still quite pliable and floppy when first removed from microwave. They harden a bit to a perfect, more rigid texture after sitting for about 5 minutes. Remove parchment paper from cone before filling.

To Fill Each Taco Cone:

Depending on exactly how many additional toppings you choose to layer in, you will probably use roughly 1/3 cup of taco meat mixture for each cone. Begin by stuffing some of the warm meat mixture into the very bottom of the cone. Layer the remaining taco meat with fillings such as shredded lettuce and tomato, so that the extra toppings are interspersed throughout the cone and not just all piled on the taco meat at the top of the cone.

Serve immediately.

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Recipe Notes

Yield: This recipe makes about 7 cups of taco meat filling. Exactly how many Taco Cones this will ultimately yield depends on (1) how many taco toppings (shredded lettuce, tomato, etc.) you layer into each cone, (2) how tightly you wrap your cones, which will dictate how much room is available for fillings, and (3) how high you pile the filling in each cone (to keep them less messy, we recommend not overfilling them).

Salsa: We highly recommend choosing a thick and chunky variety, so the filling isn't too runny and messy. Additionally, we typically use a mild salsa, but you can opt for something more spicy if that's what your family enjoys.

Taco seasoning: We recommend avoiding taco seasoning mixes that contain MSG. Also, there are differences in the amounts of sodium (and other ingredients) in various brands, so it's a good idea to read the nutrition information for the brands offered at your store.

Make-ahead options: Both the cones and the meat filling can be made up to a few days in advance, before the final Taco Cones are completely assembled. Store the cones and the taco meat separately in air-tight bags or containers in the refrigerator. The taco meat filling can be rewarmed as one big batch, or you can heat up a little filling at a time to make single-serving Taco Cones all throughout the week. For the cones, if you would like, just before filling them, you can re-microwave each one – with parchment paper stuffed inside – for about 15-20 seconds to take the chill off, and then fill them with rewarmed taco meat filling and additional toppings.

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