How to Make a Cheesy Gordita Crunch

How to Make a Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Prep Time:
20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For Assembling:
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 tablespoons special seasoning (recipe in notes – optional)
8 mini taco size whole wheat tortillas
8 hard taco shells
spicy ranch dressing (homemade in notes)
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
fresh cilantro, limes, avocado, and hot sauce for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the ground meat and onion. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks until it is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt. Add 3/4 cup water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly around the meat, about 10 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, lay the flour tortillas flat onto 2 baking sheets. Evenly divide the Mexican cheese blend between each tortilla. Sprinkle the Doritos seasoning over the cheese (if desired). Bake 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Add the hard shells to the center of each tortilla, pressing one side of the shell into the cheese. Bake another 2-3 minutes. Fold the remaining cheesy side onto the hard shell, pressing the shell into the cheese.
  4. Spoon the meat evenly into each shell. Top with the spicy ranch, lettuce, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Serve immediately with any amount of desired toppings…avocado, hot sauce, yogurt, cilantro, salsa, whatever you love!


Special Seasoning: In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese.

Spicy Ranch: Mix 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons buttermilk, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives, 1 finely chopped jalapeño, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried dill, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper in a glass jar or measuring cup. Squeeze in some lime juice.