Air Fryer, Appetizers, Football + Tailgating

Easy Mini Tacos Appetizer Baked in the Air Fryer

Nothing is better than tacos, except Mini Tacos! These bite-sized beef tacos baked in the air fryer are the perfect party appetizer.

Tacos are my absolute favorite food, but regular tacos are difficult to serve for parties or tailgating. The toppings and filling drip everywhere! But these Mini Tacos are the perfect solution! They have all of the flavor of a big taco, but bite-sized! Create mini taco shells in the air fryer, fill them with seasoned beef, and finish them with your favorite taco toppings! This mini taco recipe is an easy appetizer and takes less than 30 minutes to create!

Mini tacos with ground beef and crispy shells topped with sour cream and tomatoes.

These mini taco bites are a big hit for game days or parties. It’s the perfect festive party food!

Serve these mini tacos with margaritas, like these Prickly Pear margaritas!

Ingredients for mini tacos including a plate of mini tortillas and bowls of ground beef, chopped tomatoes, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Ingredients for Beef Mini Tacos

  • Large Flour Tortillas – The best tortillas are the large burrito tortillas from Mission Foods. They yield about 9 to 10 mini tortillas per large tortilla. If you prefer gluten-free or corn tortillas, use those instead.
  • Ground Beef – Beef tacos were my favorite growing up. Ground beef is affordable and easy to cook. Sub for any taco meat, or no meat if you prefer. 
  • Taco Seasoning – Use your favorite pre-mixed taco seasoning, or taco sauce, or make your own! A traditional taco seasoning contains garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, and onion powder.
  • Shredded Cheese – Shred real cheddar cheese or colby jack cheese for these baby tacos. Freshly shredded cheese is better than pre-shredded cheese!
  • Lettuce – Chop lettuce into tiny pieces to top the tacos. I love the extra crunch of fresh lettuce on tacos.
  • Sour Cream – Use a teaspoon to add a tiny bit of sour cream to each taco.
  • Tomatoes – Finely chop tomatoes to use as an additional topping.
Mini tacos with ground beef and crispy shells topped with sour cream and tomatoes on a dark gray plate.

Equipment Needed for These Air Fryer Mini Tacos

  • Mini Muffin Pan – A small mini 12-cup muffin tin is the perfect size to turn small tortillas into hard taco shells. The small circles fit perfectly between two muffin cups when the pan is upside down.
  • Circle Cookie Cutter – A small, round 2.5-inch or 3-inch cookie cutter is the perfect size for small taco shells. Metal cookie cutters will slice through the tortilla more easily, but plastic ones also work.
  • Air Fryer – An oven-style air fryer, or an air fryer with a large drawer to accommodate the muffin pan is the best option for this recipe. However, you could use silicone cups, or aluminum foil to hold the tortillas in a U-shape while cooking them. That would work for any size air fryer.
  • *Oven – If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make these mini tacos in a regular oven. Just follow the air fryer instructions and add an additional 2 minutes to the cooking time.

How to Make These Easy Mini Tacos

These mini beef tacos are the perfect appetizer for game day or a fun and easy weeknight dinner! The mini taco shells are the perfect bite-sized snack.

Step One – First, make the miniature taco shells from a large tortilla. Use a circle cookie cutter to cut multiple mini tortillas from the large tortillas. A large burrito tortilla will yield about 9-10 tiny soft tacos.

Step Two – Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. While the air fryer is preheating, flip a mini muffin tin upside down. Place a tiny cut-out tortilla in the space between two muffin cups. This forms a U-shaped taco shell. Each pan holds 9 taco shells.

Step Three – Bake the shells in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 8 minutes until golden brown. The results are light and crisp miniature hard taco shells. They make the perfect crispy tacos.

Step Four – While the shells bake, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with your favorite taco seasoning to flavor the meat.

Step Five – After the shells are finished in the air fryer, fill each pocket with the seasoned beef. 

Step Six – Next, add your favorite toppings to the mini tacos. Top the beef with shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and tomatoes. It’s the perfect little bite full of taco night flavor!

Mini tacos with ground beef and crispy shells topped with sour cream and tomatoes on a dark gray plate.

Arrange the miniature tacos on a serving platter or a large plate. Squeeze a little fresh lime over them before serving. The trace of lime flavor adds additional flavor to the little bites. If you’d like, serve the tacos with a side of sour cream or taco sauce for dipping.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftover mini tacos in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They may become soggy in the fridge if they are full of toppings. I’d recommend storing the leftover shells and toppings separately. Store the mini shells in a large ziplock bag at room temperature. Store the filling and toppings in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make a Tiny Taco Bar!

Offer your guests the opportunity to make their own little tacos. Bake the miniature hard taco shells and arrange the empty shells on a large serving platter. Serve them with different fillings, like ground beef, shredded chicken, carnitas, or beans. Make a variety of toppings and sauces available to your guests as well.

Mini tacos with ground beef and crispy shells topped with sour cream and tomatoes on a gray plate on wooden board and white towel.

Alternative Filling and Topping Ideas

  • Chicken – Make shredded chicken or use leftover rotisserie chicken to create a mini crispy chicken taco.
  • Taco Sauce – Make your taco spicy with a little taco sauce or hot sauce.Radishes – The bitter crunch of radishes adds a lot of delicious flavor to your tacos.
  • Cojita Cheese – Cojita is a salty, flavorful cheese that adds delicious flavor to any dish.
  • Jalapeño Peppers – Spicy jalapeños, or green chilies, add a kick to this easy recipe.
  • Guacamole – This is my favorite recipe for homemade guacamole. Or buy a tub of guac at the store.
  • Black Olives – If olives are one of your favorite taco fillings, then add them too!
A hand holding a mini taco above a plate of mini tacos with ground beef and crispy shells topped with sour cream and tomatoes.

These perfect little tacos are delicious and adorable. Your whole family will love them!

If You Love This, Try These Recipes Too!

Mini tacos with ground beef and crispy shells topped with sour cream and tomatoes.

Mini Tacos

Nothing is better than tacos, except Mini Tacos! These bite-sized beef tacos baked in the air fryer are the perfect party appetizer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Assembly Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 30 tacos

Equipment

  • 1 mini muffin tin
  • 1 2.5"- 3" circle cookie cutter
  • 1 air fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large flour tortilla
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup lettuce finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tomato finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Use the circle cookie cutter to cut multiple mini tortillas from the large tortillas. A large burrito tortilla will yield about 9-10 mini tacos.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Flip a mini muffin tin upside down. Place a tiny tortilla in the space between two muffin cups to form a U-shaped taco shell. Each pan holds 9 taco shells.
  • Bake the shells in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 8 minutes until golden brown.
  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat with taco seasoning.
  • After the shells are finished in the air fryer, fill each pocket with the seasoned beef.
  • Top the beef with shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and tomatoes.
  • Arrange the miniature tacos on a serving platter or a large plate.
  • Squeeze a little fresh lime over the tacos before serving.
Keyword taco dip

One Comment

  1. These mini tacos are so cute and look delicious, Ashley!!

    Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

    Make Life Marvelous

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