Taco Ranch Bites



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 (1-oz) package taco seasoning
  • 1 (10-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8-oz) bottle Ranch dressing
  • 75 frozen phyllo tart shells (15-count packages)


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cook Ground Beef: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Season Beef: Add the taco seasoning and diced tomatoes and green chiles to the cooked ground beef. Stir well to combine, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Prepare Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cheddar cheese, Ranch dressing, and the cooked taco meat mixture. Stir until well combined.
  5. Fill Tart Shells: Place the frozen phyllo tart shells on a baking sheet. Spoon the taco meat mixture into each tart shell, filling them to the top. If you prefer, you can freeze the filled tart shells at this point for later use.
  6. Bake: Bake the filled tart shells in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If baking from frozen, add an additional 2-3 minutes to the baking time.
  7. Serve: Once baked, remove the taco ranch bites from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy: Serve these delicious Taco Ranch Bites as appetizers at your next gathering or enjoy them as a tasty snack any time!

These Taco Ranch Bites are seriously delicious and easy to make with just 6 ingredients. Plus, you can make them ahead and refrigerate or freeze them for later convenience. Enjoy!

Here are some helpful tips to make your Taco Ranch Bites even more delightful:

  1. Customize Seasonings: Experiment with different taco seasoning blends to find the perfect flavor profile for your taste preferences. You can also adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less diced tomatoes and green chiles.
  2. Add Fresh Ingredients: Incorporate fresh ingredients such as diced onions, bell peppers, or jalapeños to the taco meat mixture for added flavor and texture. You can sauté these veggies with the ground beef for extra depth of flavor.
  3. Use Quality Cheese: Opt for high-quality cheddar cheese for the best flavor and meltability. You can also mix in other types of cheese such as Monterey Jack or pepper jack for a more complex flavor profile.
  4. Enhance Ranch Dressing: Consider adding additional seasonings or fresh herbs to the Ranch dressing for an extra burst of flavor. Chopped cilantro, garlic powder, or a squeeze of lime juice can take the dressing to the next level.
  5. Try Different Tart Shells: While phyllo tart shells work well for this recipe, you can also experiment with other types of tart shells such as mini pie crusts or wonton wrappers for a unique twist.
  6. Garnish Before Serving: Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, or diced tomatoes over the baked Taco Ranch Bites just before serving to add freshness and visual appeal.
  7. Serve with Dipping Sauce: Offer a variety of dipping sauces such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream on the side for dipping your Taco Ranch Bites. This adds another layer of flavor and allows guests to customize their bites.
  8. Make Ahead and Freeze: Take advantage of the make-ahead and freeze option by preparing a large batch of Taco Ranch Bites and freezing them in airtight containers. They can be reheated in the oven straight from the freezer for a quick and convenient appetizer or snack.

By following these tips, you can elevate your Taco Ranch Bites to new heights of deliciousness and impress your guests with their irresistible flavor and texture. Enjoy!

Here are some secrets to help you achieve perfection:

  1. Balance Flavors: Aim for a balance of flavors in the taco meat mixture. Ensure that the taco seasoning provides a savory and slightly spicy kick, while the diced tomatoes and green chiles add acidity and a hint of heat. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed before filling the tart shells.
  2. Properly Drain Ingredients: After cooking the ground beef and adding the taco seasoning and diced tomatoes with green chiles, make sure to drain any excess liquid from the mixture. This will prevent the tart shells from becoming soggy during baking and ensure a crispy texture.
  3. Use Pre-Shredded Cheese: Pre-shredded cheese typically contains anti-caking agents that can prevent clumping and ensure even melting. However, if you prefer freshly grated cheese, make sure to shred it finely to facilitate melting.
  4. Mix Ingredients Thoroughly: When combining the shredded cheddar cheese, Ranch dressing, and taco meat mixture, make sure to mix them thoroughly to evenly distribute the flavors. This will ensure that every bite of the Taco Ranch Bites is bursting with deliciousness.
  5. Fill Tart Shells Carefully: Fill each tart shell with the taco meat mixture, ensuring that they are filled to the top without overflowing. Use a spoon or small spatula to smooth the surface of the filling for even baking and presentation.
  6. Preheat Oven Properly: Make sure to preheat your oven to the specified temperature before baking the Taco Ranch Bites. A properly preheated oven ensures even cooking and helps to achieve a crispy, golden-brown crust on the tart shells.
  7. Monitor Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the Taco Ranch Bites while they are baking to prevent them from overcooking. Baking time may vary depending on your oven and the size of the tart shells, so check them periodically to ensure they are cooked to perfection.
  8. Serve Immediately: For the best texture and flavor, serve the Taco Ranch Bites immediately after baking. The crispy tart shells and gooey cheese are at their peak deliciousness when enjoyed fresh out of the oven.

By following these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect Taco Ranch Bites that are sure to impress your family and friends with their irresistible flavor and texture. Enjoy!

Here are some popular questions and answers related to Taco Ranch Bites:

  1. Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef?
    • Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef in this recipe. Just make sure to cook the meat thoroughly and drain any excess fat before adding the taco seasoning and diced tomatoes and green chiles.
  2. Can I use homemade taco seasoning and ranch dressing?
    • Absolutely! You can use homemade taco seasoning and ranch dressing if you prefer. Adjust the quantities to taste, as homemade blends may have different flavor intensities compared to store-bought versions.
  3. Can I make Taco Ranch Bites ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the taco meat mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply fill the tart shells and bake them according to the recipe instructions.
  4. Can I freeze Taco Ranch Bites?
    • Yes, you can freeze the assembled taco ranch bites before baking. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place the frozen tart shells on a baking sheet and bake according to the recipe instructions, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
  5. Can I use a different type of cheese?
    • Yes, you can experiment with different types of cheese to customize the flavor of your Taco Ranch Bites. Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican cheese blend would all work well in this recipe.
  6. Can I add additional toppings?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to customize your Taco Ranch Bites with additional toppings such as diced onions, black olives, jalapeños, or chopped cilantro. Add these toppings before or after baking, depending on your preference.
  7. Can I serve Taco Ranch Bites as a main dish?
    • While Taco Ranch Bites are typically served as an appetizer or snack, you can certainly enjoy them as a main dish alongside a salad or other side dishes. Just adjust the portion size accordingly.
  8. Can I reheat leftover Taco Ranch Bites?
    • Yes, you can reheat leftover Taco Ranch Bites in the oven or microwave until warmed through. They may not be as crispy as when freshly baked, but they will still be delicious.

These are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers related to Taco Ranch Bites. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!