• Tex-Mex Chalupas with Quick, Easy Taco Filling

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    Tex-Mex Chalupas with Quick, Easy Taco Filling
    Prep: 30 min Cook: 15 min Servings: 6
    by Marlin Rinehart
    25 recipes
    What Texans call 'chalupas' are called tostadas outside the state. This is my quick and light summertime favorite meal when the Texas weather is hot and I have little appetite to eat. Two or three chalupas make a very satisfying meal.


    • Chalupa shells (tostadas), crisp fried unfolded corn tortillas
    • Quick and Easy Taco Filling (recipe follows)
    • Canned refried beans, heated (optional – don’t use if filling is thickened with refried beans)
    • Chopped lettuce
    • Diced tomato
    • Pico de gallo or Salsa
    • Shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
    • Sour cream, optional
    • Quick and Easy Taco Filling:
    • 1 pound ground dark turkey (Don’t use ground turkey breast. It’s too lean and dry. The flavor won’t be right, either.)
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 small jalapeño chili, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced, optional
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons tomato catsup or tomato sauce
    • Salt to taste


    1. Make taco filling: Cover the bottom of a saucepan with about ½ inch or less water and bring to a boil. Add chopped onion and jalapeño and cover pan. Lower temperature to simmer and cook 3 or 4 minutes until almost tender. Remove lid and add ground turkey. Raise the burner temperature. Mash the turkey and stir around until no chunks remain, and the meat looses its red color. It should be boiling. Add chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder and catsup or tomato sauce. Lower burner temperature and cook 3 or 4 minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking or burning. Taste and add salt, if necessary. There shouldn’t be much liquid remaining. Then thicken with one of the following methods…
    2. Method 1: Stir in 1 tablespoon masa harina (corn tortilla flour) and cook for a minute or two until thickened.
    3. Method 2: Stir in one-half can refried beans and continue stirring until heated through.
    4. Assemble chalupas:
    5. Cut lettuce in narrow shreds. (I prefer to use green leaf lettuce or romaine in place of iceberg because of its flavor.) Sprinkle lettuce lightly with salt and a teaspoon or two of fresh lime juice or white vinegar. Add diced tomato and toss with fingers.
    6. Allow 2 or 3 chalupa shells per person if served as a meal. Spread the chalupa shells with refried beans, if used, then with taco filling. Top with lettuce mixture and grated cheese. Serve with salsa or pico de gallo to spoon on top and sour cream, if desired.

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