Easy Chicken Taco Bowls for Cinco De Mayo

Easy Chicken Taco Bowls for Cinco De Mayo
Easy Chicken Taco Bowls for Cinco De Mayo

By Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor of EatingWell

How many meals can you make with a corn tortilla? The outside-the-box cooks in the EatingWell Test Kitchen gave themselves the challenge of creating a few new dinners based on corn tortillas for the May/June 2013 issue of EatingWell Magazine. But they really outdid themselves with this new Chicken Taco Bowls recipe and guess where they found their inspiration? At the bottom of a muffin tin.

Easy Chicken Taco Bowls for Cinco De Mayo
Easy Chicken Taco Bowls for Cinco De Mayo

By flipping the muffin tin over and nestling a tortilla into the creases between four cups, they were able to turn softened tortillas into little bowls. They filled the bowls with an easy-to-whip-up filling of chicken and your favorite healthy taco toppings.

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To make the bowls, you'll first need to warm the tortillas to prevent them from cracking and breaking. Here are three ways to warm your tortillas:

In the oven: Wrap stacks of 8 tortillas in foil; place in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

On the stove: Turn a gas or electric burner on high. Using tongs, slide one tortilla at a time over the burner for a few seconds, alternating sides, until it's softened and beginning to char. Cover tortillas to keep warm.

In the microwave: Wrap a stack of 8 tortillas in a barely damp, clean kitchen towel (or paper towel); microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds.

Chicken Taco Bowls
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Makes: 4 servings, 2 "bowls" each
Active time: 45 minutes | Total: 45 minutes
Equipment: Muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups

This chicken taco bowl recipe uses the underside of a muffin tin as a mold to bake cute little homemade "tortilla bowls." The "tortilla bowls" are filled with a zesty chicken filling and topped like nachos. If you have 2 large muffin tins, you can make all 8 "bowls" at once. Bake them in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, rotating top to bottom about halfway through baking.

8 6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil cooking spray
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup prepared green salsa
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup thinly sliced lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced ripe black olives

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Heat tortillas until warm (see Tips, above). Coat each side of 4 tortillas with cooking spray. (Keep the remaining 4 tortillas covered.) Turn a 12-cup muffin tin upside down. Nestle a tortilla in the space between 4 cups to form a "bowl". Repeat with 3 more tortillas, making 4 bowls total. Bake until firm and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining 4 tortillas.
3. Meanwhile, toss chicken with garlic powder and salt in a bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it is no longer pink on the outside, about 3 minutes. Add salsa and cook, stirring, until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 3 minutes more. Cover and remove from the heat.
4. Fill each tortilla bowl with about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture. Top with 1 tablespoon each cheese and sour cream, 2 tablespoons each lettuce and tomato and a few olives.

Per serving: 401 calories; 21 g fat (7 g sat, 9 g mono); 74 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 25 g protein; 4 g fiber; 707 mg sodium; 395 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (35% daily value).

What's your favorite filling for a corn tortilla or taco?

By Wendy Ruopp

Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.

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