Homemade CrunchWrap

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Taco Bell style homemade crunchwraps – a beef tortilla wrapped over a tostada shell with lettuce, cheese, and pico de gallo – are a delicious, easy, family favorite dinner at home!

A stack of CrunchWrap tacos on a plate with tomatoes and lettuce.
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Homemade chicken quesadilla on a plate.

Taco Bell Style Crunchwrap

A Taco Bell-style Crunchwrap is a masterful blend of textures and flavors, ingeniously packaged in a portable, grilled tortilla wrap. Inside, layers of seasoned ground beef, warm nacho cheese, crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes, and reduced-fat sour cream offer a symphony of taste with each bite. The centerpiece is a crunchy tostada shell, which provides an unexpected and satisfying crunch, contrasting beautifully with the soft outer tortilla. Taco Bell’s innovative folding technique ensures all the delicious ingredients stay neatly contained, making it a mess-free option for on-the-go dining.

The Crunchwrap has become a fan favorite for its unique structure, combining traditional Tex-Mex elements in a novel and convenient form. It’s a testament to Taco Bell’s knack for creating inventive fast-food items that resonate with a wide audience, maintaining its popularity over the years.

These crunchwraps are one of my family’s favorites and my kids love them in their school lunches!

Homemade quesadillas on a plate next to a tiled wall.

How to Make Crunchwraps

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  • Ground beef (1 lb) – Ground beef is the hearty base of the crunchwrap, seasoned and cooked to savory perfection, providing a substantial and satisfying filling.
  • Taco seasoning (2 tbsp) – Taco seasoning infuses the ground beef with a blend of spices and herbs, imparting a bold, Tex-Mex flavor.
  • Water (2 tbsp) – Water is mixed with taco seasoning to create a flavorful sauce that evenly coats and cooks the ground beef.
  • Large flour tortillas (8) – Large flour tortillas serve as the versatile and soft outer wrap, holding all the delicious ingredients together in a neat package.
  • Nacho cheese sauce (1/2 cup) – Creamy nacho cheese sauce envelops the ingredients in a gooey, spicy layer, adding depth and a slight kick.
  • Tostada shells (4) – The tostada shell is the crunchwrap’s secret weapon, offering an essential crispy layer that defines its unique texture.
  • Sour cream (1 cup) – A dollop of sour cream contributes a creamy tanginess that enhances the overall flavor profile of the crunchwrap.
  • Shredded lettuce (2 cups) – Crisp lettuce introduces a cool, crunchy texture, balancing out the warmth of the cooked ingredients.
  • Chopped tomatoes (1 cup) – Fresh diced tomatoes add a juicy, refreshing burst of flavor that contrasts with the rich, savory components.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup) – Sharp cheddar cheese brings a bold, tangy taste that complements the savory fillings of the crunchwrap.
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 cup) – Monterey Jack cheese adds a mild, buttery flavor that melts beautifully within the layers of the crunchwrap.
  • Oil (1 tbsp) – A splash of oil is essential for grilling the crunchwrap to achieve that golden, crispy exterior.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following process:

Brown Beef. Heat a skillet to medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned. Add the taco seasoning and saute for one minute. Add the water and let simmer 2 minutes till well combine, set aside.

Trim Tortillas. Stack 4 of the tortillas and place a tostada shell on top. Use a sharp knife to cut around the edges of the tostada so that the four tortillas are the same size as the tostada shell.

Assemble. Lay out the four uncut large flour tortillas, add scoop of ground beef and drizzle some nacho cheese sauce on top. Place a tostada shell on top of each. Spread sour cream over each shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, and cheeses. Place the smaller cut tortillas on top. Gently fold the edges of the large tortilla toward the center. Quickly turn it over so the pleats are on the bottom. Repeat with the other 3 crunchwraps.

Brown. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the crunchwraps seam-side down, cook about 3 minutes on each side till well browned. Combine the salsa and sour cream in a bowl and dip crunchwraps in it, enjoy!

Two homemade quesadillas are stacked on a plate.

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Crunchwraps

Choose the Right Tortillas: Use large, burrito-sized flour tortillas for the outer layer. They need to be pliable and large enough to fold over the filling without tearing.

Get Creative with Fillings: While the classic Crunchwrap includes seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and a tostada shell, feel free to experiment with different proteins, veggies, and sauces to suit your taste preferences.

Season Your Protein Well: Whether you’re using ground beef, chicken, or a vegetarian alternative, make sure it’s well-seasoned. A mix of spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder can add great flavor.

Crisp for the Crunch: The tostada shell or a crispy corn tortilla inside the Crunchwrap is essential for that signature crunch. Make sure it’s well-toasted but not burnt.

Layer Wisely: Start with a base layer of your seasoned protein on the tortilla, add the crispy tostada shell, then layer on the cold ingredients like sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. This structure ensures a mix of textures and temperatures in every bite.

Fold Properly: To fold the Crunchwrap, start at the bottom of the tortilla and fold the edge up to the center. Continue folding in a clockwise direction, slightly overlapping each fold, until all edges are folded in and the filling is completely enclosed.

Seal It Tight: To keep the folds in place, quickly sear the folded side in a hot, non-stick pan for a few seconds. This helps create a seal so the Crunchwrap doesn’t unfold during cooking.

Cook Evenly: Cook the Crunchwrap on a medium heat to ensure the outside gets crispy without burning, while the inside gets thoroughly heated. Pressing down with a spatula can help ensure even cooking.

Serve Immediately: Crunchwraps are best enjoyed fresh off the skillet. Serving them immediately ensures you’ll get the perfect blend of crispy and soft textures.

Dipping Sauces: Don’t forget to serve your Crunchwrap with your favorite dipping sauces. Salsa, guacamole, queso, or an extra dollop of sour cream can all add an extra layer of flavor.

A homemade plate with two CrunchWrap tacos on it.

FAQs

What size tortilla is best for making a Crunchwrap?

Use large, burrito-sized flour tortillas, typically around 10 to 12 inches in diameter. They need to be big enough to fully enclose the fillings once folded.

Can I use a different protein instead of ground beef?

Absolutely! Feel free to use ground turkey, shredded chicken, pulled pork, or even vegetarian alternatives like black beans or seasoned tofu. Just ensure it’s well-seasoned to keep the flavors vibrant.

How do I prevent the tortilla from tearing when folding?

Ensure the tortillas are at room temperature or slightly warmed up to make them more pliable. Avoid overstuffing with fillings, and fold gently but firmly. You can also use a smaller tortilla or large lettuce leaf on top of the fillings before folding to help hold everything in place.

What can I use if I don’t have a tostada shell for the crunch?

You can use a few tortilla chips or a crispy corn tortilla as a substitute. The key is to have that crunchy element to contrast with the soft tortilla and fillings.

How do I keep the Crunchwrap closed while cooking?

Start by cooking the Crunchwrap seam-side down in a hot, non-stick pan. The heat will help seal the edges. You can also press down gently with a spatula to ensure good contact with the pan and help seal it further.

Can Crunchwraps be made in advance?

Crunchwraps are best served immediately after cooking to maintain the crispiness. However, you can prepare the fillings in advance and assemble and cook the Crunchwraps when ready to serve.

Are Crunchwraps suitable for freezing?

It’s not recommended to freeze assembled Crunchwraps as the crispy elements will become soggy upon reheating. Instead, you can freeze the cooked protein and other freeze-friendly components separately, then assemble and cook the Crunchwrap fresh.

How do I reheat leftovers?

Reheat leftover Crunchwraps in a skillet over medium heat to help crisp up the tortilla again. You can also use an oven or air fryer set to a low temperature to warm through without making the tortilla too hard.

Can I make Crunchwraps in the oven?

While pan-frying is the preferred method for getting a crispy exterior, you can bake Crunchwraps in the oven. Place them seam-side down on a baking sheet, brush with a little oil, and bake at a moderate temperature until heated through and crispy. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

What are some healthy alternatives for a traditional Crunchwrap?

For a healthier version, consider using whole wheat or low-carb tortillas, lean proteins like ground turkey or chicken, and adding more vegetables. You can also use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream and opt for low-fat cheese.

A homemade plate with two CrunchWrap tacos on it.

What to Enjoy with Crunchwrap

Guacamole: A creamy, rich dip that pairs perfectly with the crunchy and savory flavors of the Crunchwrap.

Salsa: Choose from a variety of salsas, such as pico de gallo, salsa verde, or a spicy habanero salsa, to add a fresh and zesty kick.

Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream can add a cool, tangy contrast to the warm, spicy flavors of the Crunchwrap.

Queso Dip: A warm, cheesy queso dip can be a decadent addition, perfect for dipping or drizzling over your Crunchwrap.

Spanish Rice: Serve a side of flavorful Spanish or Mexican rice for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Refried Beans: A side of creamy refried beans complements the textures and flavors within the Crunchwrap.

Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob, seasoned with butter, salt, and chili powder, makes a great side dish.

Cilantro Lime Rice: For a lighter side, opt for a refreshing cilantro lime rice that pairs well with the savory fillings.

Salad: A simple salad with a lime or cilantro dressing can add a fresh and light element to balance the meal.

Chips and Dip: A side of tortilla chips with your choice of dips like guacamole, salsa, or queso can add an extra crunch.

Grilled Vegetables: A mix of grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms can add a healthy and flavorful side.

Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites): This creamy, spicy salad made from corn, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, lime, and chili powder is a flavorful accompaniment.

Margaritas or Mexican Beer: Complement your meal with a refreshing margarita or a cold Mexican beer for a complete dining experience.

Churros or Flan: Finish off with a sweet touch by serving churros with chocolate sauce or a smooth and creamy flan.

Try these other Tex Mex favorites:

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Homemade CrunchWrap with tomatoes and lettuce.
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Homemade CrunchWrap

Crunchwraps are a delightful Tex-Mex-inspired handheld meal, featuring a crispy tostada shell encased in a soft flour tortilla along with savory fillings, folded and grilled to perfection for a satisfying blend of textures and flavors.
Course Tacos
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword crunch wrap, quesadilla, taco, taco bell crunchwrap
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 520kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • ½ cup nacho cheese sauce
  • 4 tostada shells
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tbsp oil

Crunchwrap Sauce

  • ¼ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet to medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned. Add the taco seasoning and saute for one minute. Add the water and let simmer 2 minutes till well combine, set aside.
  • Stack 4 of the tortillas and place a tostada shell on top. Use a sharp knife to cut around the edges of the tostada so that the four tortillas are the same size as the tostada shell.
  • Lay out the four uncut large flour tortillas, add scoop of ground beef and drizzle some nacho cheese sauce on top.
  • Place a tostada shell on top of each. Spread sour cream over each shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, and cheeses. Place the smaller cut tortillas on top.
  • Gently fold the edges of the large tortilla toward the center. Quickly turn it over so the pleats are on the bottom. Repeat with the other 3 crunchwraps.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the crunchwraps seam-side down, cook about 3 minutes on each side till well browned.
  • Combine the salsa and sour cream in a bowl and dip crunchwraps in it, enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 30g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 1707mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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