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If you haven’t tried a chalupa, get ready for a next level taco experience! This Taco Bell chicken chalupa recipe starts with a puffy, crispy shell and ends with seasoned chicken, cheese and all the fixins.
Homemade chalupas are easy and fun to make, and they’re incredibly yummy. No wonder they’re such a cult favorite!
Here’s my step-by-step guide to making this popular fast food, complete with the most delicious puffy flour tortillas and tasty fillings.
What is a Chalupa?
A chalupa is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of a fried masa dough base, shaped like a boat, and filled with various ingredients.
Traditional chalupas can have many regional variations, but the concept generally involves a crispy shell holding a delicious combination of flavors.
Ingredients for this Taco Bell Chicken Chalupa Recipe
Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to create this tasty copycat recipe:
The Chalupa Shells
The Chalupa Filling
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
- Cheddar cheese
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
How to Make a Chicken Chalupa Supreme
Prepare the Chalupa Dough
The dough comes together easily. Just mix the flour, milk, salt, baking powder and oil together in a bowl. It will form a shaggy dough that you’ll have to work together with your hands.
Place it onto a work surface and knead it for a minute or two so it forms a smooth dough ball.
Then, divide the dough into 8 pieces. I like to cut it into wedges like a pizza.
Now, form each piece into a little ball. Roll each piece out into a circle and pierce it with a fork all over.
Fry the Chalupas
Have your pan of oil ready. The oil should be heated over medium heat. Check the oil by dropping a few drops of water in. If the water sizzles, the oil is ready.
Now, place a circle of dough into the hot oil.
Using kitchen tongs, quickly fold one side of the circle over the other and hold it there. It should only take 1-2 minutes for the chalupa to turn a golden brown color.
Then, gently turn the chalupa shell over to brown the other side.
Once both sides are golden brown and puffed, remove the shell from the oil and place it on a wire rack so that the excess oil can drip off.
Prepare the Chalupa Filling
Coat the chicken in the dry seasonings and pan fry it in a little bit of vegetable oil. Then, slice the chicken into strips.
Assemble the Chicken Chalupas
Spread some sour cream into the chalupa shell. Then, fill it with sliced chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Yum!
Variations and Toppings Ideas
- Avocado Ranch Sauce: Drizzle a creamy avocado sauce over your chicken chalupa for a rich and flavorful addition. Blend mashed, ripe avocados with ranch dressing for a tangy sauce to top your chalupa.
- Pico de Gallo: Fresh pico de gallo adds a burst of freshness with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice. It provides a vibrant and tangy flavor that complements the savory chicken.
- Pickled Red Onions: Add a zesty kick with pickled red onions. Simply soak thinly sliced red onions in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and salt for a quick and tangy topping.
- Chipotle Mayo: Spice things up by mixing mayonnaise with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This smoky and spicy mayo will add a kick to your copycat taco bell chalupas.
- Cotija Cheese Crumbles: Sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese over the top for a salty and crumbly texture, a different twist from traditional cheddar cheese.
- Protein Swaps: Try ground turkey or ground beef for a textural variation on the chalupa filling.
How to Store Chalupas
Chalupas are really best enjoyed fresh. The crispy shell tastes best right after it’s been made, either warm or at room temperature.
That said, if you want to store chalupa shells, place them into an airtight container and store them at room temperature. Reheat them in a warm oven for 1-3 minutes to restore some of their crispy texture.
When you make this chicken chalupa supreme recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a star rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more Mexican recipes, try these:
- Easy Hot Elote Dip Recipe (Mexican Street Corn)
- Easy and Delicious Mexican Rice Recipe
- Baked Chicken Rolled Tacos (Taquitos)
For more copycat recipes, try these:
- Super Saucy Daytona Wings Recipe (Hooters Copycat)
- Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe (Crumbl Copycat)
- Starbucks Grilled Cheese at Home
Chicken Chalupa Supreme Recipe (Taco Bell Copycat)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- 1 tomato diced
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 3/4 tsp. cumin
- 3/4 tsp. paprika
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil + more for frying
Make the Chalupa Shells
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the milk and oil and mix to combine.
- Form the dough into a ball using your hands. (You might need to knead it for a few minutes). Divide the dough ball into 8 equal pieces.
- Heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough into a circle (it doesn't have to be perfect). Pierce the surface with a fork.
- Using a pair of tongs, place the dough circle into the oil and immediately fold it over to form a taco shell shape. Hold it in shape using tongs until the bottom half (that is in the oil) turns golden brown. Carefully turn it over so that the other side cooks until golden brown.
- Remove the chalupa shell from the oil and place it on a wire rack to cool.
Make the Chicken
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan.
- Combine the dry seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Toss the chicken breasts in the seasonings to coat. Pan fry the chicken until cooked through, about 7-8 minutes each side.
- Remove the chicken onto a cutting board and slice thin.
Assemble the Chalupas
- Spread sour cream into the chalupa shell. Follow with chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomato.