Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Nicole McLaughlin
Yield
SERVES 6 (serving size: 2 tacos)

These cheesy nacho- and ranch-flavored tacos are, dare we say it, even better than the fast-food version. Pro-tip: If you can’t find cheese powder in your local grocery store (not surprising), no worries; you can use the packet of dry cheese mix from a box of macaroni and cheese (such as Kraft brand). You should only need 1 package for the amount of cheese powder called for in the recipe below.

How to Make It

Step 1

To make the “Cool Ranch” shells, preheat oven to 325°.

Step 2

Place tomato powder and next 6 ingredients (through ranch mix) in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until well combined. Transfer spice mixture to a medium bowl. Working 1 taco shell at a time, brush the exterior of the taco shells with canola oil using a pastry brush; sprinkle the exterior of each shell evenly with the tomato powder mixture, tapping against the side of the bowl to remove any excess. As you finish coating each shell, arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Step 3

To make the “Nacho Cheese” shells, place cheese powder and next 7 ingredients (through garlic powder) in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until dehydrated bell pepper is ground and all ingredients are well combined. Working 1 taco shell at a time, brush the exterior of the taco shells with canola oil using a pastry brush; sprinkle the exterior of each shell evenly with the tomato powder mixture, tapping against the side of the bowl to remove any excess. As you finish coating each shell, arrange in a single layer on the same large rimmed baking sheet with the “Cool Ranch” shells.

Step 4

Bake the “Cool Ranch” and “Nacho Cheese” shells at 325° for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly toasted.

Step 5

To make the taco filling, whisk together flour and next 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk in beef stock; set mixture aside.

Step 6

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef to pan; cook the beef, stirring and “chopping” with a wooden spoon to break it up, until the beef begins to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat and stir in beef stock mixture; cook 1 minute. Stir in cheesy taco seasoning; cook stirring often until beef is cooked through and liquid has thickened. Remove from heat.

Step 7

To assemble tacos, spoon ¼ cup beef mixture into each of the 12 shells; top meat evenly with sour cream. Evenly layer lettuce, tomato, and cheese onto each taco.

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