This copycat Taco Bell chicken chalupa supreme has all the flavors we love about the chain version, but it's even better! This chicken chalupa recipe uses real, fresh ingredients to deliver flavors that are far more authentic than the Taco Bell version and even tastier, if I do say so myself.
I've been a fan of Taco Bell as far back as I can remember. Years ago, my husband and I used to spend about $50 and bring home 3 or 4 big bags full of many different kinds of burritos and tacos.
I would set them all up on our dining room table in piles on plates and platters and game day or with UFC game night would begin.
I did not do any cooking or baking at all. Clean-up could not have been easier.
Now, however, we want more control over ingredients, and frankly homemade always tastes better. This Copycat Taco Bell Chicken Chalupa Supreme recipe is worth the effort.
Buying or going through a drive-thru is definitely easier and faster but these chalupas taste so much better. You'll make them over and over again.
You'll do what I do. Sometimes make them with ground beef (or a ground pork and ground beef blend), beans, or steak. You won't always make them with chicken.
This flatbread is prepared and filled with seasoned meat of choice (or beans,), sour cream, fresh shredded lettuce, a blend of cheeses, and fresh diced tomatoes.
The Tex-Mex Trail to Copycat Chicken Chalupa Supreme
This chicken chalupa recipe is absolutely delicious, but without two things we wouldn't have it. First, of course, is the invention of the chalupa itself - which, by the way, is not a Taco Bell brainstorm.
The second is Taco Bell itself. Because while many authentic Mexican restaurants offer chalupas, most of us know the dish from its Taco Bell fame.
As you know by now, I've gotten into the history of food, so let's take a look at both the chalupa and the fast-food chain that skyrocketed it to national fame.
History of Chalupas
The chalupa is a tortilla-based dish from Mexico. It's like a bigger, thicker version of a hard shell taco. Food historians think that chalupas originated in the south-central region of Mexico somewhere around Hidalgo, Puebla, Guerrero, and Oaxaca.
They're made by pressing a thin layer of masa dough around the outside of a small mold which creates a container resembling the boat from which it gets its name.
The real history of chalupas is shrouded in mystery. Food historians know that the first written mention of them dates back to 1895, but it's believed that they're far older.
They can't say for sure, but most food historians believe that the dish dates back as far as pre-colonial times.
While traditional chalupas are served in almost every authentic Mexican restaurant, they skyrocketed to fame thanks to Taco Bell. Well, the name skyrocketed to fame, anyway. Taco Bell chalupas are chalupas in name only.
Unlike its Mexican namesake, the Taco Bell chalupa is a thick, fried tortilla shell fill with a variety of ingredients that you won't find in an authentic chalupa, as the real deal is only filled with salsa, cheese, and lettuce.
History of Taco Bell
The history of Taco Bell is short but interesting. For example, did you know that Taco Bell was born from a hot dog stand? It's true!
In 1948, Glen Bell opened a hot dog stand called Bell's Drive-In ins Sand Bernardino, California. While running his stand, he watched long lines of customers waiting at a Mexcian restaurant called Mitla Cafe across the street.
Mitla Cafe was famous for its hard-shelled tacos. See the opportunity in the tacos' popularity, Bell attempted to replicate the recipe, with the owners eventually allowing him to watch how the tacos were made.
In 1951, Bell took what he learned and opened a new taco stand. He tried several names like Taco-Tia and El Taco before finally settling on Taco Bell. Finally in 1962, he opened the first official Taco Bell.
The restaurant gained popularity quickly, with the first franchisee opened in 1964. By 1967, the restaurant chain had expanded to 100 locations. Finally, Taco Bell went public with 375 restaurants in 1970.
Over the years, the chain grew from offering traditional hard-shelled tacos to the vast variety of options we see today. No longer a true Mexican restaurant but no less popular, Taco Bell serves up all kinds of Mexican-inspired recipes today.
How to make a Taco Bell Chicken Chalupa Supreme
Let's be real - Taco Bell makes a killer menu. So many good flavors and so many fun recipes. This got me thinking that this was something that I could easily do at home.
Low and behold, I was right. (as I typically am - just ask my husband lol) And once I realized that a copycat recipe was fairly simple and easy to do, I couldn't wait to share this simple copycat Taco Bell supreme recipe with all of you.
Chicken Chalupa Supreme Ingredients
All you need is the list of ingredients below to get started. You'll find that this delicious recipe isn't hard to do at all! Aside from the chalupa ingredients, the filling ingredients are pretty much standard chicken taco fare.
- baking powder
- canola oil, for frying
- chicken breasts
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- Roma tomatoes, diced
- shredded iceberg lettuce
- sour cream
- shredded Mexican cheese
- cilantro, garnish
How to Make Copycat Chicken Chalupa Supreme
Making this chicken chalupa recipe is fairly straightforward. Both the chalupa and the chicken are easy to make and only require a few steps. It's a recipe that looks so much more involved than it actually is. The best ones are always like that!
Cook the chicken
Mix paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin together in a small bowl. Season both sides of chicken with this mix. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the chicken to the pan and cook 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal thermometer reads 165* Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice into thin strips. Set aside.
Prepare Chalupa Toppings
Dice tomatoes and add to a bowl. Add lettuce, sour cream, and cheese to separate bowls.
How to make Chalupa Shells
In a few simple steps, your chalupas will be ready!
Heat the Oil
Add 2” of canola oil to a large skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
Prepare the Chalupa Dough
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together. Add the milk and use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix to form a dough ball.
Divide and Form Chalupas
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll with a rolling pin flat to smooth. Form dough back into a ball. Divide dough into 8 equal sections and roll each section into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball out into a circle about 4” in diameter.
Fry the Chalupa Shell
Use a fork to generously poke holes all over the chalupa shell to prevent it from getting too puffy. Use tongs and fold the chalupa shell in half, letting one-half fry in the oil.
Hold the chalupa into shape until it starts to turn light gold, about 30 seconds.
Flip over to cook the other side for 30 seconds.
Flip, and fry for 15 seconds, then flip one last time and fry for 15 seconds.
Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat with remaining chalupas.
Make Your Chalupa
Prepare chalupas, Add chicken, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and a pinch of cheese into each shell.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite hot sauce. Enjoy!
Can you freeze chalupa shells?
I wouldn't recommend it. The reason being is that these need to be served fresh and hot. This is where they get their flavor and hold their shape. Since they don't take long at all, just plan on making them fresh.
What other toppings can you add to chalupas?
Anything you want. To stay true to the copycat, add the toppings in the recipe but if you want to vary, have fun. Some other delicious topping ideas include:
- Black olives
- Various types of cheese
And more. Put on whatever toppings that you want and make it your own!
We love to make these on a monthly basis. They're just too good not to. I've been making them for years and I'm certain that by now Taco Bell is missing our business by now lol.
I have to admit that I actually prefer these better than anything that I can buy at the restaurant because I find them less greasy and more crispy. I love the way that they crunch and hold all my toppings and meat just right.
Calories in Chicken Chalupa Supreme Taco Bell
According to Taco Bell their chicken chalupa supreme has 360 calories and our copycat chicken chalupa supreme has only 324 calories, less as you might expect and so much tastier too!
Fresh and homemade is always better!
Give This Copycat Chicken Chalupa Supreme Recipe a Try
This chicken chalupa recipe is absolutely delicious and far easier to make than you'd think. Filled with all the flavors we love in the Taco Bell version but even more delicious, this copycat chicken chalupa supreme recipe is bursting with flavor and texture, and it's always a big hit.
With a crispy, doughy shell cradling delicious, tender chicken and all the taco fixings, it's a bit of Mexican heaven in every bite. Give this recipe a try, and I know you and your family will absolutely love it.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
If you're looking for even more great Taco Bell copycat recipes and all things Mexican flavored, don't miss out on these. You'll have enough recipes to last you for months!
- Copycat Taco Bell Cheesy Roll Ups
- Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries
- Copycat Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch
- Copycat Taco Bell Diablo Sauce
- Copycat Taco Bell Verde Sauce
Taco Bell Copycat Chicken Chalupa Supreme Video
Taco Bell Copycat Chicken Chalupa Supreme
- 4 inch round cookie cutter
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 oz. shortening
- 1 cup milk
- canola oil, for frying
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- cilantro, garnish
- Pull out and measure all of the ingredients.
Heat the Oil
- Add 2” of canola oil in a large skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
Cook the Chicken
- Mix paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin together in a small bowl.
- Season both sides of chicken with this spice blend.
- In a separate skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once oil shimmers, add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes per side, or until internal thermometer reads 165* Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice into thin strips. Set aside.
Prepare Chalupa toppings
- Dice tomatoes and add to a bowl. Put lettuce, sour cream, and cheese in separate bowls.
Prepare the Chalupa Dough
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening.
- Use a fork to mix the ingredients together.
- Add the milk.
- Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix.
- Mix until a dough ball is formed.
Divide and form Chalupas
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll flat with a rolling pin to smooth.
- Form dough back into a ball.
- Divide dough in half.
- Then divide dough into 8 equal sections.
- Roll each section into a ball.
- Use a rolling pin, roll each dough ball out into a circle.
- About 4” in diameter.
Fry the Chalupa Shell
- Use a fork to generously poke holes all over the Chalupa shell to prevent it from getting too puffy.
- Use tongs and fold the Chalupa shell in half, letting one half fry in the oil. Hold the Chalupa into shape until it starts to turn a light gold; about 30 seconds.
- Flip over to cook the other side for 30 seconds. Flip, and fry for 15 seconds, then flip one last time and fry for 15 seconds. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining Chalupas.
- Get ready to fill the Chalupas with the filling.
- Add chicken.
- Sour cream.
- Lettuce and tomatoes.
- Add a pinch of cheese inside each shell.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite hot sauce. Enjoy every bite!