Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Happy National Taco Day! I figured there’d be no better way to celebrate than to veganize one of my favorite “tacos” (I am well aware that this is a very americanized stupid delicious thing okay)… the Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch! If you don’t know what it is, its a fluffy flatbread with melted cheese, incasing a hard shell taco with a zesty ranch sauce. Trust me, it’s amazing. It’s super easy to make vegan, so let’s get into it!

I’m really excited to announce that this recipe is in collaboration with Follow Your Heart! They’re one of my favorite brands, and I’ve gotten so many requests to make more recipes using their products from y’all, since they’re so accessible across the US. I only used two of their products in this recipe, but they’re honestly some of my favorite products they make. I used their Cheddar Shreds & Ranch Dressing!

These are SO much easier to make than you probably think… it’s basically just a hard shell taco with a cheesy flatbread wrapped around it. Let’s talk about the “Gordita” part, shall we? You can usually find Gorditas at your local Mexican market, you can easily make your own, or oddly enough the Trader Joes “Middle Eastern Flatbreads” are perfect tortilla sizes so they work great too! If you can’t get your hands on any of those though, just normal flour tortillas will work!

Start by making the taco meat. Add your vegan ground beef to a skillet with some oil over medium heat. Cook until browned, then stir in the taco seasoning packet and 1 1/4 cups of water. Cook until most of the water is evaporated and it’s created a nice thick sauce. Season with salt / pepper / more taco seasoning if desired! While that’s cooking, you can also make the sauce. For that just mix your Follow Your Heart Ranch dressing with pickled jalapeños & their brine! Place in the fridge, covered, until ready to use.

Take your Gordita, lay it on top of a paper towel lined plate (that’s microwave safe), and spread over a nice layer of Follow Your Heart Cheddar Shreds. Microwave for about 30 seconds until melty. Right when you take it out of the microwave, add a hardshell taco shell in the center and wrap the Gordita around it, using the melted cheese as ‘glue’. Add in your seasoned beef, shredded lettuce, more cheddar shreds, and the jalapeño ranch sauce! You can also add tomatoes if desired, but the OG comes without them.

And that’s it! Super easy, super delicious, and definitely something amazing to make for National Taco Day (or really any day, let’s be honest). Once again, I just want to give a big thanks to Follow Your Heart for sponsoring this recipe and allowing me to share it with y’all! It’s truly delicious. As always, if you make this, make sure to tag me @plvntfood / #plvntfood and tag @followyourheart as well, so we can all see it! Love y’all with my cold little heart.

Cheesy Gordita Crunch

This 100% VEGAN Cheesy Gordita Crunch is about to blow your damn mind… I promise! Even better than the real thing.

Author PLVNTFOOD by Chef Brianna Gallo

Ingredients

  • 1 lb vegan ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups shredded follow your heart cheddar
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 6 hard taco shells
  • 6 gordita shells

Sauce

  • 1 cup follow your heart ranch dressing
  • 2-3 tablespoons pickled jalapeno brine
  • 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapenos

Instructions

  1. Mix together your sauce ingredients & place in the fridge (covered) until ready to use.
  2. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the taco seasoning with 1 ¼ cups of water. Reduce heat and simmer until the water is almost gone and the mixture is thick.
  3. Layout a gordita shell onto a microwave safe plate. Spread a layer of cheese over the top of the gordita.
  4. Place into the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds or until the cheese has melted. Place a hard taco shell onto one side of the gordita. Fold the gordita around the taco shell and press so it sticks to the cheese.
  5. Add some ground beef to the taco shell and top with some of the sauce, romaine lettuce, and cheddar cheese.
  6. Repeat with remaining shells.

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