I updated this recipe here: Vegan Gordita Crunch
The Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch used to be one of Taco Bell’s most famous secret menu items. Now, because of popular demand, it has become readily available at most Taco Bell locations. Since I created the first vegan Taco Bell copycat recipe, you guys have been screaming for this one as well. As someone who has never eaten at Taco Bell I really did not understand what all the fuss was about.
After a couple hours on the Internet, I have come to learn that a Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch is just a fancy taco. It consists of a warm, pillowy-flatbread covered in a melted three-cheese blend, wrapped around a hard corn taco, topped with ground beef, iceberg lettuce and a zesty Pepper Jack Baja sauce.
My initial thought was of course, “OMG I no longer have to choose between hard and soft tacos ever again!” and, “…this actually sounds INCREDIBLE!” I take solace in knowing that I have options, and this junk-food snack seems to have all the elements necessary to satisfy my wildest cravings. And so, I took to the kitchen and started to experiment.
Task number one was to figure out what on earth a gordita was. After a quick wiki search and scan of Mexican recipe blogs I figured out that a gordita is a Mexican flatbread usually made from cornmeal (masa) or flour and is eaten stuffed with meat, cheese, vegetables, or even a sweet filling. I read a few recipes and decided to try and make some with wheat flour to ensure that it is as close to the Taco Bell version as possible, and guess what?! It worked!
The rest of the ingredients were easier. For the baja sauce, I simply used my queso recipe and added some jalapeños and vegan mayo for texture and heat. I bought my favourite veggie ground beef substitute and spiced it up Mexican-style, got three different types of vegan cheese and chopped up some veggies. You can check out the full recipe for both below.
- 2½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 ¼- 1 ¾ cups boiling water
- ¼ cup potato flour
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tsp yeast
- Place 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in 1 ¼ boiling water, and mixing until smooth, adding more water as necessary. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to cool for roughly 30 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl or in the bowl of your kitchen mixer, combine the potato flour with the remaining flour, salt, oil, and yeast.
- Whisk until you reach a crumbly, coarse texture.
- To this mixture add to the now cooled flour mixture you had set aside earlier.
- Knead until well combined. This will take several minutes.
- The dough should be soft with a hint of sticky, but smooth.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, divide the dough into small evenly sized balls; you should end up with roughly 10.
- Place them back into the bowl, cover them, and allow them to sit for another 15 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a circle as wide as your taco shells. You want to end up with gorditas the same side as the hard tacos. Ensure they are thin, because they will rise.
- Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
- Place one flatbread onto the hot skillet and cook for roughly 2 minutes or until you notice that the gordita is getting spotty underneath.
- Flip and cook till the other side is spotty as well. This should only take about 1 minute or so.
- If you notice any bubbles form, just poke them with a toothpick for fork.
- Remove from heat an repeat with the rest of your little dough balls.
- ¼ cup finely chopped roasted jalapeno peppers
- ¼ cup vegan mayo
- 1 recipe of vegan queso
- hard corn taco shells
- soft gordita tortillas
- 1- ½ cups of vegan three cheese blend. I used shredded mozzarella, cheddar and pepperjack
- 1 package of veggie ground-beef substitute
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ -1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on the desired amount of heat
- Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
- Make 1 recipe worth of vegan queso and remove from heat.
- Add in finely chopped jalapeno peppers and mix well.
- Add vegan mayo, mix until well combined and set aside.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan or skillet over medium heat.
- Add minced garlic and cook for roughly 2 minutes.
- Add chili powder, paprika, and onion powder and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Add veggie ground “meat” and cook until heated through.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- Gather your gorditas and set your oven to broil.
- Top each gordita with a generous amount of the shredded cheese blend in an even layer.
- Place these in the oven on the top rack for 30 seconds- 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted. A microwave works too- if you’re into that.
- Remove from oven and place a hard taco shell in the middle of the gordita.
- Gently press the gordita to the hard shell on each side until the melted cheese acts like a glue holding the soft and the hard taco shells together. Be careful NOT to press so hard that you crack the hard taco shell.
- Allow the cheese to set for roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Once the cheese has set, build your taco.
- Add to the shell first the taco meat, followed by the chilled Baja Sauce, and iceberg lettuce.