You might be surprised to hear that Taco Bell actually has one of the healthiest fast food menus. Yep, in my Ultimate Guide to Macro Friendly Fast Food, I covered a handful of healthy options to get you started. But overall, they have a ton of options and room for customization. That being said, I was inspired to make a healthier Cheesy Gordita Crunch remix because it’s one of the more difficult menu items to improve nutritionally.
Taco Bell even has a nifty nutrition calculator on their site if you decide to check out my guide and add a few quick fixes to your food arsenal. Plan ahead!
If you’ve never had the original, it’s essentially a hard shell taco with a creamy drizzle that’s been wrapped in a chalupa-style soft tortilla with cheese melted in between the shells. My mouth is watering just typing that.
But as you can imagine, the calories add up fast in the original version. So, I’ve done my best to keep all the deliciousness of the original Cheesy Gordita Crunch while removing a ton of calories, increasing the protein, and decreasing the fat. I think I’ve done it, but I’ll let you be the judge.
How to Make A Healthier Cheesy Gordita Crunch
You actually have a lot of customization with your own copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch. I’ll briefly touch on a few potential ingredient swaps and things to consider for macros and nutrition facts.
The world is your oyster when it comes to meat selection for your cheesy gordita crunch. I kept it simple with the base recipe, but you could definitely make improvements by using other ground beef seasonings. Check out my cheesy baked beef tacos, Tex-Mex ground beef and rice skillet, or ground chicken enchiladas for a few ways to add a little diggity to your filling.
The Cheesy Gordita Crunch Taco Shells
I’m in love with Joseph’s Bakery pita and lavash bread. They’re unbelievably soft and full of flavor for 60 and 100 calories per serving, respectively. In the case of this cheesy gordita crunch copycat, we’ll be using a pita bread as the outer shell.
This accomplishes that soft and chewy exterior you expect from a chalupa with a fraction of the calories. You’ll then use some melted cheese to bind a crunchy interior taco shell.
As for the crunchy shell, you have a ton of options. The recipe calls for hard taco shells to save time, but I originally made this recipe with extra thin corn tortillas from Mission like I use for my baked chicken tacos and low calorie tortilla chips. This is a way to save a few extra calories.
Just bake them on their own until crispy (about 6-8 minutes at 400ºF) and place on top of the melted cheese. They’ll probably crack as you fold to fill, but the outer shell keeps everything in tact.
The Creamy Sauce
The recipe calls for my tried and true Greek yogurt salsa, which is 2:1 blend of plain fat free Greek yogurt and salsa mixed with a tiny bit of ranch seasoning. If you don’t have ranch seasoning on hand, I originally added some garlic and onion powder, lime juice, and black pepper to the sauce. You could go that route.
To up your game a bit, pair these with another copycat recipe in my Chuy’s creamy jalapeño ranch dip.
All right, I think that’s about all you need to know in terms of ingredients. You’ll find the full recipe card below. And if you’re a Taco Bell fan, you’ll be happy to hear I recently made a Taco Bell Mexican Pizza copycat since they’re removing it from the menu.
Healthier Cheesy Gordita Crunch
A lower carb, higher protein spin on Taco Bell's classic Cheesy Gordita Crunch.
- 6 Joseph's Pita Bread
- 6 Hard Taco Shells (I used Stand 'n Stuff)
- 6 oz Shredded Mexican Cheese
- 1 lb Ground Beef (96/4)
- 1 packet Taco Seasoning
- 1/2 C (113g) Fat-Free Greek Yogurt, plain
- 1/4 C (60g) Salsa
- 1 tsp Ranch Seasoning (optional)
- 1 oz Shredded Mexican Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Cook the ground beef with the taco seasoning and set aside. Mix the Greek yogurt and salsa together and set aside.
- While the beef cooks, place the 6 pitas on a large baking sheet and spread 1 oz (28g) of shredded cheese around the outside edges of each pita. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
- Remove the pitas from the oven and carefully place the taco shells inside the pitas. Press one side of each taco shell into the cheese before folding the other side over. The cheese should adhere to both sides of the taco shell. (Optional: Place the shells back in the oven for 3-5 minutes for a crispier inner shell.)
- Fill the shells with the cooked beef and top with the yogurt, salsa, and ranch seasoning mixture and a pinch of the remaining shredded cheese.
Nutrition Facts Notes
- Each Cheesy Gordita Crunch copycat has 10 WW SmartPoints (blue).
- For a reduced fat version, omit the additional cheese on top and/or use baked extra thin corn tortillas instead of taco shells.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Cheesy Gordita Crunch Tacos Serving Size: 1 Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 18gCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 32g
More Healthy Taco Recipes You Might Like
- copycat Torchy’s Brushfire Tacos
- chipotle bbq ground chicken tacos with mango salsa
- meal prep breakfast tacos
- crispy Mexican potatoes (air fryer or oven)
Thursday 8th of October 2020
We are huge Gordita Crunch fans! & to have found a healthier version through Mason has been a lifesaver. We use our own homemade chipotle ranch on top (with fat free/lite ranch, usually Kraft, and chipotle peppers) it’s a great touch!
Thursday 8th of October 2020
Chipotle ranch sounds good. I'll have to give that a go!
Thursday 30th of July 2020
This is the first Mason recipe I made and I am blown away! They were so good!! A few things I did: - I did the extra thin corn tortilla method. I placed it in a metal taco holder and cooked for about 5 minutes on 400 then flipped it over and cooked for another 4-5 and that made it super crispy. - I used reduced fat Mexican cheese so it didn't really melt too well on the pita (meaning the shell didn't really stick) but it all tasted the same in the end and it was delicious. - I didn't have salsa so I made the sauce by your recipe but swapped the salsa out for some Fire sauce I had laying around and it was perfect!!
These are definitely going to be on my regular rotation! So craveable and guilt-free! Thanks so much for the recipe!
Friday 31st of July 2020
Great idea on the taco holder for making crispy shells!
Tuesday 21st of July 2020
This is the first recipe I have tried. It immediately caught my eye since I’ve always loved them from Taco Bell. It turned out tasting absolutely wonderful and didn’t take long to make at all. Not many pots/dishes required either so easy cleanup
Wednesday 15th of April 2020
This is probably my favorite recipe I’ve tried of Mason’s! The cheesy Gordita crunch is my favorite thing at Taco Bell! I never eat it bc obviously it’s not healthy by an means, so when I saw an alternative I HAD to make it immediately!! I ended up using the one serving of meat but only made one taco to save calories. It was SOO SO good!! & I was stuffed after eating it! I had just made ground chicken with my own taco seasoning so that’s what I used for the meat (saved some more on the calories there!) & couldn’t tell a difference that it wasn’t your typical taco meat. I love the sauce on it too, I’ve been adding that to everything since!
Wednesday 9th of January 2019
Mason, this is my #1 favorite recipe of yours. It’s the perfect blend of flavors and I love the added touch of the crunch! I make these all the time, maybe too much! 😂😂 I would give these 10 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️