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Copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch (Air Fryer & Oven)

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You’re going to love our copycat Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch recipe. Made with seasoned ground meat and lots of melty cheese, stuffed into a hard taco shell and wrapped up in a soft flatbread.

They’re easy to make, ready in less than 30 minutes and can be made in the air fryer or oven.

air fryer cheesy gordita crunches on a white platter.

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There’s nothing like having a fast food craving but not wanting to get up off the couch to head to the drive-thru window. And if that craving involves Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch you’re in luck today!

Homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunch

You can make this fast food favorite at home in your own kitchen. Our homemade version is perfect for taco night or anytime a craving hits. Aren’t copycat recipes the best?!

Once I realized how simple these were to make at home, I stopped my drive-thru trips. I love using my air fryer to make these cheesy gorditas, but I’ve included oven baked instructions below. The oven method is great if you need to make a larger quantity or are feeding a crowd.

In case you didn’t know, I love Mexican food and homemade tacos in all forms, including Najavo tacos and the copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. And I’m fully aware that Taco Bell doesn’t constitute authentic Mexican food by any stretch, but it’s a guilty pleasure for some of us (OK, me).

But my obsession doesn’t stop there. Chicken taquitosMexican street corn, and chicken fajitas are also near the top of my list.

What is a Cheesy Gordita Crunch?

The traditional cheesy Gordita crunch starts with an outer layer of soft flatbread covered in melted cheese and wrapped around a crunchy taco shell. Then it’s filled with seasoned meat and topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, shredded cheese and sour cream. Add taco sauce or spicy ranch sauce to take this cheesy taco to the next level.

ingredients needed to make air fryer cheesy gordita crunch with text overlay.

Ingredients Needed

  • lean ground beef – substitute ground turkey or chicken if preferred
  • taco seasoning and water – enough to season 1 pound of meat
  • flatbreads or flat pita breads – trim so they fit around the crunchy taco shells
  • shredded cheese – freshly shredded cheddar cheese melts best
  • crunchy taco shells – you’ll want to warm these a bit before assembling the Gordita crunches.
  • toppings: shredded iceberg lettuce, diced Roma tomatoes, hot sauce (or mild), sour cream

How to Make Copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunches

Over medium heat, cook the ground beef in a large skillet until it’s no longer pink. Drain the grease if needed. 

Stir in the water and taco seasoning. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens up.

two images of bread in air fryer with cheese and crunchy shell on top of cheesy bread on cutting board with text overlay.

Place the soft piece of flatbread in the air fryer basket and top with cheese so each flatbread is covered completely. 

Cook for 4 to 6 minutes at 350 degrees F, until the cheese has melted.

side by side images of flat bread wrapped around hard shell and taco meat added to shell with text overlay.

Take the flatbread out of the basket and lay it on a cutting board or a flat, clean surface. Place a warmed crunchy shell on the cheesy bread, and bring the sides of the flat bread up so the hard shell is fully wrapped.

side by side images of lettuce added to crunchy shell and sour cream added with text overlay.

Spoon in the cooked taco meat, lettuce, and add your favorite toppings.

two images of cheese added to gordita and close up of copycat cheesy gordita crunch with text overlay.

Oven Instructions

Prepare the taco meat according to the instructions above. 

Once you have sprinkled the cheese over the flatbreads, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and wrap the crispy taco shell in the warm flatbread.

front view of air fryer cheesy gordita crunch on white platter.

Assemble as directed about and add the toppings of your choice.

Make Ahead Tip

You can prepare the meat ahead of time when meal prepping for the week. Simply prepare the taco meat and store it in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days in advance. Then it takes just a few extra minutes to warm the meat up and assemble the cheesy Gorditas on busy weeknights.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use flat pitas (no pockets) in place of the flatbread.
  • Soft tortillas can be used in place of the flatbread. It will taste a little different but still delicious.
  • For a leaner option, use ground turkey or chicken in place of the ground beef.
  • We like to use a Mexican cheese blend but cheddar or pepper jack are good, too.
  • Spicy ranch sauce goes great with gorditas. Simply combine ranch dressing with your favorite hot sauce.

Can I use Homemade Taco Seasoning?

Absolutely! Our homemade taco seasoning blend makes enough to season 1 pound of ground meat. Pro Tip: I like to double and triple the recipe so I always have this flavorful blend on hand and ready to go.

How Long to Cook Taco Shells in the Air Fryer

The air fryer is an easy way to warm hard taco shells. After preheating the fryer to 375 degrees F, place the shells in a single layer in the basket. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until heated through. 

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Homemade cheesy Gordita crunch tacos are best eaten fresh. If you do anticipate leftovers, we recommend storing the meat and toppings separately in the refrigerator.

Meat filled shells can be wrapped in aluminum foil and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven. We don’t recommend microwaving them because they lose their crunch and the flatbread may be tough. Add the toppings after heating.

**Save Copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch Recipe for Later**

air fried cheesy gordita crunch on a white platter with text overlay.

Cheesy Gordita Crunch Recipe

Our copycat Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch recipe is made with seasoned ground meat and lots of melty cheese, stuffed into a hard taco shell and wrapped in a soft flatbread. Easy to make, ready in less than 30 minutes and can be made in the air fryer or oven.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Lori @ I Heart Air Frying


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 small flatbreads, trimmed to taco shell size
  • 2 cups shredded cheese + additional for garnish if desired
  • 6 crunchy taco shells, pre-warmed
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • roma tomato, diced, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
  • sour cream, optional


  • Cook ground beef in a skillet over Medium heat until cooked through. Drain grease.
  • Add taco seasoning and water to meat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Place the trimmed soft bread in the air fryer basket and top with shredded cheese, covering completely.
  • Cook at 350°F for 4-6 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  • Remove the flatbread from the air fryer and place on a flat surface. Lay a crunchy shell on one side of the cheesy flatbread and gently bringing up the flat bread to wrap around the hard shell.
  • Add the taco meat and lettuce to the crunchy shell, topping with extra cheese if using.
  • Garnish with tomatoes, sour cream and hot sauce if desired.


  • The taco meat can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to make the Gordita Crunch wraps. If you make the meat ahead of time, this is an easy 5-10 minute weeknight meal.
  • These are best eaten fresh. If you anticipate leftovers, we recommend storing the meat separately in the frig and making the Gordita’s fresh as you need them.
  • If you do have leftover filled Gorditas, wrap the meat filled shells in foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven, adding toppings after cooking. These won’t be as crispy as fresh ones but they should still taste good.
  • Optional ingredients are not included in nutritional calculations.
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Nutritional Estimate

Serving: 1gordita | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 324mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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