If you want to live your best life, there are really only two things that matter: Getting enough sleep and eating lots of tacos. Okay, so we’re *kind of* exaggerating, but let’s be honest — tacos are life. Unfortunately, the taco cleanse diet might not be the best long-term plan (sorry), but there are ways to work around this little roadblock. These 15 taco bite recipes give you a little taste of taco-y goodness without the massive calorie count. Serve up some of these bad boys on game days as we move into football season.


1. Slow Cooker Carnitas Taco Bites: Did you know that carnitas literally means “little meats?” Well, now you do. This slow cooker recipe will help you cook your pork to perfection before placing it into adorable bite-sized cups. Plus, it’ll leave your entire home smelling like delicious, juicy, slow-cooked Mexican carnitas. (via A Beautiful Plate)


2. Taco Wanton Cups: This fusion combines the irresistible texture of Chinese wontons with the delish taste of Mexican tacos. Two of our favorite cuisines in one meal? We’re in! (via Simply Stacie)


3. Buffalo Chicken Dip Taco Cups: As we move into football season, you’ll want to have these game-day taco cups in your cooking arsenal. They’re topped with chicken and drizzled with Buffalo chicken dip, making them a perfect dish to serve when you’re entertaining. (via Whitney Bond)


4. Crunchy Taco Cups: For a treat that’s perfectly crunchy on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside, reach for these *amazing* taco cups. PRO TIP: Use a muffin tin to give these little guys the perfect round shape. (via Kevin & Amanda)

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5. Tequila Lime Shrimp Taco Bites: Nothing beats the combination of shrimp and lime in Mexican cuisine, and these bites showcase all the flavors of this classic combo. Be careful not to let the shrimp sit in the marinade too long while it’s cooking. (via Recipe Runner)


6. Double Decker Taco Cupcakes: What makes these creations “double decker,” you ask? These taco cupcakes have a layer of beans and a layer of meat, separated by a crispy tortilla chip. Good thing you’re only eating these indulgent cups in individual servings. (via The Girl Who Ate Everything)


7. Turkey Taco Cups: Lighten things up a little with these turkey-based cups. Ground turkey and black beans give you plenty of protein without the hefty fat content of ground beef or pork. (via Bev Cooks)


8. Easy Vegan Taco Cups: Hosting guests with dietary restrictions? Try these plant-based cups, which are completely vegan, gluten-free and 100% delicious. You’ll whip these up with vegan chili, a cashew-based “cheese” sauce and naturally GF corn tortillas. (via Contentedness Cooking)


9. Skinny Taco Cups: If you’re watching your diet, these low-calorie taco cups are perfect for you. Black beans and Greek yogurt stand in for meat and sour cream, but you’ll hardly think of these bad boys as a diet food — they taste WAY too good for that. (via Buttercream Blondie)


10. Shrimp Taco Bites: This recipe takes regular ol’ shrimp and turns it up a notch with spicy chili powder and cilantro. We recommend cooking your shrimp in the oven in a big batch — it’s a quick and efficient way to get the filling taken care of with *minimal* effort. (via I Wash You Dry)


11. Easy Vegetarian Taco Cups: Vegetarians often struggle to get their daily dose of protein without relying on processed foods (or having to cook for hours). Want something quick and simple to make? These veg-friendly cups will be ready to eat in just 20 minutes. (via Rachel Cooks)


12. Loaded Chicken Taco Cups: When we say these are loaded, we’re not kidding. Overflowing with cheese, jalapeño, taco seasoning, chicken, avocado, tomatoes and cilantro, these taco bites aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re a perfect game-day appetizer your friends are sure to gobble up. (via The Cookie Rookie)


13. Taco Cupcakes: Here’s a classic taco bite recipe for you. This recipe also makes use of your muffin tins, giving you a perfectly shaped taco cupcake to nom on. You can use a store-bought taco seasoning or make your own — whichever you prefer. (via Life in the Lofthouse)


14. Light Mini Turkey Taco Cups: If you love taco pie, you’ll love these lightened-up taco cups made with lean turkey meat. PRO TIP: Use whole wheat tortillas instead of crispy pre-made taco cups — all you have to do is cut the tortilla in half to make it into the perfect size for baking. (via The Creative Bite)


15. Chicken Enchilada Bites: Love the taste of cheesy shredded chicken enchiladas? Then you’ll adore these perfectly portioned versions. Cook your chicken in a slow cooker before shredding to make it extra juicy. (via 365 Days of Baking & More)

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