Like many recipes rooted in flavor, it all starts with the spices. Taco Bell uses the same mixture for all of their beef blends, including the one in the Crunchwrap Supreme, and after some research, we were able to develop one that fit closely enough to the original. The usual taco seasonings like cumin, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne are all in there, with the addition of cornstarch for thickening, and a little sugar for balance.
Along with the spices, there’s another aspect to Taco Bell’s meat that makes it so unique, and it’s the consistency. To make our meat mixture, we browned it in the pan without the spices, breaking it up as little as possible with our spoon while doing so. Once it was halfway cooked, we removed it from the pan and added it to a food processor to pulse — just once — so that it was ground down to a thin and less chunky consistency. We then added the meat back to the pan with the spices and let it simmer until cooked through, flavorful, and thick.
The last component of our recipe that needed to be prepared before assembly is the taco sauce. Many fans of the Crunchwrap Supreme complain that the construction of it makes it difficult to enjoy with taco sauce, and so it often gets overlooked when enjoying it. We weren’t giving up that easily, and decided to develop our own recipe from a special blend of seasonings different from the meat blend. This sauce isn’t just for dipping, though, so stay tuned to see how we added it to our Crunchwrap Supreme.
Anyone who has ever enjoyed the Crunchwrap knows that one of the best parts is the nacho cheese sauce. We created our own special recipe using a unique blend of seasoning, different from the taco seasoning, for a rustic and homemade version.
Once you’re ready to begin constructing your wrap, you’ll need to warm the tortillas so that they’re flexible enough to wrap around the other ingredients. Heat the oven to its lowest setting and allow the flour tortillas wrapped in a dampened kitchen towel to warm up in it for a few minutes.
When you look at the makeup of a Crunchwrap Supreme, you can see that all of the hot ingredients are on one layer and all of the cold ones are on another. We think they did this intentionally, because it allows the varying temperatures to work in unison without affecting each other, creating the perfect blend of hot, steamy, cool, and crisp with every bite. We followed Taco Bell’s technique and added our meat mixture first, followed by the hot nacho cheese.
Next we added the crunch, which acts as the line of separation between the hot and the cold ingredients. A tostada is not to be confused with a tortilla chip, because it’s perfectly round and flat. To the top of the tostada we added a small dollop of sour cream in the center, not spreading it intentionally, so that when the whole thing came together, the sour cream would be randomly distributed.
Here’s the secret to the taco sauce: we toss the tomatoes in it for a little extra flavor before adding it to the wrap.
Last are the garnishes: freshly shredded lettuce and the tomatoes that have been marinating in our flavorful taco sauce.
Now comes the most important part of the process: wrapping the Crunchwrap Supreme. Thinking of it like a clock, we started at 6 o'clock and worked our way counterclockwise around the tostada, folding the flour tortilla over it in overlapping edges.
You could stop there, but we all know that a Crunchwrap Supreme’s beautiful golden brown exterior doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. The final step to our recipe is frying it for one to two minutes on each side so that it’s sealed together and the tortilla has a nice crisp finish. We even used a cast-iron skillet for authenticity’s sake.
There you have it. While widely obsessed about and craved, the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme is not an anomaly when it comes to the home kitchen. Follow this carefully crafted recipe to enjoy the fast-food sensation any time you’d like, in the comfort of your own home.