The first time I made this recipe, I stood in my teeny-tiny studio apartment kitchen, and over the course of one day, ate the whole batch (The. WHOLE. Batch.). Apparently I was being lazy or just anticipated that happening because I more or less took the pans out of the oven and left them out until the wontons were no more (This was obviously before my interest in clean eating came to be!). The second time I made these, 2 of my friends were visiting from out of town. Once again, 2 sheet pans worth were polished off in no-time, and my friend who had previously never expressed an interest in cooking asked me for the recipe. SO, I figured given that Cinco de Mayo is less than a week away now, it was high time that I shared my favorite fiesta-worthy bites with you, too!
I have to give credit where credit is due though, as the idea for this originally came from Katie Lee. Over time, I have made some very slight alterations based on ingredient preferences, such as switching out cream cheese for Neufchatel cheese – a lighter alternative overall – and by baking the wontons instead of frying, with a little bit of olive oil versus an egg wash, because I like them to be super-duper crispy; pretty simple swaps. I serve the wontons with ‘Blender Salsa’ and Whipped Roasted Garlic Guacamole, which are both very simple to make and flexible concepts. This is party food after all – it should be fun, not fussy! For the salsa, I literally put all of the ingredients ( ~ about 2 cups of tomatoes, a handful of cilantro, 1 jalapeño pepper, a small red onion, and some lime juice ~) into my Vitamix and give it a whirl. The guac, meanwhile, is a mix of 1 head of roasted garlic, 3-4 avocados, another handful of cilantro, and some more lime juice, either mashed together or whipped up in the food processor. See, easy!?!
If you do decide to make these for a crowd – or me, I guess – you might want to consider doubling the recipe, because they tend to move fast! And if Cinco de Mayo turns into Cinco de Drinko, they’re really great reheated the next day, lest you need a hangover snack in a pinch : )
- ½ Pound Lean Ground Beef (I use Grass-Fed)
- ¼ Cup (About 2) Grated Shallots
- 2-Ounces Room Temperature Neufchatel Cheese (or Cream Cheese)
- ¼ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Panko Bread Crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning (I make a big batch of my own at home, using this recipe.)
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro or Parsley, Minced
- 1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
- 36 Square Wonton Wrappers
- Olive Oil
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, shallots, cheeses, bread crumbs, taco seasoning, cilantro, and the egg. Mix (I use my hands!) until thoroughly combined.
- Place the wonton squares on the baking sheet in a single layer. Drop approximately 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of each square. You should end up with 30-36 squares, depending.
- Lightly brush the edges of each wonton square with water (or a beaten egg white), and fold the square into a triangle, pressing the edges to ensure that each triangle is sealed. As an extra measure, you can turn up the bottom corners, too.
- Cover both baking sheets with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Once chilled, remove the plastic wrap and brush each triangle with a small amount of olive oil (You basically want them to glisten, but not be wet.).
- Bake the wontons for 12-14 minutes, until crisp. If you want a nice crisp on both sides, I recommend flipping them over halfway through the cooking process.
- Serve with salsa and/or gaucamole.