Creep out your friends and family this Halloween by serving them these Burrito Skulls. You can stuff your three-dimensional, skull-shaped, homemade tortillas with taco meat and your favorite burrito fillings.
Do you love creepy Halloween food? I never thought I would until we started hosting Halloween parties, then I really got into creating food that would make my party guests squirm like these Burrito Skulls.
This is the third variation of a stuffed skull recipe that I have made over the years. My Pizza Skulls (yes, I was the originator of that really fun Halloween recipe!) and my Enchilada Skulls have been so popular that I couldn't resist going back into the kitchen to come up with another fun skull-shaped Halloween meal.
This year I chose to make skull-shaped burritos which I filled with taco meat, cheese, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can switch up the fillings and use what you like best.
Let's make burrito skulls. You'll start by making the tortilla dough.
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- kosher salt
- lard or shortening - I like to use bacon fat but store-bought lard or shortening will work too.
You can fill your skulls with your favorite burrito fillings. Below is what I used.
- ground beef
- taco seasoning
- shredded cheddar cheese
- black beans - You can also use refried beans if you prefer.
- corn - Use fresh, frozen, or canned corn.
What is lard and do I have to use it to make homemade tortillas?
Lard is pork fat.
- It is a monounsaturated fat so it has more similarity to olive oil than to butter.
- If you use homemade lard it is trans-fat free, unlike store-bought lard. You know all the oil that comes off your bacon in the morning? Save it and use it to make these tortillas. It's shelf-stable so just pour it into a jar and let it cool until it thickens. You can also store it in the refrigerator.
Where can I get lard?
- It's best to make your own lard by rendering the fat from pork belly, back, or bacon or you can get it from the butcher.
- The sticks you can buy at the grocery store (near the shortening) are more like shortening than real lard.
If I can't find lard what should I use?
- You can use shortening in this recipe, but it won't give you the same flavor or texture.
- Skull Pan - You must have a skull-shaped pan in order to have your burritos bake in the 3-dimensional skull shape. I ordered mine on Amazon but have heard from readers who have found the Nordic Ware pans in kitchenware stores and department stores.
- rolling pin
Make homemade tortilla dough.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt then cut in half the lard at a time until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Start by adding ¾ cup of water (hot but not boiling water works best) to the flour mixture, stirring it just until the dough comes together.
- If needed add more water, a little at a time.
- Knead on a flour-dusted countertop or cutting board until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
Can I make the homemade tortilla dough in the food processor?
- Yes! I love using the food processor to make this dough.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the food processor and pulse a few times.
- Add all of the lard and pulse just until the lard breaks down into small crumbs.
- Turn on the food processor and pour the water in through the hole on top of the lid until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Let the dough rest in the food processor.
Do you have to use homemade tortilla dough to make Burrito Skulls?
- If you have access to tortilla dough (from a Mexican grocery store) then you can use that instead.
- For a less traditional flavor, you can use store-bought pizza dough or even crescent roll dough (buy the sheets, not the triangles).
Fill the Burrito Skulls.
- Cut the tortilla dough into 6 equal-sized pieces then roll the pieces out into rectangles or ovals.
- Drape a piece of dough over and down into one of the skull cavities in the pan
- Spoon in the burrito fillings being sure to gently push the filling down into the skull. This will help to ensure your dough really gets imprinted with the skull shape while baking.
- I used taco meat, cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, and tomatoes to fill the tortillas but you can use chicken or pork and your favorite cheese. Swap out re-fried beans, add rice, and spice it up with some hot peppers or sauce.
- Fold the dough over the fillings, cutting off any excess dough, and brush egg wash over top before baking. The egg wash (an egg mixed with a splash of water) will help keep the dough from separating in the oven.
Once baked the top of the dough will turn golden brown. When you turn the burrito skulls out onto a cooling rack you will notice the dough will still look rather pale, which is cool because they will look like an aged skull.
If you use pizza or crescent roll dough the skull will look much darker in color like the Pizza Skulls.
These skull-shaped burritos are best served just after they are made. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes until heated through.
You can make other skull-themed Halloween recipes using the same skull pan.
Recipe and Video
Crispy skull-shaped homemade tortillas filled with taco meat, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. Serve with a side of sour cream or guacamole for Halloween or the Day of the Dead.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup lard or shortening
- ¾ cup water
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons black beans
- 6 tablespoons corn
- 6 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- sour cream, guacamole, salsa
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and blend with a fork or whisk.
Add half of the lard and use a pastry cutter to cut the lard into the flour.
Add the remaining lard and continue to cut it into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Slowly pour in the water stirring as you go until the dough comes together. Add at least ¾ of a cup of the water then only add any remaining water as needed.
Knead the dough on a flour-dusted cutting board until the dough is no longer sticky and comes together in a cohesive ball then cover the dough and set aside for 10-20 minutes.
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet set over high heat.
Add half of the ground sirloin and cook until browned.
Remove from skillet and add the remaining oil then brown the remaining meat.
Add the other meat back into the pan and stir in the taco seasoning and water.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the dough into 6 equal portions.
Dust your work surface with flour.
Roll out a portion of dough thinning out the edges.
Drape the dough over one skull in a 6 cavity non-stick pan allowing the dough to form the skull shape.
Fill with ⅙th of the taco meat.
Sprinkle on ⅙th of the cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, and tomatoes or your favorite burrito filling.
Fold the dough over the filling, cutting off any excess dough and pinching the seams together.
Whisk together the egg and water then brush the top of the dough with egg wash.
Repeat filling all 6 skulls.
Bake for 24-26 minutes until the tops of the dough turn lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and set pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes then turn out the burrito skulls onto the cooling rack.
Serve with a side of sour cream, guacamole, or salsa.
These are best if served after they are baked. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheat in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes until warmed through.