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.
See how I made my version of these Burrito Skulls here...
Burrito Skulls Video
How to make Burrito Skulls with Homemade Tortillas
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 counter-top 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).
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.
Gather your favorite burrito fillings:
- I used taco meat, cheddar cheese, black beans, corn and tomatoes.
- 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.
Buy a Nordic Ware 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 kitchen-ware stores and department stores.
How to 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.
- 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.
Burrito Skulls make a fun Halloween Dinner Recipe
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
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 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.
You can see all my skull themed, Day of the Dead recipes, here
and over 100 Halloween recipes, here.
Have fun making these Burrito Skulls. If you share pictures online be sure to mention Hungry Happenings, link back to this page and use #hungryhappenings. Thanks!
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So excited to try these! Have you ever tried them with crescent rolls? I'm curious if they would hold the shape or get too puffy?
I have used crescent rolls sheets in other pans and molds and they work great. Just be sure to use the sheets and not the triangles. If you use the triangles, you have to pinch the seams together and it's difficult to get them completely sealed. If they aren't completely sealed, the cheese and sauce will ooze out of the crust.
Thanks so much for the speedy and helpful reply!
Can these be made ahead and frozen?
Yes, you can. I'd thaw them in the refrigerator the night before you plan to serve them. Reheat them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until heated through. Enjoy!
Do I need to grease or flour the skull pan like I would if I were baking a cake in it?
I did not grease the pan. There's enough fat in the tortillas that they did not stick. I also wanted my skulls to be as white as possible. Spraying the pan will make the dough brown more. Enjoy!
Can you make the tortilla dough and filling ahead of time I.e a few days ahead and keep in the fridge ??? Then bake on the day ??
Yes, you can definitely make the dough and filling ahead of time. Fresh tortilla dough will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You just want to make sure it doesn't dry out so wrap it well in plastic wrap then place it in a zip-top bag before refrigerating. Taco meat should be refrigerated and eaten within 5 days. You can even mix all the filling ingredients together to save yourself some time the day you are making them. Just combine everything after you have chilled the taco meat and when you are ready to make the burrito skulls you can simply spoon in the filling instead of layering it in.
Camille Renee Moore
Would this recipe work using pre-made tortillas? In the interest of time, making dough might not always be an option. If not, I'll still make these. Thanks for creating this amazing recipe 💖
At first I attempted to make these using store bought tortillas, but they don't work well. The pre-made tortillas don't form into the pan well enough to show the skull shape. Plus they are impossible to "close" over the filling. Even if you use egg whites, the tortilla will pop open. If you can find store bought tortilla dough, already shaped into rounds, that has not been pan fried or baked yet that would work. Just be sure to use flour tortilla dough not corn. Corn tortilla dough is too thin and will crack. Have fun and enjoy!
Last year we bought raw tortillas and they didn’t form. Make the dough, they will look so much better!! The insides were delicious though.
Good to know. I do love this freshly made tortilla dough. Not only does it create the most amazing looking skulls but it tastes great too. It is worth the effort, and it's really pretty simple, so don't shy away from trying it.
These were great! I made my filling with homemade Carne asada, but followed the recipe for the shell exactly & they turned out amazing! It's kind of a mix between a bread crust & a tortilla. My kids said the skulls tasted like a pot pie. 2 of them leaked a little from the top while cooking, but that just made the front of the skulls look even cooler when they came out! Loved this recipe for Halloween. I wish I could post a picture.
I'm so glad you and your kids had fun making these skulls. Carne Asada filling sounds delicious! I too like when they ooze a bit as it does add to the creepiness. If you would like to share your picture, you can send it to email@example.com. I'd love to share it on my social media channels.
Can these be made ahead of time and reheated like your pizza skulls? Made these for Halloween and used uncooked flour tortillas (didn’t work too great will do the dough next time) I wasn’t sure if they could be made before hand, but I didn’t because I wasn’t sure. But that would have saved a lot of time. Even thought they didn’t look as good as the pizza ones, they tasted delicious
I'm so happy you enjoyed the Burrito Skulls! When I made these we ate them as left overs for a few days. I reheated them in a toaster oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. They could have been a bit hotter but they were heated through at that point.
The homemade tortilla dough works great. I made pizza skulls last night using tubes of pizza dough and have to admit that I definitely prefer the flavor and texture of the tortilla dough. Even though it's a bit more work, it's worth it.
If you want to make them ahead of time you can bake them then just reheat them for a party or you can make them a few hours before, wrap the pan really well with tin foil, then bake them just before your guests arrive.
I love all your skull foods (and all Halloween as well)! I will be bringing these and your enchiladas to a pumpkin carving party on the 20th. Do you have any Jack-O-Lantern recipes that light up in the middle?
Is there a way to move your facebook, twitter ect. link to the right side of the screen? It covers your page and does not have an arrow to collapse it.
I am so happy to hear you have enjoyed my skull shaped foods! I hope all the people at the pumpkin carving party love the items you are bringing. I have not made any light up jack-o-lanterns but that is a great idea!
Thanks for letting me know about the social media buttons. I will work on getting them moved. They don't do that on my screen, so I am appreciative of you alerting me to this problem.