Cheesy taco monkey bread is quick and easy to make with canned biscuit dough and savory taco beef filling. Serve this pull-apart bread with your favorite toppings and dipping sauces as a fun appetizer or game day snack!
Cheesy and savory filling. Each bite of this taco monkey bread is wrapped in fluffy dough and bursting with Tex-Mex spice and plenty of melted cheese. The juicy taco beef filling comes together quickly on the stovetop.
What Is Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread goes by different names in the States, including pull-apart bread, plucking cake, or bubble bread. It’s usually made from canned biscuits or pastry dough and served similarly to my pull-apart cinnamon roll bread, where guests can tear off pieces, just like a monkey picks at its food! Monkey bread recipes can be sweet, like this pull-apart praline monkey bread, or savory, like today’s taco monkey bread.
Ingredients You’ll Need
I’ve included some notes on the ingredients for this easy Tex-Mex appetizer below. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full recipe amounts and details.
Olive Oil – Or another type of cooking oil, for sautéing.
Ground Beef – You can also make the taco filling with ground chicken or ground turkey.
Taco Seasoning – Choose your favorite taco seasoning blend from the store.
Rotel – Canned diced tomatoes and green chilies. You can opt for the spicy or mild kind, depending on your preference.
Canned Biscuits – Canned biscuits with layers work best, like Pillsbury Grands or similar.
Cheese – I use a Mexican shredded cheese blend, but you can use grated cheddar cheese or another blend of cheese that you prefer.
Butter – Melted in the microwave before you start.
Garnishes – Your choice of taco toppings for serving. See below for more easy serving suggestions!
How to Make Taco Monkey Bread
Get out your bundt pans, and let’s make some cheesy taco monkey bread:
Sauté the ground beef and onions. Begin by cooking the onions and ground beef in a large skillet with oil.
Combine and cook. Stir in the can of Rotel, sprinkle in the taco seasoning, and simmer the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Afterward, take the pan off the heat.
Flatten the biscuits. Meanwhile, pop open your canned biscuits and separate each raw biscuit into two halves (you should end up with 32 rounds). Flatten the dough halves into thin rounds using your hands or a rolling pin.
Assemble. I like to do this assembly line style. First, top each dough round with one spoonful of cheese, and one spoonful of taco meat. Next, wrap the dough up around the filling and pinch the ball tightly closed. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Fill the pan. One at a time, dip your filled dough balls into melted butter and add them to a bundt pan. Once they’re all in there, drizzle the top with any leftover butter.
Bake. Bake the monkey bread at 350ºF for 35-40 minutes, until the dough and filling is cooked through. Let the bread rest in the pan for a bit before inverting it onto a plate.
Finish and serve! Sprinkle any leftover cheese over the hot monkey bread, and let it melt. Garnish with cilantro if you’d like, and get picking. Check out some of my favorite toppings and serving ideas below.
Tips for Success
There’s no monkey business when it comes to making monkey bread – it’s pretty straightforward. All the same, here are some tips that I picked up while testing this recipe that might be helpful:
Work in an assembly line. I’ve found that this is the easiest way to make this taco monkey bread. Get every roll pinched closed before dipping them in butter, to keep the process (and your hands!) as clean as possible.
Get the right thickness. Make sure that you don’t flatten the biscuit dough too much. Dough that’s too thin can tear once it’s filled.
Keep the filling in the center. If the meat gets too close to the edge, the biscuit won’t hold together.
Avoid a burnt top. If you notice that the top of the monkey bread is browning too quickly, tent the pan lightly with foil.
Check for doneness. Monkey bread is done baking when it starts to turn golden brown. To check if the dough is fully cooked, stick a toothpick into the bread portion (try to avoid the filling). If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done!
What to Serve With Taco Monkey Bread
Serve your taco monkey bread the same way you’d serve a taco! We love our taco bread bites topped with chopped cilantro, guacamole (or creamy avocado salsa), sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes.
A bundt pan gives monkey bread recipes their signature shape, but if you don’t have one, you use a loaf pan or a 9×9” baking pan instead. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the baking time to ensure that the dough is cooked throughout.
How to Store
Fridge. Store any leftover monkey bread covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure it’s cooled completely before you store it airtight.
Freezer. I don’t recommend freezing taco pull-apart bread. Luckily, there’s rarely enough leftover to freeze!
Add olive oil to a large skillet, over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until soft. Add in the ground beef and break apart in the skillet, cooking until no longer pink. Add in the crushed tomatoes, and taco seasoning and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 – 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat.
While the ground beef is cooking, open the biscuits. Split each raw biscuit in half, widthwise (making 32 round biscuits). With a lightly floured rolling pin (or your hands) press each biscuit half out flat. *See note.
Place the melted butter in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Fill the center of each biscuit with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese and 1 tablespoon of the taco meat, keeping it away from the edge. Fold the biscuit dough around the meat and cheese into a ball and pinch the dough tightly. Dip each into the melted butter and place into a bundt pan.
Once you have all the dough balls in the bundt pan drizzle with any remaining melted butter.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until cooked through. If you notice the top browning too quickly, lightly tent the pan with foil.
When done, allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert the pan onto a large plate. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the bread to melt. Garnish with cilantro, shredded cheese, and/or olives as desired. Serve with guacamole and salsa.
*When flattening the biscuits, the diameter should increase by 50%. You want them to be thin, but not too thin that they will break when you add the ground beef.
Try to keep the meat in the middle when making the taco-filled dough balls. If the filling gets too close to the edge, the biscuit won’t hold together
Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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