How To Make Taco Salad Shells
Mini taco shells shaped like tiny salad bowls are all the rage right now! You can turn tortilla wraps into salad bowls by baking them in the oven and shaping them over an upside-down muffin tin. It’s a nifty trick that gives you homemade baked taco shells that you can then fill with your favorite Mexican-style salad toppings for a healthy lunch!
Taco Salad Recipe With Homemade Tortilla Shell Bowls
This post may contain affiliate links.
Taco salad has been my go-to meal lately. It is so yummy, healthy, delicious and versatile. Some may call them tostadas, but this is the ultimate taco salad recipe made with homemade tortilla shell bowls.
It took me a few times to master these tortilla bowls. I love the ones you get at a Mexican restaurant that are so bubbly and crispy. I think those might be deep fried, so I made the healthier choice and perfected these by cooking them in the oven.
You can make this taco salad vegan, vegetarian or use substitutions for any of the ingredients to suite your dietary needs and tastes. I usually serve this family style so that my kids will pick out what they want from all the ingredients or toppings.
Aside from the amazing edible tortilla bowl, there are so many possibilities for making this the best taco salad ever! For protein, you can add any combination of carne asada, chicken, fish, pork and beans. Ive really enjoyed mine with black beans and chicken.
Because I love ranch so much, I love pouring some homemade ranch on top. You can also add a dollop of sour cream, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo or your favorite hot sauce.
This meal is so easy and great to have when you dont know what to do about dinner. Usually I already have most of these ingredients in my kitchen anyways.
Homemade Taco Shells: Crispy And Crunchy Recipe
Crunchy, crispy taco shells are the ultimate in Tex-Mex comfort food, but you don’t need to visit your local taco stand or fast food restaurant to find the best hard taco shells! No, you can easily cook up large batches of crispy, homemade taco shells using fresh tortillas and a few of our top tips!
Cut out the preservatives, lower the calories, and maximize the taste by making homemade taco shells the way you like them best. With a cast iron tortilla press, you can even prepare a stack of your own homemade tortillas first before turning them into healthy hard shell tacos. From baking to frying, here are the best ways to prepare homemade taco shells!
Don’t Miss: 2n1 Salad Bar And Grill
How To Deep Fry A Tortilla Shell:
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
When the oil is fully heated, place one tortilla very gently into the oil. Press it down using a steel soup ladle very slowly until the tortilla is touching the bottom. If needed, use tongs to help place the tortilla correctly. The sides of the tortilla will float up around the ladle forming the bowl shape. Be very careful not to get burned as the oil is boiling hot.
Fry the tortilla until brown and crisp about 2 or 3 minutes.
Using tongs, very carefully remove the tortilla from the oil and place upside down on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet to drain.
Repeat with the second tortilla.
Key Ingredients And Substitutions
- GroundBeefwithTacoSeasonings Follow this recipe to make a homemade Ground Beef Taco filling. Or, cook up some ground beef and use a store-bought taco seasoning packet.
- IcebergLettuce We think this salad is best with crisp, cold iceberg lettuce, but you can use your favorite variety of salad greens such as Romaine or Boston lettuce.
- Cheese For convenience, buy a bag of the pre-shredded taco blend cheese, or shred your own mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses.
- RedOnion Slice red onion into very thin slices.
- Tomatoes Chop fresh, salad tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Catalina Dressing The sweet, zesty flavor of Catalina Dressing is a must for this salad. Make your own following this recipe, or buy a bottle at the supermarket.
- Doritos Another must-include ingredient for this salad. I like the Cool Ranch flavor for this salad, while Jack likes the Nacho Cheese. You can use one of their spicier flavors if you prefer.
You May Like: Healthy Low Calorie Salad Dressing
How To Make Taco Salad Bowls:
Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip: Before you start making the tortilla bowls, find oven-safe bowls that the tortillas will fit in. Its okay if the shells stick up a little bit over the rim of the bowl.
STEP 1: Microwave tortillas for a few seconds until they are soft. It helps keep them from tearing if theyre pliable.
STEP 2: Spray tortillas with cooking spray on both sides.
STEP 3: Set tortilla in bowls. Crumple a piece of aluminum foil in a loose ball that fits inside the tortilla.
STEP 4: Bake tortilla bowls. Let cool in the bowls before removing.
Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:
To make ahead: Everything can be prepped a day or two in advance. Reheat the meat mixture in the microwave or in a skillet, and serve hot.
To freeze: Allow meat mixture to cool completely and store in freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Also Check: Ambrosia Salad Recipe With Fruit Cocktail
How To Make Taco Bowls
Ive seen some homemade taco bowl methods around the Internets over the years, but this is the only way Ive found to make a really huge bowl a bowl big enough to hold a full salad.
If youre interested, the way to make smaller bowls is just to use the underside of a muffin tin. Those are pretty tiny though. You can also use smaller ramekins for a mid-sized bowl.
To start, its important that your tortilla is warm and flexible and also lightly coated with oil so it doesnt stick to the ramekin later.
I used a little spray oil on my tortilla and then warm the tortilla over medium heat for a few seconds per side.
Then lay the tortilla over your ramekin. I recommend working on a baking sheet just so you can easily move the whole thing to the oven.
I used 10 inch tortillas for this and a 16 ounce ramekin. If you had more than one of these ramekins you could really pop these out pretty quickly actually.
Next I wrap the tortilla with foil so it holds the tortilla tightly around the ramekin.
You will need to kind of crimp the tortilla so it folds nicely around the ramekin.
Bake this tortilla bowl for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
You can make other parts of the meal like the beef mixture or chop toppings while your bowls bake obviously.
After fifteen minutes, take the foil off of the boil and the taco bowl shells should hold their shape!
Then bake it for another 10 minutes so the shell gets really crispy and delicious.
I recommend using a fork to gently lift the shell off.
Air Fryer Taco Salad Bowls
Make homemade taco salad bowls right in your air fryer in minutes using flour tortillas. Healthier than fried and so simple to make!
Who doesnt love a good taco salad? Especially when you can eat the bowl its in?! This technique for Air Fryer Taco Salad Bowls will blow your mind. They are so easy!
SOME OF THE ITEMS BELOW CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS I AM A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES. I AM ALSO AN AFFILIATE FOR OTHER BRANDS. HOWEVER, I ONLY PROMOTE THINGS THAT I LOVE AND THINK YOU WILL LOVE, TOO. FOR MY ENTIRE DISCLOSURE POLICY PLEASE
Read Also: Jersey Mike’s Chicken Salad
Taco Shell Bowls & The Ultimate Taco Salad
- 6 flour tortillas at room temperature
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 3 slices lean bacon, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
- 1/2 head iceburg lettuce, torn
- 1 head Romaine , torn
- 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks
- 16 black olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese
- Lime wedges, guacamole, and sour cream to serve on the side
- Lightly spray the inside of 6 oven proof soup or popcorn bowls with cooking spray. Reserve 7th bowl.
- Lightly spray each tortilla on both sides with cooking spray to soften them.
- Carefully arrange one tortilla inside each of 6 bowls.
- Stack filled bowls inside of each other.
- Place the 7th empty bowl inside of the 6th bowl and fill with dried beans or anything heat resistant that will weight the bowl.
- Bake for about 12 minutes.
- Remove tray from oven. Do not move the bowls at this point. Let them cool down, then carefully separate the bowls and remove the tortilla shells. Let them cool completely.
Baked Tortilla Bowls Variations:
- Cheesy Taco Shells Remove aluminum foil ball during the last two minutes of baking. Sprinkle grated cheese on the insides of the bowls.
- Mini Shells To make mini taco cups turn a muffin tin upside down and press the street taco shells or small tortillas between the bottoms of the cupcake cups.
- Corn Tortilla Bowls Corn tortillas are smaller. Either use a smaller bowl or the bottom of a muffin tin.
- Dessert Shells Sprinkle the inside of the bowls with cinnamon and sugar before baking. These are fantastic with vanilla ice cream!
You May Like: Wawa Kale And Quinoa Salad
Diy Bonus Homemade Baked Tortilla Bowls
Have fun with the Taco Salad? Check out our tostadas recipe! Its like a Mexican open-faced sandwich on a toasted tortilla!
You can also FOLLOW ME on , , and for more great recipes!
Consider Topping The Taco Bowl Shells With These Taco Salad Fillings:
- Shredded Romaine
Yes and no. Yes, you can follow this exact process, with corn tortillas, to make crunchy corn tortilla bowls.
However, its hard to find extra-large corn tortillas so the bowls will not be as large.
Also, there will be small bubbles from frying, but you will not get the massive bubbles with corn tortillas, that you do with flour tortillas.
Don’t Miss: Briannas Salad Dressing Creamy Balsamic
Grilled Chicken Taco Salad Bowls Chips Pepper
Fried Taco Bowls. Here are a number of highest rated Fried Taco Bowls pictures on internet. We identified it from obedient source. Its submitted by doling out in the best field. We allow this nice of Fried Taco Bowls graphic could possibly be the most trending subject later we part it in google pro or facebook.
Crunchy Bubbly Taco Salad Bowls
The best thing about eating a taco salad at a restaurant is the crunchy tortilla bowl. Am I right?
The golden color and crisp airy bubbles are so alluring, its hard not to break off a big chunk of bowl before ever picking up your fork!
At restaurants, taco salad bowls are made by deep-frying extra-large flour tortillas in a specially-shaped frying basket.
However, most of us dont have deep fryers at home. And if you try to just bake tortilla bowls, they come out crisp, but not puffy and bubbly.
So today Im going to teach you a quick trick to making crispy taco salad bowls at home, without a deep fryer!
Also Check: How To Make Yogurt Salad Dressing
How To Make A Taco Salad Bowl
Faqs About Taco Salad Shells
How to store taco salad bowls?
Store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature, or up to a week in the fridge.
Can I freeze tortilla bowls?
Yes! You can freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight container. I dont recommend it though. They take up a lot of space in the freezer and theyre easy to make fresh! Freeze the tortillas instead and make bowls when youre ready.
Can I use corn tortillas?
Yes! Make corn tortilla bowls the same way. Theyre a great gluten free option!
You May Like: Chili Cheese Frito Corn Salad
How To Make Crispy Taco Shells In The Oven
You can bake tortilla wraps in the oven for healthy yet crunchy homemade taco shells. This method uses no oil and takes just ten minutes to produce healthy taco shells!
How Do I Make Really Crispy Taco Shells
If you’ve ever ordered hard shell tacos at a fast-food joint, then you’ll notice that they are usually super crispy and super crunchy. To get your taco shells really crispy, however, you need to use a lot of oil. Restaurants will often use a deep fryer for cooking their hard shell tacos, but of course, this isn’t the healthiest option!
You can recreate this at home using the frying method we outlined earlier, but you’ll need to add more vegetable oil to make them even crispier. If you want a healthy yet crunchy taco shell, then you can bake the taco shells in the oven with a light drizzle of oil. You can also leave them to bake for longer in the oven. We recommend 10 minutes, but you can leave them baking for a few more minutes to add that extra crunch.
Remember, though, that it’s always going to be a trade-off between a healthy hard shell taco and the crispiest hard shell taco. You need to find a balance to avoid burning off all those nutrients and adding excess fat and calories through the additional oil!
Read Also: How To Meal Prep Salad For A Week
How Do You Make Flour Tortilla Bowls In An Air Fryer
To make flour tortillas into tortilla bowls in your air fryer, youll need to create a mold in the shape of a bowl to form the tortilla while it cooks.
The best way to achieve this is by using actual bowls to shape the tortilla. Smart, huh? This method allows you to use either taco size or burrito size flour tortillas.
The most important part of this process is finding bowls that are the proper size for your tortillas. You dont want much extra tortilla hanging over the edges of the bowls because theyll go whatever direction they want and make your tortilla bowl look a lot less like a bowl!
Taco size tortillas will need smaller bowls than burrito size tortillas to make tortilla bowls in the air fryer. You can see in the photos how the tortilla fits in between the inner and outer bowls.
After 5 minutes of cooking, the tortilla has started to form its shape. However, you can see the center and outside are not quite browned.
Remove the outer bowl so that the tortilla can brown all around the outside. But leave the inner bowl so air bubbles dont form in the tortilla. Air fry for 3-4 more minutes.
If you want any additional browning, remove the inner bowl and air fry for just another minute to add a hint of brown to the inside of the bowl. Flip it over to avoid it flying around in the air fryer .