Taco Salad Recipe With Homemade Tortilla Shell Bowls
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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.
Taco Salad Bowl Recipe
This Nacho Taco Salad Bowl is so flavorful, easy to make, and quite simply way better than your average taco salad. Why? Thanks to a blend of delicious seasonings in a convenient packet, creamy, cheesy queso, fresh, crisp toppings, and lean ground turkey.
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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.
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What Readers Are Saying About These Taco Bowls
- Hannah says: Looks amazing easy and flavorful summer recipe!
- Erin says: I never considered making my own bowls before- these are so easy and make our Mexican dinner nights feel a little more special!
- Roberta says: These are perfect! I even made mini bowls for the grandkids and they got such a kick out of it. Thanks for sharing!
You cannot make everybody happy you are not a taco.
Taco Salad Bowls are so easy to make and delicious that youd never guess they are light in calories, too! With less than 150 calories, these darling shells are the perfect way to serve taco salad without guilt.
If youre anything like our family, we like to eat Mexican-inspired dishes at least once a week for dinner. These homemade taco bowls are such an easy way to elevate a simple meal!
Taco salad bowls add such a nice flavor and texture to your favorite taco salad.
Looking For This In Myfitnesspal
If you’re using MyFitnessPal, search ‘A Paige Of Positivity’ and find Taco Salad Bowl
1 serving: 23 grams Carbs | 20 grams Fat | 27 grams Protein
NOTE: the nutrition label to the right is auto-generated and often does not include specific brands or types of ingredients. Example: fat free milk vs. whole milk, chicken breast vs. chicken thigh, etc.
**Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
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Make More Than Just Taco Salad Bowls
This recipe is a great foundation to other Mexican dishes. So, if you aren’t feeling taco bowls and want something a little heartier, try using these ingredients to make enchiladas, burritos, a quesadilla, an omelet or egg scramble, or even Mexican-style Sloppy Joes!
The protein in this recipe would also go great with hard or soft tacos. Maybe even a homemade Crunchwrap Supreme!
How Do You Make Taco Bowls Out Of Corn Tortillas
First preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Place 3 corn tortillas in a microwave and heat them up for about 20 seconds so they are pliable and will bend without breaking.
Flip over the cupcake pan.
Spray both side of the corn tortillas and push into the pan to form a star bowl, like you see in the picture above.
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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!
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Storing The Tortilla Bowls
These tortilla bowls are really easy to store and you can store them for about a month.
I recommend following these steps when storing them.
So, there you have it. You can now make your won taco bowls at home. What ingredients would you fill them with?
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Beef Taco Salad With Homemade Tortilla Bowls
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I honestly cant tell you the last time I had taco salad.
Oh wait, yes I can two weeks ago. When we made these.
But before that I mean. Taco salad was always this oddly unappealing concept, something my mom would order when wed go out to eat, that Id side-eye skeptically as I plowed down my greasy cheese enchiladas.
Because when youre craving Mexican food, salad is usually the last thing to come to mind.
Maybe Im maturing in my tastes because these days, I can definitely see the appeal. I thought it might just be a grown-up thing, this Americanized dish we call taco salad, but then I realized, you can eat the entire bowl. I mean, cmon. What kid wouldnt enjoy that? .
This recipe comes from The Best Mexican Recipes, the newest release from the Editors at Americas Test Kitchen. Their Complete Cooking for Two is still one of our favorite cookbooks to date, and so we were confident this book of Mexican recipes would not disappoint.
There are a number of very authentic-sounding recipes in the book, which I appreciate, but it does mean that they are often time consuming and complex, which was surprising to us for an ATK cookbook
This beef taco salad is a different story, and its a stellar example of the kind of delicious, impeccably flavored food I expect from ATK. Its simple AND flavorful. Even after making your own tortilla bowls, youll be sitting down to eat in about 30 minutes.
Its like Hamburger Helper, only not.
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!
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Crunchy Taco Salad Bowls
Crunchy Taco Salad Bowls make your at-home taco salad taste just like your favorite restaurant! This is a super quick and easy way to make your own taco salad bowls. Taco salad is just boring without them!
I love a great taco salad full of chicken or steak, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, black olives, jalapenos, and a dollop of sour cream! But we all know the BEST part of a restaurant taco salad is definitely the crunchy bowl they serve the salad in.
But you dont have to go to a restaurant to have these delicious bowls! You can make them at home in about 10 minutes with just 2 ingredients oil and flour tortillas. I love using flour tortillas but you can also use corn tortillas if you like the taste more. I love the way the flour tortillas bubble up and crisp.
Making crunchy taco salad bowls at home is super easy and fast and will make taco salad your favorite new at-home salad!
Ways To Make Taco Salad Bowls At Home
It is so easy to make hard taco salad bowls at home. There 3 quick and healthier ways to make them in your oven. It only takes 35 minutes to make.
Today, I made these taco bowls and they turned out so perfectly! They were sturdy and stood up to all the ingredients I filled them up with.
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Have you seen those huge taco salad bowls you get at restaurants? Some are filled sky high with all kinds of yummy goodness. By the time I am finished with the salad, there isnt a crumb leftover!
The problem is that the restaurants generally frown when you ask them if you could take a few empty taco shells home to make a recipe. I dont know why they wont let me take a few home.
So, I started making them at home and creating my own recipes to use the shell in. Personally, I am not a fan of frying them because they are too oily and not really good for you.
Baking them is so much easier, so, I decided to share my tips and tricks to make a healthier version at home.
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Taco Salad And Guacamole
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Todays recipe is actually a twofer. In the summer, when you want a salad but you also want something that will stick to your ribs, a taco salad is the perfect meal. Ill show you how to fry yourself up a tortilla in the shape of a bowl, how to spice up the pinto beans, add even more flavor to the meat, and make a great cheese sauce.
On top of all that, Im sharing a bonus recipe the famous guacamole from our cookbook Faith, Family, and the Feast.
Tortilla Bowl Serving Suggestions:
You really can serve them a million different ways! Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- Taco Salad the obvious, but even better with Homemade French Dressing!
- Sweet Pork Salad Check out my instant pot Mexican Pork recipe!
- Breakfast Burrito Bowls or any other burrito bowl
- Other Burrito Bowls
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Make It In An Oven Safe Glass Bowl
I love oven safe glass bowls. They are so convenient because I can store food in it and then place it directly into the oven. No extra pans required!
Lightly spray the inside of an oven safe glass bowl. I used a 7-cup/1.65L bowl which is 6.8×3.
Take the microwaved tortilla and mold it inside the glass bowl. Use a ramekin to push the bottom of the tortilla to the edges. The ramekin will also help to flatten the base of the taco bowl. Spray the inside of the burrito and place it in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the shells have browned / hardened.
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.
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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.
Homemade Tortilla Shell Bowls
Oh my gosh! I had the worst time trying to perfect these. I read so many blogs, watched so many YouTube videos and nothing worked.
There were methods of turning an oven-safe bowl upside down and placing the tortilla around it. There were methods that used molds or other cake or pie pans with aluminum foil balled up inside to keep the tortilla from caving in.
The problem I had is that the tortilla ended up sticking to the bowl or pan whether or not I used oil. Trying to pull it apart ended up in a big mess and a ton of shredded up no good tortilla strips.
I also tried tortillas of all kinds and they would burn around the edges but not get crispy in the middle. Talk about frustrating!
So this is what worked for meI combined all the methods I liked and came up with my own recipe for these tortillas bowls. I wanted a method where the tortilla wouldnt stick but it would cook thoroughly.
Heres the deal its all about the tortillas you use! The large burrito sized tortillas were too big. Both those and any other size didnt cook well. This is probably why the restaurants deep fry them.
Alas! The organic uncooked tortillas from Costco was the winner. They are smaller than regular tortillas but they are just the right size for even cooking and created the perfect tortilla bowl shape.
If you can find any uncooked tortillas, Id try those first!
Here is a step by step tutorial of what I did to make these amazing tortilla shell bowls for my taco salad:
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How To Make Ground Beef For Taco Salad
To a large skillet, add the ground beef, evenly season with taco seasoning, and cook until done and browned.
As an alternative to ground beef, you can change up the meat and use preseasoned chicken fajita or beef fajita meat.
Or try ground, cubed, sliced, or shredded chicken or turkey. Sausage and ground pork are also great options.
Homemade Baked Tortilla Bowls How To Make A Taco Bowl
Most taco salads out there can be deceivingly unhealthy. Because all of that salad is served on a deliciously deep-fried tortilla bowl! You COULD get rid of the tortilla bowl altogether Or, you can enjoy the crispy crunch you crave with these homemade baked tortilla bowls!
Seriously, you dont need a deep fryer to create an irresistibly crunchy taco bowl. Your tortillas will bake up to perfectionand theyre so easy to make. Plus, homemade baked tortilla bowls are a fun, simple way to make healthy weeknight dinners more exciting!
And, with homemade baked tortilla bowls, you can make a fuel-filled tortilla choice for yourself. Look for whole grain options with 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain on the label, and in the ingredients list! Or, try baking up some gluten free tortillas, or even grain free tortillas.
The options are endless. And, of course, theyre the perfect vessel for a healthy taco salad that suits your lifestyle. Keep it gluten free or grain free, opt for dairy free, or try my vegan and vegetarian taco salad recipewhatever you like!
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