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Crispy Taco Shells

Crispy Taco Shells

I love crispy taco shells when I eat tacos but I have never tried frying them at home before. I recently had a massive craving for crispy tacos so I decided to finally give it a try. After practicing a few times I figured out how to make a light & crispy taco without being greasy and chewy. The key is that the oil needs to be hot enough to fry them quickly but not so hot that you can’t get a good shape formed. I found that a small skillet worked best because you only cook one tortilla at a time and you don’t have to use as much oil. Tongs are my tool of choice because you can flip quickly & easily but you also can use them to pry the center open while they are frying. Finally, you drain them on paper towels and sprinkle salt on them immediately. If you are making a big batch, keep them warm in the oven while you finish frying them. I wish you could have heard the crunch from our tacos last night–it was music to my ears! My kids and I love these crispy taco shells but my husband is a soft flour taco kind of guy.

Crispy Taco Shells

How to Make Crispy Taco Shells

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Fill a small skillet with vegetable oil until it is 1/2 inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot, about 7-10 minutes. Test the oil by putting the tip of a corn tortilla in the oil, if it bubbles a lot, it’s ready.

When the oil is hot, carefully place 1 corn tortilla in the hot oil for a second. Using tongs, take half of the tortilla out of the oil while keeping half in the oil. Bend the tortilla in half while it is cooking to make a taco shape. Let half of the tortilla cook in the oil until crisp and bubbly, about 30 seconds.

Pull the tortilla out of the oil, and place the uncooked half back in the oil to cook while holding the cooked side out. Keep the tortilla open about an inch with the tongs while it continues cooking so that you can fill it later.

Once both sides are cooked and nicely crisp, place the cooked taco shells drain on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the grease. Immediately sprinkle with a bit of sea salt then place on the prepared baking sheet. Keep the shells warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the other tortillas.

Fill with your favorite taco fixings and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Crispy Taco Shells

Crispy Taco Shells

Crispy Taco Shells

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Pam

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • Corn tortillas
  • Sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Fill a small skillet with vegetable oil until it is 1/2 inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot, about 7-10 minutes. Test the oil by putting the tip of a corn tortilla in the oil, if it bubbles a lot, it's ready. 
  • When the oil is hot, carefully place 1 corn tortilla in the hot oil for a second. Using tongs, take half of the tortilla out of the oil while keeping half in the oil. Bend the tortilla in half while it is cooking to make a taco shape. Let half of the tortilla cook in the oil until crisp and bubbly, about 30 seconds.
  • Pull the tortilla out of the oil, and place the uncooked half back in the oil to cook while holding the cooked side out. Keep the tortilla open about an inch with the tongs while it continues cooking so that you can fill it later.
  • Once both sides are cooked and nicely crisp, place the cooked taco shells drain on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the grease. Immediately sprinkle with a bit of sea salt then place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Keep the shells warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the other tortillas. 
  • Fill with your favorite taco fixings and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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10 Comments

  1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this simple and wonderful recipe to make crisp taco shells.

  2. Neat post! I’ve never made taco shells — always something I bought. Need to give these a try — your shells look spectacular! Thanks.

  3. Great idea!

    My daughter and her best friend had to make homemade tortillas for Spanish class in high school. I don’t remember all that was involved, other than that they made a massive mess, and then giggled through the entire cleanup. I think they made about 10 dozen, so we could eat some that night, and they’d still have some to to take to school the next day. Fortunately, the other girl is one of 6, so she understood starving brothers.

    I don’t know why I just went off on that tangent, but there it is. Have a great day, Pam.

  4. Jovina Coughlin says:

    Thank you for thus tip.

  5. These were so yummy! We never think to buy hard taco shells, but we always have corn tortillas on hand. This recipe made our crunchy taco Tuesday night a smashing success! They were a smidge greasy, but no complaints from the family as we munched these up. All I need to figure out for next time is how to make them crunchier.

    1. Beth,

      I’m so glad they were a big hit with your family. I just love a homemade crunchy corn tortilla! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

      -Pam