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Homemade Taco Salad Shells are a delicious, affordable, and healthier version of deep-fried bowls. These crispy baked tortilla bowls can be made ahead of time and don’t require any special equipment.

multiple taco salad shells on a wooden board set up for a taco bar.
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Nobody orders a taco salad at a restaurant for the salad. We all know we’re in it for that delicious crispy taco bowl.

Now you can skip that sub-par taco salad, and make your own crunchy tortilla bowls at home.

These DIY taco bowls are baked, not fried. They’re so fun for taco bar night at home, and you can make them without any special equipment. You’ll simply need a plate, baking sheet, and a few oven-safe soup bowls.

4 photos showing how to make Crunchy Taco Bowls

How to store

Storing leftovers: all the taco shells to fully cool before storing them in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Reheating leftovers: these are fantastic served at room temp, but if you want to reheat them, pop them back into a 350˚F oven for 3-4 minutes.

What to Serve With This recipe?

As far as the fillings, the sky is the limit! Start with shredded lettuce or cabbage, and then add things like: Air Fryer Fish Tacos, Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos, Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Instant Pot Mexican Rice, Spicy Instant Pot Black Beans, Air Fryer Tofu, and Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken. 

I like to season the protein I use with homemade Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning.

For toppings, I love Mango Pico de Gallo, Southwest Chipotle Sauce, Encurtido (Spicy Pickled Vegetables), and Avocado Ranch.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • I recommend using burrito-sized tortillas.
  • Double-check that the bowls you plan to use are marked as “oven-safe”.
  • You can use corn tortillas for a gluten-free version, but the taco bowls will be much smaller. You should also microwave the tortillas for 15 seconds to make them pliable before dipping them in the water/oil mixture.
a crunchy taco salad bowl on a plate
4.84 from 6 ratings

Taco Salad Shells

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 17 minutes
a fork in a baked tortilla bowl
Homemade taco salad shells are a delicious, affordable, and healthier version of deep-fried bowls. These crispy baked tortilla bowls can be made ahead of time and don't require any special equipment.


  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil {divided}
  • 4 flour tortillas {burrito size}
  • olive oil spray


  • Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  • Place 4 shallow bowls with the opening facing up on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray the bowls lightly with olive oil.
    olive oil spray
  • Place oil and water in a shallow dish. 
    2 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp water
  • Dip each tortilla in the water and oil mixture, coating each side. Allow the excess to drip back into the dish. 
    4 flour tortillas
  • Place each tortilla into a bowl, and "mold" it into a bowl shape.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on how crispy you like your shell.


  1. For best results, use burrito-sized tortillas.
  2. To prep: Allow them to fully cool and then store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1tortilla bowlCalories: 152kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 207mgPotassium: 46mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. be careful in baking, mine was finished before 6 min. at 425 temp in my oven, but this process is amazing. I will do it again only cut down on the baking time. I did use the Burrito size, I have taco dishes, so this worked very well. So easy, and so delicious.4 stars