How to make Crispy, Hard Taco Shells!

When our California friend Flo made these crunchy taco shells for us one night we were immediately intrigued about how to make these much tastier, non-taco bell hard shells (funny since our friend had never even been to a Taco Bell until she was in her twenties).  We’ve found out since then that these hard taco shells are also a mysterious and delightful home-made surprise to many who have never made them before either! And, it is pretty easy to make these and they are way better than the hard taco shells you buy at the store. The shells are probably a bit less healthy too, but hey, they are really good, add a uniqueness to your meal,  and have an impressive crunch!

Perfect Fillings for Homemade Taco Shells:

  • Shredded Taco Chicken Meat (Roast an entire chicken or get one already cooked from the store and pull the meat off, then put the meat in a pan on the stove w/ taco seasoning and black olives from a can and cook it up a bit – another Flo special recipe! Serve with all the taco bar fixin’s.)
  • Al Pastor Recipe
  • Carne Asada
  • Achiote-Orange Pulled Pork (One of my all-time favorite Sunset Magazine Recipes that could be made into a creative taco filling – but time consuming as you have to smoke it on the grill.)

Hard Taco Shells Recipe


  • Corn Tortillas
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Oil


  • Heavy Skillet or Cast-Iron Pan
  • Two Forks
  • Cookie Sheet with Paper Towels

Steps for Making Hard Taco Shells:

  1. Pour about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of oil into a skillet or cast iron pan.
  2. Heat Oil to medium or medium-high heat. Make sure it is hot enough before you start
  3. Place corn tortilla in hot oil and it will start to sizzle.  Let sizzle for 15 seconds.
  4. Take two forks and fold the tortilla in half, then push one side of the tortilla down on the bottom of the skillet and hold the shell in place to cook one side first (about 15 seconds).  Be sure to make the folded space big enough to put taco fillings into.
  5. Once one side is crispy enough, flip it and cook the other side (see photos above). Cook for another 15 seconds on this side or until crispy brown.
  6. Now place the crispy taco shell on the paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain the excess oil.
  7. Eat these crispy taco shells right away or they will get soggy!
1 comment… add one
  • I have developed a kitchen gadget that easily frys tortillas into crispy taco shells hands free in very little oil. Also leaves the fold pliable so they do not split when filling. I can supply one no charge if interested.

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