Most taco salad shells in restaurants are deep fried, which adds calories and fat to your entree. Bake tortillas at home for healthier salad shells. This takes more time than frying, but specially shaped metal molds make it an easy task. Start with fresh, pliable tortillas for edible salad bowls that will impress your family or guests.
Things You'll Need
- Metal tortilla molds
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray, optional
- Pastry brush, optional
- Paper towels
- Small ramekins
Preheat your oven to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly spray molds that lack a nonstick coating with cooking spray. Or apply a light layer of vegetable oil with a paper towel or pastry brush to prevent your tortillas from sticking.
Take one tortilla and press it inside of the mold. If it does not easily drop into the crevices of the mold without cracking, make the tortillas more pliable by stacking them between two paper towels and microwaving them for 20 to 30 seconds. Place each tortilla in a mold, gently pushing it all the way to the bottom and pressing the edges into the "waves" of the mold.
For extra flavor, apply a light layer of vegetable oil with a pastry brush to the interior of each shell, then sprinkle on a very small amount of chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic salt or other seasoning before baking.
Place a small ramekin in the bottom of each tortilla to prevent the bottom from puffing up and causing the bowl to become misshapen.
Place the tortillas in the preheated oven and bake for six minutes. Remove the ramekins and continue baking until the shells are lightly browned, about six to eight minutes.
Remove the tortilla bowls from the oven and place the molds on a wire rack. Cool the tortillas in the molds for two minutes. Remove them, fill with taco salad ingredients and serve.
Tips & Warnings
- You can use any size of tortilla in your tortilla mold. If your tortilla is larger than the mold, the part that extends over the top may brown further than the rest of the bowl.
- Stack leftover baked shells and seal them in a ziptop bag or airtight container. Use within three days.
- Keep a careful eye on the taco salad bowls during the last few minutes of baking. Thin tortillas can burn quickly after they've begun to turn the desired golden brown color.
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