How to Make Hard or Crunchy Taco Shells

Do you want to make your own fresh, hard taco shells? Here is an easy tutorial that will show you how!

how to make taco shells from corn tortillas Plus, they are the perfect crunchy addition to any lunch box

Taco night has to be one of my daughter’s favorites! If you ask what her favorite food is, she’d have a close toss up between sunflower seed spread, pizza, and tacos.

That being said, we eat tacos every other week on rotation at our house for supper. They’re quick to whip up and filling for the entire family! I love that flexibility that comes with tacos. It doesn’t always have to be the same meats, veggies, or toppings used. Mix it up, and try something new!

Now that I make our own seasoning, our tacos have got a little “healthier” too—free of salt, MSG, preservatives, and anti-caking agents.

So, why not make our own crunchy taco shells too?! Since my daughter eats gluten-free, I often worry about cross contamination and also the quality of the shells we buy. It can get expensive over time buying the ones she loves so much, whereas, a package of gluten-free corn tortillas is fairly inexpensive.

The shells that you can stuff and stand on their own are our family favorite. We can load them up and not have to worry about them tipping over or spilling out as we make our way to the dining table.

The best part? Leftovers make the BEST lunches!

Click here for even more MOMables “taco inspired” ideas.

homemade-hard-taco-shellstaco dinner with homemade taco shells

Homemade Crunchy Taco Shells
Cuisine: Dinner
  • 8-10 corn tortilla shells
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Steam your shells by wrapping them in a stack with damp paper towels, five at a time.
  3. Then, on a plate, microwave them wrapped for 25 to 30 seconds on high.
  4. Drape each shell directly over two bars of your oven rack.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crispy.



  1. Jackie says

    Thank you so much for this great idea! It never would have occurred to me to use the oven in this way for taco shells! I just made my first batch of tortillas and my husband suggested turning some of them into taco shells. So glad I found your site!

  2. Christina says

    Taco night at our house is too expensive with the number my children consume, and I’d love having healthy ones on hand. Can you store these in a cupboard after you make them? If so, how long do they keep, and do you have any storage tips?

    • says

      I would store these in an airtight bag or container but you’ll have to “crisp” back up so they don’t taste “stale”. I would make these while you are cooking your taco fillings.

  3. andrew galpin says

    I’m sorry but this is ridiculous. Buying a packet of a product and heating the Tortillas is NOT making Taco shells yourself.

    • says

      You are welcome to have an opinion, of course. I purchase organic corn tortillas that have minimal ingredients. For us, it’s better to make them this way than buying the crunchy ones at the store with things like BHT. What you purchase is your choice.

    • Jim says

      I couldn’t disagree more. This site came up near the top of my Google search, and it was exactly was I was trying to find. I do understand that, if you’re looking for a recipe to make shells, this isn’t the info for which you were searching. But calling the information “ridiculous” ignores the real value people get from information sharing.

      • says

        Thanks Jim! this recipe was created for those of us who have corn tortillas in our fridge and want crunchy taco shells. Perhaps he was looking to make his own tortilla first, then the hard taco. Thank you for taking the time to try the recipe and leave a comment. It’s very much appreciated!

  4. Kris says

    Do you think this will this work with homemade tortillas? If so, should I cook the tortillas first?

  5. Cheryl says

    I think maybe they are supposed to be wide because they have a wider base so they stand up easier on the plate while you fill them.

  6. Kat says

    I am so in love this idea but the shells seem kind of wide or am I looking at the picture wrong.

    I always warm up/cook tortillas on a cast iron griddle 3 at a time then keep warm in a kitchen towel. I have also heard of people using the oven to cook stacks of tortillas but I’ve never tried it.

  7. Cheryl says

    I’d also like to know of a way to steam them without using a microwave. Very excited to try baking my shells rather than frying them! :)

  8. Chris says

    I would also say buy organic corn tortilla shells because most processed foods that use corn use genetically modified corn, which is very scary to me as a parent.

  9. says

    I love this idea! Do you have any suggestion for softening the tortillas without a microwave? We just moved into a new house that doesn’t have room in the kitchen for one.

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