Copycat Azteca Taco Salad Shell Recipe


Taco shell bowl side view

Azteca Taco Salad Shell 

Try making your own version of Azteca taco salad shell. They are surprisingly easy and look and taste amazing. Check out these instructions that will walk you through the simple process!  

Taco Salad Shells 

If you love taco salad, you probably also enjoy the special treat of using Azteca shells such as:  

Azteca Crispy Salad Shells & Formers, 6.2 Oz., 8 Count 
Azteca Bake & Fill Crispy Salad Shells – 4 Count 

But what about making your own taco shells at home that can compete with any kind you buy from the store? Here we are going to walk through the process of making your own taco bowls at home, in a few easy steps that will surprise you.  

Let’s Talk Salad Shells 

Using taco salad shells is a great way to take a simple salad and turn it into something elegant. One of the best things is that you don’t need to purchase anything crazy or different to make them. These shells can be made with everything you typically have around the house.  

Bubbly Taco Salad Bowls 

This article focuses primarily on how to create the delicious bubbly taco shell to use for salads or Mexican taco bowls. The process of making the bowls is a simple process that uses store-bought tortilla shells, oil, a frying pan, a bowl that can go in the oven, and that’s it! It’s a super simple process, that my family enjoys eating. I wish I had known about this trick years ago because it is such a simple way to have a delicious meal.  

Crispy & Flaky Taco Salad Shells 

To create your crispy, yet flaky taco salad shell, you will take a frying pan and place it over medium-high heat, then add your oil to heat up. You will want just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once it is warm, take your taco shell and place it in the bottom of the frying pan. Give it a slight swish so that the entire bottom is covered with oil. Then allow cooking for 30 seconds to one minute, or until it begins to puff up and turn golden on the bottom side. Flip it over and repeat the process. After the tortilla shell is crispy, you are going to place it into an oven save bowl and bake it at 400F for 5-10 minutes, to dry out the shell and make it crispy. You will then remove the bowl and allow it to cool while you prepare your salad.  

Taco Salad For Your Taco Bowl Shells 

For your salad filling to your taco bowl, you can create your favorite taco salad. This might include things like lettuce, tomato, peppers, onions, guacamole, black beans, rice, refried beans, olives, sour cream, cooked ground beef, cooked shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, or salsa. Fill the bowl with your favorites and enjoy! 

How To Make a Homemade Taco Bowl 

Below are the ingredients needed to make these copycat Azteca taco salad shell, as well as helpful kitchen utensils and step-by-step directions to make this. Once complete, serve and enjoy!  


Homemade Taco Bowl: 

8 large flour or corn soft tortilla shells 
olive oil or vegetable oil 

Taco Salad: 

4 cups cooked ground beef 
1 head lettuce, chopped 
2 large tomatoes 
1 onion 
1 green pepper 
8 dollops sour cream 
1 can black beans, rinsed, drained, and warmed 
1 cup cheddar cheese 
salsa, optional 
guacamole, optional 

Kitchen Tools: 

16 ounce ramekin or cereal bowl that is oven safe 


Step 1: How To deep fry a tortilla shell 

To begin, heat your frypan over medium heat and add your oil to warm up. Once warm drop in your soft flour or corn tortilla shell and gently swish around in the pan to cover the bottom in oil. Allow to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until golden and puffy.  

Step 2: How To Make Taco Bowls 

Spray the baking dish with cooking spray. Remove the tortilla shell from the frying pan and place it directly into the bowl. Mold into shape. Preheat your oven to 400F, and place your shells in their bowls into the oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the oil has dried and taco shells are crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  

Step 3: For The Taco Salad 

Cut and prepare all portions of your taco salad. Once your bowls are cool, add salad into the bowls. Top with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole, serve and enjoy!  

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Allergen Statement: 

Depending on what type of tortilla shells you use, they will most likely contain wheat. Please note that if you purchase gluten-free shells, this recipe still works well. Other types of shells besides flour and corn may also work well, but have not been tested.  


If you have allergies, please be sure to read the ingredients of your foods before eating. Please adapt the recipe as needed to fit your health needs.  

Nutritional Information: 

How many calories in Azteca Taco Salad Shells 

In one Azteca taco shell, there is an estimate of 210 calories.  

Calorie Burn Time 

How long would it take to burn off 210 Calories of Azteca Taco Salad Shells? 

Swimming Jogging Cycling Walking 
18 minutes 24 minutes 32 minutes 58 minutes 

Taco Salad with Homemade Tortilla Bowls 

Taco salad with homemade tortilla bowls are the ultimate meal. You can prepare them for any occasion and everyone will think you have prepared a gourmet meal. These taco bowls add a lovely compliment to your dinner and look like they took a long time for you to prepare. Give them a try and let us know what you think about them!  


There are a few different variations to making these taco bowls if you would like to try out something a little different. You could try making these bowls in different ways, or you could even try eating them differently.  

Air Fryer Taco Salad Bowls 

If you have a round air fryer, you can try this way of creating them for a change: 

Begin by spraying both sides of your tortilla with cooking spray, then fold it into a piece of foil just slightly larger than the tortilla shell. Place it into the bottom of your air fryer and place a bowl on top to weigh it down. Cook until golden brown, remove from your air fryer and serve after it has cooled.  

Taco Salad in Deep Fried Tortilla Bowls 

Making deep-fried tortilla bowls is the same as the instructions stated above, only you will want to use vegetable oil that is deep enough to submerge the entire tortilla shell, and monitor the oil so that it does not exceed 350F.  

Azteca Ice Cream Sundae 

If you have a sweet tooth to satisfy, try coating your taco shell in a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, and granulated sugar before you bake it. Then after it has finished baking, and cooled off, fill it with ice cream and your favorite toppings, enjoy as a dessert or snack!  

Taco Salad 

Copycat Azteca taco salad shell makes for a perfect meal, any time of the year. It has a healthy balance with a fried crunch. One of the great things about these taco shells is that they look gorgeous but are very easy to make and add a nice compliment to your meal. Try making your own today and let us know what you think about them!  

What is your favorite version of taco shell bowls to make? 

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This is a recipe I came up with to replicate the real thing.

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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