How to Make Cheese Taco Shells
These delicious and fun Cheese Taco Shells were born out of a mistake. I was making my kiddos some easy cheesy quesadillas in the oven and one of them completely overflowed (as they tend to do).
I removed the quesadilla and mindlessly stuck the sheet pan back in the oven with the oven off. Later as I was cleaning the kitchen I remembered the sheet pan in the oven and pulled it out to find the most perfect little cheese crisps on the sheet pan.
That got my brain spinning and I thought I’d try to make some entire cheese shells that I could use as taco appetizers!
Welp, I tried it exactly once and it worked so beautifully that I thought I’d post it.
Bonus points for these cheese shells: They are low-carb, keto-friendly, and would be a perfect appetizer for taco night!
Now, the most important thing about these cheese taco shells isn’t the actual shell, it’s what you put in it! I wouldn’t put traditional taco fillings. It’ll be too heavy. Stick with something light. I stuffed mine full of basically a chopped Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato mixture and they were PERFECTION.
- Updated March 08, 2019 to add new images and improve directions!
1) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and portion out cheese into about 1/2-ounce piles. Do six per baking sheet.
2) Add baking sheet to a 350° F. oven and let bake so cheese melts. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Turn baking sheet so the taco shells bake evenly. When the cheese starts to brown on the edges and the bubbles solidify on the cheese, they are done.
3) Work quickly now. While your cheese is still flexible, add the taco shells to an upside-down muffin tin. Use the muffin tin holes to keep the shells in place. Let cool completely.
4) Fill cheese taco shells with light toppings. I like a simple mix of lettuce, chopped bacon, and tomatoes. Yum!
How to Make Cheese Taco Shells
There barely needs to be a recipe for these because it’s one ingredient: Cheese. I recommend using a good sharp cheddar which will melt but then eventually dry out and turn crispy. Good stuff!
Start by lining your sheet pan with either foil or parchment paper. If you use foil, spray it with some nonstick spray to help your cause later.
Then pile your cheese up. I’d recommend using about two tablespoons of cheese per taco shell (maybe 1/2 ounce). USE RESTRAINT here. If you put too much cheese in each pile, they will just melt together into one giant cheese board cracker thing (different post).
Then pop them in the oven! I did a 350 degree F. preheated oven and you want to start checking them after 10 minutes or so but they may take up to 15-20 minutes. It’s pretty hard to burn them, honestly.
You know you are getting close when the edges of the cheese circles are getting browned and the bubbles are looking solidified.
These were my finished cheese shells after about a 15 minute bake.
Okay. Now work quickly! These will crisp up as they cool so you want to move them and shape them while they are still warm. The trick to making them into taco shells is to flip over a muffin tin and use the voids in the muffin tin to hold the shells in shape!
Let those cool completely and they will hold their shape!
After shaping mine, I found them to be pretty greasy still so I just blotted them with a few paper towels to pull off some of the grease on the shells.
How to Fill the Cheese Taco Shells
Like I said at the beginning, my feeling on these is that it’s entirely about the filling whether or not it works as an actual appetizer (these are an appetizer by the way).
Would it be a good idea to fill these taco shells with hot carnitas? Absolutely not.
But a crisp mix of lettuce, tomato, and bacon? YES PLEASE.
Of course, a dash of hot sauce or something would go well.
These are a really fun and creative (if I do say so myself) twist on the standard taco. The shells hold up well once they are made so you could make a bunch in advance if you wanted.
Go forth and make cheese taco shells!