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Homemade Tortilla Bowls Bake Up Crispy and Golden + They’re Healthier Too — Perfect for Taco Salads

A nutritionist shares the benefits of baking tortillas and which variety is best.

Tortillas are such an integral part of Mexican cuisine. And one of our favorite ways to enjoy them is as part of a taco salad. This vibrant fiesta in a golden tortilla bowl — crisp lettuce, shredded cheese, creamy avocado and juicy seasoned meat— can make any crowd happy. But sometimes, a deep-fried tortilla shell leaves us wanting something lighter, while the store-bought versions lack the fresh crunch we want. Well, we have the solution: an easy and healthy recipe for homemade tortilla bowls. They take only 20 minutes in the oven with less oil than a fryer! So, read on for expert tips on baking perfect bowls plus a delicious (and light) taco salad recipe to fill them with. And did we mention you can make them a dessert, too? Here’s your guide to homemade tortilla bowls.

How are homemade tortilla bowls made?

You might have seen tortilla bowls at a Tex-Mex restaurant or in a pack from the grocery store. But how do you make them at home? Well, the process doesn’t have many steps: warmed and oiled tortillas get gently pressed into the shape of a bowl using a mold or oven-safe bowl. Then, a quick bake in the oven creates a sturdy, golden vessel ready to hold anything you want.

Many home cooks have gotten creative with forming the bowls, from wrapping them in tinfoil around a ramekin, to using the underside of a muffin tin. Depending on what you have in your kitchen, anything oven-safe that can hold the tortillas in place should work. You can also check out this TikTok video to see the end results!


Tortilla taco bowl hack by @Ems Foodie Fix. Make your own tortilla taco bowls in 7 mins! #tortillabowl #tacobowls #tacobowl #easylunchideas

♬ original sound – Tasty UK

What are the benefits?

Making homemade tortilla bowls comes with a lot of advantages. First, they are thick and more substantial than store-bought shells, which can often be flimsy and prone to breakage. This allows you to pile on your favorite toppings without worrying about spills. Plus, you can adjust the shape and size to suit your preferences. Additionally, they taste far fresher.

Baked tortilla bowls, whether in an oven or an air fryer, also offer a lighter meal with more control over your ingredients. “Baking uses only heat to cook and help the tortillas turn crispy, [while] deep frying drenches them in 9 calories/gram of fat, quickly making the bowl high in fat especially if not patted dry,” explains Blanca Garcia, RDN, creator of Nutrition for Moms. You only need a quick brush of oil for crispiness.

Choosing your tortillas

fresh corn tortillas in a basket

Most home cooks choose between flour and corn tortillas. Both work fine, but each offers a slightly different texture. Flour tortillas create a more neutral flavor and a slightly crispier texture. They also generally have more flexibility when molding.

Corn tortillas, on the other hand, offer a more traditional taco flavor and a slightly softer texture. You can find both yellow and white varieties. Yellow corn tortillas have a more pronounced corn flavor and can mold easier. However, corn tortillas can be prone to tearing, so handle them with care.

“The best tortillas are the whole-wheat flour tortillas,” says Garcia. “They are have more fiber than regular flour tortillas that can help keep you full longer and manage blood sugar levels better.” However, if you can handle them gently, corn tortillas have the nutritional edge over flour tortillas, with more whole grains and fiber and less carbs and sodium. Also, they’re gluten-free!

See also: Birria Taco Trend Is Taking Tacos to the Next Level of Delicious — Chef’s Easy How-To

How to make homemade tortilla bowls

We gathered the essential, expert-approved tips to ensure your homemade tortilla bowls bake up golden brown with no tearing.

1. Warm the tortillas

Warmed tortillas become more pliable and easier to shape without tearing. You can place a stack of 2-3 tortillas between damp paper towels in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to soften them. Or, wrap a stack in aluminum foil and place them in a preheated oven at 350°F for 5-7 minutes (it may take longer but it ensures even warming).

2. Lightly oil them

A touch of oil can be your friend when it comes to achieving a crispy texture. All you need is a light brushstroke to get the job done. Use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to lightly coat both sides of the tortilla with a thin layer of cooking oil. We recommend neutral-flavored oils like avocado oil or canola oil. Avoid drenching the tortillas; they should have a light sheen.

3. Use a mold or oven-safe bowl

Using molds ensures consistently shaped bowls. Depending on your size tortillas (we recommend 8-10 inches), use an oven-save mold that best fits. Erin Clarke, creator of Well Plated by Erin, suggests to “place a ramekin upside down on a baking sheet, then drape the tortilla over the top so it makes an upside down bowl.” She then says to “press foil around it to hold it into place and form it into a bowl, then flip over (the tortilla should be held up by the foil — leave the edges peeking out so they brown).”

4. Baking and cooling

“Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F to set, then carefully remove the ramekin,” says Clarke. “Bake for 5 minutes more, until turning golden. Pull the foil down to expose the sides, then bake 10 to 15 additional minutes, flipping the shells over halfway through.” Remember, keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook. After baking, transfer the bowls to a wire rack and let them cool completely at room temperature. Filling them immediately with ingredients can cause them to soften and lose their structure.

Homemade Tortilla Bowls

Now that you know the secrets, use this recipe from Mind Over Munch to bake your tortilla bowls. Firstly, you’ll need 8- to 10-inch tortillas and a deep bowl to hold enough filling.


  • 4 tortillas of choice, 8- to 10-inch
  • Cooking spray or neutral oil


  • Active Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 tortilla bowls
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Thinly coat both sides of the tortilla with cooking spray or oil. Then, press the tortilla into an oven-safe bowl to the bottom. Pinch the edges of the tortilla and create folds, following the rim of your bowl.
  2. Place the bowl on baking sheet. Bake on the middle or lower rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are browned. (Bake on a lower rack in the oven so the edges don’t brown too quickly.)
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature before filling (It will crisp up more as it cools).

Easy taco salad recipe

Clarke shares her recipe for a nutritious yet satisfying taco salad. “Taco salad was the very first salad I loved as a young adult because….hello giant fried shell, cheese and all the best fixings!” she says. It takes only 25 minutes and includes ground turkey, black beans, corn, avocado as well as a creamy dressing. Pour it into your homemade tortilla bowls and enjoy!

Skinny Taco Salad

taco salad in homemade tortilla bowl


  • 2 fajita-size flour tortillas (or swap for corn tortillas to make gluten free)
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 (15-oz.) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (11-oz.) can Mexican-style corn, drained
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • ¼ cup green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt


  • Active Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Turn your homemade tortilla bowls into dessert

We’ve explored the savory side of tortilla bowls, but they can hold more than a taco salad. You can easily turn them into a sugar-coated dessert filled with toppings like ice cream, fresh fruit and syrups (it tastes similar to a churro!). This 25-minute recipe from two peas & their pod gives you a fiesta-worthy ice cream sundae. It features homemade tortilla bowls coated in butter and cinnamon sugar, then filled with vanilla ice cream and berries.

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Ice Cream Bowls


  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 6 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 1½ Tbs. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Ice cream and berries, for serving


  • Active Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 tortilla bowls
  1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, spray 6 (8-oz.) ramekins with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Then, spread a thin layer of butter on both sides of the tortilla. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over both sides. Repeat with other tortillas.
  3. Place tortillas into prepared ramekins, pressing them down and against the sides. Then place the ramekins on a large baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Let the tortilla bowls cool for 2 minutes in the ramekins, then remove. Finally, place the tortilla bowls on a wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. To serve, fill the bowls with ice cream and berries, or preferred toppings.

For more delicious recipes using tortillas, click through for:

These Steak Fajitas Are a Toss-Together Dinner Delight — Easy Sheet Pan Recipe

Crispy, Tender and Full of Flavor — Carnitas Are a Tastier Version of Pulled Pork That’s So Easy to Make in a Dutch Oven

12 Fun Taco Tuesday Recipes That Make It Easy Turn Any Night of the Week Into a Fiesta

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