This edible crispy tortilla shell bowl taco salad filled to the brim with chicken and fresh salad ingredients is delicious.

Crispy Shell Taco Salad

The crispy taco bowl is so good to munch on when eating this taco salad.

And the vegetables in the salad taste wonderful topped with a mixture of sour cream and salsa.

So, no need to add salad dressing to this taco salad, just mix together some sour cream and Mexican salsa.

The combination of spicy salsa and sour cream tastes so good together as a dressing.

About this Recipe

This taco salad is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken, pulled pork or steak.

I used cooked chicken in this taco salad but if preferred, you can go meatless and add more beans to the mix.

Although this taco salad has refried beans in it, black beans would also taste great.

And the toppings in this recipe include lettuce, cabbage (red and green), cheese, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and cucumbers.

Here are some additional toppings you may like guacamole, homemade salsa or homemade pico de gallo.

For the crispy tortilla bowl, flour tortillas are used.

About Making the Crispy Tortilla Shell Bowls

Large flour tortillas are quickly dipped in a skillet with warm canola oil to make them pliable.

And then using tongs, they’re carefully transferred onto oven-safe bowls that are placed upside-down on a baking sheet that has high sides.

Next, the formed tortillas are baked in the oven (upside down).

After baking, when they’re cool enough to handle, the crispy tortillas are removed from the bowls.

Then the tortilla bowls are placed on a clean baking sheet pan and put back in the oven (right-side up) so that the middle of the tortilla can slightly brown.

Here are more quick and easy recipes with black beans you may like “Spicy Chicken with Black Beans“, “Chipotle Lime Potato Salad with Black Beans” and “Barbecue Turkey Flatbread Pizza“.

Let’s check out the ingredients.

Flour Tortillas and Canola Oil

Crispy Tortilla Bowls – Large flour tortillas and canola oil

Taco Salad Ingredients

Taco Salad – Crispy tortilla bowls, refried beans, prepared salsa, sour cream, bronze leaf lettuce, purple (red) cabbage, green cabbage, cucumber, radishes, cilantro, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, sharp cheddar cheese and bite size pieces of cooked chicken

Equipment – Cooking tongs, large skillet, and 2 baking sheet pans (one with high sides), 2 oven-safe bowls (medium size)

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

A printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.

For the Crispy Tortilla Bowls:

The tortilla bowls will need to be baked in 2 batches because only 2 crispy shell bowls will fit on the pan at a time (this recipe makes 4 crispy tortilla shells).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Bowls:

Bowls on Sheet Pan

On a sheet pan with high sides, place 2 oven-safe medium size bowls upside down so that the bottom of the bowls are facing up.

TIP – When handling the sheet pan (with high sides) that has the oven-safe bowls on it, be sure to keep it completely level so that the bowls don’t slip around.

Brush the surface of the bowls with canola oil and set aside as close to the skillet used for the tortillas as possible.

For the Tortillas:

Canola Oil in Pan

In a skillet that’s large enough for a large flour tortilla to lay flat, add enough canola oil so that it’s about 1/2 inch deep in the pan.

Heat the skillet on low heat.

Once the oil is warm…

Tortilla in Canola Oil

…lay one tortilla in the warm oil for just a couple seconds, just long enough so that the tortilla is pliable.

TURN THE HEAT OFF UNDER THE SKILLET.

With a pair of tongs, very carefully lift the tortilla from the oil and hold it over the skillet so that the loose oil will drip back into the skillet.

TIP – The tortilla will be very hot so make sure to use cooking tongs when handling the pliable tortilla.

Flour Tortillas on Bowls

Then carefully lay the tortilla over one of the upside-down bowls.

Use cooking tongs to shape the tortillas around the bowls (be careful not to rip the tortilla).

For the second tortilla, no need to turn the heat back on the skillet, the canola oil should still be hot enough to repeat the process for the tortilla (only 2 crispy taco bowls can be made at a time so these will need to be baked in 2 batches).

The oil should still be warm enough to make the 2nd tortilla pliable.

Bake:

Crispy Tortilla Bowls

In a preheated oven (at 350 degrees F.), bake the two tortillas until the outsides of the shell are golden brown (about 10 minutes).

Watch them closely so they don’t get too brown.

Using hot mitts, very carefully remove the hot sheet pan with the bowls and tortillas.  

Be sure to keep the sheet pan completely level when handling it with the bowls and tortillas.

The sheet pan, bowls and tortillas will be hot.

Crispy Tortilla Bowls

After removing them from the oven, when the crispy tortillas and oven-safe bowls are cool enough to handle, remove the tortillas from the bowls.

If they’re sticking to the bowls, try carefully using a blunt dinner knife to gently pry them loose.

Crispy Tortilla Bowl

After the cooked tortilla shells are removed from the bowls, put them on a clean sheet pan (that doesn’t have oil on it).

Put the clean sheet pan (with the tortilla shells) in a preheated oven (at 350 degrees F.) for about 3 minutes until the insides of the tortilla bowl turn a golden color.

Repeat the process to make the remaining two tortilla bowls.

For the Salad:

Beans and Salsa in Tortilla

To the bottom of each tortilla bowl, add refried beans (approx. 1/4 of the can in each bowl).

Top the beans with salsa and sour cream.

Shredded Lettuce on cutting board

Next,

Shredded Cabbage on cutting board

…to the crispy tortilla bowls…

Lettuce and Cabbage in Tortilla

…add chopped lettuce, shredded green cabbage…

Chopped Red Cabbage on cutting board

…chopped purple cabbage…

Cut Cucumber on Cutting Board

…small pieces of cucumber…

Sliced Radishes on cutting board

…sliced radish…

Chopped Cilantro on cutting board

…chopped cilantro…

Cut Tomatoes on cutting board

…bite size pieces of tomato…

Sliced Red Onion on cutting board

…sliced red onion and sliced avocados.

Top with the cooked meat of your choice, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.

Garnish the sour cream with chopped cilantro.

Crispy Taco Salad

Time to eat.

Crispy Shell Taco Salad

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Mexican Food Recipes You May Like:

Spicy Chicken and Lime Taquitos

One-Skillet Enchilada Sauce Taco Meat

Chipotle Shrimp Guacamole

Chipotle Lime Tortilla Chips

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Crispy Taco Salad

Crispy Tortilla Bowl Taco Salad

An edible crispy tortilla shell bowl taco salad filled to the brim with chicken and fresh salad ingredients.
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Ingredients

For the Crispy Tortilla Bowls:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil for the outside of the bowls
  • 1/2 cup canola oil for the skillet; amount to be 1/2 inch deep; amount may vary depending on the size of the pan
  • 4 large flour tortillas

For the Salad:

  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans warmed
  • 2 cups Mexican salsa for the inside of the salad and for garnish
  • 1 small container (8 ounces) sour cream for the inside of the salad and for garnish
  • 1/2 bunch bronze leaf lettuce chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head green cabbage shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 quarter head of purple (red) cabbage chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber cut in fairly large triangular pieces about the size of a dime
  • 1 bunch of radishes thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro tough stem ends removed and discarded, chopped (for the inside of the salad and for garnish)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 of a red onion peeled and sliced in thin strips
  • 1 avocado cut in half lengthwise, seed removed, meat scooped out with a spoon and sliced in fairly thick slices
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups bite size pieces of cooked chicken or other type of cooked meat; beef, pork, or meatless works well too

Equipment

  • Cooking tongs
  • Large skillet
  • Baking sheet pan with high sides to lay the oven-safe bowls on
  • Baking sheet pan to put the crispy tortilla bowls on (to crisp up the middle of the tortilla bowls)
  • 2 Oven-safe bowls (medium size)

Instructions

For the Crispy Tortilla Bowls:

  • The tortilla bowls will need to be baked in 2 batches because only 2 crispy shell bowls will fit on the sheet pan at a time (this recipe makes 4 crispy tortilla shells).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Preparing the Oven-Safe Bowls:

  • On a sheet pan with high sides, place 2 medium size oven-safe bowls upside down so that the bottom of the bowls are facing up.  
  • Brush the surface of the bowls with canola oil and set aside as close as possible to the skillet that will be used for the tortillas
    When handling the sheet pan (with high sides) that has the upside-down bowls on it, be sure to keep the pan level so that the bowls don't slide around.

To Make the Tortillas Pliable:

  • In a skillet that's large enough for a large flour tortilla to lay flat; add enough canola oil so that it’s about 1/2 inch deep in the pan. 
  • Heat the skillet on low heat.
  • When the oil is warm, lay one tortilla in the oil for just a couple seconds, just long enough so that the tortilla is pliable. 
    TURN THE HEAT OFF OF THE SKILLET.
  • Then carefully lift the tortilla from the oil with a pair of tongs and hold it over the skillet so that the loose oil will drip back into the skillet.
  • Using tongs, carefully lay the tortilla over one of the upside-down bowls.
  • Using tongs, shape the tortillas around the bowls, while being careful not to rip the tortilla. 
  • No need to turn the heat back on under the skillet with the canola oil in it.
    The oil in the pan should be warm enough to make the 2nd tortilla pliable.
    Repeat the process for another tortilla (only 2 tortilla shells can be made at a time on the sheet pan with sides).

Bake the Crispy Tortilla Bowls (upside-down):

  • In a preheated oven (at 350 degrees F.), bake the two tortillas until the outsides of the shell are golden brown (about 10 minutes).  
    Watch them closely so they don’t get too brown.
    Using hot mitts, very carefully remove the sheet pan with the tortilla bowls from the oven.
  • Be sure to keep the pan completely level when handling it with the bowls and tortillas. The sheet pan, bowls and tortillas will be very hot.
  • After removing them from the oven, as soon as the tortilla and oven-safe bowls are cool enough to handle, carefully remove the tortillas from the bowls.
    If the tortillas are sticking to the bowls, try carefully using a blunt dinner knife to gently pry them loose.

Baking the Crispy Tortilla Bowls (right-side up):

  • After the cooked tortilla shells are removed from the bowls, transfer them onto a clean (no oil) sheet pan.
    Put them in a preheated oven (at 350 degrees F.) until the inside of the tortilla bowls turn a golden color (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Repeat the process to make the remaining two tortilla bowls.  

For the Salad:

  • To the bottom of each tortilla bowl, add warm refried beans (about ¼ of the can in each bowl)
  • Top the beans with salsa and sour cream. 
  • Next, add lettuce, green cabbage, purple cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and avocados. 
  • Top with the cooked meat of your choice, shredded cheese and salsa.
  • Garnish the sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Notes

TIPS:

  1. Dipping the Flour Tortillas in Warm Oil - The tortillas will be very hot so make sure to use cooking tongs when handling the pliable tortilla.
  2. Baking the Tortillas on the Sheet Pan (with high sides) with Oven-Safe Bowls - When handling the sheet pan (with high sides) that has the oven-safe bowls on it, be sure to keep it completely level so that the bowls don't slip around.