Crispy Taco Salad
Print

Crispy Tortilla Bowl Taco Salad

An edible crispy tortilla shell bowl filled to the brim with chicken and fresh salad ingredients.
Course Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Chicken Salad, Taco Salad, Taco Shells, Vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 46 minutes
Servings 4
Author [email protected]

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 prepared 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 cabbage chopped
  • 1/2 hothouse (English) cucumber (or 1 regular 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

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. 
  • On a sheet pan with 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. 
  • In a skillet that's large enough for a large flour tortilla to lay flat; add enough canola oil so that it’s about ½ inch deep in the pan. 
  • Heat the skillet on low heat.
  • Lay one tortilla in the warm oil for just a couple seconds, just long enough so that the tortilla is pliable. 
  • 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.
  • Then carefully lay the tortilla over one of the upside down bowls. Turn the heat off of the skillet.
  • Shape the tortillas around the bowls.  If the tortillas are too hot to handle use tongs to shape them around the bowl while being careful not to rip the tortilla. 
  • Repeat the process for another tortilla (only 2 tortilla shells can be made at a time on the sheet pan). The oil in the pan should be warm enough to make the 2nd tortilla pliable.
  • In a preheated oven, 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.
  • Right after removing them from the oven, carefully remove the tortillas from the bowls. If they are sticking to the bowls try using a dinner knife to gently pry them loose.
  • After the cooked tortilla shells are removed from the bowls, put them in the oven so 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.