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Cheese Shell Tacos

Cheese Shell Tacos

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These chicken tacos use crispy cheese rounds as the shell for a surprise twist on a favorite.MORE+LESS-

1 1/2

tablespoons Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix

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  • 1

    Make the filling: Sear the chicken breasts on both sides in some oil and remove from pan. Saute onion until it starts to brown. Add garlic and taco seasonings (I used cumin, coriander, oregano, and smoked paprika, but feel free to use a store bought mix). Cook 1 minute. Add chipotle sauce and water and mix to combine everything. Add the chicken and allow sauce to simmer for about 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and chop/shred into small pieces. Return the chicken to the sauce and mix well.

  • 2

    Make the shells: Shred the cheese. On a nonstick silicone baking mat, place a very loosely packed 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Put as many as you can on the pan without crowding. I was able to fit four on mine.

  • 3

    Bake at 350°F until bubbly, oily, and starting to brown. Remove from oven and sop up excess oil with a paper towel. Before it becomes too hard, lift the cheese round with a spatula and form into a shell shape by draping over a pole or other object until cool.

  • 4

    Build your tacos, starting with some of the chicken, followed by sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, or any of your favorite taco ingredients!

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More About This Recipe

  • These chicken tacos are delicious but they have one special surprise; the shell is made of cheese!That’s all you really need to know about these delicious Chicken Cheese Shell Tacos.I’ll say it again. The shell is made of cheese.It’s crispy, salty, CHEESY, and a perfect match for this smoky chicken. Cooling ingredients like sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce finish off a unique and delicious take on a Tex Mex classic.I don’t know the science behind it, but for some reason an aged cheese works better for this.They come out of the oven as a perfect congealed round of cheese. These make for great soup or salad toppers, but of course we have other plans.I like to blot them with a paper towel first to soak up some of the excess oil after baking, then shape them into anything I want. We obviously are going for shells today, but you could make these into cups, leave them flat as crackers, or if you are feeling ambitious, make some crazy origami cheesebird.These are such a fun appetizer, and it’s great to watch your friends try and figure out what the shell is made of.On first bite however, there is no mistake. If you are a fan of burnt cheese like me, you will love these tacos!

Keto Tacos

When my husband and I started eating a low carb diet, I was on a mission to find low carb substitutions for all our high-carb favorites. The first year was especially difficult. We really missed many of our old favorites, such as grilled cheese and donuts. But tastes evolve, and after several years of low carb eating, I don't miss the old stuff anymore. I am very content with a juicy steak!

Still, once in a while it's nice to vary our menu and make something special. And after some experimentation, I am very happy to say that there's no need to give up yummy tacos when you eat keto or low carb!

Simply replace the tortilla shell with a crispy cheddar cheese shell. The cheesy shell is delicious, making these tacos at least as good as traditional ones. Of course, another great low carb option is to make a tasty and filling taco salad.

Serving Suggestions for cheese shell tacos

As you would use a taco shell – fill with your favourite meat, salsa, avocado and sour cream.

We love to have some pulled pork or chicken in the freezer that we defrost. It makes the tacos a quick and easy Friday night dinner for us. We would just fry up the protein in the pan with some fat and add some Mexican spices to add a flavour explosion to the meat.

Some Cheese Taco Shell photos from my Instagram page

Cheese Shell Mini Tacos

Place your cheese in neat piles on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until all the individual shreds melt into one disc. Be careful not to let the cheese color too much. Once they are all melted, let them cool for 2 minutes on your baking sheet, then lift them onto paper towels to blot off any excess grease.

To form the shells, lay them over a propped up utensil. (Or you can use anything in your kitchen, a wide bowl or saucepan could work too!) Set these aside to cool.

Next, make your Taco filling! We used a quick beef taco filling by browning off some ground beef on a high heat. Then throw in your onion, garlic, and jalapeños
right in with the cooked beef. Sprinkle over your taco seasoning packet and add water if you need it for a nice saucy filling. Enjoy!!

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Easy Crispy Shell Tacos

Crispy shell tacos made with ground beef, jalapeno, cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, and salsa. Easy and delish.


  • 1-½ cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 cups Shredded Green Cabbage
  • 1 whole Tomato
  • 1 whole Jalapeno Pepper
  • ½ pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Salsa
  • ⅛ teaspoons Chili Powder
  • ⅛ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ⅛ teaspoons Cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Pepper
  • 1 whole Jalapeno Chili Pepper
  • 2 dashes Salt
  • 4 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 5 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro


Cut a quarter piece off of a head of cabbage. Shred the cabbage by thinly slicing the quarter. You can also use shredded lettuce rather than cabbage if you prefer.

Then cut the tomatoes into small pieces.

Set the cheese, cabbage and tomato aside.

Next, cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise and remove the seeds (if you like a lot of spicy heat, you may want to leave the seeds in).

Then, slice the jalapeno into fairly thin slices (just use half of the jalapeno if you don’t like a lot of spicy heat).

Combine all of the taco meat seasonings in a bowl and set aside.

Warm up a skillet on medium heat, and add the ground beef and sliced jalapenos. Then, add the taco meat seasonings. Cook the ground beef until it’s browned.

Then, remove the ground beef from the skillet and set it on a paper towel to drain off any excess grease, and set aside.

Next make the shells… Add the canola oil to a small skillet and heat it on medium heat.

Then, add one tortilla at a time to the oil using tongs, hold up one side out of the oil to form a taco shell.

After the side of the tortilla in the oil turns golden, using your tongs, turn the tortilla over to cook the other side.

Then, cook it until that side is also golden.

Next, lay the cooked taco shells onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Set the taco shells in holders if you have them so the shells can be filled. If you don’t have holders for the taco shells, just lay the taco shells on a plate so that you can fill them.

Fill the taco shells with the meat.

Then, add the salsa over the meat.

Next, add the grated cheese.

Then, add the shredded cabbage.

Lastly, add the cut tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream, and the chopped cilantro for garnish.