Imagine a giant cheese crisp in TACO form! To make keto cheese taco shells, shredded mozzarella gets slowly melted and toasted in a skillet until crisp and caramelized before being flipped for a final toast.
Intrigued? Excited? Drooling?
Well, grab a napkin, dry that chin dribble and keep reading, because we’ll walk you through how to make keto cheese taco shells step-by-step. The best part? You only need one ingredient: CHEESE.
How to Make Keto Taco Shells
This recipe makes 4 cheese taco shells.
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Editor’s Tip: Shred mozzarella fresh from a block as opposed to buying packaged shredded cheese. The preshredded cheese is often coated in additives that prevent it from melting as smoothly. This is how to shred cheese so nothing sticks to the box grater.
Tools You’ll Need
Cheese Grater: Use a sturdy box grater to shred the mozzarella cheese.
Nonstick Skillet: This 8-inch skillet is the ideal size for making cheese taco shells—and the melty cheese will lift right off the nonstick surface.
Thin Spatula: Grab a thin spatula to gently lift the toasted cheese without any tearing.
Mason Jars: I used Mason jars as the base of a makeshift taco shell cooling rack, but pint glasses also work.
Chopsticks: A pair of chopsticks is surprisingly helpful to suspend the toasted cheese taco shells while they harden.
Step 1: Shred the cheese
Use a box grater to shred 2 cups of part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Step 2: Melt
Warm a nonstick skillet over the lowest heat setting of your stovetop. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese to the skillet, spreading it in an even layer, so very little of the skillet’s bottom is visible.
Step 3: Toast
Let the cheese melt and gently toast; about 5-8 minutes. You want to do this slowly so the cheese caramelizes rather than burns (but if it does burn, this guide will help you clean that dirty pan). Using a spatula and working clockwise, begin to slowly lift and loosen the edges of the cheese as they appear to become crisp and fully set.
Step 4: Flip
Next, take a peek under the cheese. If the cheese looks warm and golden brown, go ahead and carefully flip the cheese “tortilla” over. This may take practice, but it’s worth the effort. Trust us!
Let the cheese tortilla toast on the second side until golden; another 4-6 minutes.
Step 5: Hang and cool
Once golden on both sides, lift the cheese taco shell and immediately hang it over a pair of chopsticks suspended between two mason jars. While the tortilla is still warm, carefully mold and shape the tortilla into a hard shell shape. Let cool completely. Repeat steps 2-5 with the remaining cheese.
Step 6: Fill
When the shells are cool and crisp, remove them from their cooling racks and fill with your desired taco toppings!
Keto Taco Toppings
Ground beef, pork, steak or chicken
Shredded Mexican cheese
Chopped leafy greens or lettuce of your choice
Mashed avocado or guacamole
Full-fat sour cream
Editor’s Tip: If you’re following a keto diet, don’t use skim or nonfat sour cream. It often contains added sugar, which adds carbs—making it a less keto-friendly option.
Cheese Taco Shell Tips & Tricks
What Kind of Cheese to Use for Keto Taco Shells
We used mozzarella in this recipe because it melts smoothly, is affordable and is readily accessible in most supermarkets. However, you may also use other semi-soft types of cheese. Here are a few we recommend trying:
Oaxaca (a Mexican melting cheese that’s similar to mozzerella)
How to Make Other Shapes
You can make keto cheese bowls (taco salad, anyone?) instead of shells by draping the toasted cheese over a medium-sized bowl to cool.
You can also make smaller cheese tortillas by melting only 2-3 tablespoons of cheese at a time. Then drape them over the cups of an overturned standard-sized muffin tin. Perfect for mini taco tartlet appetizers! Yum!
Soft vs Crispy Cheese Taco Shells
If you’d like to make soft tacos rather than crispy keto cheese taco shells, add 3/4 cup of superfine almond flour and a pinch of salt to the shredded cheese. Then, follow these steps:
Melt the cheese/almond flour mixture in a saucepan until a smooth, stretchy cheese dough forms.
Divide into four balls and then, working quickly, stretch and shape the cheese dough into a thin, flat disc. You may need to use a rolling pin to get the “tortillas” evenly shaped.
Transfer the cheese tortillas to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 4-6 minutes until the dough appears set and is golden on the edges.
Remove and serve warm with your favorite taco fillings.
Keto Doritos Locos Taco Shells
Make a keto-friendly version of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco by tossing the mozzarella cheese in a blend of the following ingredients before cooking:
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (skip if you prefer to avoid all onion as part of your keto diet)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
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