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How to Make Taco Shells in the Air Fryer

Once I learned how to make taco shells in the air fryer, it was a Taco Tuesday night game changer. Air frying your taco shells is a quick and easy way to heat them up, and it results in crispy shells that will make your traditional tacos taste even better

Have you ever made tacos and found yourself with too few shells or ones that are stale? Rather than using the oven, which can heat up your kitchen on a hot day, try using an air fryer! In just a few minutes, your shells will be nice and crispy. It just takes a few minutes and here’s how to do it.

Taco Night just got easier. Make restaurant style tacos at home anytime.

Pro Tip. If you store your shells in the refrigerator, they will be more pliable and easier to fold without breaking if you pop them between a damp paper towel and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds first. This will get the chill of and make this process easier no matter which way you choose to heat your tacos.

How to Make Taco Shells in the Air Fryer

Make Oven Baked Tacos

It takes less than 10 minutes to get golden and crunchy tacos. Heat an entire tray of tortillas at once.

Spray them with a light coating of cooking spray. Simply hang the corn tortillas over oven racks so they are folded in half. Another option for folding is to turn a muffin tin upside down and place a shell between the protruding round areas. They will stay nicely folded during the baking process. Bake in a single layer in a preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes until they are crispy in texture and golden brown in color.

This baking method will work for both corn tortillas and flour tortillas.

This is how I have made my taco shells for years until I tried an air fryer. Through a bit of trial and error, I finally mastered the art of making my shells in the air fryer. This works especially well if I am not cooking for a crowd.

Air Fryer Taco Shells

Crispy Air Fryer Taco Shells

Have you ever made tacos and found yourself with too few shells or ones that are stale? Rather than using the oven, which can heat up your kitchen on a hot day, try using an air fryer! In just a few minutes, your shells will be nice and crispy. I’s an easy recipe and just takes a few minutes and here’s how to do it.

Pro Tip. Brush or spray both sides of the tortilla with a little canola, corn, or avocado oil. This will help it be pliable and crisp up well.

Do not overcook. The actual temperature of each type of air fryer may be slightly different. Therefore, use the time as a guide. The first time you make your taco shells make sure to check for doneness at 1 ½ minutes. They can become overcooked quickly. Start by just cooking one to get an idea of how long they take in your air fryer.

Folded Taco Shells

There are three methods that I have used to get my crispy taco shells to stay folded in the air fryer.

  1. Use a taco stand and just place this in the air fryer with your shells.
  2. Crunch up aluminum foil into a tube shape. Making them just a bit longer than your tortillas. Put the foil molds in the air fryer tray, leaving a bit of space between them. Next drape your tortillas over the molds.
  3. Fill your taco shells with your desired filling for air fryer tacos. Fold over and place in the air fryer basket. For some reason, when I have the shells filled, they tend to stay folded for the baking process.

Tostada Shells

Make tostadas using flat tortillas. It really gives you more surface area for taco goodness. Just spray the shells with cooking spray and air fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

The air fryer is a great way to make your own crunchy tortilla chips too. Just cut into triangle shapes. Spray the shells with cooking spray or brush on oil, cut into triangle shapes. Place in the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit.

Serve with your favorite taco toppings as nachos or enjoy with dips.

How to heat hard taco shells in air fryer?

The best way is to preheat the air fryer for 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the hard shell tacos in the air fryer basket and bake for 2-3 minutes.  

For years, we heated our hard shells in a single layer in the oven on a baking sheet. However, the air fryer makes quick work out of this. They will get extra crispy in just minutes.

beef steak tacos

What to Serve with Tacos

They are a great meal to feed a crowd or an easy meal for those busy weeknights. You can serve crispy air fryer taco shells alongside all your favorite fillings, and everyone can build their own scrumptious taco. We love serving our homemade taco shells with:

Fillings and Toppings for Taco Shells

When they are done fill them with your favorite fillings and toppings.

Favorite Fillings: Ground beef, shredded chicken, and slow cooker pork. Just add taco seasoning.

Favorite Toppings: Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, avocado, sour cream, and hot sauce

If you would rather just warm your tortillas, we have that for you too. How to Warm Tortillas and Keep Them Soft

taco holder with chicken taco

How Much Taco Meat to Plan Per Person?

Whether you are feeding your family or throwing party, it is good to know how to plan for your fillings and toppings to make sure that you have enough food for everyone. Believe me, if your guests are like they are at my house, they will be enjoying more than one taco.

Taco Dishes You May Enjoy

If you love tacos, here are a few other ways to enjoy this delicious flavor

This taco skillet bake is packed with flavor and fresh toppings. If you have 40 minutes, you can have a delicious casserole in your cast-iron skillet in no time at all.

Use wonton wrappers instead of taco shells and make an appetizer. Bake them in a muffin pan. Finish them off with your favorite fresh taco toppings.

You’re going to love this easy taco soup recipe. It combines the best of both worlds and is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. 

What kind of oil to use to air fry taco shells?

There are a variety of oils that will work nicely for this application. Try using canola, corn, olive, or avocado oil to brush your tortillas before air frying. Spray cooking oil will also work well for this.

How long can you store homemade taco shells?

While leftovers can be stored in an airtight container on the counter or pantry up to 3 days, they will lose their crispiness. Therefore, it is best to serve the crispy air fried taco shells immediately.

We do not recommend refrigerating. They will get soggy.

However, the refrigerator and freezer are great places to store uncooked tortilla shells. When ready to use just warm to room temperature before heating.

Can I use flour tortillas for this recipe?

Yes, flour tortillas will work for this recipe; however, corn tortillas work better for this recipe as they will get crispier and give you better taste.

Crispy and crunchy tortilla shells

Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Mozzarella Sticks

Shake and Bake Chicken

Roasted Asparagus

Air Fryer Taco Shells
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Air Fryer Taco Shells

Once I learned how to make taco shells in the air fryer, it was a Taco Tuesday night game changer. Air frying your taco shells is a quick and easy way to heat them up, and it results in crispy shells that will make your traditional tacos taste even better
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time4 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: 30 minute meal, air fryer recipe, easy recipe, restaurant recipe
Servings: 4 taco shells
Calories: 180kcal

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Ingredients

  • 4 Corn Tortillas Works with Flour Tortillas too
  • 4 Tablespoons Oil Canola or Corn Oil

Instructions

  • If the tortillas have been stored in the refrigerator, warm them to room temperature first or warm in the microwave for 5-10 seconds first.
  • Spray or use a pastry brush to brush a light coating of oil on both sides of the tortillas.
  • Place in the air fryer basket.
  • Cook at 400°F for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Remove from air fryer and fill with your favorite filling and toppings.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

Pro Tip. Brush or spray both sides of the tortilla with a little canola, corn, or avocado oil. This will help it be pliable and crisp up well.
Do not overcook. The actual temperature of each type of air fryer may be slightly different. Therefore, use the time as a guide. The first time you make your taco shells make sure to check for doneness at 1 ½ minutes. They can become overcooked quickly. Start by just cooking one to get an idea of how long they take in your air fryer.

Folded Taco Shells

There are three methods that I have used to get my crispy taco shells to stay folded in the air fryer.
1. Use a taco stand and just place this in the air fryer with your shells.
2. Crunch up aluminum foil into a tube shape. Making them just a bit longer than your tortillas. Put the foil molds in the air fryer tray, leaving a bit of space between them. Next drape your tortillas over the molds.
3. Fill your taco shells with your desired filling for air fryer tacos. Fold over and place in the air fryer basket. For some reason, when I have the shells filled, they tend to stay folded for the baking process.

Tostada Shells

Make tostadas using flat tortillas. It really gives you more surface area for taco goodness. Just spray the shells with cooking spray and air fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

The air fryer is a great way to make your own crunchy tortilla chips too. Just cut into triangle shapes. Spray the shells with cooking spray or brush on oil, cut into triangle shapes. Place in the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings as nachos or enjoy with dips.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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