Taco Salad with a Crispy Baked Shell

With Cinco De Mayo tomorrow, it is a great excuse to eat Mexican food, like I need an excuse, LOL!!  One thing about it, though, the fat content can be pretty high.  My grandmother and mother used to make tacos by frying the tortillas in oil, and although they were tasty, that method is just too greasy for my eating habits today.

Taco Salad with Baked Shell at From My Carolina Home

With that in mind, recently I found these tortilla baking dishes at the thrift store, and just had to try them.  There were two in the box.  I like this better than buying the ones already made, as we wouldn’t eat a whole package of the pre-made ones.  This way, I can make salad bowls when I want to, and the rest of the package of soft tortillas can be saved for sandwich wraps.  Amazon has them with these affiliate links –  Taco Salad Bowl Bakers, or these Tortilla Mold Nonstick Bakers You could use them for jello and salad molds too!

Taco Salad with Baked Shell at From My Carolina Home

Lightly spray with cooking spray, then lay the tortilla in the baker, and lightly spray with cooking spray again on the top.  I found that baking them completely dry didn’t make such good ones.  They need just a bit of oil to make them crisp instead of tough.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.

Taco Salad with Baked Shell at From My Carolina Home

The nice shape of the flour tortilla holds a lunch size portion.  Two of them could be a larger dinner meal.

Taco Salad with Baked Shell at From My Carolina Home

Fill with your favorite taco filling.  My favorite way uses  Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix which is next to impossible to find in North Carolina. Walmart is the only place that has it, and most of the time it is out of stock. But I use it for all my Mexican dishes, so I buy them in boxes of a dozen at Amazon.  It is just so much better than any other brand of seasoning mix!  Even with shipping it is cheaper to buy online.  I also used to get the Ro*tel online too, but it is easier to find locally now.  I use the original one, but there are mild and hot versions to suit any taste.  The last time I ordered the seasoning mix, I got the 2-0unce family size and use half the package for a recipe.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Brown ground beef in a large frying pan over medium high heat, until fully browned and all pink is gone. Drain in a collander and rinse with hot water to remove any excess grease. Return to pan. Sprinkle Taco Seasoning over beef and cook stirring lightly for one minute to bloom spices.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Add the diced tomatoes and green chilis from the can as it is, or put in a blender to smooth the sauce then add.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

I like blending it so it makes the sauce smoother.  It is a personal taste choice.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

While the beef simmers, spray taco bakers with cooking spray, add flour or corn tortillas and lightly spray the tops. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly done.  The corn ones will make smaller shells.  This is the only size I can find here, you might be able to get larger ones.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

To serve, place shell on a plate, add beef and top with cheese.   Since the corn ones are small, I use two for a serving.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Add lettuce, tomato, cheese and optional ingredients like onions, avocado or sour cream as desired.  I added some julienne spinach strips to the lettuce this time for extra color.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Enjoy!!

Taco Salad with Baked Shell at From My Carolina Home

Taco Salad

4 flour or corn tortillas
1 pound ground beef (I use 93% lean)
1  1-ounce package Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix
1 15 ounce can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis
1/2 of an 8-ounce package Four State Cheddar Cheese Shredded, or Colby-Jack
Lettuce and tomato
Optional – green onions, sour cream and avocado for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brown ground beef in a large frying pan over medium high heat, until fully browned and all pink is gone.  Drain in a collander and rinse with hot water to remove any excess grease.  Return to pan.  Sprinkle Taco Seasoning over beef and cook stirring lightly for one minute to bloom spices.  Add the diced tomatoes and green chilis from the can as it is, or put in a blender to smooth the sauce then add.  Simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes.   While the beef simmers, spray taco bakers with cooking spray, add flour tortillas and lightly spray the tops.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly done.  To serve, place shell on a plate, add beef and top with cheese.   Add lettuce, tomato and optional ingredients as desired.  Enjoy!!  Makes 4 servings with 4-ounces of meat per salad.

Taco Salad with Baked Shell at From My Carolina Home

The salads are delicious with either flour or corn tortillas.  I added a dollop of sriracha mayonnaise to mine this time.

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Are you going to make a Mexican food meal on Saturday?

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Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

Amazon links to today’s necessities. Thank you for clicking on my links!
Deep Discounts on Kitchen Gadgets
RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies Original
Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix
Taco Salad Bowl Bakers
Tortilla Mold Nonstick Bakers

Taco Salads at From My Carolina Home

12 thoughts on “Taco Salad with a Crispy Baked Shell

  1. Kari

    These bakers are cool and I have four of them that I got off of Amazon several years ago… although you found them at a thrift shop and I say good for you! I have used them for different dishes as well as tacos and taco salad so they were not a bad investment.
    Your recipe looks yummy.
    Kari@Meandmycaptain

  2. Those look awesome!! I admit I have never had a taco salad in a hard shell like that….I’ve had a taco salad that mixes Doritos in with the salad and ground beef and the rest of the goodies…that was tasty too!

  3. Gwynette in NW Arkansas

    We love taco salad and tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo!! Perfect combo!! Thanks for taking the time to show your version, which is pretty close to mine!!

  4. Thank you for the recipe. Have you ever tried the tortilla “boats”? They aren’t bad. That is what we put our taco mixture in now. I will be on the lookout for the flower tortilla baking shells.BTW your Lawry seasoning mix is sold in our local Publix grocery store. We also have a couple stores that is good for everyone but was designed for Mexicans. There are quite a few you would never see that in Clearwater and the Beaches. They iWork behind Sean’s in restrants and hotels but live in Clearwater and Dundin. I can easily buy your seasoning mix, as many as you wish. Seriously let me know.– Robin

  5. Tish

    I agree that Lawry’s Taco Season is the absolute best and since moving to North Carolina (from Texas) three years ago, I too have to order it from Amazon!

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