Cheese on tacos is great, but you know what's better? Taco shells MADE of crispy cheese!
Your Taco Tuesday is about to get a serious upgrade with crispy cheese shells. Yes, taco shells made of cheddar cheese. They're super easy to make—just melt cheese into a circle on a nonstick skillet and then drape over the handle of a wooden utensil. Gravity does the work to mold into a hard taco shell shape, and it's ready to eat solo (for a keto-friendly and gluten-free crispy shell) or tucked into a warm flour tortilla. Pack it with your favorite taco filling—ground beef with taco seasoning is our go-to here—all the classic fixings, and lots of Cheesy Guacamole. Follow our step-by-step guide if you're more of a visual learner.
And if you need a weeknight pick-me-up cooking playlist, listen to our favorite songs—and some curated by Cravings followers!—for good vibes in the kitchen.
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 taco seasoning packet
½ cup chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for serving
6 (4-inch) flour tortillas
1 large tomato, diced
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tablespoons pickled sliced jalapeño peppers
+ Cheesy Guacamole, sour cream, and salsa, for serving
For the crispy cheese taco shells:
Set two jars or glasses of equal height (at least 4 inches high) on a counter, and use them as the ends to balance a spatula or wooden spoon with a long handle. (You’re going to use them to “hang” your cheese tacos!)
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese and spread into a 5-inch circle using the back of the measuring cup or a spoon. Let it cook for 3 minutes, or until uniformly melty and just a bit golden brown. Turn the heat off and let it cool briefly, then flip and let it cook 1 minute more.
While still warm, pick up each cheese circle and drape over the suspended spoon so they are hanging upside down. Gravity and a few minutes of cooling will turn them into a taco shell! (If you don’t have multiple setups, you can make them one at a time!) Repeat, making one or two shells in the skillet at a time. Let cool, then arrange on a serving platter.
For the tacos:
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, 5–6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and then add the onions and cook, stirring, until translucent, 6–7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Return the beef to the skillet, then add ¾ cup hot water and the taco seasoning packet, stir, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 1–2 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
Place the flour tortillas right on an open flame on the range and char until toasty in spots, flipping once, 15–30 seconds total. Mold one warm charred flour tortilla around one of the crispy cheese shells, rest it on its side, and place a spoon on top of each double tortilla to mold the flour tortilla to the cheese one for a couple of minutes. (You can also eat the crispy cheese shells solo!)
Set up a taco bar for people to build their own tacos, or pre-fill the double shells with some of the meat, lettuce, and tomatoes. Serve with the extra shredded cheese, jalapeños, onions, more cilantro leaves, salsa, sour cream, and Cheesy Guacamole.