Skip to main content

Homemade Oven-Baked Hard Taco Shells

Those taco shells you get out of a box are okay I guess, but if you want something really fresh and delicious tasting, you need to try making your own from scratch!  Making tortillas is not as labor intensive as it may sound, and it requires very little in the way of ingredients (three ingredients to be exact).

And not only are there few ingredients, as far as equipment goes, you can get away with what you have on hand if needed.  Now, you can use a tortilla press if you have one--they do speed up the process--however, a tortilla press is not a necessity.  You can use a rolling pin, or just smash each tortilla under a large, heavy plate.  Whichever method you choose, you will find that sandwiching the dough between two pieces of lightly greased (I used coconut oil) parchment paper will work well for flattening your tortillas and preventing them from sticking.  And as far as cooking the tortillas, I prefer to use my cast iron pan, but any pan should work if you don't have any cast iron.

I like to make the tortillas the night before I am going to be using them, and then the next day, crisp them into the shell shape in the oven right before I serve them at dinner time.

Corn Tortillas
Based on a recipe from Cast-Iron Cooking, by A.D. Livingston

-2 cups Masa Harina
-1 cup boiling-hot water
-coconut oil or cooking oil of your choice for greasing the parchment paper

Mix the Masa Harina and water, making a stiff dough.  

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls.

Begin to heat your cast-iron skillet  over medium heat so that it is hot by the time you are ready to begin cooking your tortillas.  There is no need to grease your skillet.

Place a ball between two lightly greased pieces of parchment paper.  Using a tortilla press, large plate, or rolling pin, spread the ball out into a circle about 6" in diameter and approximately 1/8" thick.

Once your skillet is hot, place the flattened tortilla inside and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Continue in the same manner for the remaining balls.  If you will be using them immediately, place the cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer or damp towel to keep them soft and warm.  Otherwise, place them on racks to cool.

When you are ready to make the tacos, you can then turn your corn tortillas into taco shells:

Oven-Baked Hard Taco Shells

Corn Tortillas
Olive Oil
Salt and spices (such as chili powder or cumin) if desired

Brush both sides of each tortilla with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and spices if desired.

Arrange tortillas directly on your oven rack (in a cool oven), draping them so that the tortillas are on 2 rails of the oven rack as pictured below.  You may want to warm your tortillas before draping them in order to make them more pliable.

Pardon the dirty oven.

One of my tortillas broke :(  But the rest turned out quite nicely!

Close the oven and bake at 350 degrees F until the tortillas begin to brown and crisp up, about 15 minutes.

Then fill your taco shells with whatever filling you like and enjoy!

Black Bean Tacos with Mexican Asparagus


  1. quick question, is it 2 cups by volume or weight?

    1. Masa Harina is a dry ingredient, so you will want to use a standard dry measuring cup to measure the 2 cups out.

  2. What brand of Masa Harina would you recommend? I am worried about GMO's. Thanks.

    1. Bob's Red Mill is a good non-gmo brand that is usually easy to find in most grocery stores.


Post a Comment

I will just take a quick peek at your comment before it posts to avoid getting bombarded by spam. Please don't take it personally, I'm sure you're a lovely person.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did My Chicken Lay That Strange Egg? {Decoding 10 Chicken Laying Issues}

What do you got? A huge egg with two yolks in it?  A wrinkly misshapen egg?  An egg with a soft shell?  Or perhaps the all-inclusive just plain weird looking egg? Whatever it is, I hope to help clear up some of the mystery behind: Why Did My Chicken Lay That Strange Egg?

Soapmakers: Why You Shouldn't Use Vinegar if You Come into Contact with Lye

It was one of the first things I learned when I began making my own soap; I read it in books and on the internet: "Always keep a jug of vinegar on hand when you are working with lye.  Vinegar neutralizes lye." Soapers, have you heard this?  Do you practice the habit of keeping vinegar nearby when you make your soaps?  So did I, until recently, when I read an interesting post on a soap forum, and then decided to research the claim myself.

Homemade Tomato Trellises

Since we love homemade ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and salsa (okay, well I love salsa anyway), tomatoes have become one of our favorite garden plants.  It's so nice having some garden tomatoes in the freezer to cook with all winter long--say, for some good Italian or Mexican food. Since we use lots and lots of tomatoes, it means we must also grow lots and lots of tomatoes.  Growing so many tomato plants, we have always been presented with the problem of what to use for cages or trellises.  You see, tomato plants can grow to be quite large and heavy, which means that if you have no support for your plants, the fruits will wind up developing on the ground--leading to rotting, slug infested tomatoes!  There is nothing more disappointing than having to throw away half of your tomato harvest because pests got to them. Tomato plants that are kept up off the ground typically have better yields, less instance of disease and pest infestation, and are easier to harvest, so we definitely wa