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Hard Taco Shells

We eat a lot of Mexican and Tex Mex type food in our house. Tacos are a favorite. We like soft taco shells, but we also enjoy hard taco shells once in awhile.

Yes, I could fry my own corn tortillas, and make crispy tacos myself, but tacos are usually a quick and easy meal for me, so I buy them. However, I did not buy them often because I found them to be a bit stale most of the time.

Well, I learned from a friend that I was skipping a very important step when serving my store bought hard tacos.

See on the back of the box where it says to heat the taco shells. Well, it turns out that it is an important step. Yes, heating the tacos does make them crisp. It takes away that stale taste and texture that I did not like.

I thought this was a needless step. I thought it was only to heat the shells. I did not care if they shells were hot, so I skipped that step. Well, lesson learned. It pays to follow directions.

Am I the only one that skipped that step?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I NEVER knew!!!

  2. schroeder says

    I still like making mine though …

    You can take a corn tortilla and use an empty tin can to create a “boat” taco. Put the torille in the grease, take tin can with protective tongs and hold the can down the center of the torilla. The part of the torilla outside the can will flow upwards. These are fun …


  3. Yes, corn tortillas taste a LOT better heated in the oven before serving. And they really don’t taste the same if you try to heat them in the microwave.

    • @flora, I may know about using cocoa on a cake pan, ๐Ÿ™‚ but somehow I missed this tip. I guess it just proves that there is always something to learn when it comes to cooking.

  4. I always skip the heating myself and wondered why mine always tasted stale.

  5. I am cracking up because we do tacos and nachos at least once a week around here (and not by my choice). Lately the kids have wanted the hard taco shells vs soft, and I opened a new package last week to use. I also thought the heating was optional – if I thought of it in time, I would throw them on the cookie sheet at the end of the nacho cooking time to use one pan, but it was hit/miss and last week was a miss. One of my kids told me the shells were stale and I knew that couldn’t be true – it was a brand new package, the dates looked fine. hmmm perhaps I should have heated it up! live and learn!! this week, somehow I have escaped the taco rotation thankfully…

  6. LMAO! That is sooo funny! I am a FREAK about making sure the hard taco shells are baked! My hubby made taco’s twice, the first time he skipped the heating, then the second time, he totally burned them!
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how fresh and crispy they taste fresh out of the oven!

  7. Hahaha, I love this!!! I do this type of stuff all of the time. But please…don’t make my mistake by leaving them in the oven for to long. I got distracted once and ignored the timer on my oven (bad Idea) and came back like oh I don’t know 8 minutes later and my tacos had shrunk in size. Not just a little bit…but by a lot!! Dinner was served on tortillas that night ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I can honestly say that I’ve never even looked at the back of a taco shell box–and we do eat taco shells once in awhile. I’m gonna try this next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I never knew that! That’s why my husband won’t eat hard tacos at home, even though he loves them at restaurants.

  10. OMG – I never knew – thanks so much for sharing!!

  11. I’ve been heating them as long as I can remember…so much so that I never even knew there were directions for it on the box. Just thought it a given. Never realized how many people might skip this step. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Oh wow! Thank you! I was getting really frustrated at all of the stale taco shells I have bought! LOL I will make sure to read the box next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Della Kelley says

    I’ve always heated my shells but thats not my question. Sometimes I have 4 or 5 shells left over that I didn’t heat up, and would like to keep them for the next time, but I can’t figure out a way to keep them fresh!!! Anyone have any tips???

  14. I always put my leftover taco shell in an airtight container. I myself use a tupperware container and it keeps my shells fresh forever!!

  15. Yep, I learned this one the hard way. I had my husband’s brother over for dinner to impress him with my mad cooking skills and tacos are his FAVE. I totally didn’t know you had to heat them up… he pointed that out to me after he took the first bite. Eeek!

  16. Never knew you were suppose to heat them….we just don’t eat them any more, didn’t like them…….HA. Will have to give them another try.

  17. EEEEWWW! You were eating RAW taco shells?? :0) I have to heat them until they brown slightly, but it means watching closely because one second longer and they are burnt.

  18. Yup and if you have stale chips or crackers you can also heat them up too instead of throwing them out and they’ll taste better than the day you bought them. Learned that from my Mom ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I can’t imagine how you managed to eat them all these years without heating them….it makes ALL the difference. Bet tacos might appear on the menu more often ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Oh my goodness, Lynn you crack me up. I don’t think I have ever NOT heated up taco shells. The directions say heat them so by golly I heated them. It never even occurred to me not to, lol.

  21. HEAT ALL TORTILLAS!! This goes for all tortillas hard taco shells or otherwise. if you are going to make soft tacos (flour or corn), heat a Non Stick pan to high place tortilla in, press it down using a cloth or paper towel to score it. flip once it starts to bubble, place inside a clean cloth/towel to steep back in the moisture, then use how ever desired. makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE. i Wont eat raw tortillas.

  22. why does the hard taco close when warmed in the oven, what am I doing wrong please help

    • I have not had that happen before. Are you laying them on their side or standing them up. I usually try to stand mine up if there is room and I am not cooking too many.

      • I know this is a really old post but if you still dont know… Look at the directions on the box(The picture).. Do not pull them all the way apart!! They should be overlapping. And leave that little cardboard piece inside the first one that is open to keep it from closing up.
        I recently learned this.

  23. Oh my goodness i just made tacos myself and the shells are so stale i can barely enjoy it wish i read this 30 mins ago. I know what to do next time.

  24. jim werner says

    after I make the meat filling , I microwave them for about 40 seconds . after that , the trick is to soak them for a minute or two , with the greasy taco mixture. yes, a bit messy, a bit high cholesterol, but a lot of awesome !! sorta reminds me of the old jack in the box tacos!!

  25. Todd Hopkins says

    I’m sorry everyone but I am shocked that so many of you didn’t bake your taco shells. I’m just amazed

  26. Mine always taste old and bitter.
    Heating them doesn’t seem to help.
    I buy Ortega because it’s the only one in the stores around here.

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