How to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas: The Ultimate Guide

Do you love eating tacos as much as we do? If so, then you know that the quality of your taco shell or tortilla can make or break your meal. A cold and stiff shell can ruin even the most delicious fillings. That’s why it’s crucial to heat up your taco shells and tortillas before using them. In this article, we’ll show you different methods for heating up your taco shells and tortillas, including the microwave, oven, stove-top, and grill. We’ll also provide some top tips for getting them just right.

Why You Need to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas

Have you ever had a cold, unheated taco or tortilla? It’s just not the same. Heating up your taco shells and tortillas is important for several reasons.

Benefits of Heating Up Taco Shells and Tortillas

  • Enhanced Flavor: Heating up taco shells and tortillas enhances their flavor by unlocking their aromas and bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients inside.
  • Better Texture: Cold, unheated taco shells and tortillas can be tough to chew on. By heating them up, you make them more pliable and easier to bite into.
  • Crispy Tacos: If you’re a fan of crispy tacos, heating up your taco shells in the oven or on a pan can give them that extra crunch that elevates the entire eating experience.

Consequences of Not Heating Up Taco Shells and Tortillas

  • Bland Taste: Eating cold, unheated tacos can leave your taste buds unsatisfied due to a lack of enhanced flavor from heat exposure.
  • Tough Texture: Unheated shells can have an overly chewy texture, making it difficult to take satisfying bites from your tacos or burritos.
  • Soggy Burritos: Without proper heating beforehand, any fillings inside burritos will steam through over time which may leave you with soggy toppings inside the wrap, even if it’s fresh off the pan or grill!

To avoid these unpleasant consequences therefore always remember that heating up your taco shells before use is essential for an enjoyable and flavorful experience.

Different Methods to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas

Microwave Method

The microwave method is the quickest way to heat up taco shells and tortillas. Simply wrap them in a damp paper towel or cloth and microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Oven Method

The oven method takes a bit longer but produces crispier tacos. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), wrap your shells/tortillas in aluminum foil, and bake for about 10 minutes.

Stove-Top Method

The stove-top method involves using a dry pan, preferably cast iron. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, add your shells/tortillas one at a time flipping every 15 seconds until crispy.

Grill Method

If you’re grilling meat, why not warm up your tortillas on the grill too? Place the tortillas directly on the grill grates over medium heat for about 30 seconds per side.

Comparison of Different Methods

  • Quickness: Microwave > Stove-top > Oven > Grill
  • Crispiness: Oven > Stove-top > Grill > Microwave
  • Aesthetic: Stove-top = Grill (char marks) > Oven = Microwave
  • Ease: Microwave = Oven = Grill (no need to flip) < Stove-top (requires flipping)
Note: Always make sure to store your tortillas properly. If they are dry or stale, no heating method can save them from becoming tough and unappetizing!

How to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas in the Microwave

If you’re craving some tacos but want a quick and easy way to heat up your taco shells and tortillas, look no further than your microwave! Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you get the best results:

Step 1: Dampen a Paper Towel

  1. Take a paper towel and dampen it with water.
  2. This will prevent your taco shells or tortillas from drying out while they are in the microwave.

Step 2: Wrap Your Taco Shells or Tortillas

  1. Place your taco shells or tortillas on top of the dampened paper towel.
  2. Cover them with another dampened paper towel. This will help trap moisture and prevent them from becoming tough or chewy after microwaving.

Step 3: Microwave for About 15-20 Seconds

  1. Microwave your wrapped taco shells or tortillas on high for about 15-20 seconds.
    • Note:
      The exact time may vary depending on how many shells/tortillas you are heating, as well as the power of your microwave. Be sure not to overheat them!

Tips and Tricks for Best Results:

  • You can heat up multiple taco shells/tortillas at once, but make sure that they don’t overlap too much, as this may result in uneven heating.
  • If possible, use a microwave-safe plate to heat them up. This will prevent any tearing or sticking that may occur if they are stuck to the paper towels.
  • If you want your taco shells to be crispy rather than soft, skip the damp paper towel and just microwave them for about 10 seconds on high.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Avoid overheating your taco shells or tortillas, as this can make them dry and tough.
  2. Don’t forget to dampen the paper towel! Otherwise, they may become hard or chewy.

Your tacos don’t have to be a hassle anymore! With these easy tips and tricks for heating up your taco shells and tortillas in the microwave, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious tacos in no time!

How to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas in the Oven

If you’re a fan of tacos, then you know that having warm and crispy taco shells or tortillas is essential for a delicious meal. Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to heat up taco shells and tortillas in the oven.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Wrap your tortillas or taco shells in aluminum foil.
  3. Place them on a baking pan and put them in the oven.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are heated through and slightly crispy.

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you want extra crispiness, remove the aluminum foil during the last few minutes of baking time.
  • You can add a bit of water to the inside of the aluminum foil before wrapping your tortillas or taco shells. This will create some steam while baking, making them even softer!
  • If you’re using store-bought hard-shell tacos, make sure to place them standing upright between two wire racks so that they keep their shape while baking.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Avoid overbaking your taco shells or tortillas as this will make them too crunchy and hard.

So there you go! Follow these simple steps for warm and crispy taco shells for your next Mexican-inspired feast.

How to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas on the Stove-Top

If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, then you probably know that taco shells and tortillas are essential components of many dishes. But eating them cold is not as appetizing, which begs the question – how do you heat them up without making them soggy or brittle? The answer is simple – use your stove-top!

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Place a pan on the stove-top over low-medium heat for a few minutes.
  2. Add the tortilla to the pan and heat it up for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. Flip it over with tongs, and continue heating for another 30 seconds or so, until it starts forming air pockets or slightly brown on both sides.
  4. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Repeat with each taco shell/tortilla needed.

It’s essential not to overcook them; otherwise, they’ll become crispy or break apart when folded. When properly heated, the tacos will be soft but strong enough to contain all your delicious fillings.

Tips and tricks for best results

  • To preserve their texture and moisture, wrap unheated tortillas in damp paper towels before placing them in a plastic bag in the microwave briefly (around10-15 sec) before using them in this method; this saves time as well. Second option could be warming wrapped unheated tortillas(without paper towels) in microwave by using heating base/therapeutic pads. Let the towel absorb moisture while you work quickly searing meat versus taco shell /tortilla issue. The hot surface will soften it up just right with those steamy and moist pockets inside.
  • Use a cast iron skillet instead of plastic or non-stick type for this stovetop method, which provides more even heating without damaging the surface over time.
  • Be mindful not to let them sit on the hot pan for too long. A few extra seconds could transform them from pliable to crunchy in no time.

Common mistakes to avoid

  • A common mistake with this process is using high heat, which can result in scorched taco shells or tortillas that break apart as you try to fold them.
  • You may don’t add any oil or spray the pan with Pam-style sprays unnecessarily; tacos have enough fat content, adding more would make them greasy and sloppy..

Now that you know how to heat up taco shells and tortillas on the stove-top step-by-step, get ready to enjoy your favorite Mexican meal at home without any compromises in taste or texture!

How to Heat Up Taco Shells and Tortillas on the Grill

Grilling is a great way to bring out delicious flavors in taco shells and tortillas. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you heat them up perfectly:

Step 1: Preheat the grill

First, start by preheating your grill to medium-high heat (around 375-400°F). You want the grill grates to be hot before placing your taco shells or tortillas on them.

Step 2: Brush with oil

To prevent sticking, brush both sides of each taco shell or tortilla with a light coating of vegetable oil or cooking spray.

Step 3: Place on grill

Carefully place the prepared taco shells or tortillas directly on the hot grill grates. Let them cook for about 30 seconds per side until they become lightly toasted and slightly charred. Avoid overcooking as it can make them too crunchy and difficult to eat.

Step 4: Wrap in foil (optional)

If you prefer softer tacos, wrap your grilled tortillas in foil after removing them from the grill. This allows steam to build up inside and soften them further.

Tips and Tricks for Best Results:

  • In addition to vegetable oil, you can also brush your taco shells or tortillas with melted butter or garlic-infused olive oil for added flavor.
  • You don’t need any special equipment like a tortilla warmer – just use aluminum foil if you want to keep them warm while grilling additional batches.
  • If cooking corn tortillas, make sure they are fresh or they may break apart as they cook. Flour tortillas are generally more forgiving.
  • Add grated cheese to the tortilla before grilling for a nice cheesy crunch in your taco shells.
  • You can also experiment with different toppings like cilantro, lime juice, salsa, or guacamole to add extra flavor and texture.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Avoid overcooking the taco shells or tortillas as they can become tough and hard to eat.
  • Be careful not to overcrowd the grill which can cause them to cook unevenly leading some parts being burnt while others remain uncooked.
  • If you’re using an open flame grill or charcoal grill, don’t let flames touch your taco shells directly as they will char quickly and burn easily. Leave at least an inch of space between the tacos and open flames on gas grills.

By following these simple instructions, you should be able to create perfectly grilled taco shells and tortillas that’ll make any Mexican dish taste even better!

Top Tips for Heating Up Taco Shells and Tortillas

Tips for choosing the best method for your needs

If you’re looking to heat up some taco shells or tortillas, there are several methods you can choose from. The most common methods include:

  • Microwave: This method is quick and easy, but it can make the shells or tortillas chewy or tough.
  • Oven: This method takes longer, but it can result in crispy and delicious shells or tortillas.
  • Stovetop: This method requires a bit more effort, but it allows you to control the temperature and get perfectly warmed shells or tortillas.

Consider your time constraints and desired texture when choosing a heating method.

Tips for choosing the best type of taco shells and tortillas

When choosing taco shells or tortillas, consider their texture, flavor, and nutritional value. Here are some tips:

  • Corn vs Flour: Corn has a more authentic taste while flour is softer; corn often have fewer calories than flour.
  • Fat content: Consider choosing low-fat versions of either shell/tortilla variety as they only need to be moistened enough to become pliable.
  • Gluten-free options: suitable options exist that let gluten-free people enjoy tacos too.

Tips for storing and reheating leftover taco shells and tortillas

To keep your leftover taco shells or tortillas fresh, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. When reheating them:

    To reheat stored Taco Shells:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 Degrees F.
  2. Wrap shells in foil and put in the oven for five minutes.
    To reheat stored Tortillas:
  1. Heat a pan over medium/high heat untill hot, then place tortillas one at a time onto the pan.
  2. Cook on each side for about 30 seconds or until lightly browned.

These tips can help you elevate your taco and quesadilla game while ensuring that your heating method, type of shell/tortilla, and storage are optimized for freshness and flavor.


By following our simple guide, you’ll be able to enjoy hot and crispy tacos every time! Heating up your shells and tortillas is an essential step to take if you want to experience the full flavor of your fillings without any textural issues. Don’t settle for a mediocre taco; give your dish the attention it deserves by heating everything properly!


Can I eat my taco shell or tortilla straight out of the package?

Although it’s possible to consume them directly from their packaging, they often won’t taste nearly as good or have an optimal texture.

How long do I need to heat up my taco shells/tortillas in a microwave?

Typically 10-15 seconds should be enough, but times may vary based on wattage.

Can I reheat previously heated-up taco shells/tortillas?

Yes! But they might not taste quite as good when reheated several times over.

Should I wrap my tacos/shells in foil when placing them in an oven/grill?

Wrapping with foil is optional but advisable because it preserves heat better which ensures that everything inside heats evenly.

How many times can I safely reheat my refrigerated leftover heated-up tacos?

It’s best not more than two times over – heated leftovers will eventually dry out and start to turn stale.

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