How To Keep Taco Shells From Breaking: Tips and Tricks

Have you ever experienced frustration when your taco shell breaks upon the first bite? You’re not alone. In this article, we’ll explore why taco shells break and offer some tips to keep them intact. Plus, we’ll provide creative alternatives to traditional taco shells that will make your taste buds dance.

After reading this article, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious taco without worrying about it falling apart on you.

Why Do Taco Shells Break?

If you have ever made tacos at home or ordered them at a restaurant, you may have encountered the frustrating problem of taco shells breaking apart. This can be especially disappointing when you have carefully filled your shell with delicious ingredients. There are several factors that contribute to taco shells breaking:

  • Overfilling: One of the most common causes of taco shell breakage is overfilling. When a taco shell is overstuffed with too many ingredients, it puts pressure on the shell and causes it to crack or split open.
  • Overheating: Another factor that can cause taco shells to break is overheating. If a shell is left in the oven or on the stove for too long, it can become brittle and more likely to crack.
  • Low-Quality Shells: Finally, low-quality taco shells are more likely to break than high-quality ones. Cheap shells are often made from lower quality ingredients and may not hold up well under pressure.

Preventing Taco Shell Breakage

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent taco shell breakage. By understanding the factors that contribute to this issue, you can ensure that your next batch of tacos turns out perfectly.

  • Avoid Overfilling: When making tacos, be mindful of how much filling you are adding to each shell. Only add enough so that the tortilla fits comfortably around the contents without placing excessive pressure on its walls.
  • Cook Tacos Properly: Cook your tacos correctly by heating them only until they’re lightly toasted and crispy but still pliable enough to hold their shape. Avoid overheating them, which causes them to become brittle.
  • Better Quality Tortillas: Use high-quality tortillas that will hold up better to the weight and moisture of fillings. Corn-based shells are typically more durable than flour ones, so consider switching it up with the former option.

By following these tips, you’ll have much better luck keeping your tacos intact and enjoying a crunchy or soft bite every time.

How To Keep Taco Shells From Breaking

Nothing ruins a good taco quite like a broken shell. But fear not, there are some simple techniques you can use to keep your taco shells intact and enjoy your meal to the fullest.

Tips for Preventing Taco Shell Breakage

  • Warm the shells before filling them: Cold or room temperature taco shells are more likely to crack when filled with hot ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the taco shells on a baking sheet. Warm them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until they are slightly crispy.
  • Use a soft filling: Hard, chunky fillings like diced vegetables or meats can put pressure on the shell and cause it to break. Opt for soft fillings like refried beans or shredded cheese that won’t crush the shell.
  • Avoid overstuffing: It’s tempting to pack as much filling as possible into each taco, but this will only increase the risk of shell breakage. Be mindful of how much stuffing you’re adding and leave enough space at each end of the shell so that it can bend without cracking.

Warming Taco Shells

If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on warming up your taco shells, here are two easy methods:

  1. Oven Method:
    • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
    • Wrap your taco shells in foil.
    • Bake them in the oven for about five minutes until they are warm and crisp.

  2. Stove Top Method:
    • Heat up a large skillet over moderate heat.
    • Place one taco shell at a time in the skillet and toast it for about 30 seconds on each side or until slightly blistered.
    • Repeat with the remaining shells, stacking them on a plate when done and wrapping with foil to keep them warm if needed.

Taco Shells That Are Less Likely To Break

If you’re looking for taco shells that are less prone to breaking, here are some recommendations:

  • Mission Super Soft Taco Flour Tortillas: Made from wheat flour, these tortillas are soft and pliable, so they mold perfectly to your filling without falling apart.

  • Old El Paso Blue Corn Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Shells: These blue corn taco shells are sturdy enough to hold all of your favorite fillings without cracking. They also stand upright on their own for easy stuffing.

  • Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells: These crunchy yellow corn tacos have a bold flavor that complements any filling you add. Plus, they’re certified gluten-free!

In summary, by following these tips and tricks, you can prevent taco shell breakage and enjoy your delicious meal without any hassle. Happy eating!

Creative Alternatives To Taco Shells

Tacos are a beloved staple of Mexican cuisine. They’re crunchy, savory, and customizable to every taste bud. But what if you want to switch things up from the traditional hard or soft taco shells? Here are some creative alternatives to keep your tacos fresh and exciting.

Lettuce Wraps

  • Using lettuce as a shell can be a refreshing and low-carb option.
  • Romaine lettuce works great for larger wraps while butter lettuce is perfect for smaller ones.
  • To assemble: place your desired fillings in the center of the lettuce leaf and fold it like a burrito or wrap.

Tortilla Bowls

  • Tortilla bowls add an extra element of crunch to your taco experience without being too heavy on carbs.
  • To make: brush both sides of a tortilla with oil, bake it in an oven-safe bowl at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown (around 10-15 minutes).
  • Fill with all your favorite taco ingredients and enjoy!

Homemade Shells

  • If you want complete control over the size and shape of your taco shells, making them yourself is the way to go.
  • You can use flour or corn tortillas, depending on preference. To deep-fry: heat up vegetable oil in a pot until hot (around 350 degrees Fahrenheit), carefully slide in one tortilla shell at a time using tongs, fry for about 1 minute per side until crispy but not burnt.
    Note: Be very cautious when working with hot oil!
  • To bake: drape tortillas over the grates of your oven rack and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8-10 minutes.

These creative alternatives to taco shells are excellent ways to liven up your meal and customize it to your taste buds. Experiment with different fillings, spices, and toppings to find your perfect taco combination. Have fun creating unique taco experiences.


In conclusion, understanding why tacos shells break and how to prevent them from doing so can elevate your dining experience significantly. Whether you choose to stick with traditional shells or try out alternative options, these tips will help ensure that your next Taco Tuesday is a success.


Can I use hard corn tortillas instead of store-bought taco shells?

Absolutely! You can heat up hard corn tortillas by placing them in the oven at 350°F for five minutes.

How do I store my leftover taco meat?

Place any uneaten meat in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.

Are there gluten-free alternatives for tacos?

Yes! Some gluten-free options include lettuce wraps, baked sweet potato slices, cauliflower crusts, or jicama tacos that use thinly sliced jicama as the “shell.”

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