How To Soften Hard Taco Shells: Tips and Tricks

Are you tired of biting into hard taco shells and ending up with a broken piece flying across the room? Do you want to enjoy your meal without the fear of dental damage? Worry no more! In this blog, we will explore tips and tricks to soften those stubborn taco shells, making your eating experience much more enjoyable. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about softening hard taco shells.

To start off, we’ll share our top methods for transforming tough shells into perfectly pliable vessels for all your toppings. From simple steaming techniques to microwave hacks, we’ve got you covered.

In addition to the practical advice, we’ll offer insights on how using different fillings can affect the texture of your shell. You may be surprised at how this small detail can make a big difference in the tacos’ overall taste and texture!

Finally, stick around for our FAQs section where we’re answering common questions like “Can I still use crisped-up taco shells if they didn’t become soft enough?” or “What’s the quickest way to soften taco shells?”.

So get ready to take your Taco Tuesdays to another level by learning some great tips on softening those tortillas that always give us trouble.

How To Soften Hard Taco Shells

Hard taco shells can be difficult to eat, especially if you have sensitive teeth or braces. Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to soften hard taco shells before filling them with your favorite ingredients.

Boiling Method

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Carefully place the taco shells in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.
  • Remove the taco shells from the water with tongs and place them on a paper towel to dry.

Oven Method

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Dampen the taco shells by spraying them lightly with water or wrapping them in a damp towel.
  • Bake the taco shells for about five minutes until they become soft and pliable.

Microwave Method

  • Dampen a paper towel and wrap it around the taco shells.
  • Microwave on high for 15-20 seconds, checking frequently until warm enough but not too hot to handle.

Steaming Method

  • Add inch of water into steamer basket or pot & bring it to boil over medium heat.
  • Dampen & wrap tortillas tightly in aluminum foil carefully placed above steam.
  • Cover with lid and allow steaming for 1 minute per tortilla while adjusting heat setting as needed till they’re warm, moist & flexible enough to shape without cracking. Remove wrapped tortillas from steam when done & let cool slightly before unwrapping and use.

Wrapping Method

  • Dampen a kitchen towel and place the taco shells inside.
  • Wrap the towel tightly around the taco shells.
  • Microwave on high for 30 seconds to one minute, checking frequently until desired softness is achieved.

Choose your favorite method from these five options to soften your hard taco shells. Softened tortillas are easier to fill with your favorite ingredients, and they’re less likely to crack or break when you take a bite. Next time you crave tacos, try softening them and enjoy the perfect crunchy-soft balance that makes tacos delicious!

Tips and Tricks for Softening Hard Taco Shells

If you’re a fan of tacos, then you know how disappointing it can be when your taco shells turn out hard and crunchy instead of soft and pliable. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks to help prevent this from happening.

Preventing Taco Shells from Getting Hard in the First Place

  • Don’t overcook the taco shells: Overcooking is one of the main reasons why taco shells become hard. Be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package and keep an eye on them while they’re baking or frying.
  • Avoid cold fillings: If you add cold ingredients like lettuce or cheese, it can cause condensation inside the shell which leads to sogginess. Make sure all fillings are at room temperature before adding them to your taco.
  • Use less filling: Overfilling your taco may lead to a harder shell as well. Stick with moderate amounts of filling for best results.

Storing Taco Shells Properly to Maintain their Softness

  • Airtight containers: Once opened, store your taco shells in an airtight container or ziplock baggie as if they are exposed to air they will go stale faster.
  • Don’t stack them too high: Stacking many tacos shells together can cause breakages upon serving them when that happens either fold it directly in half or use something (like a spoon) placed inside holding both sides apart until cooled down enough so that it can hold its shape on its own.
  • Purchase pre-made quality soft tortillas for your recipe which bend easily.

Using Fresh Taco Shells for the Best Results

  • Buy fresh taco shells: If you’re making tacos at home, be sure to use taco shells that are still within their expiration date.
  • Warm them up first: Soft taco shells taste best when they’re warmed up a bit. You can do this by microwaving them on high heat in 5 seconds intervals or placing them gently over hot stove until warm as heating too long might cause them to get crispy fast..
  • Bake the shells briefly with oil spray: Preheat your oven to around low(150°C) and put some oil spray before placing each shell in there. Leave it in there for about three minutes so that the shell becomes flexible but not crispy
Try these tips and tricks out next time you make tacos!


There’s no reason why hard taco shells should ruin an otherwise good meal. Using our suggestions and tricks, you can turn them pliable as needed easily- keeping intact what makes a traditional Mexican dish so satisfying: crunchy exterior combined with layered flavors inside.


Can I store pre-cooked softened hard taco shells?

Yes! Just make sure that they’re completely cooled down before storing in an air-sealed container in a dry place.

Is it important to use warm water while microwaving my tortilla?

Using warm water instead of cold will help improve its texture as well as prevent it from sticking together when attempting reheat.

What else could go wrong besides breaking the shell?

If you reheat your hard taco shell for too long or over-microwave it, they will lose their shape and turn mushy.

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