DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Cheddar Taco Shells

Prep: 1 min | Cook: 20 mins | Total: 21 mins | Servings:6


Cheddar Taco Shells
Cheddar Taco Shells
Cheddar Taco Shells
A really common question is, "What to do in place of a tortilla?" One obvious answer is Mama Lupe's tortillas. And, while these are great, tasty and obviously fit the bill, they are also made of wheat products and qualify as a processed food. I've got a decent cheddar cracker which does a solid job of replacing the taste and texture of a wheat based cracker, but without grains! This tends to fill the void for some. For others, there's always the old, "Wrap it in a leaf!" Baby romaine leaves, leaves of Bibb lettuce, iceberg lettuce and even cabbage all make for nice handy little holders for your taco fixin's. Again, this answer doesn't satisfy those that pine for the CRUNCH of a crispity taco shell.

For you, I offer this cheddar based taco shell!

These shells can be a bit fussy to make and hot oil tends to get everywhere, but they are also a lot of fun to make! They're delicious and quite toothsome, to boot! The crunch isn't quite is quick-to-crisp, as a baked or fried corn tortilla taco shell, but ... come on ... let's be realistic, here. This is a taco shell made ENTIRELY out of fried cheese!

Is this REALLY that much of a sacrifice? *wink*

Serving Size Note: 2 lbs of cheese should make about 12 shells, depending on thickness and size.

Nutrition Information: I don't really know how to calculate this. Easily half of the fat (and calories) are rendered from the cheese and poured off. These are not as calorically dense as the nutrition information will have you believe.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
2 lb (908g)  cheddar cheese, grated3609.72297.44224110011
Totals (of 6 Servings):3609.72297.44g224g11g0g0g11g
Per Serving:601.6249.57g37.33g1.83g0g0g1.83g *


  1. Take a large pot and place it on the counter top, with a thick wooden spoon forming a bridge through the center of the open space. You will eventually hang your melted cheese on this "spoon bridge". (I have a really thick handled wooden spoon, which is also somewhat flat. This works PERFECT, in that it's about 3/4-inch wide and forms taco shells with flat bottoms. They stand up on their own!)
  2. Heat a small to medium sized non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.
  3. Evenly sprinkle your grated cheese around the base of the pan. Continue to cook over low-medium heat. The cheese will melt and melt together. It will eventually begin to fry and darken. Once the cheese has a firm "crispy" look to it, but before it burns, pry it out with a heat resistant plastic spatula and IMMEDIATELY drape it over your spoon and quickly adjust it so that equal portions of the cheese are hanging down both sides of the spoon. Be VERY careful as the pan also likely contains a lot of hot oil. Let this oil drip into the pot (and not on yourself).
  4. Allow it to rest for a few minutes, or until it's sufficiently chilled.
  5. Repeat the process to make more taco shells.
  6. Enjoy!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


I love these -- but you must use full fat cheese. I tried them with reduced fat cheddar and they didn't get crisp. 

 Jennifer  8/13/2015


Oh.  My.  Gosh.

 Tracy  7/9/2015


I use pre-sliced provolone! So good and a little less salty. I love cheddar for "chips". Buying pre-sliced (natural not processed) cheeses make shell and chip making a cinch! You still need parchment paper and I lightly spray mine. I will bake several batches in a row, reusing the same sheets. I don't know if it's the right way but I store mine at room temp in baggies, they stay crisp.

 Kristen  1/13/2015


I used parchment paper and the microwave to make mine!!   1:30 to 2:00 min you get yummy shell.    I even kept some flat for a tostada!!   

 Dedra   1/12/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 1/12/2015
Yep! It's just melted cheese. Any way you wan to achieve that ... go for it! :)

This idea is the bomb! I make these and eat as crackers. Never thought of this. You could also do  'nachos' with little 1" ones.... O.M.Gosh.

 Debra  12/20/2014


Hi Tori, I think the cheese would run down the sides of the pans, as they bake. Instead, what I think you need to do is either bake round sheets on parchment, or a silicone mat, or do it in a pan, like I discuss in this recipe. Then, turn your taco bowl pans upside down and drape the hot cheese circle over the top of the bowl and QUICKLY shape it to match the contours of the pan. Be very careful and work fast. The cheese is hot, but is only flexible WHILE its hot. It'll cool in mere seconds and you won't be able to form it, once it does. Then ... once you've formed it, let it sit for about a minute ... Taco Salad Bowl! :)

 DJ  10/6/2014


I love this idea!! Definitely going to try as I am trying to eat healthier... I have a set of the "taco bowl" pans I purchased from the dollar store. Was wondering, can you bake the cheese in those and it come out as crispy? Think I may have to test it out!! Thanks again.

 Tori  10/6/2014


Yep, unknown, there's no reason not to season this up, if you've got some flavors you enjoy!

 DJ  8/23/2014


I like to add a bit of seasoning to the cheese for extra flavor pop!

 unknown  8/23/2014


Hi Amy, the oil is from the cheese. Much like bacon, when you fry it, an enormous amount of oil is released ... the same is true with the cheese. A large percentage of it is just pure fat, which renders out and rolls around the pan. Careful. It's hot! Regarding TYPES of cheese, my personal favorite is probably parmesan. Outside of parmesan and cheddar, I've never tried other types, but I assume swiss, provolone, low-moisture mozzarella, etc. would all work, but ... I honestly haven't tried them, so I can't verify. Parmesan, though ... works and is delicious. I hope this helps! :)

 DJ  6/10/2014


I love this idea... The oil you speak of, is that from the cheese or from adding oil to the pan? It doesn't seem to call for oil, so I assume it's from all that lovely cheese... Can you use other kinds too? Any favorites? Thanks so much for this piece of heaven in the form of a taco shells.

 Amy  6/10/2014


Maria, that is a SUPER idea! Far surpassing my own! I hope many others read this. Thanks for sharing it!

 DJ  5/23/2014


I love these! Instead of draping them from a spoon to form, I got out my cookie cooling rack and draped them between 2slats. I had a load of cooling cheese taco shells. It made everything a bit more helpful. My son came in and started eating them off the

 Maria  5/22/2014


That sounds FANTASTIC, Tina!! Thanks for the idea! :D

 DJ  5/14/2014


Fried parmesan is great this way too and less oily. If you put an egg on it while it cooks an cover it til the egg is done...slid out of pan on a large dish...throw som leaf sinach on it and roll it p...yum!

 tina rose  5/14/2014


Hi Melissa ... I have no idea. 3 to 5 minutes? That's a real shot in the dark, though ... Not long, really. My folks had a taco night recently and bribed me by saying my father would make the cheese taco shells. When I got there, he's made about 15 of them! So ... they can't really take THAT long (he wouldn't have the patience for it! ;) )

 DJ  4/28/2014


U know everyone's heating elements cook a little differently, but about how many minutes per shell?

 Melissa  4/28/2014


Barbara, don't underestimate the power of a larger bowl shaped bowl for a nice crunchy taco salad shell! ;) I'm glad you enjoy the concept!

 DJ  4/15/2014


I am so grateful that you posted these. I haven't actually made the taco shells, but I do make cheese crackers with the same technique. We have tried a variety of cheese, good quality works best. We have cooked them on a griddle, fry pan, and even baked them on parchment paper--all very delicious. This was the crush and flavor that I was missing. I love the fact that it has only one ingredient to boot. Thank you and I look forward to trying many of your other recipes soon.

 Barbara  4/14/2014


Hi Kelly, I don't know how long ago you signed up. If it's just been a few days, it's because I haven't sent one in a few days. However, if it's been weeks or months, let me know and I'll make sure you're added. One thing I might suggest, however ... is to check your spam folder. Make sure I'm approved as a "safe sender". Thanks for the kind words! :)

 DJ  1/15/2014


I love your recipes!. I signed up for newsletter/blog, but haven't been getting it.

 Kelly  1/14/2014


Awesome, Ilona! Let me know what you think! :)

 DJ  12/7/2013


These cheese taco's sound amazing! I definitely gonna try them soon.

 Ilona  12/7/2013


This looks amazing. I am making the pork recipe today, and will try these taco shells, and also these plantain tortillas...

 unknown  10/31/2013