Sometimes a recipe reminds me how completely fun home cooking can be. These Quesadilla Taco Shells are not only delicious, but they are wonderfully fun to make. I loved the idea of having a taco shell that had cheese sandwiched between two layers. It’s sort of the best of both worlds for the indecisive Tex-Mex lover: Quesadilla or taco??
I tried a few different ways to make this dream happen, but the tricks that finally got me there were two: First, clothespins! Second, I like to make them on a grill because you can spread them out and not worry if the clothespins burn a tiny bit. That said, there is a way to make them in a skillet as well!
Assuming you have a grill though, give that a shot and then fill these cheesy taco shells with any fillings you like!
How To Video
What Shells and what tortillas work well?
These guys have crispy corn taco shells on the side and a soft flour tortilla on the outside. I like to use Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells just because they give you a bit more room to work with since they are wider.
You may need to trim your outer flour tortillas a bit to make them fit. You don’t want a lot of overlay.
Then use clothespins to keep the two secure until they can cook together!
I really recommend the combo of flour tortillas for the outside and corn hard shell for the inside. The corn gives the taco shells some structure while the flour tortilla gives it a flexible shell that gets very crispy once cooked.
Making these quesadilla taco shells on the grill
I think these are easiest to make on the grill because you can spread them out and not worry if you get some flair-ups. To make the shells, add some cheddar cheese to each flour tortillas before securing it so the cheese is sandwiched between.
I tossed this version on the grill. Hopefully it’s apparent why a grill is a better idea than a skillet. It just gives you more room to spread out!
Before you toss the tacos on, I recommend brushing the outer flour tortillas with a little canola oil just to make sure there is no sticking at all on the grill.
After a few minutes on each side (over mediumish heat), you should get some grill marks on each tortilla.
When the taco shells are done, the outer shell will be completely bonded to the crispy taco shell! My favorite part is the crispy bits of cheddar on the edges.
How to make these in a skillet or on a griddle
Not having a grill shouldn’t stop you from making these fun tacos shells, you just have to work in batches and not crowd the pan.
Shape the shells and tortillas the same way you would for the grill, but you’ll have to be careful with the clothspins because you don’t want them burning in the skillet. The skillet though allows for a flat surface so the bottom of the taco shells won’t come apart once they are in the skillet.
Cook each taco shells for 3-4 minutes and flip it and then you should be left with basically the same taco shell as if you did it on the grill!
What to fill in these quesadilla taco shells
Of course, once these quesadilla taco shells are made you can fill them with any Tex-Mex filling your heart desires! I chose a really simple classic ground beef filling for my version, piled high with veggies and queso fresco as well.
Since there is cheese sandwiched between the shells, go light on any cheese you put in the taco so it’s not too heavy. I like to keep the toppings lighter with stuff like tomatoes, fresh herbs, red onion, etc.
You could use these taco shells in a wide range of recipes though like these Spicy Pineapple tacos or even these crispy chickpea tacos. Check out the Macheesmo Taco archives for some other taco filling ideas!
Can you make these taco shells in advance?
In short, absolutely! They hold up well and you can stick them in the fridge for storage for a few days. Obviously, if you let the shells cool then the cheese inside will solidify and will lose any meltiness that it had originally. Not a big deal though! You can quickly reheat the shells in a skillet and bring them back to life!
You could also reheat the shells in a low heat oven if you just needed to heat them up a bit before stuffing and serving them.
This isn’t a recipe for a rushed weekday by any stretch, but if you are in the mood for something fun for a casual weekend Tex-Mex meal, start with these shells. They are a blast to make and very delicious!
Quesadilla Taco Shells
- 10 Corn Hard Taco Shells
- 10 medium 8-inch flour tortillas
- 10 ounces cheddar cheese
- Canola oil
- Taco fillings
- Preheat your grill to medium heat. To make sure your flour tortillas fit well over the Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells, wrap the flour tortillas around them and secure them with clothespins. If the flour tortillas overhang around the corn tortillas then trim them so they fit.
- When your grill is hot, add a small amount (about 1 ounce) cheese evenly over the flour tortilla and set the stand ‘n stuff taco shell on it. Secure each side with a clothespin to keep it locked in place around the taco shell. Brush the outer sides of the flour tortilla very lightly with canola oil.
- Grill the taco shell for 2-3 minutes per side until the flour tortilla has nice grill marks and the cheese is melted. Keep the clothespins on while grilling!
- The taco shells are done when you can remove the clothespins, the taco shell should be a solid pieces and the outer flour tortilla should be stuck to the crispy taco shell.
- Note: If you don’t have a grill, you can make these easily in a skillet by cooking both sides of the shell over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the outer tortilla is crispy, 3-4 minutes per side.
- Fill with toppings of your choice and enjoy!