There are three types of food that I could eat all day, every day — Indian, Italian, and Mexican. Even after adopting a low carb diet to help manage my anxiety and lose weight, we still found a way to have Mexican once a week. While I love taco salad, I missed being able to pick something up. That’s when I saw a tip about keto taco shells on Instagram.
Keto taco shells are made with shredded cheese and are the perfect way to enjoy Mexican food without the guilt. Not only are they low in carbohydrates, but they are high in fat. Stay on track but don’t skip Taco Tuesday!
At first, I wasn’t sure it would work. You can’t really trust everything you see on the internet. Once I mastered the technique, though, it was a game changer! The best thing about this is that it’s super easy and the shells add flavor. While I don’t have a specific low carb recipe for this, I can definitely share what I do to make my keto taco shells.
Step 1 – Melt the Cheese
First, I heat a non-stick pan on a medium-low setting and add a handful of cheese. You will want to spread the cheese pretty thin, otherwise, it will be too heavy and thick to flip. I like to use a pre-shredded Mexican blend. While we tend to stick with cheese blocks, freshly shredded cheese is very oily. Normally, I love that, but I’ve found it hard to work with it for this recipe. You might have better success, though! Experiment and do what works for you.
The key here is to be patient. This is where most people (including me) fail and give up. Like many keto alternatives, cheese taco shells take some effort. That being said, it’s really not that big of a time investment. Just don’t wait until dinnertime to try to make these. Instead, do it on a day when you’ve got room for mistakes.
Once you’ve got the cheese in the pan, let it cook a little. Then, let it cook a little longer. Once it looks slightly dry and the edges lift easily, it’s time. You’re probably excited, but please be careful flipping it. This is especially important if you’re using freshly shredded cheese. You might get a little oil splash action here, so flip mindfully!
Allow the other side of your low carb taco shell to cook for an additional 30-60 seconds. You want to work fairly quickly, but if you move too fast you’ll damage the cheese taco shell. I’ve seen them get torn apart, but more commonly, they fold together and then they’re sealed forever. Don’t let that happen to you! It may take some practice, but it will be worth it in the end.
Step 2: Hang Your Cheese Out to Dry
Who knew that you could drape some very melted cheese over a wooden spoon and make a keto taco shell? Not me! Doesn’t it look amazing, though?! It definitely surprised me the first time I saw it (and yes, I was skeptical). If you’ve let the cheese set long enough in the pan, it will hang just fine. If it falls apart, you didn’t cook it long enough.
Pro tip: Make sure everything is set up and ready so that you aren’t fumbling when it’s time to hang the cheese. Like I said, you need to work fast so the more prepared you are, the better. Okay, let’s talk about how to actually do it.
When the disc of cheese feels stable, lift it out of the pan with a spatula and drape over a wooden spoon. You want to do this with enough time to allow it to set. Your keto taco shells will NOT be ready to eat right out of the pan. If you’re making a lot of shells, you should try your best to set up multiple “cooling stations” for the best results.
We’ve got a big family, so when I make these, it’s like an assembly line. I let one shell cool while I cook another. Then, right before I’m ready to take the next shell out of the pan, I transfer the first one to a plate or cooling rack. Super easy!
Make your taco meat (we use ground turkey, but of course you can use ground beef or chicken) while all of your keto taco shells chill out. They will be much easier to handle if you give them time. Season the meat as you normally would. Be careful buying the seasoning packets, though, since they can contain carbs. Always check the labels, my friends!
Step 3: Enjoy Your Keto Taco Shells
With your low carb taco shells set and your meat prepared, it’s time to put it all together. Fill your cheese shells with taco meat, top with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, onions, taco, or even more shredded cheese. Experiment with the flavors, but always make sure your toppings aren’t going to spoil your efforts. It would be a shame to go through with making cheese taco shells and then the filling ruins your carb count for the day :/
As a side, we like having crispy cucumbers. You could also make some low carb crackers for “nachos.” Some people really enjoy a nice salad with these also, but it’s too filling for me!
While you won’t have the crunch of a corn tortilla shell, you will find this satisfying. I’m really picky about certain things, and I was pleasantly surprised by this. Every time I make it, the flavor and texture blows me away. It’s definitely worth the extra time to make these!
There are a lot of ways to make the keto diet work for every palate — it’s not just bacon and eggs. There are a lot of innovative people out there coming up with ideas like this every day, and it’s awesome! I can’t claim to be the first to share this recipe, but I hope you will enjoy it.