Here are 3 fast and easy ways to transform your healthy corn tortillas into crispy hard taco shells, cute crispy taco bowls and crunchy tortilla chips.

Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D.
Updated April 21, 2020
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Taco night wouldn't be the same without crispy, crunchy taco shells. But the store-bought versions have more calories, fat and sodium than I'd like. So when I need to get my crunchy tortilla fix, I cook my favorite dishes at home and serve them with healthier homemade taco shells, bowls and tortilla chips. They're not hard to make, but I've got a few tips and tricks to share.

With the help of just a little oil or cooking spray, here are 3 fast and easy ways to transform your healthy corn tortillas into crispy hard taco shells, cute crispy taco bowls and crunchy tortilla chips.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Taco Shells

How to Make Your Own Taco Shells in the Oven

Packaged taco shells are often fried in vegetable oil or contain partially hydrogenated oils. For a healthier version, make your own in the oven. Flour tortillas aren't quite hefty enough for this recipe, so make sure you're using corn tortillas.

Directions: Working with 6 tortillas at a time, wrap in a barely damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on High until steamed, about 30 seconds. Lay the tortillas on a clean work surface and coat both sides with cooking spray. Then carefully drape each tortilla over two bars of the oven rack. Bake at 375°F until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. This is for a family-sized batch, but you can make a small or big batch with the same method.

Get the recipe: Homemade Taco Bowls

How to Make Your Own Taco Bowls Using a Muffin Tin

Taco salad bowls you find at the grocery store are usually deep-fried. For a healthy and fun way to serve taco filling, create these homemade taco bowls using the bottom of a muffin tin. The resulting taco bowl sits perfectly on a plate without tipping over and you can see all of your ingredients!

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat tortillas until warm. Coat each side of 4 tortillas with cooking spray. Turn a 12-cup muffin tin upside down. Nestle a tortilla in the space between 4 cups to form a "bowl." Repeat with 3 more tortillas, making 4 tortilla shells total. Bake until firm and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool then fill will ground beef or shredded chicken and all your favorite taco fillings.

How to Make Your Own Baked Tortilla Chips

Instead of buying premade chips, which are often fried and high in fat and salt, make your own healthier version in the oven using just a little bit of oil and salt. For a little spice, sprinkle some chili powder or cumin onto the tortillas along with the salt.

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly brush one side of 4 corn tortillas with about 1/4 teaspoon canola oil each and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stack the tortillas and cut into 8 wedges; arrange on lightly oiled baking sheets in a single layer. Bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 32 tortilla chips.