How to Cook Tortilla Shells in the Microwave for a Taco Bowl

by Bryn Bellamy

Use your microwave oven to create tortilla shell bowls with less added fat than the deep-fried version.

Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images

Tortillas deep-fried into a crisp bowl shape are handy for serving taco salads, dips and condiments. You won't see them much in Mexico, where cooks typically load toppings onto flat tostadas, but in the U.S. they're a staple of Tex-Mex and fast food Mexican restaurants. You can make taco bowls at home -- with far less added fat -- by using your microwave. You can use whole wheat or low-carb tortillas if appropriate for your dietary needs.

Invert the smaller of two nesting bowls on a microwave-safe plate.

Spray a tortilla lightly on both sides with vegetable oil spray.

Drape the tortilla over the smaller bowl and fit the larger bowl over it to shape.

Place the plate and bowl-tortilla arrangement in the microwave. Cook on "high" for 40 seconds.

Remove the top bowl and return the plate to the microwave. Cook on "high" for an additional 40 seconds to evaporate any excess moisture.

Remove the tortilla from the bottom bowl and place it right side up on the plate -- by now it should be able to hold its shape. Microwave the tortilla bowl on high for an additional 45 to 60 seconds or until crisp and slightly browned.


  • Microwave ovens vary in cooking power; adjust your cooking times as needed.

    Vary your tortilla size according to the intended usage. For example, use 6-inch tortillas to create small bowls for guacamole or salsa, 12-inch tortillas to create salad bowls.


Photo Credits

  • Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Bryn Bellamy has written professionally since 1999 and specializes in food & drink, travel, outdoor recreation, nutrition and general features. She has a background in restaurant management and hotel catering, was a features editor for Gannett, and was nominated for a James Beard Award for Food & Drink design and editing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Southern California.