As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

These homemade baked tortilla bowls are super crispy, require no deep fryer, are ready in just 20 minutes, and are perfect for loading with vegan taco salad, chili, plant-based fajitas, and more!

completed baked tortilla against a wire rack
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & get this sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

20-Minute Super Crispy Baked Tortilla Bowls

One of our favorite things about eating restaurant taco salad is the crunchy tortilla bowl. Traditionally, though, restaurant-style tortilla salad bowls are made by deep frying large flour tortillas in a bowl-shaped frying basket until crisp, puffy, and bubbly. Unfortunately, they’re also loaded with excess fat and calories. Luckily, it turns out you can make crispy baked tortilla bowls at home with a fraction of the oil.

These edible bowls are still super crispy without needing a deep fryer. Instead, just a quick brushing/spray of oil is all you need (technically, even that is optional) to bake super crunchy flour tortilla bowls perfect for homemade vegan taco salad and to upgrade all kinds of meals with crispy, crunchy deliciousness.

You can even make them ahead, ready to impress at your next taco night, on Cinco de Mayo, and at other parties and gatherings, alongside crowd-pleasing favorites like roasted corn salsa, vegan chilaquiles, and pupusas.

The Ingredients

ingredients for Crispy Baked Tortilla Bowls measured out against a white surface
  • Tortillas: We used extra-large flour tortillas (regular or whole grain) to make cereal bowl-sized tortilla salad bowls. Use smaller tortillas for appetizer/side-sized cups/bowls.

You can use corn tortillas, though they’re smaller and require heating (wrapped in a damp paper towel for 30-40 seconds in the microwave) before ‘molding’ them to avoid tearing.

  • Oil: Use any neutral cooking oil – vegetable oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.
  • Garlic powder: Though technically optional, a small amount of garlic powder adds a lovely savory depth to the flavor in this tortilla bowl recipe.
  • Salt: To season them.

Make sweet homemade tortilla bowls using sugar & cinnamon instead of garlic & salt.

How to Make Crispy Baked Tortilla Bowls

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions!

  • 1) First, preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
  • 2) Then, pour about ½ tablespoon of oil over a tortilla and sprinkle over the garlic powder and salt. Use a brush or your hands to spread it evenly – repeat on the other side and with the remaining tortilla.

For less mess, do this step over a piece of parchment paper. You could also use cooking spray/oil spray.

  • 3) Carefully press the prepared tortillas into an oven-safe bowl or container, gently making folds to create a wavy edge so it doesn’t break.

Alternatively, you can buy specific tortilla bowl molds. For small tortillas, you can press them between 4 cups on the underside of a muffin tray.

  • 4) Then, place the bowls on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • 5) Transfer them to a wire cooling rack to fully cool down.

It will be a little soft directly from the oven, but it steams in the bowl if you leave it there. So transferring it to the rack is best for airflow as it cools and hardens.

  • 6) Once fully cooled, fill with your favorite fillings, and enjoy!
completed baked tortilla against a wire rack

FAQs

Do I have to use oil?

When making tortilla bowls in the oven, it’s possible to do so without oil, though they won’t be as crispy as when a little oil/ cooking spray is used.

How to make tortilla bowls without a mold?

The method in this recipe is already mold-free by using a bowl. However, when using smaller tortillas (6-8 inches), you can press them in/over the top of ramekins. For bite-sized tortilla cups, cut the tortillas into quarters and press them into a cupcake or muffin tin, or make them like our crunchy black bean taco cups.

How do you reheat them?

Pop them back in the oven at 350F/175C for just a few minutes (4-5).

How to eat a tortilla bowl?

This tortilla shell makes for a great edible bowl. Simply break bits off the edges while you eat the fillings.

Top Recipe Tips

  • Use a fairly deep bowl: Shallow, wide bowls won’t help the flour tortilla bowls hold their shape while they bake. For the best results, use an oven-safe deep bowl.
  • Fold the tortilla carefully: To fit it into the bowl, you’ll need to fold the edges. Be careful, though, as it can tear if done in a hurry.
  • Leave them to cool: They will harden as they cool. They must also be thoroughly cool if you want to store any for later. Otherwise, steam keeps them from hardening.
  • Experiment with flavors: Replace or add to the garlic powder with other options like smoked paprika, ground cumin, taco seasoning, lime juice, Italian seasoning, etc. You can also experiment with flavored tortillas, like spinach or beet tortillas.
  • For the crispiest tortilla bowls: Pan-fry them with a little oil for 30-40 seconds per side to allow them to puff up, form bubbles, and turn golden brown in spots before carefully pressing them into the bowl and baking.
completed taco salad alongside a bowl of taco salad dressing

Storage Instructions

Like homemade tortilla chips, allow the flour tortilla bowls to cool completely, as steam will cause early spoilage. Then, place them in a paper towel-lined container or Ziplock/Stasher bag and store them in a cool, dry location at room temperature for 2-3 days.

If they start getting a little soft but still smell/taste fine, you can pop them back in the oven for several minutes to re-crisp.

What to Eat in Tortilla Bowls?

Although we originally wanted to learn how to make tortilla bowls for taco salad, you can choose from plenty of filling options to create delicious meals.

If you’ve made sweet cinnamon sugar flour tortilla bowls, you could fill it with vegan ice cream, fresh fruits, caramel or vegan chocolate sauce, whipped coconut cream, etc.

completed taco salad alongside a bowl of taco salad dressing

More Vegan Spanish Recipes You’ll Love

For more inspiration, please browse our entire collection of vegan Spanish recipes!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Crispy Baked Tortilla Bowls

5 from 42 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
These homemade baked tortilla bowls are super crispy, require no deep fryer, are ready in just 20 minutes, and are perfect for loading with vegan taco salad, chili, plant-based fajitas, and more!

Ingredients 

  • 2 extra large flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Pour ½ tablespoon of oil in the middle of the tortilla. To the oil, sprinkle some garlic powder and salt. Using your hands or a cooking brush, spread the oil and garlic salt all over the tortilla. Flip and repeat the process. (I used parchment paper to work on)
  • Grab an oven-safe bowl that fits the tortilla. Slowly put the oiled tortilla in the bowl and gently start making small folds so the tortilla doesn’t break and has wavy edges (see photo for reference).
  • Place the bowl on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.
  • When ready, carefully remove from the oven and remove the tortilla from the bowl. Place it on a cooling rack. It will get soggy if you leave it in the bowl to cool down.
  • Fill with Taco-Salad and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a fairly deep bowl: Shallow, wide bowls won’t help the flour tortilla bowls hold their shape while they bake. For the best results, use an oven-safe deep bowl.
  • Fold the tortilla carefully: To fit it into the bowl, you’ll need to fold the edges. Be careful, though, as it can tear if done in a hurry.
  • Leave them to cool: They will harden as they cool. They must also be thoroughly cool if you want to store any for later. Otherwise, steam keeps them from hardening.
  • Experiment with flavors: Replace or add to the garlic powder with other options like smoked paprika, ground cumin, taco seasoning, lime juice, Italian seasoning, etc. You can also experiment with flavored tortillas, like spinach or beet tortillas.

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 240mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    What a super fun idea! I was afraid of them burning, but the instructions were great and they turned out perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    Love a good crunchy bite with my meals. These look perfectly made. Not sure if I can make it as good, but will give it a try soon!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing how to prepare these crispy baked tortilla bowls. I love to fill them with a fruit or Mexican salad or use as a taco bowl. They look so nice on the table.