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Cheese Shell Tacos

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Cheese Shell Tacos
  • Prep Time 60 min
  • Total Time 60 min
  • Servings 12
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Cheese Shell Tacos

These chicken tacos use crispy cheese rounds as the shell.


chicken breasts
cloves garlic
ounces chipotle sauce
cup water
1 1/2
tablespoons Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
ounces aged cheddar
Sour Cream


  • 1 Make the filling: Sear the chicken breasts on both sides in some oil and remove from pan. Saute onion until it starts to brown. Add garlic and taco seasonings (I used cumin, coriander, oregano, and smoked paprika, but feel free to use a store bought mix). Cook 1 minute. Add chipotle sauce and water and mix to combine everything. Add the chicken and allow sauce to simmer for about 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and chop/shred into small pieces. Return the chicken to the sauce and mix well.
  • 2 Make the shells: Shred the cheese. On a nonstick silicone baking mat, place a very loosely packed 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Put as many as you can on the pan without crowding. I was able to fit four on mine.
  • 3 Bake at 350°F until bubbly, oily, and starting to brown. Remove from oven and sop up excess oil with a paper towel. Before it becomes too hard, lift the cheese round with a spatula and form into a shell shape by draping over a pole or other object until cool.
  • 4 Build your tacos, starting with some of the chicken, followed by sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, or any of your favorite taco ingredients!
See Step By Step


Cheese Shell Tacos

As prepared by The Food in my Beard,

The shell is made of cheese!

That’s all you really need to know about these delicious Chicken Cheese Shell Tacos.

I’ll say it again. The shell is made of cheese.

It’s crispy, salty, CHEESY, and a perfect match for this smoky chicken. Cooling ingredients like sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce finish off a unique and delicious take on a Tex Mex classic.

Ingredients for smoky chicken filling

First, lets make the smoky chicken filling.

Water and chipotle round out the sauce

Some water and chipotle round out the sauce.

Shredded chicken

After the chicken is fully cooked, just shred it up for your tacos. This is a versatile chicken filling for a variety of Tex Mex applications.

Cheese for shells

Now on to the cheese shells.

Lightly packed cheese

A very lightly packed ¼ cup of aged cheddar. I don’t know the science behind it, but for some reason an aged cheese works better for this.

Baking cheese shells

Let these bake about 10 to 15 minutes. At first they leak all their oil, then sort of soak it back up as the cheese almost fries on the pan.Out of the oven

They come out of the oven as a perfect congealed round of cheese. These make for great soup or salad toppers, but of course we have other plans.

Shaping cheese shells

I like to blot them with a paper towel first to soak up some of the excess oil, then shape them into anything I want. We obviously are going for shells today, but you could make these into cups, leave them flat as crackers, or if you are feeling ambitious, make some crazy origami cheesebird.

These are such a fun appetizer, and it’s great to watch your friends try and figure out what the shell is made of.

On first bite however, there is no mistake. If you are a fan of burnt cheese like me, you will love these tacos!

Dan Whalen likes to scrape the burnt cheese off the edges of a nice bowl of French onion soup. He has been blogging for over 4 years at The Food in my Beard; check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!
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Nutrition Information 

No nutrition information available for this recipe
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