These deep fried tacos are a perfect way to add a delicious and crunchy spin to your taco night meal. Made with just 3 ingredients, these fried tacos are easy to make and absolutely delicious.
We love making this fried tacos recipe when we want something a little different and unique. By frying up tortilla shells in oil they become chewy and crunchy which pairs well with any filling of choice. Why buy crunchy shells from the store when you can make your own?
These deep fried taco shells may not be a weekly item on your menu but once you try your favorite taco recipe with these shells you may want to repeat it often. While the flavors and textures of your favorite meal may change, there’s not much added work to taco night to get these great results making it an easy upgrade for fun dinners.
Fried Tacos Ingredients
Oil: You will need about 2 cups of oil. Canola oil, vegetable oil, and corn oil all work great.
Taco filling: Use about 2 cups of any prepared taco filling that you have on hand. Some great taco fillings include seasoned chicken taco meat, ground beef taco meat, or even fish. Making fried fish tacos is a wonderful idea because the crunchy chewy shell and the soft fish inside work well to create a fun spin.
Corn tortillas: Using corn tortillas (either white or yellow) will work best for frying because they crisp up and hold together well in the hot oil.
How to make Deep Fried Tacos
- Heat your oil in a large skillet. The oil in the pan should be at least 1 inch deep.
- Let the oil rest over medium heat until it shimmers. Toss a tiny piece of tortilla into the oil to test if it is hot and ready. The oil should become bubbly around the tortilla piece.
- Warm your tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
- Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the cooked taco filling into the corn tortilla but do not overfill the tortillas.
- Fold the tacos in half using tongs and then carefully place the tacos on one side in the hot oil. Hold it in place briefly until you are sure that the taco will remain in place and not move.
- Add about 2-3 tacos per pan but do not overcrowd it.
- Flip your tacos once they have become golden brown on the side in the oil. Allow the other side to cook until golden brown as well.
- Remove the tacos and place them onto a paper towel lined plate. This will help to absorb excess grease.
- If you want to keep the tacos warm, preheat an oven to 200 degrees F and place the tacos in there until you are ready to eat.
How to Fry a Tortilla
- When you fry tortilla you want to have at least ½ an inch of oil in the pan so that there’s enough depth to fully submerge the tortilla as it cooks.
- You will then heat the oil until it’s warm and bubbly before placing the first tortilla into the oil.
- If the oil is not hot enough the tortilla will sink and become soggy instead of floating up to the top and being surrounded by bubbles.
- Then cook on both sides until golden and fold in half while it’s still hot and warm or else the taco shell may not fold at all once cooled.
How do you seal tortillas for frying?
Wrap the tortilla over the filling making sure to not overstuff the taco. Then press together the edges and place them seam side down into the oil so that the filling doesn’t fall out.
What is a deep fried tortilla called?
A deep-fried tortilla is referred to as a tostada which is an open-faced taco, meaning that the fried shell is flat and the filling and toppings are piled up on top of it.
How long will a fried tortilla last?
You can keep your tortillas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.
When ready to eat, you can warm them up in the oven at 350ºF before topping them with your taco meats and toppings of choice.
Tips for Pan Frying Corn Tortillas
While frying oil can be a bit of a hazard thanks to splashing grease, there are a few things you can do to make it a bit safer and less messy. For example, using a taller-sided pan will help to prevent a lot of the splashing oil from getting all over the stovetop. Another tip is to not turn the heat up too high because higher heat will splatter more.
How do you fry corn tortillas so they don’t fall apart?
Unlike flour tortillas, corn tortillas can easily flake apart when overhandled or when simply pulling them apart from the other tortillas in the package making them much more fragile to handle and fold.
A good way to make them easier to fry up without breaking is to first microwave them for 30 seconds. This will help to steam them up just a bit and make them softer and more pliable.
Fried Taco Toppings
After you’ve fried your tacos to crunchy golden perfection, add your favorite taco toppings. These tacos go great with anything from sour cream to salsa, lettuce, and more!
Fried Taco FAQ
In Spanish, a Flatua is a rolled tortilla filled with a savory filling before being deep-fried until crispy and golden in color on the outside. You may know this dish by the English name- taquitos. The tacos in this recipe are not traditional Spanish or Mexican cuisine and don’t have a Spanish name.
Flavorless cooking oils like corn or vegetable oil will work best but canola oil will work too. Peanut oil and sunflower oil can also be used if you have them on hand but you want to make sure that you choose an oil that has a high smoke point and that has a neutral flavor because we don’t want to taste the oil over the flavors of our taco fillings.
When frying your tacos you have to expect a certain level of greasiness to them. That said you can reduce a lot of the grease from your tacos by simply placing them onto a paper towel-lined plate after they have finished frying. Also, make sure that your oil is at the proper temperature before frying the tacos because if the oil is too cold your taco shells will absorb excessive amounts of oil as they cook slower than they should.
What to Serve with a Fried Taco
- 2 cups oil
- 2 cups taco filling cooked
- 12 corn tortillas
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, it should be about 1-inch deep.
- Let the oil heat over medium heat until shimmering. Toss a small piece of tortilla in the oil to test if it is hot enough. The oil should bubble around the tortilla.
- Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
- Put 2-3 tablespoons of taco filling in the corn tortilla. Do not overfill the tortillas.
- Fold the tortilla in half and using the tongs, *carefully* place the taco on one side in the hot oil. Hold it in place briefly until you are certain it will stay put.
- Add 2-3 tacos to the pan but don't overcrowd it.
- Flip the tacos once they are golden brown on the side in the oil so the other side can cook.
- Set the cooked taco on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- If you want to keep the tacos warm, preheat an oven to 200ºF and keep them in there until ready to eat.
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