Tacos are one of the most popular Mexican foods in the world. The crunchy taco shell is an integral part of the taco experience. Choosing the right taco shell can make all the difference when creating tasty tacos at home.
There are many factors to consider when selecting taco shells to purchase online. The size, shape, texture, flavor, and sturdiness of the shell all impact the taco eating experience. This buying guide provides useful information on the different types of taco shells available and what to look for when purchasing pre-made taco shells online.
Taco shells come in a variety of sizes including standard taco shells, street taco shells, and snack size shells. The texture ranges from crispy and crunchy to soft and pliable. Corn and flour shells offer distinct flavors and textures. Hard or soft, crispy or pliable, corn or flour, there are so many options to choose from when selecting pre-made taco shells.
This buying guide breaks down the key differences between common taco shell varieties. It provides tips on how to select durable shells that won't break when filled. Storage recommendations help the shells stay fresh until ready to use. By the end of this guide, you'll know what to look for when buying pre-made taco shells online.
365 Organic Yellow Corn Taco Shells
You're looking for a delicious and organic taco shell option to spice up your next taco night. These 365 Organic Yellow Corn Taco Shells are a great choice.
Made with organic stone ground yellow corn masa flour, these shells have an authentic corn flavor. The shells are fried to be light and crispy, giving you a satisfying crunch with each bite. When you open a box, you can expect fresh shells with nothing to hide - no hydrogenated oils or artificial colors.
With these organic taco shells, you can have fun packing on your favorite taco fillings and toppings. Their quality ingredients and lack of questionable additives means you can feel good about what you're eating. Give these shells a try for an organic option that will turn taco night into a fiesta!
- Organic yellow corn shells
- Light and crispy texture
- Authentic corn flavor
- Made with quality organic ingredients
- No hydrogenated oils or artificial colors
- Satisfying crunch and authentic flavor
- Some broken shells reported in shipping
Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
If you love tacos, you've likely heard of Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells. This classic taco shell has been a staple in households for years.
Ortega has over 150 years of history making authentic Mexican-inspired flavors. Their taco shells are a gluten-free, cholesterol-free option made with only natural ingredients. Each Ortega taco shell provides a crispy, crunchy texture that is perfect for building tacos for the whole family.
These shells let you easily prepare fun and tasty Mexican meals. Just fill them with your choice of beef, chicken, or veggies along with cheese, lettuce, and other favorite toppings. You'll taste the difference Ortega's quality ingredients make.
- Gluten-free and cholesterol-free
- Only natural ingredients
- Recognizable Ortega brand
- Crispy and crunchy texture
- Perfect for family taco nights
- Authentic Ortega flavor
- Some broken shells reported in shipping
- Smaller than some other shells
Old El Paso Stand 'N Stuff Taco Shells
For a gluten-free taco shell that holds its shape, try Old El Paso Stand 'N Stuff Taco Shells. These shells have a flat bottom design so they stand upright on your plate, making them easy to eat.
The Stand 'N Stuff shells are now available in a larger, family size with 20 shells per box. You can fill them with all your favorite taco ingredients like seasoned meat, beans, lettuce, cheese, and more. Old El Paso has been making tasty Mexican-inspired flavors for families for over 80 years.
A downside is some breakage can occur during shipping. But overall these shells provide a crispy gluten-free taco option with recognizable Old El Paso quality. They can help make your taco night bold and delicious.
- Gluten-free flat bottom shells
- Larger family size, 20 shells per box
- Trusted Old El Paso brand
- Shells stand upright for easy eating
- Holds more fillings than regular shells
- Come out crispy when baked
- Prone to some breakage during shipping
- Don't always stand as advertised
Old El Paso Extra Large Super Stuffer Taco Shells
For hardcore taco lovers, check out Old El Paso Extra Large Super Stuffer Taco Shells. These extra large shells give you more room for all your favorite fillings.
The Super Stuffer shells are 33% bigger than Old El Paso's regular taco shells. Their extra large size lets you pile on the cheese, lettuce, seasoned meat and more. Even with hefty fillings, the shells hold together well when eating without crumbling.
Old El Paso has been a trusted brand for Mexican-inspired flavors for nearly 100 years. Their Super Stuffer shells are crunchy and delicious, made with only three simple ingredients.
Some downsides are the shells can arrive stale if not transported properly. And their openings are narrow, making them tricky to overstuff. But overall these shells make it easy to create mouthwatering tacos.
- 33% larger than regular shells
- Made by popular Old El Paso brand
- Holds more fillings without crumbling
- Extra room for all your favorite toppings
- Crunchy and delicious flavor
- Quality Old El Paso shells
- Can arrive stale if not shipped well
- Narrow openings tricky for overstuffing
Taco Bell Mild Crunchy Taco Shells
Recreate the Taco Bell experience at home with Taco Bell Mild Crunchy Taco Shells. These shells are coated in a spice blend inspired by Taco Bell's famous mild sauce packets.
The shells add a mouthwatering tomato and onion flavor to enhance your tacos without overpowering them. Each shell has a bold yet balanced taste. You'll enjoy notes of the crunchy shells' signature seasoning with each bite.
To take your tacos to the next level, cook up your favorite protein with Taco Bell seasonings and pile it high in these flavored shells along with desired toppings. Each box contains 12 shells to comfortably feed a group.
While some breakage in shipping can occur, these shells offer an easy way to experience Taco Bell's craveable flavors at home. They can amp up your typical taco night with their tasty mild kick.
- Coated in Taco Bell-inspired mild spice blend
- Notes of tomato and onion flavor
- Each box includes 12 shells
- Adds bold and balanced Taco Bell flavor
- Enhances tacos without overpowering
- Brings Taco Bell experience home
- Can arrive broken due to shipping
- Not everyone will like flavored shells
Ortega Mini Taco Slider Shells
Make mini tacos with Ortega Mini Taco Slider Shells. These crunchy yellow corn shells are the perfect size for bite-sized tacos. The shells come ready to eat right out of the box, so you can fill them with your favorite taco fixings in minutes.
With 18 petite shells in each 4.4 ounce box, these are great for portion control. Adults can enjoy just one or two mini tacos for a snack, while kids will love assembling their own. Because they're certified kosher and gluten-free, those with dietary restrictions can partake as well.
Simply heat your favorite taco meat, add shredded lettuce, cheese, diced tomatoes and Ortega taco sauce. Pop the loaded shells in your mouth for a flavorful Mexican-inspired bite! Made by a 150 year old family company, these quality shells have an authentic taste.
- 18 mini taco shells per box
- Crunchy and crispy yellow corn masa
- Certified kosher and gluten-free
- Fun size for snacks or kids
- Ready to eat from the box
- Made with quality ingredients
- Shells can break during shipping
- Small size means less filling per taco
Ortega Taco Shells
Ortega Taco Shells are an essential for taco night. These crunchy corn shells have a delicious flavor and iconic taste. With 18 shells in each pack, you'll have enough for the whole family.
The shells come ready to eat straight from the box. Just warm them up to enhance the crispiness. Fill them with seasoned ground beef or turkey, shredded lettuce, cheese, diced tomatoes and Ortega taco sauce for an easy dinner. You can also try meatless tacos filled with beans, rice and veggies.
Made by a family company with 150 years of tradition, these quality shells have a texture that holds up to hearty fillings. They're gluten-free and cholesterol-free, ideal for those with dietary needs. For an authentic Mexican meal, pair these shells with Ortega's signature taco seasoning, hot sauce and more.
- 18 yellow corn taco shells per pack
- Certified gluten-free
- Iconic Ortega brand
- Traditional crispy shells
- Holds filling well without breaking
- Quality ingredients
- Some shells may break during shipping
- Only available in bulk packs
365 Organic Blue Taco Shells
365 Organic Blue Taco Shells add color and flavor to taco night. These organic shells are made from stone ground blue corn masa for incredible taste. The 5.5 ounce box contains enough shells to feed your family.
Simply warm the shells to enhance the light, crispy crunch. Fill them with seasoned ground turkey or beef, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and all your favorite taco toppings. The blue corn shells have a delicious flavor that stands out. Their thin yet sturdy construction holds up well when loaded.
Made by 365's quality standards, these shells contain no hydrogenated oils or artificial colors. They're certified organic and non-GMO for better nutrition. Bring excitement to your next Mexican-themed dinner with these vibrant blue shells. Kids will love building their own tacos.
- Organic blue corn shells
- Stone ground masa
- Certified organic and non-GMO
- Fun blue corn color
- Light and crispy texture
- No artificial ingredients
- Shells may break during shipping
- Only one flavor option
Garden of Eatin' Taco Dinner Kit
Garden of Eatin' Taco Dinner Kits have everything you need for taco night. The 9.4 ounce kit includes 12 yellow corn taco shells that are crunchy and full of corn flavor.
The shells arrive ready to eat. Just warm them up to enhance the signature crunch. Fill them with the included taco seasoning and sauce, plus your protein and veggies of choice. The seasoning and sauce pack an authentic Mexican zing.
Garden of Eatin' uses quality ingredients like organic corn harvested sustainably. Their shells are hand shaped for a satisfying bite. This gluten-free kit offers portion control with 12 shells. It's easy to whip up a fun weeknight dinner or appetizers for a crowd with all the taco essentials in one box.
- 12 yellow corn shells
- Taco seasoning and sauce
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Complete taco kit in one
- Organic and gluten-free
- Satisfying crunch and flavor
- Shells may break during shipping
- Only one shell flavor option
La Tiara Taco Shells
La Tiara Taco Shells are thin, light and crispy corn shells perfect for tacos. The pack contains 18 shells made from high quality ingredients.
These thin yet sturdy shells hold delicious fillings without breaking. The light crispiness means you taste more taco and less shell in each bite. Fill them up with seasoned beef or chicken, shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa and more of your favorite toppings.
While some shells arrive broken due to flimsy packaging, the freshness and taste make up for it. La Tiara only uses the finest ingredients to create authentic Mexican flavor. Heat the shells prior to filling to enhance the signature crunchy texture.
- 18 thin, crispy corn shells
- Durable yet light construction
- Authentic Mexican taste
- Lets fillings shine through
- Holds many toppings without breaking
- Quality ingredients
- Shells often break in transit
- Limited flavor options
- Hard to find in stores
Taco Shell Buying Guide
When purchasing taco shells online, there are a few key factors to take into account:
Taco shells come in varying sizes:
- Standard taco shells are 4-6 inches across and are the typical size used for hard shell ground beef or grilled chicken tacos. This is the most common and recognizable taco shell size.
- Street taco shells are smaller, only 3-4 inches across. They are designed to make bite-sized tacos using less filling. Street taco shells are great for serving appetizers or snacks.
- Snack size shells are even smaller, usually around 2.5-3 inches across. These mini shells are perfect for bite-sized tacos made with minimal ingredients.
Consider the size of the tacos you want to make and choose a taco shell size accordingly. If feeding a crowd, standard taco shells are likely the best option. For daintier tacos, choose smaller street taco or snack size shells.
There are a few main taco shell shapes to consider:
- U-shaped shells are the most common shape. The edges curve up to form a rounded U shape. This classic style is easy to eat from without breaking.
- Flat bottom shells have straight sides that angle inward to a flat bottom. These shells offer more interior space and stability for fillings. However, they lack the curved shape of traditional taco shells.
- Boat or canoe style shells are shaped like a boat or canoe with the edges flaring outward. This warped shape can be interesting but more prone to breaking with heavy fillings.
The U-shaped taco shell is the most recognizable and convenient option. Flat bottom shells offer more interior room for additional toppings and ingredients. Consider the visual appeal of the shell shape along with functionality.
Taco shells come in two main textures:
- Crispy shells have a crunchy, brittle texture. Typically made from corn, flour, or a blend, crispy shells provide a satisfying crunch with each bite. However, they can crack and break easier under heavy fillings.
- Soft taco shells have a warm, pliable, and soft texture. Usually made from corn or flour, soft shells are more flexible and less prone to breaking. However, they lack the crunchy texture and robustness of their crispy counterparts.
Crispy taco shells offer a more authentic, traditional taco experience with their signature crunch. Soft taco shells allow for more fillings and flexibility when eating. Choose based on your texture preference.
Taco shells come in a variety of flavors that impact the taste and eating experience:
- Corn shells have a grainy, sweet, and earthy corn flavor. They provide more authentic flavor than flour shells. Look for corn tortillas fried into taco shells for the deepest corn taste.
- Flour shells have a more neutral flavor and light texture. They tend to be less sturdy with a higher risk of cracking. White flour or wheat flour is used to make flour taco shells.
- Multigrain shells offer a blend or corn, flour, and grains like quinoa, amaranth, etc. They provide added nutrition from whole grains along with a unique combination of flavors.
- Seasoned shells have added spices, herbs, lime, and other seasonings. Look for shells with added sea salt, garlic powder, chili powder, or lime juice for even more flavor.
Corn shells offer the most traditional, authentic taco flavor. Flour shells are more neutral in taste. For a flavor twist, try seasoned or multigrain shells. Pick shells with spices and flavors you enjoy.
An important factor when purchasing pre-made taco shells is sturdiness. Fragile shells are prone to cracking and breaking when filled and eaten. Look for the following sturdy taco shell features:
- Thicker walls - Shells that are too thin tend to crack and shatter more easily. Look for shells with thicker walls, especially for larger standard size shells.
- Even flat bottoms - The bottom of the taco shell should sit evenly with no gaps or cracks. This prevents breaking when placed down to fill.
- Moisture barriers - Many pre-made shells have added moisture barriers to maintain crispness. Tacos with added preservatives stay crispy longer.
- Careful pre-frying - Sturdy taco shells are carefully shaped and pre-fried before packaging. Irregularly shaped or unevenly fried shells tend to break apart easier.
- Tightly packed - Pre-made shells that stay stacked and tightly packed together tend to remain intact better. Loose shells that rub and jostle against each other are likelier to break.
Seeking out thicker, evenly fried shells shows care went into making sure they remain crisp and intact. Sturdy shells lead to successful taco making and eating enjoyment.
Where to Buy Taco Shells Online
There are many options for purchasing taco shells online including:
- Amazon - The everything online store carries a massive selection of brands and types of taco shells available for delivery through Prime or standard shipping.
- Walmart - This megastore offers curbside pickup or delivery of various name brand and store brand taco shells. Prices are competitive at Walmart.
- Target - Shop Target's owned brand as well as other common taco shell varieties for in-store pickup or home delivery.
- Grocery store websites - Many major grocery store chains allow online ordering from their websites. Have the taco shells delivered alongside the rest of your groceries.
- Specialty online stores - Websites dedicated to Mexican foods and ingredients carry unique artisanal and house-made taco shells.
Amazon offers the widest selection and easiest delivery options for buying taco shells online. SUPPORT local grocery stores or specialty shops for more unique options. Check for the best prices and shipping rates when comparing sellers.
How Much Do Taco Shells Cost?
Pricing for taco shells bought online can vary depending on:
- Shell size - Standard size shells cost more than street taco or snack size shells.
- Quantity - Bulk multi-packs with higher shell counts offer a lower per shell cost.
- Brand - Premium brands can cost up to twice as much as basic store brands.
- Shell ingredients - Shells made from extra virgin olive oil or specialty grains have a higher price.
- Shipping fees - Direct grocery delivery tends to have higher fees compared to major retailers.
On average expect to pay:
- Standard size shells: $2 to $4 per 12-pack
- Street taco shells: $2 to $3 per 16-24 count pack
- Snack size shells: $2 to $3 per 32-40 count pack
Buying in bulk quantities yields a lower per unit shell cost. Opt for generic brands over premium to save money. Take advantage of retailers' coupons, sales, and loyalty programs for additional savings on taco shells.
Storing Taco Shells
To maintain maximum freshness and prevent your taco shells from getting soggy, follow these storage tips:
- Keep taco shells in original packaging until ready to use. The sealed bags help retain moisture and prevent shells from drying out.
- For opened packages, store taco shells in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out excess air before sealing to prevent moisture loss.
- Place corn taco shells in freezer to prolong freshness for up to six months. Allow to thaw before filling for best texture.
- Store shells in a cool, dry place like the pantry. Avoid humid environments that lead to sogginess.
- If shells lose their crispness, briefly heat in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 2-3 minutes to restore crunchiness.
- Do not refrigerate or freeze flour taco shells. The moisture causes them to lose their crisp texture.
With proper storage like sealing out humidity, taco shells bought online can remain fresh for weeks to months. Follow package instructions for maximizing shelf life after opening.
Taco Shell Fillings and Toppings
Taco shells serve as the perfect edible vessel for an endless variety of savory fillings and tasty toppings. Consider the following popular taco fillings:
- Ground beef - Seasoned ground beef or turkey cooked with taco seasoning is a go-to filling. Brown the meat before spooning into taco shells.
- Chicken - Shredded roasted, grilled, or rotisserie chicken makes a leaner, protein-packed option. Load the meat into the taco shells.
- Steak - Grilled skirt or flank steak sliced into strips gives a hearty, beefy filling. Slice against the grain for tenderest meat.
- Pork - Pulled pork or carnitas, made by braising pork in seasoned liquid, work wonderfully. The meat easily shreds.
- Fish - Grilled, blackened, or fried white fish like cod, tilapia, or haddock gives a lighter filling. Stick to tender varieties.
- Shrimp - Seasoned grilled shrimp or shrimp sautéed in olive oil and spices makes a nice seafood taco.
- Vegetables - Grilled portobello mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, or eggplant for meatless tacos.
Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, cilantro, diced onion, lime juice, hot sauce, avocado sauce, corn, black beans, sour cream, or other favorite garnishes. The options are endless!
Making Tacos with Pre-Made Shells
Pre-made taco shells allow for easy homemade tacos in minutes. Follow these simple steps:
1. Preheat oven
If shells feel soft or stale, preheat oven to 400°F to crisp them up.
2. Warm fillings
Heat prepared taco meat, chicken, or other fillings in a pan until warmed through.
3. Heat shells
If needed, heat shells in oven 2-3 minutes before filling.
4. Fill shells
Spoon a few tablespoons of the warm filling into each taco shell. Don't overfill.
5. Add toppings
Add shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc. as desired.
6. Serve immediately
Serve the tacos right away while the shells are still warm and crisp.
7. Add salsa/sauces
Offer salsa, guacamole, or hot sauce on the side for dipping.
That's all there is to it! Pre-made taco shells allow you to skip frying shells and focus on the fun fillings and toppings. Just heat, fill, top, and enjoy.
Taco Shell FAQ
Still have questions about purchasing and using taco shells? This FAQ covers common queries:
Are hard or soft taco shells more traditional?
- Crispy, fried hard taco shells are considered more traditional and authentic to Mexican street tacos. Soft corn tortillas that are rolled or folded are also very common.
How long do corn vs flour shells last?
- Unopened, corn and flour shells last 2-3 months past the sell-by date. Once opened, corn shells last 4-6 weeks and flour shells 1-2 weeks.
What's the healthiest taco shell option?
- Corn taco shells tend to be healthier than flour. Multigrain and unbleached flour shells also offer more nutrients and fiber than standard white flour shells.
What's the best way to prevent taco shells from breaking?
- Choose thicker, sturdier shells and avoid overstuffing them. Store in airtight sealing and reheat if shells lose crispness.
How do you make hard taco shells crispy again?
- Place stale hard taco shells on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven 2-3 minutes to refresh crispness. Avoid reheating soft flour shells.
What are the most common taco shell sizes?
- The three main sizes are standard (4-6 inches), street taco (3-4 inches), and snack size (2.5-3 inches).
Should you store taco shells in the fridge or pantry?
- Store unopened packages in the pantry and opened packages in a sealed container in the pantry. Do not refrigerate flour shells.
Is it better to make or buy taco shells?
- For convenience, buying pre-made shells allows you to skip frying. But homemade shells let you control ingredients and customize flavors. It’s a personal preference!
With so many varieties of taco shells available, it can be tricky deciding which pre-made shells to buy online. This buying guide covered key factors like size, shape, texture, flavor, and sturdiness to look for. Consider the type of tacos you want to create along with your texture and flavor preferences when selecting shells. Look for thicker, evenly cooked shells for fewer breakages. Store shells properly to maintain that satisfying crunch. Pre-made shells combined with your favorite fillings and creative toppings allow you to make fantastic tacos easily at home. Just heat your fillings, fill the shells, top with goodies, and enjoy taco night!
- How to Make Taco Shells (hard or crunchy) - MOMables
- This resource provides a step-by-step guide on how to make homemade taco shells using soft corn tortillas and an oven. It also includes tips for making healthier taco shells without additives.
- The Simple Trick For Homemade Crunchy Taco Shells - Tasting Table
- This article shares a hack for turning floppy tortillas into hard shells. It provides a simple trick to achieve crunchy taco shells at home.
- Old El Paso Crunchy Taco Shells, Gluten-Free, 12 ct., 4.6 oz.
- Old El Paso offers gluten-free hard taco shells made with only three ingredients. These pre-made shells are a convenient option for taco night.
- Making mini taco shells from scratch - tastingmenu - WordPress.com
- This blog post provides a recipe for making mini taco shells from scratch using fresh yellow corn tortillas. It includes step-by-step instructions and is inspired by Chef Bayless' recipe.
- Trader Joe's Taco Shells with Organic Corn - BecomeBetty.com
- This review highlights Trader Joe's Taco Shells with Organic Corn as a good option for ready-made taco shells. It provides insights into the taste and quality of the product.