Low carb and keto tacos are made with crispy, delicious cheddar shells. They are at least as good as high-carb shells, if not better!
Who says you can’t enjoy tacos on the keto diet? Simply replace the corn tortilla shells with cheese shells. They are just as tasty, crunchy, and – of course – messy!
They’re so good, in fact, that when my kids are given the option between these and a regular taco shell, they shrug and say, “Whatever, mom. Both are good.” 😮
Low-carb substitutes to high-carb favorites
When my husband and I started eating a low carb diet, I was on a mission to find low carb substitutions for all our high-carb favorites. The first year was especially difficult. We really missed many of our old favorites, such as grilled cheese and donuts.
But tastes evolve, and after several years of low carb eating, I don’t miss the old stuff anymore. I am very content with a juicy steak!
Still, once in a while it’s nice to vary our menu and make something special. After some experimentation, I am very happy to say that there’s no need to give up yummy tacos when you eat keto or low carb!
Simply replace the tortilla shell with a crispy cheddar cheese shell. The cheesy shell is delicious, making these tacos at least as good as high-carb ones.
Of course, another great low carb option is to make a tasty and filling taco salad.
The ingredients used in this keto tacos recipe
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make these tasty tacos (exact measurements are provided in the recipe card below):
Taco seasoning: I use a homemade mix, but it’s fine to use store-bought. Just make sure the spices you use are fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Shredded cheddar: Shred it yourself or buy it pre-shredded. I like to use extra-sharp cheddar.
Lean ground beef: I like to use 85% lean beef, but it’s OK to go even leaner.
Chopped onion: Chop it finely so that it mixes well with the beef.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Tomato paste: Adds great flavor and not too many carbs to the beef mixture.
Taco toppings: Whatever you like! Sour cream, guacamole, and salsa are great.
How to make keto tacos
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Make the shells. Form taco shells from microwaved cheddar cheese.
Cook the filling. Cook the ground beef with onion, garlic, tomato paste, and taco seasoning.
Assemble the tacos. Divide the meat between the cheddar shells, top with your favorite toppings and serve.
Can I make the cheddar shells ahead of time?
Not really. They do lose their crunch fairly quickly. But they are so easy to make, and they are ready so fast, that I don’t really see it as an issue.
How to serve them?
As you can see in the photos, I like to top the tacos with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. I don’t really like to sprinkle them with cheddar, since they already have quite a bit of cheese in them!
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- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1 lb. lean ground beef, 85/15
- 1 onion, chopped (6 oz)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- Your choice of toppings
- In a small bowl, mix together the taco seasoning ingredients. Set aside.
- Wrap a ruler in foil, and hang it between two mugs, to create a tool for shaping the taco shells.
- Place 1/2 cup shredded cheddar on a piece of parchment paper. Spread thinly into a 6-inch circle. Microwave on high until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Microwave ovens vary, so start checking after 1:30 minutes.
- Allow the cheddar to cool no more than a couple of seconds, just until you can bear touching it. You want it to remain pliable. Gently peel it off the parchment paper, and fold it over the ruler (as illustrated in the photos above). This will shape the cheddar crisp into a taco shell.
- Repeat three more times with the remaining cheese. Place the formed cheddar taco shells on plates.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and the onion (you don’t really need to add any fat, the meat will quickly render its fat). Cook, stirring to break up the meat, 2-3 minutes. Add the taco seasoning, the garlic and the tomato paste, and continue to cook until meat is cooked through, 2-3 more minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop up the meat from the skillet, dividing it evenly among the cheddar taco shells. Add your choice of toppings (I used sour cream, guacamole and salsa) and serve.