It's easy to make these 30-minute keto tacos with crispy cheddar cheese shells that you quickly "bake" in the microwave.
Filled with all the traditional goodies, these tacos are so good. In fact, they're just as good as traditional ones!
When my husband and I started eating a low-carb diet, I was on a mission to find substitutions for all our old favorites. After some experimentation, I am very happy to say that there's no need to give up yummy tacos!
Simply replace the tortilla shell with a crispy cheddar cheese shell. The cheesy shell is delicious, making these tacos at least as good as traditional ones. Of course, another great low-carb option is to make a tasty and filling taco salad.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty tacos. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Shredded cheddar: You can shred it by yourself or buy it pre-shredded. I like to use extra-sharp cheddar because it's so very flavorful.
Lean ground beef: I like to use 85% lean beef, but it's OK to go even leaner.
Taco seasoning: To make life easier, I use a store-bought mix.
Toppings: Whatever you like! I like to use salsa and sour cream.
Making these keto tacos is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by wrapping a ruler in foil and suspending it between two glasses or mugs. You will use this contraption to shape the cheddar shells.
Now, form taco shells using microwaved cheddar cheese.
Your next step is to cook the ground beef with taco seasoning, adding water as needed.
Your final step is assembling the tacos. Divide the meat between the cheddar shells, top it with your favorite toppings, and serve.
You'll want to microwave the cheddar shells until crispy but still pliable, and you should allow them to cool for no more than a couple of seconds before shaping them into tacos. If they become too crunchy, they'll break as you try to shape them.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! You simply need to replace the traditional shells, typically made with corn tortillas, with a low-carb alternative. Baked cheese shells are perfect, and this is what we use here.
The filling is identical to a traditional taco - ground beef cooked with lots of spices. The difference is in the shell you use. You use a crispy cheese shell instead of a corn tortilla shell.
Not really. You can make them an hour or so in advance, but not much more than that. They 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.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can use ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef, but make sure to use dark meat. White meat would be too dry.
- The best way to vary this recipe is with the toppings you use. While I typically use salsa and sour cream, other tasty options include sliced avocado, guacamole, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro.
As you can see in the photos, I like to top these tacos with salsa and sour cream. You can add sliced avocado or guacamole.
I don't really like to sprinkle them with cheddar since they already have quite a bit of cheese in the shells!
The only component of this recipe that can be stored is cooked ground beef. You can keep it in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave.
The assembled tacos won't keep as leftovers, and as mentioned above, even the cheddar shells by themselves will lose their crispness when stored.
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Keto Tacos with Cheddar Shells
- 2 cups cheddar shredded (8 oz)
- 1 lb. lean ground beef 85/15
- 1 oz taco seasoning
- Your choice of toppings
- Wrap a sturdy ruler in foil and hang it between two glasses or mugs, to create a tool for shaping the taco shells.
- Place ½ cup (2 oz) shredded cheddar on a piece of parchment paper. Spread it thinly into a 6-inch circle. Microwave on high until golden brown, about 1:30 minutes. Keep in mind that microwave ovens vary.
- Allow the cheddar to cool for 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 shown in the video below. 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. There’s no need to add fat – the meat will release fat fairly quickly. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the meat is no longer raw, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
- Return the meat to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Stir the taco seasoning and 2-4 tablespoons of water into the meat (start with 2 and see if you need to add more). Keep cooking for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Scoop the meat up from the skillet, dividing it evenly among the cheddar shells. Add your choice of toppings (such as sour cream, guacamole, and salsa) and serve.