How To Fry Tortilla Shells: 4 Easy And Quick Ways To Fry Tortilla Shells

Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Guillermina

There are so many ways to make tortilla shells, the most popular way is by frying, so lets learn how to fry tortilla shells! Experts recommend first finding out different methods of frying tortilla shells. At the moment, more and more innovative kitchenware is coming out that uses minimal to no oil! These are great options.

Frying tortilla shells takes time, patience, and some skill. That being said, it is perfect for beginners! After reading this blog and article, you will be an expert on the many ways how to dry tortillas with ease and speed!

What Are Tortillas?

The definition of a tortilla depends on where you live in Latin America. That being said, the Mexican version of a tortilla is the oldest that we know of! Tortillas are mainly made with a corn or white flour. They are then mixed with a liquid like water, milk, or oil and shaped so that it is flat.

Once the tortillas have a shape, they are then cooked using a heating device. Some people prefer to dry them, while others use the oven or grill to simply grill the tortillas. Either way, they are delicious and easy to make, use, and re-heat.

The History Of Tortillas

Truthfully, the most fascinating part about tortillas is the long history they have! From what we know, the first tortilla was documented in 10,000 years BC. The Aztecs in Mexico and Latin America were the first to make these corn flour tortillas.

Surprisingly, tortillas were a staple food in Mexico! The indigenous people of this land made it day after day and would eat it with a diverse range of foods. Since they were easy to make and corn was cultivated and grown throughout the land, this became an important part of the indigenous Aztec’s diet.

 Can you deep fry tortilla shells?

Tortillas only grew in popularity when the Spanish came to Mexico and took over. They conquest the land and liked tortillas because of how easy they were to make, eat with, and travel with. Spanish soldiers were suddenly carrying tortillas with ingredients like cheese, eggs, and meat.

How To Fry Tortilla Shells

There are a lot of ways how to fry tortilla shells. The most common four ways are listed below.

1. Deep Fryer

Did you know that you can fry tortilla shells in a deep fryer? Not all of us have deep fryers, but those of us who do are in luck! These easy-to-use kitchen devices use hot oil, usually vegetable or corn oil, to fry various foods. When using a deep fryer and learning how to fry tortilla shells, it is important to mold the tortilla first.

As soon as your tortilla shell has the right shape, using either a fork or spatula, lay the tortilla shell into the deep fryer. Be careful as the hot oil is very hot and can leave you with burn marks!

2. Air Fryer

When looking at ways of how to fry tortilla shells, I like to use as little oil as possible, while also still leaving the tortilla shells crispy and delicious. One way I do this is by using an air fryer. Air fryers are becoming more and more affordable. They are easy to use and you don’t need oil!

I do use a little bit of oil though. After creating the tortilla shell shape, I place the shells into the air fryer basket. Once in the basket, I set the timer for five minutes and sprinkle olive or vegetable oil on the shells.

 How do you heat crispy tortilla shells?

3. Hot Oil Skillet

Are you looking at ways how to fry tortilla shells? For those of us without fancy kitchen equipment, the basics may be the easiest way. I like to take on the question of how to fry tortilla shells with patience. First, heat a skillet with about one inch of hot oil. The stove top should be set to low-medium heat.

Then, when tackling how to fry tortilla shells, you will press down on one side of the tortilla shell so that one side is being fried, and the other is sitting upright. This is what gives the shape. Let it fry for about 1-2 minutes before flipping and repeating.

4. Oven

Did you know that you can still fry tortilla shells with the oven? Although most people think of how to fry tortilla shells with oil and a skillet, this is not always true! Some households prefer to use the oven and a splash of oil.

First, you have to mold the shape. You can use wax paper to keep the tortilla shell shape upright. Then, bake the shells at 365 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. It is important to sprinkle oil on top of the shells for flavor and texture.

 How long should I fry a tortilla?

Other Ways To Cook Tortilla Shells

There are other ways to cook tortilla shells though! If you do not want to make them from scratch, you can always buy the pre-made pack in-store and simply heat using the oven or the air fryer. However, for those of us watching our oil intake, we can use toaster ovens to cook tortilla shells.

It may surprise you to know that you can learn how to fry tortilla shells by using the toaster oven! This small application has re-heating settings that work easily! However, keep your eye on the shells so they do not burn.


Hopefully, now you have learned how to fry tortilla shells! By following along with this blog post, you may have made fried tortillas in many ways! The air fryer, deep fryer, pan, and oven can easily crisp tortillas in their own unique ways.

It thankfully also takes no time! If you are in a hurry to make dinner, you won’t have to worry about making or warming up tortillas. Instead, simply use one of the four methods above and the tortillas will be done in less than five minutes. Did you learn anything new about how to fry tortilla shells?

If yes, let us know in the comments below! We are happy to hear from you. Also, don’t forget to spread the information around by sharing this informative article.


Can you deep fry tortilla shells?

Yes! Deep frying tortilla shells is easy as long as you have already baked and made the shells. You need to create the shape before placing the shell into the deep fryer.

How do you heat crispy tortilla shells

Heating crispy tortilla shells takes time. You will need to use a oven or toaster oven. Placing an already made tortilla shell into oil can absorb more oil, leading to stomach aches.

How long should I fry a tortilla?

You should fry a tortilla up to 5 minutes while also flipping to both sides. Keep in mind though that the length of time also depends on the heat!