How to Fry Corn Tortillas for Tasty Soft Tacos

Are you a lover of Mexican food, and looking for how to fry a corn tortilla? This recipe and demonstration is simple, so watch this video with easy tips on how to fry corn tortillas for tasty soft tacos. Add your favorite ingredients and gather your friends for a Mexican gathering or Cinco de Mayo party!

How to fry corn tortillas for tasty delicious tacos!

Everyone loves tacos and tacos don’t have to be fancy! So this post shows you how to fry a corn tortilla!

How to Fry Corn Tortillas for Tasty Soft Tacos and Add your favorite toppings, by setting out a Best Homemade Guacamole Recipe and Cowboy Caviar Pineapple Dip, for a delicious Mexican feast. (Watch the video below.)

How to Fry a Corn Tortilla

How to fry a corn tortilla

Tacos work just fine on the menu for weeknight planning, or even when last-minute company drops in.

How to fry a corn tortilla? Easy steps, and did I mention they are a frugal dish to serve? Also delicious served with these Thai Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos recipe.

Did you know that you can buy a bag of 100 corn tortillas at Costco for $3.65? I usually divide the bag up into thirds and FREEZE what I don’t use.

They are also delicious served on the side with this Chicken Quinoa Black Bean Bake recipe!

EASY How to Fry Corn Tortillas for Tasty Soft Tacos

Or in this Crunchy Black Bean Mozzarella Tacos recipe!

Delicous How to Fry Corn Tortillas

How to Fry Corn Tortillas for Tasty Soft Tacos

Growing up, tacos were a staple in my home. And on week-long camping trips with family friends (sometimes there’d be 20 in our group), my mom and her friends would cook tacos for the gang.

I think they must have fried up well over 100 taco shells.

So Clara Mae, Avis, and my mom taught us how to fry corn tortillas for tasty soft tacos when we were out camping!

I seemed to always get the job of taking my little hands, tearing off the paper towels, folding them in half, and standing by the cook who was frying up the tortillas.

It was a boring job, but the outcome was very good: Delicious tacos that for some reason tasted a whole lot better in the outdoors.

Last week was an incredibly busy week for me, and although we don’t usually do much entertaining on weekdays, we invited our friends over anyway because it was the only day that worked for both families.

Super easy How to Fry Corn Tortillas

My slow cooker was full of Mango Chicken, which is perfect for tacos, enchiladas, taco salad, or burritos. These tortillas are also yummy served with my Crock Pot Salsa Chicken on Brown Rice, or on the side with this Smoked Turkey Mango Chili recipe.

Set out good condiments

We set the table and chopped up all of the condiments. And then my daughter took over the “tortilla job,” this time, frying the tortillas, and placing them on folded paper towels to absorb the oil.

BEST WAY How to Fry Corn Tortillas

Tacos are actually a very easy dish to serve to guests if you don’t mind serving a buffet dinner, because you can cook the tortillas up in advance and place them in the oven to stay warm.

You can pre-chop all of the condiments and pull them out of the fridge right before serving. There’s not a lot of stress involved in serving a taco meal!

It’s perfect for the “reluctant entertainer.”

Taco condiments to add to the buffet line:
Meat, beans, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, cabbage, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, salsa, or hot sauce, and always cilantro and SLICES OF LIME.

Do you find tacos as an easy menu item to serve to your guests?

How to Fry Corn Tortillas for Tasty Soft Tacos

Delicious served with meat, beans, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, cabbage, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, salsa, or hot sauce, and always cilantro and slices of lime.


  • Corn Tortillas
  • Light olive oil or corn oil
  • Served with: Meat, beans, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, cabbage, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, salsa, or hot sauce, and always cilantro and slices of lime.


  1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1/2 cup light olive oil or corn oil (you may need to add more, depending on how many you fry)
  3. Sprinkle a drop of water into the pan and when it pops, the oil is hot enough to start cooking the tortillas
  4. Fry the tortilla for about 10-30 seconds on each side, until browned and cooked. The tortilla should be soft and pliable, not crispy.
  5. Fold a paper towel in half, place the hot tortilla on one side and fold the other side over. Place the next tortilla on top, add a new paper towel, and continue the process.
  6. Delicious served with meat, beans, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, cabbage, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, salsa, or hot sauce, and always cilantro and slices of lime.
All images and text ©

This post was originally posted May 11, 2011!

How to fry a corn tortila

I absolutley LOVE my Le Creuset iron skillet, perfect for so many applications!

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39 comments on “How to Fry Corn Tortillas for Tasty Soft Tacos”

  1. I usually fry tortillas too when I make shredded pork tacos. I’m wondering about your instructions, “Add 1/2 light olive oil” …does that mean 1/2 a bottle? Fill the pan 1/2 full? If it’s like what I do I fill the pan 1/2 way with oil (I use canola – though I’d use light olive oil if it was less expensive).

    Thank you for the tips! – I’m enjoying your book :)

    • woww cool idea i have some canola oil but dont you think the tortillas would get soggy if you fill the pan 1/2 way Up? im making hot dog burritos.

    • I normally do the same thing (fill it half way).

      They don’t get soggy.

  2. We can only use corn because hubs has a gluten allergy. We have breakfast burritos at least once a weekend, and we fry them up, too! :) I finally went to the kitchen store at the outlet and bought a tortilla warmer- love it!!!

  3. I LOVE tacos! I’ve never fried our corn tortillas though. We always just warm them in a moist cloth in the microwave for about 30 seconds before using them. I’ll have to give your way a shot. We had taco salad last week…yummy!

  4. I’m so glad I found this! We made chalupas last week that called for fried corn tortillas and I kind of fumbled my way through that part. After reading this I realize I didn’t use enough oil and I fried them too long – they weren’t pliable!

    Thanks for the low down, I’ll have to try my recipe again :)

  5. Looks so inviting. I usually use Yves from Trader Joe’s seasoned with tacos seasoning unless we have leftover bbq chicken or beef. I love it because it is so easy to sub into lasagna, spaghetti sauce and whatever else call for hamburger. Have a great day. Hopefully it will be a bit less busy. Xo

  6. Grew up with tacos as a staple. Never ate them outdoors though. My Dad and I became the cooks. especially of the tortillas. The corn tortillas are the more nutritious and he taught me to wait until the bubbles were forming around the edges before flipping or putting on the paper towels. Just love how the paper towels take the greasiness out!

  7. Oh yes! We are big fans of tacos here! When I am with the program, I also like to make the soft shells from scratch. They really are so easy and my oldest boy likes to cook them like your daughter does. One of these days, I will get a PRESS and really simplify things!

    Fav meat? Hands down, organic beef all the way. Though I have also had a chicken recipe. It was interesting because it also had cream cheese in it!

    This is a fantabulous meal to serve guests!

  8. Thank you for the cooking lesson on frying tortillas! I will give it a whirl this Sunday!
    After church we’re having friends over and they have a big family, this is a perfect idea.

    Just wanted to say I heard about your blog recently and I just love it! I’ve read every post you’ve written!

    I’m finally at a place in my life where entertaining on a weekly basis is joy. I would say I’m now “the not-so reluctant entertainer”. :)

    Thanks for all your practical, authentic posts!
    (I’m ordering your book this week!)

  9. Hi Sandy!!! I couldn’t resist this post….fried shell tacos are the best!! My sister does it the way you do it with the papertowels. My DIL fries the shells and molds them into the taco shape as they fry so I’ve started doing that. We love our taco shells filled with shredded chicken mixed with a green salsa or the traditional hamburger/turkey meat seasoned with taco seasoning from the store or fajita style with chicken/green peppers/red peppers/onions sauteed in olive oil with a tad of store taco seasoning mixed in. All are yummy!!

  10. Tacos have always been a staple in my house, when I was a kid and now in my own family! We like to use ground beef or turkey and add tomato sauce. We do our own seasonings of garlic powder, seasoning salt, cumin and chili powder. Fried coern tortillas are a must! So yummy! We had our pastor’s family over for dinner a while ago and did tacos. It turned out great and was so easy.

  11. Our Mom’s must have been friends… my family had tacos every single week. Easy to make, inexpensive and great for large, hungry families! Mom taught me to fry tortillas exactly the way you describe it here. Still do it Mom’s way, in fact!

  12. We love having tacos in our home, and I’m glad to hear that someone else likes to fry the tortillas! That’s how my Dad always cooked them when I was growing up, but here in the southwest, most don’t use oil but just cook briefly in the pan over heat. :(

    Thanks for the great tip on cooking in large batches, and I have to smile when I read “recipe in my book” because I have your book now and can just look it up!

  13. Yum!! I am def. going to try the mango salsa with the chicken…I never use corn tortillas because they always seem so dry to me, but maybe doing them this way will cause them to be moister.

  14. My son got married on Cinco De Mayo last year and I did a taco bar for 100 in my backyard. It was great fun! We had a chopping party the day before, talk about getting everybody involved :o)

  15. One of our staple dinners too!!
    Love corn tortillas!!

  16. I love tacos! BBQ Carnes Asada is our family favorite to make.

    Do you have any tips for freezing the corn tortillas? We have some from Costco that I’ve been wanting to freeze, but I have been unsure of just putting them in the freezer without putting them in a special bag or something.

  17. Love to eat a taco meal, always a crowd pleaser (yours looks yum!).
    but I do NOT find it quick:
    Time consuming pre-prep,
    multiple serving bowls that crowd the buffet,
    dropped bits of cheese, lettuce, tomato all over the buffet surface and
    lots of bowls and spoons to wash afterward.

    I have presented all the components on one long platter before, though. That cut down on the bowls, but it was still messy.

    deb meyers

  18. Tacos are one of our favorites, too! I love them for a crowd, because they are so customizable for meat eaters/vegetarians/picky toddlers.

    Our favorite is probably griled skirt steak, but we also like refried beans/hamburger meat, pulled pork, and lentils/rice, too. Any taco is a good taco! I’ve even used fish sticks inside.

    I don’t fry the tortillas in oil, though, just heat them in a dry cast iron skillet (or on the gas burner). Yum.

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  21. Tacos for company are not hassle free. I make chili stew early in the morning. The prep work is enormous. Then you have to find room in the frige for all the veggies and sides left plus all the little bowls. My problem is keeping the fried tortillas warm in the oven without crisping them up after frying. I haven’t found the “right” temperature.

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  37. You really should have included a picture of your paper towel oil-blotting technique. i’m a little confused by your direction because I can’t seem to picture it in my head.

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