Give Your Breakfast Tacos The Ultimate Upgrade With This Egg Hack

Who doesn't love tacos? They're an infinitely customizable food where the only limit is your imagination, and probably the first food anyone around the globe thinks of when they think of Mexican cuisine. And while they're not a universal commodity, breakfast tacos have been steadily gaining in popularity for decades, spreading outwards from border regions like Texas, where they've long been pretty much ubiquitous. This has gotten to the point where the dish is popular enough that even Taco Bell has rolled out breakfast tacos (complete with breakfast salsa).

But while breakfast tacos traditionally come in a flour tortilla, that's not the only option at your disposal for creating some first-meal magic. In particular, one crucial element of the breakfast taco can be repurposed from a filling to become the shell itself: the egg. Yes, thanks to the principles of what happens to eggs when you heat them in specific ways, you can create taco "shells" from eggs — both fried and scrambled.

You can use either scrambled or fried eggs for a breakfast taco shell

There are two ways to accomplish this goal, and the first involves scrambled eggs and cheese. The method here is to spread cheese liberally across a nonstick pan, cook it on medium heat until it starts to bubble, then pour beaten eggs evenly over the top. After the eggs are cooked, you put your fillings on and fold them up, relying on the pliant power of scrambled eggs to hold everything together without breaking. This version is essentially a miniature omelet that you hold with your hands while you eat it.

The second method is a lot messier but doable if you really want that runny egg goodness. Anyone who has ever cooked a fried egg before knows that if you turn the heat too high, the bottom will cook more than the top, resulting in a sunny-side-up egg with an overly crispy underside. Normally, this isn't what you want — but if you do it correctly, this can also make a perfect taco shell, as that crispy exterior will hold the egg together around whatever fillings you want to use. Just be prepared for the yolk to go everywhere — and you probably want to use larger eggs to create larger shells.

There are other ways to be creative with breakfast tacos shells

These aren't even the only ways to get creative with your shells for breakfast tacos. Another method doesn't eschew tortillas but melds them with eggs, cooking the two together into one delicious whole. The trick here is to crack the eggs directly onto the tortilla, let them cook for a couple of minutes, add cheese, and then steam the result for about 1½ minutes. If all goes well, you'll wind up with a fried egg that's essentially glued to the tortilla.

And heck, maybe you can even reinvent the waffle taco. Back in 2013, Taco Bell tested a waffle taco as part of its initial breakfast menu, filling a shaped waffle with eggs, cheese, sausage, and maple syrup. This led to further innovations like a Taco Bell biscuit taco and even a Taco Bell croissant taco. While none of these options stuck around on the breakfast menu for all that long, there's nothing to say you can't crack the code and do a better job of it than the fast food chain itself did — or even do something they never tested, like using a pancake as a taco shell.