As a student, I was always on the lookout for bulk deals that would let me buy the largest amount of food possible at the lowest price feasible. This worked well with things like rice, beans, and lentils, but not so much with stuff like bread, meat, and potatoes.
I couldn’t let the food go bad, so I quickly learned how to freeze almost everything to keep them edible longer. And this worked out great, especially when I found perfect deals for tortillas and had a chance to see how well they froze.
I found the answer to the question: can you freeze tortillas? And I’ll tell you all about it here.
What are Tortillas?
Tortillas are a kind of unleavened flatbread made from grains like flour, corn, and whole wheat. They are used to make wraps and rolls, making them a staple in Mexican and many other Latin American cuisines.
They are usually cooked in a skillet, although you can also bake or grill them. The tortilla dough is made by combining corn or wheat flour, water, and salt. The paste is then turned into rounds which are then flattened into shape by hand before cooking.
You can make tortillas at home or buy readymade ones that just need to be baked, fried, or grilled. They are used in a range of recipes and are a major component of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and fajitas. Stale burritos can be cut into smaller pieces, fried and eaten as chips, or used in tortilla soup.
Knowing how to store tortillas is important because proper storage keeps them soft and fresh instead of hard and stale. The best way to store them once cooked is to wrap them in cling film or foil and then keep them in a container or a Ziploc bag.
However, this only works for short-term storage. How long do tortillas last? When kept in a cupboard or on the counter, they last just a few days. However, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 10 days.
But what about longer-term storage? Can you freeze flour tortillas? Can you freeze corn tortillas? We’ll talk about that in the next section.
How to Freeze Tortillas: Everything You Need to Know
The good news is that tortillas freeze very well, so there is no loss in flavor or change in texture once thawed and cooked. You will learn how to how to store flour tortillas and their corn counterparts in the freezer in this part of the article.
How to Freeze Corn Tortillas:
Storing store-bought corn tortillas are pretty easy, with just a few tweaks along the way. The best store-bought corn tortillas like Guerrero Corn Tortillas or EL MILAGRO Corn Tortillas can be stored in their original packaging if unopened.
However, if you’ve used a couple of tortillas and want to freeze the rest, the steps are a little different. Freezing corn tortillas this way requires removing them from their packaging. Stack the tortillas over each other with a sheet of wax or parchment paper between each one.
This will prevent the frozen tortillas from sticking to each other and will allow you to remove individual tortillas whenever needed. Then place the stack of tortillas in a freezer or Ziploc bag, pushing out as much air as possible, before sealing the bag securely.
If you want to store your tortillas for a month or so you can just put the bag in the freezer. But if you plan on storing them for longer, place your bag of tortillas in another freezer bag or container before freezing.
How to Freeze Flour Tortillas:
Flour tortillas are used less often because bulk taco shells, taquitos, and most dishes call for corn tortillas. However, flour tortillas are typically used in quesadillas and burritos so getting them in bulk is a good idea. Can flour tortillas be frozen?
Yes, and the process is pretty similar to that of corn tortillas. If you have a fresh bag that hasn’t been opened, just toss the bag in the freezer and you are good to go. If you need to store them for a week or so after opening the pack, refrigerate tortillas in an airtight container, and they will be just fine.
But if you want to freeze previously opened flour tortillas, you need to repackage them in a plastic bag. Arrange a thin stack of flour tortillas with sheets of parchment paper between the tortillas. Put the stacks in a Ziploc or resealable freezer bag, pushing out the air before sealing.
If you plan on storing the tortillas for longer than 4-5 months, then place the bag full of tortillas in a second freezer bag or Tupperware container. This will prevent them from drying out.
How to Store Homemade Tortillas:
People who are super into cooking often prefer making tortillas from scratch. These are seen as fresher, more flavorful, and have a better texture. The good news is that these tortillas freeze just as well as the store-bought ones.
To freeze uncooked corn tortillas (or even the flour ones) just stack them over each other and wrap them tightly in cling film or aluminum foil. Then put the wrapped tortillas in a sealable freezer bag or Ziploc bag, push out all the air you can before storing in the freezer.
Can you freeze tortilla shells this way? Yes, you can cook tortillas for tacos, shape them as needed, and then stack them into each other vertically. Then, simply wrap them up to prevent the tortillas from drying out, and place them in a container in the freezer.
However, homemade tortillas don’t have the humectants and preservatives that the store-bought ones contain. Because of this, they dry out faster and can even go bad. Homemade tortilla expiration date is a pretty narrow window, so try to eat them within three months for the best taste and texture.
Using the Frozen Tortillas
Once frozen and in storage, it is very easy to thaw, reheat, and use your tortilla shells. To defrost the tortillas, simply remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw on your counter or even in the refrigerator (if you have more time).
Because tortillas are so thin, they won’t take longer than 45 to 60 minutes to defrost. Once they are at room temperature, you can reheat tortillas any way you want and then use them to make quesadillas, tacos, or taquitos. Or you can assemble something like a burrito first, and then reheat the whole thing afterward.
Different people have different preferences on how to reheat their tortillas. Some prefer an oven, while others use a griddle or cast-iron skillet. Many prefer a grill, while those in a hurry can even use a toaster oven.
Do corn tortillas go bad once you reheat or cook them? Do flour tortillas go bad after you use them to make a burrito?
Once cooked or reheated, you need to store them in the fridge, or else they will get spoiled. Also, make sure you eat them within 2-3 days or throw them out after this time.
What Else Can I Do with Tortillas?
By now you most probably know all the basic dishes you can make with tortillas. But if you are trying to empty out your fridge or freezer, it’s time to think outside the box.
- Breakfast Roll-Ups: Heat a tortilla, cover it with a layer of jam, cream, or Nutella, load it up with fresh fruit, and roll it up for a light, yet scrumptious breakfast or snack.
- Mini Quiches: Line a muffin tin with tortillas to make a crust for a portable and make-ahead breakfast that is low-effort and comes together in minutes.
- Pizza: Make a layered pizza using tortillas as the base-it’s much easier than pizza crust made from scratch.
- Chips: Using fried tortillas makes for a great alternative to nachos.
- Tortilla Soup: Replace noodles in chicken noodle soup with strips of tortilla.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to questions people tend to have about freezing tortillas.
01. How Long Do Corn Tortillas Last?
Corn tortillas keep fresh 3-4 days in the cupboard, up to 10 days in the fridge, and nearly 8 months in the freezer.
02. How Long Do Flour Tortillas Last?
Wheat flour tortillas also last from 7 to 10 days in the fridge and up to 8 months in the freezer.
03. How Long Do Tortillas Last in the Fridge?
Most tortillas can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days but are best used within 3-4 days.
04. How Can I Defrost Tortillas?
Simply leave them out on the counter and they will thaw in an hour.
05. Can I Refreeze Tortillas?
As long as your tortillas aren’t moldy or soggy, you can safely refreeze them.
The next time you are blessed with a windfall of tortillas, you won’t have to freak out and ask yourself can you freeze tortillas? Instead, you can get to work freezing them so that you can half a year’s supply of them to make a whole host of Mexican and fusion meals.
You can even let your imagination go wild and invent your special creation─ who’s going to stop you?