A bag of tortillas is all you need to be set for the weekend. Kids love them, adults love them, everyone loves them! And there are so many possibilities when it comes to using corn tortillas. You can use them in quesadillas, tortilla chips, taco shells, enchiladas, and even in DIY Mexican food hacks!
I usually buy corn and flour tortillas in bulk for my family. They’re easy to store, and we go through a lot of them in one sitting! Not to mention it is always good to have a packet of tortillas stored in your freezer.
But how do you store them? Can you freeze corn tortillas? How long will they last?
I will be answering all of your questions below. And, keep reading to find out some of my favorite tortilla recipes!
Can You Freeze Corn Tortillas
Yes! In fact, freezing tortillas is your best bet when it comes to protecting them from mold and fungus.
But before you get all excited and buy all the discounted packets of tortillas at your local grocery store, hear me out. Each variety of tortillas differs in their freezing methods and shelf life. While the freezer will be your best friend in storing tortillas, you can also just refrigerate them!
What Are Corn Tortillas Made Of?
Before I tell you the many ways you could freeze them, let’s first look at what corn tortillas are made of.
The main ingredient in all corn tortillas is the Mexican Masa Harina (which translates to ‘corn flour’ in English). This flour is very different from the typical American cornflour (which is basically just grounded corn-meal). Masa Harina is prepared by soaking the corn in an alkaline solution (which is usually lime water or hydrated lime), washes thoroughly, and then hulled. This is what adds to the nutrition value of tortillas.
I always refer to this recipe for homemade tortillas! They even show you how to make tortillas without a tortilla press!
As corn tortillas are literally just finely ground corn that has been processed, it tends to be very delicate compared to flour tortillas. Therefore with recipes like burritos or wraps, you might wanna go with the sturdier flour tortillas.
How To Freeze Corn Tortillas
When it comes to freezing corn tortillas, you have two options. You can either freeze the whole packet or store them individually.
To freeze them with their original packaging:
- Place your unopened packet of tortilla in a freezer bag.
- Take out as much air as possible and seal the bag.
- Label the bag with the date you freeze them. Make sure they are fresh before freezing them.
- Your frozen tortillas will now last you a long time and will be safe to consume.
Things to know before freezing tortillas in their original packaging:
- Corn tortillas tend to stick together when frozen. Since the store-bought packets tend to be large in size, the tortillas at the bottom may blend together due to their weight.
- Any food, once thawed, should be consumed immediately. It is never a good idea to refreeze food items once thawed. If you freeze and thaw a lot of tortillas together, and don’t need them later, you risk spoiling your corn tortillas.
What Is The Best Way To Freeze Corn Tortillas?
The best way to freeze tortillas is to take them out of their original packaging, and store them in separate freezer bags! This way, you can always freeze them in small stacks. You won’t have to worry about having leftover tortillas from the frozen batch!
To freeze tortillas in freezer bags:
- Separate your tortillas in small batches.
- Using wax paper or parchment paper, cut small squares out of it. Roughly the size of your tortillas.
- Place wax paper between each tortilla and layer them into small stacks.
- Wrap this stack in plastic wrap. Make sure no part is exposed to air to avoid freezer burn.
- Place these in freezer bags and seal them.
- Place your freezer bags in a horizontal position, and do not place anything else on them.
How To Thaw Corn Tortillas
Thawing frozen tortillas can be very easy, and fairly quick!
If you followed the wax paper trick, your tortillas should come off very easily, without sticking to each other at all. If you didn’t, you’ll have to follow the next method for easy defrosting.
To thaw tortillas from the freezer, you have the following options:
- The best method to thaw tortillas is to let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. Gradually exposing them to higher temperatures rather than shocking them to direct room temperature.
- Alternatively, if you’ve used wax paper, you can thaw them until the paper separates from each other. You can directly thaw them over a hot pan on the stovetop.
- While using a microwave, cover your tortilla in a damp towel and microwave at 20 seconds intervals.
- If you want a quick solution to thawing, my friend’s husband likes to use this toaster hack for thawing frozen tortilla!
How To Reheat Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas are notorious for being extremely delicate and falling apart once thawed. When you freeze them, they usually dry out fast. The result is them cracking or breaking apart when you try to use them in your recipes.
You have three options when it comes to reheating tortillas:
- Microwaving them
This is perhaps the easiest approach to reheating frozen tortillas. It also works to thaw your tortillas directly from the freezer. Simply place your tortillas in a Ziploc bag and close it halfway through. Microwave for 12-15 seconds, or until it is warm. Most people will suggest this method because it is quick and fairly easy. You can also refer to this video for any doubts.
- Using the oven
This method takes up a little more time, but I like to use it when making enchiladas. Oven-roasted tortillas are nice and warm and are very pliable for rolling. If you’re choosing this method, your kids will love the soft texture!
Simply preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place your foil-wrapped tortillas in the oven. Heat for 5-10 minutes and you’re done!
- Using a Skillet
A skillet comes in very handily when reheating bread items. It gives you those extra crispy edges and warms up your bread without drying it out. The problem with reheating corn tortillas in a skillet, though, is that the bottom of your tortilla often tends to stick to the pan.
A few years ago, my best friend learned this simple trick from her husband. The trick is to first dip your tortillas in a bowl of water. You can even sprinkle some on it if you wish. Put the moist side facing down on a hot skillet. You should hear the pan sizzle as it begins to warm up the tortilla. Sprinkle some water on top, and flip it. This entire process should take you 10-15 seconds.
Personally, my family loves this hack. We always end up with evenly warmed, slightly crispy tortillas and they’re a treat to enjoy! You can also refer to this video for reference!
How Do You Soften Corn Tortillas?
There is a very simple trick you need to know when it comes to reviving old tortillas.
A little sprinkle of water or a damp paper towel will go a long way when it comes to freezing corn tortillas and reheating them. A microwave is your best friend!
Wrap the stack of tortillas in a damp paper towel and place this in a microwave-safe dish. Heat at 30-second intervals. If the need arises, sprinkle more water on top. Your tortillas will be soft and pliable in no time!
How Long Can They Last In The Freezer?
Freezing corn tortillas and flour tortillas can often be a gamble. It’s not that they don’t freeze well, because they do! But they’re one of the most forgotten pantry items and most people fail to use them before their expiry date!
Corn tortillas will last you for about 6 months in the freezer. They can last more than that, but they’ll usually keep their taste and texture unchanged until this time. Make sure you label your freezer bags and use them with this time!
Can You Refrigerate Corn Tortillas?
Sure, freezer storage sounds like a convenient option. But what about keeping them in the fridge for immediate use?
Since freezing tortillas may not always be the right choice for you, you can refrigerate them!
While unopened packages last in the pantry for 7-10 days, they can last for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator! I like to store mine in a Ziploc bag. You can even add some parchment paper to the tortillas at the bottom of the stack to help them keep their shape!
How Long Can You Keep Them In The Fridge?
If you’re wondering what to do with your leftover packet of tortillas, don’t worry. You can refrigerate them in a plastic sealable bag and they will last you for 1-2 weeks! Remember to seal them well so that they are not exposed to freezer air, and always store them at a steady temperature.
How To Store Corn Tortillas?
Storing corn tortillas can be extremely convenient. Pop them in your refrigerator or even freezer. Remember to use air-tight containers or Ziploc bags. I like to store mine in the fridge, using airtight freezer bags and making sure no part is exposed to air.
You can even wrap them in plastic foil and then keep them in a container.
How To Tell If Corn Tortillas Have Gone Bad?
Spoiled tortillas can be tricky because not all of them will develop any particular symptoms. Most times, rancid tortillas will spot molds or dark spots on the surface. They may be greenish in color, sometimes also resembling white fungus-like color.
The thing about tortillas is that, whether at room temperature or frozen, they’re stored in packs of many. It is therefore important to examine every single piece for any signs of molds or fungus. Should you spot molds growing on any one of them, discard the entire packet right away!
Tortillas will also get stiffer with time. If the water hack does not help with their texture and they feel too hard to touch, they’ve probably gone bad beyond repair. Throw them away.
You may also like: How To Reheat Corn On Cob
Can You Freeze Flour Tortillas?
Yes! Flour tortillas freeze great and last a long time in the freezer.
All you will need to do is take them out of their package, layer them between sheets of parchment paper, and store them in a Ziploc freezer-friendly bag!
Since flour tortillas are on the gluttony side, it is better to not freeze them directly in their original packaging. To avoid sticking to one another, take them out of their pack and freeze!
Once you thaw them, they’re ready to use! Flour tortillas make a perfect addition to your family’s Mexican food experience! There’s so much you can do with them!
Hint – You can never go wrong with a dash of home-made sour cream and Mexican salsa. Turn your Mexican leftover meal into a feast in no time!
Corn Tortillas Recipe
I like to believe that there are no limitations when it comes to using corn tortillas in your home-made recipes. Sure, they may not be as sturdy or large as other Mexican bread. But they’re so healthy and so incredibly tasty that I don’t really mind anymore!
My two go-to recipes for any Mexican night’s dinner are these Korean Bbq Chicken Tacos and Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas. My family loves these recipes so much and it’s a fantastic treat to have on weekends. Not to mention that they taste phenomenal with a generous serving of my home-made sour cream!
Can you freeze corn tortillas to make them last longer?
Yes, you can totally freeze tortillas to make them last longer! Stack them with wax paper and store them in freezer bags!
Can I freeze mission yellow corn tortillas?
Yes, you can freeze mission yellow corn tortillas. As long as all the required fields are marked and you store it right, they will last you a long time when frozen.
Can you freeze frozen and thawed corn tortillas?
Freezing any kind of food twice is never a good option. If you re-freeze corn tortillas or any other food for that matter, you risk ruining its taste and texture.
I will always recommend freezing corn tortillas for later use. They’re easy to freeze and very convenient. And they freeze so well you can barely tell them apart from a fresh batch!
I hope this blog helped you. Should you have any further questions, feel free to ask them on our website at any time!
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen gameplan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.