I know sometimes you buy tortillas in the store, and they come at a better price if you buy them in a bundle, and later you find yourself wondering, “can you freeze tortillas?”. Many friends of mine and I have been in the same situation. Read on to know more about how to freeze tortillas properly for optimal storage and how to defrost them.
First, let’s get to know tortillas!
What Is Tortillas
Before answering the question, “Can you freeze tortillas?” I would like to briefly explain it.
When Hernán Cortés and the conquerors arrived in the New World in 1519, the locals made flat cornbread. However, it is impossible to pronounce this newly discovered food in Aztecs; the Spaniards mispronounce “tortilla”.
It is made by pressing unfermented water powder like cornbread and cooking it. The word “tortilla” in Spanish does not require a professional qualification to understand. It means “eggs” in Spain, “corn” in Mexico and Central America, “bread” in many other places.
Tortillas are thin, flat, round pieces of bread, usually made from corn. It is the typical parrot bread commonly found in Mexican cuisine.
In fact, many Mexican tortillas do not sell as well in Spain as in America. It was sold in Mexican markets and restaurants, but it’s not part of their regular diet. The Mexicans tend to call it “tortilla de maize”, “pande tortilla”, “tortilla Mexicana”.
Can You Freeze Tortillas?
The answer is yes. Corn and flour tortillas can be frozen.
After freezing many types of food, I find out that most foods can last for a very long time when frozen.
Now you know that it’s safe to freeze tortillas, you need to know how to freeze and thaw them so that they retain the original taste and texture. Keep reading to find out!
How To Freeze Store-Bought Tortillas?
Good results can be obtained by freezing the tortilla in its original packaging for several weeks. For long-term use, though, you should follow the steps in this guide to maintain the texture, taste, and overall quality.
Step 1: Transfer Tortillas Into A Separate Container
You should never freeze tortillas in the store-bought container as it isn’t air-sealed. Transfer them to a different freezer container and wrap them carefully with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You don’t want slices to stick together, so put parchment in between each slice.
Step 2: Date The Freezing Date
Even freezing at home, you should always know the expiration date of your food. Labeling the container with the freezing date helps you keep track of your food.
Step 3: Wrap The Tortillas Carefully
Depending on how long you want to keep it frozen, you must be careful when wrapping the tortillas. Tortillas frozen for a week or two are much more fragile than the ones frozen for a month or two.
Beware of burns in the freezer if you do not plan to unfreeze and use it in the near future as the quality will deteriorate over time.
The more you cover the tortillas, the less likely it is to burn in the freezer. Wrap it in silver paper before putting it in a plastic bag, and use a thicker bag better than a fragile bag.
Freezing tortillas tend to make the store-bought bag thinner and less protected. On the other hand, the zipper bag on the market, which is a large storage bag, is specially designed for freezing purposes.
Also, be sure to cool it in the refrigerator before freezing. When food cools in the freezer, water is sucked out during the cooling process, the crystals dry, and the quality deteriorates. The unpleasant odor of the freezer is generated.
Warm tortillas are damper than cold cakes, so adding cold ones will cause crystals to build up in the package.
For restaurant owners out there, the video below will tell you how to store tortillas in batches.
How To Freeze Homemade Tortillas?
Sometimes, when I make tortillas at home, I like to make a double batch with a tortilla maker and freeze the second batch for a future meal, so I don’t have to make them again so soon. It’s effortless to do.
If you don’t want to eat all your homemade tortillas and want to save some for later use, there are some simple steps to make sure your delicious tortillas are always as fresh as possible. Keep reading!
How To Keep Homemade Tortillas Warm
When making the tortillas, wrap them in a large, clean kitchen towel. The heat of the toast gives it a nice color and warmth, and the steam makes the cake moist and elastic until later. Believe me on this one!
How To Refrigerate Homemade Tortillas
To store the homemade tortillas in the refrigerator, make sure the dough is completely cooled before wrapping it in a food cover or putting it in a tightly closed plastic bag.
How To Reheat Homemade Tortillas
To reheat, wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and place them in a preheated microwave for 15-20 seconds until soft. Repeat until 5 times if necessary.
For healthy eaters out there, I have just the video for you. Watch below for recipes to make healthy tortillas at home!
Can You Freeze Flour Tortillas?
As I said before, you can definitely freeze flour tortillas. They can be frozen in a stack, or you can freeze them slice by slice. The trip applies here to squeeze out as much air as possible.
Can I Freeze Corn Tortillas?
The same goes for corn tortillas. Freeze them in the store-bough package, or you can transfer them to a separate container or zippered freezing bag, following the above instructions.
How To Defrost Frozen Tortillas?
The regular toaster slots can hold up to two slices of frozen tortillas. Place the slices and in turn on for about 1 to 2 minutes. The end result will be soft, wet, and ready to use.
However, I recommend putting frozen tortillas in the refrigerator so that they can decrease temperature gradually. This requires planning ahead for one or two days, but it will worth more as the outcome texture is almost as good as fresh.
I also did some experiments, and as a result, I can just put a small pack of corn on the counter for about an hour, and it would thaw well.
It’s so thin that the flour tortillas will thaw on the table in minutes. Room temperature is warm enough to soften the tortillas, but you want to heat it up more to cook your dinner.
If you reheat in the microwave, the tortillas can be disassembled and heated very quickly. Your tortillas will be moist, and you run the risk of getting them soggy. This can be improved by heating in the oven or microwave to give a better texture. However, there is a fine boundary between delicious and brittle tortillas, especially if they do not contain any additives. Therefore, it is necessary to oversee the process.
Separating Frozen Tortillas
When the tortilla freezes, it becomes a lump and cannot be separated unless frozen. Even if it is defrosted, tortillas must be carefully separated so that they will not tear. This requires some light-touches, but it works if you’re careful.
Suppose you tear off tortillas while separating them. In that case, it won’t go well with burritos or tacos. However, it can still be used for foods like enchiladas. There you can put them together and cover the tears with salsa and cheese.
However, chilled tortillas can be taken apart easily by placing a parchment between the individual slice. Parchment paper, wax paper, and aluminum paper seem to work well. If you put something between the tortillas, not only will they be separated immediately if it defrosted, but it will be easier to separate even if it is frozen, so you can freeze as much as you like.
What To Do With Frozen Tortillas?
To use your tortillas to the last slice, try one of my favorite recipes below. Most of these recipes are frozen-tortilla friendly. (Yes, you can freeze them twice with recipes.)
- Prepared Lunch Wraps
- Slow cooker chicken taquitos
- Fresh breakfast Quesadilla
If you fancy a make-ahead breakfast with frozen tortillas, watch the video below for details.
How Long Are Frozen Tortillas Good For?
For store-bought tortillas, you can leave them in the refrigerator for a few weeks. But of course, you should always consult the expiration date on the package. When frozen according to the instruction in this article, your tortillas can last up to 6 months.
How Long Does Tortillas Last In The Refrigerator?
Of course, you can store the leftover food in the refrigerator, so please eat it as soon as possible. Tortillas can be stored in the fridge, so it’s a good idea to freeze them.
If you make the tortillas with a tortillas press and cook it in the kitchen, it will last for 10 days in the refrigerator. It will start to mutate over time. If you live in a warm climate, you should avoid it at room temperature.
Additional Advice & Tips
- Keep the tortillas in the fridge until you eat them. If it goes back and forth between cold and winter, and when freezing, it adversely affects the structure of the tortillas.
- Keep the inside of the freezer clean so that the tortillas can be flattened. This product freezes where it is placed and should be flattened to maintain the integrity of the tortillas.
- Make sure there is enough space in the freezer to store corn tortilla freezes. If you don’t want to put tortillas in your tacos, be sure to flatten them in the freezer.
- Thaw the corn tortillas only once. Failure to return unfrozen tortillas to the freezer will affect the quality of the bread.
- When frozen, the tortillas stick together and do not tear, and are difficult to separate. Putting parchment paper on the tortilla cake before it freezes will make your life easier. You can also thaw several tortillas at once instead of the entire package.
- You can use it well even if you tear off tortillas accidentally. It can’t be used for burritos or tacos, but it’s perfect for enchiladas! Just cover it with cheese or salsa.
I hope you benefit from my advice and confidently answer the question “Can you freeze tortillas” if it comes your way. Most importantly, don’t forget to make delicious dishes with tortillas and have fun!