freeze tortillas

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

Tortillas are perfect for a quick fix meal and handy to have around for a delicious variety of all-day snack options. They are often used in Mexican cuisine, and they come in different sizes and textures from smooth flour tortillas resembling a very thin flatbread to coarse and crispy corn tortillas.

They are perfect for stuffing and folding over, crisping up for dipping, rolled up with fillings, eating soup or stew, or topping with your favorite ingredients.

The best thing about tortillas is that they last from a few days to a few months, depending on how you store them. Keep them in the pantry, fridge, or freezer, and never miss out on taco Tuesdays again.

Types of Tortillas

#1. Flour Tortillas

Made with a base ingredient of wheat flour, flour tortillas are pliable, perfect for folding and wrapping ingredients. Flour tortillas usually contain some kind of vegetable shortening.

Stronger and larger than corn tortillas, flour tortillas are used for burritos and quesadillas as they can handle a big amount of filling without breaking.  Flour tortillas don’t have much flavor, which means they can easily be incorporated into savory and sweet dishes.

#2. Corn Tortillas

Made with maize (corn) flour or masa, corn tortillas do not have shortening added in the dough and have a stronger flavor than wheat flour tortillas.  They are usually smaller, slightly firmer, and break more easily.

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

Yes, you can freeze both wheat flour and corn tortillas. If frozen correctly, you won’t even notice that the tortillas have been in the deep freeze. Once thawed and cooked, their texture will return to what it was as a fresh product. You may freeze extra or leftover tortillas to reduce waste and extend their shelf life.

How To Freeze Tortillas

If you are not planning to use your tortillas within a week or two of freezing, it is important to ensure they are properly wrapped for freezing as their quality may deteriorate if exposed to moisture and air. Here is exactly how you should go about freezing tortillas to ensure the product retains an excellent freshly made quality.

Step 1: Refrigerate

Make sure your tortillas are chilled in the refrigerator before freezing.  Never freeze a warm tortilla as the freezing process will draw moisture out, creating crystals that dry out the product.  Not only does this cause the quality to deteriorate, but it also causes the unpleasant taste of freezer burn.

Step 2: Separate

Place a piece of wax paper, foil or cling film between each tortilla to prevent them from sticking to one another. This allows you to separate them easily and only thaw as many as you need.  Wax paper also helps reduce frost, which will toughen the ingredients, causing the tortillas to become chewy.

Step 3: Wrap

Tortillas that are not properly wrapped when frozen are prone to freezer burn, which will deteriorate their quality. Wrap the tortillas in cling film or foil and then place them into a thick, good quality, zip lock freezer bag. Lightly press out the air and seal.

Step 4: Freeze Flat

Since tortillas become crisp when frozen, they can crack or break easily.  It is, therefore, best to freeze them lying flat to retain their shape.


How To Thaw Frozen Tortillas

When freezing tortillas, moisture can form crystals or cause condensation on the tortilla surface.  This makes it important to thaw the tortillas gradually to prevent them from becoming soggy. To get the best out of your frozen tortillas defrost them as follows:

Step 1: Refrigerate

Remove the number of tortillas you wish to use from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator for a few hours to thaw slowly.

Step 2: Heat

Once the tortillas are defrosted, heat them as you would a fresh tortilla.  Refer to the package instructions to heat them, either in the oven or in a skillet.


FAQs

Can you freeze tortillas in their original store packaging?

Tortillas can be frozen in their unopened store packaging if it is well-sealed.  It is best to wrap the pack of tortillas in another layer of cling film or in a zip lock freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

If you freeze the pack as is, the entire batch will have to be defrosted when needed, as you will not be able to defrost them individually. Tortillas may stick to each other if there is no separating parchment paper between them.

Can you freeze homemade wheat flour tortilla dough to cook later?

Yes, you can freeze the uncooked dough.

Can you freeze homemade corn tortilla dough to cook later?

Yes, fresh masa is best frozen if not used within 12 hours of making.

How should you freeze uncooked tortilla dough?

Shape the dough into golf ball-sized balls, place them on a lined baking sheet, and then cover and freeze. Once the balls are completely frozen, wrap each one in clingfilm and store them in a sealed bag in the freezer.  This way, you can take out as many as you need at a time and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Can you refrigerate homemade flour tortilla dough to cook later?

Yes, homemade flour tortilla dough can be refrigerated for up to three days. Keep it well covered to prevent it from absorbing other aromas and keep it from drying out.

Can you refrigerate homemade corn tortilla dough to cook later?

No, refrigerating masa is not recommended as it will cause the tortillas to become heavier and dense.  If not used within 12 hours, it is best to place masa dough in the freezer, portioned individually for easy thawing.

Can you defrost tortillas in the microwave?

Defrosting tortillas in the microwave can cause them to become soggy or chewy.  For the best results, thaw your tortillas in the fridge before heating.

Can you cook tortillas from frozen?

The best option is to thaw them in the refrigerator before heating if you have purchased and frozen store-bought tortillas. If you are very tight in time, the second-best option would be to cook frozen tortillas in a skillet or the oven.

How Long Do Tortillas Last?

Store-bought tortillas can be kept at room temperature for three days. However, it is advisable to store them in the refrigerator to prevent the growth of mold. Plain store-bought tortillas without filling can last two to four weeks in the refrigerator and 6 to 8 months if properly wrapped in the freezer.

Conclusion

Wraps, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, and tostadas—what an amazing world of deliciousness awaits around a simple tortilla. All the more reason to have these convenient wraps on hand at all times for a quick meal or extravagant feast.

If you live alone or are only cooking for two, being able to freeze tortillas and only take out a small number at a time instead of the entire batch is perfect. Store your tortillas with care in the freezer by wrapping them sufficiently, and they will be as good as fresh for months to come.

Image by depositphotos/AndreySt

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