In short, yes, you can freeze tortillas, both corn and wheat and when adequately frozen and thawed, their texture remains intact, making it a convenient way to store extra or leftover tortillas and extend their shelf life.
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 food recipes, 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, or topping with your favorite ingredients. Warm tortillas are also great for eating with soup or stew.
The best thing about both corn and flour 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.
Can Tortillas Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze corn tortillas and wheat 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 can 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 corn 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 corn tortillas, flour, or whole wheat tortillas to ensure the product retains an excellent freshly made quality.
Step 1: Refrigerate
Make sure your corn and flour 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 individual tortillas 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 tightly in cling film or aluminum foil and then place them into thick, good quality, zip top freezer bags or an airtight container. Lightly press out the excess air and seal.
Step 4: Freeze Flat
Since tortillas become crisp when frozen, they can crack or break easily under the weight of other frozen food. It is, therefore, best to put tortillas in the freezer lying flat to prevent breaking.
How To Thaw Frozen Tortillas
When freezing tortillas, moisture can form crystals or cause condensation on the tortilla surface. This makes it important to defrost frozen 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 let them thaw slowly.
Step 2: Heat
Once the tortillas are defrosted, heat them as you would a fresh tortilla. Refer to the package instructions to reheat tortillas, either in the oven or in a cast iron skillet.
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.
Wraps, pizza bases, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, and tostadas—what an amazing world of delicious food 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 individually and only take out a small number at a time instead of the entire batch is perfect. Reheating tortillas is quick and super simple. Store 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