The origins of the tortilla are wrapped in mystery and history – dating back to ancient times. There is even a Mayan legend that states that tortillas were first made by a peasant to appease his hungry king.
Whether this is true or not, we are sure that tortillas have been around for a very long time, with estimates placing its first appearance around 12,000 years ago.
Without a doubt, tortillas have certainly gone a long way since then. They have become one of the most commonly consumed food items around.
This is due in no small part to Mexican cuisine’s massive growth in popularity in recent decades as well as the headways being made by Southwestern style food. So it’s no wonder people are asking about storing and freezing options for tortillas.
Can you freeze tortillas? You can freeze tortillas. It is best to wrap them in layers between wax paper before storing them in a sealable container or freezer bag. Freezing tortillas will keep them safe enough to eat for 6 to 8 months.
Freezing tortilla shells can be done, but there is a proper procedure that you need to follow to guarantee the best results. Luckily, we’ve come up with this handy freezing guide to help you do just that.
Why Freeze Tortillas?
So, before anything else, let us first tackle the question: why should you freeze your tortillas? The answer to that is simple: it is a matter of convenience and health.
As tortillas become one of our staple foods, it only makes sense that you should want to extend its shelf life.
After all, you will always want to have it on-hand as you never know when you’ll find yourself craving for a taco or any other treat. At the same time, it would be a great shame to let something as healthy as this go to waste.
The genius of the tortilla can be found in the simplicity of its form and its sheer effectiveness. You can steam, grill, fry, or bake them. Moreover, you can put anything on your tortillas from salads to various kinds of meat and walk away satisfied.
To further show the versatility of tortillas, we have listed below some of the most common recipes which use this wonderful treat:
- Huevos Rancheros
- Breakfast Wraps
- Mexican Quiche
- Taco Pockets
The number of things you can make with tortillas is staggering. That is why it only makes sense for us to find different ways to further extend its shelf life.
This way, all of these will be within your reach whenever the craving hits you.
Easy Access to Nutrition
In addition to this, it is also worth noting that several nutritional benefits come with tortillas. (We’ve detailed more nutritional information about tortillas below.)
Needless to say, this only adds to the reasons why you should consider freezing them. After all, who wouldn’t want steady access to something as nutritious and as filling as this treat.
By freezing your tortillas, you are allowing yourself to sustain a healthier lifestyle. After all, there would be no excuse to start eating junk especially when you have something as tasty and as healthy as a tortilla sitting right there in your freezer.
Can You Freeze Tortillas or Taco Shells?
So, let’s tackle this directly. Freezing tortillas, as well as taco shells, is an effective way to prolong its shelf life. Like with all other foods, taco shells are best when consumed fresh.
However, if you want them to last longer, then freezing is the best option available to you. It is that simple. Moreover, freezing your taco shells will not harm its quality and taste.
You can also rest easy knowing that its nutritional value won’t be affected by the process. After all, freezing does nothing else other than slow down the process of bacterial growth in your food–thus helping maintain its freshness.
Ultimately, it does the same thing with taco shells. Listed below are some of the benefits that come with freezing your taco shells:
- Convenience – Having taco shells whenever you need them is an unparalleled convenience that everyone should enjoy.
- Longer Shelf Life – Save yourself the trip to the grocery store and buy your taco shells in bulk. Then, simply put them away and take out whenever you need them.
- Taco Everyday – By having taco shells at arm’s reach every day, you can now enjoy a bite of your favorite treat whenever the craving hits you.
Tortilla Freezing Guide
Freezing tortillas is incredibly simple and easy. Simply follow the steps presented here:
- Sanitize – Before handling the tortillas, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands. After all, food safety is everything.
- Prepare the Tortillas – Before freezing the tortillas, make sure to put some wax paper between each sheet. This will make thawing that much easier later.
- Pack the Tortillas – Take a freezer-safe bag or container and put your tortillas neatly on top of one another. Make sure to squeeze out as much excess air as you can before sealing the bag or container.
- Label the Package – Make sure to properly label the tortilla’s packaging. With a permanent marker, write down the original packaging’s date of expiration as well as the date when you repacked the tortillas. This will let you keep track of the tortilla’s longevity even in the freezer.
- Place in the Freezer – Find a good spot in the freezer and place the tortillas there. They should last for as long as 6 to 8 months.
When you need to use them, simply take them out and let them thaw. Then, quickly dip it in some hot oil to restore its texture.
How Long Do Tortillas Last?
The typical shelf life for tortillas can vary widely. It depends on what kind of tortilla we are speaking of – flour, corn, homemade, and even taco shells have varying shelf lives.
This is because the processes and ingredients that go into making them will have a profound effect on their longevity.
For instance, flour tortillas can last somewhere between 16 to 45 days. Meanwhile, taco shells can last for as long as half a year.
That said, if you are using store-bought tortillas, it is vital that you keep a close eye on its expiration date. It should be indicated on the packaging.
This is crucial especially if you are putting them in the fridge. We all know how easy it could be to simply forget half the things we put in there. It would be such a waste if your tortillas were to go to waste because of a simple mistake.
That said, several factors play a role in a tortillas’ longevity.
This includes everything from the storage method used, their ingredients as well as the processes that went into making them. We’ve included this easy reference chart for the shelf-life of different tortillas based on how you’re storing them.
Tortilla Shelf Life
This table provides a succinct overview of how long the different tortillas can last:
|Type of Tortilla||Pantry||Refrigerator||Freezer|
|Corn Tortilla||7-10 days||6-8 weeks||6-8 months|
|Flour Tortilla||1 week||3-4 weeks||6-8 months|
Remember, always check your tortillas for freshness. Molds and mildew are particularly dangerous as they are the most common culprits when it comes to food spoilage.
In some cases, tortillas aren’t able to live up to their full shelf life because of improper storage.
So, as a rule, use only what you can and put the rest away. In this case, you have two choices: the refrigerator and the freezer. As long as you can pack them correctly, you should have no trouble extending its shelf life.
Presented below is a table with a breakdown of the different nutrients and minerals that can be found in tortillas. Notice how we have made separate columns for the 44g and the 45g servings of corn and flour tortilla, respectively.
Related – Nutritional Benefits
As we hinted above, there are all kinds of great nutritional content in your favorite tortilla. We wanted to include this comparison chart for you so you can check out some of the benefits in this handy food.
|Nutrients/Minerals||Corn tortilla (44g)||Flour tortilla (45g)|
|Carbohydrates||20 g||22 g|
|Protein||3 g||4 g|
|Fat||1 g||4 g|
|Fiber||3 g||2 g|
|Sodium||20 mg||331 mg|
|Calcium||3% of the RDI||5% of the RDI|
|Iron||3% of the RDI||9% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||8% of the RDI||2% of the RDI|
RDI – Recommended Daily Intake
On the one hand, you have corn tortillas which have lower levels of carbohydrates and fat, not to mention a lower calorie count. Moreover, it is also said to be incredibly rich in fiber as well as a host of vitamins and minerals.
As the table above clearly shows, corn tortillas serve as a great source of nutrients and minerals like fiber and magnesium – things that we don’t get enough of.
Remember that fiber plays an important role in promoting digestion as well as in ensuring that your heart stays healthy while magnesium is crucial for the maintenance of your vital organs including the brain and the heart.
On the other hand, there are flour tortillas which provide you with higher levels of iron and calcium. It also has higher fat and protein content.
As you would expect, the flour tortilla is more filling compared to its corn-made counterpart. However, it also has more calories.
There you have it, our comprehensive guide to freezing tortillas, and why that’s such a great idea. Make sure to follow the steps we’ve presented here. This way, you can get to enjoy tortillas whenever you want!