Can You Freeze Corn Tortillas? Corn tortillas are one of those food items that you will either use a few of or many, depending entirely on the nature of what you use them for and how many people you will be serving.
In cases where you happen to have some of these flat forms of grain lingering after the food is done, it helps to know your options when it comes to preserving them for future meals.
It is the intent of this article to address where or not it is not only possible but feasible to freeze your corn tortillas and also provide advice on bringing them back to normal after spending some time in a freezer.
A Quick Aside On The Differences Between Flour And Corn Tortillas
While this article is concerned with corn tortillas, it feels proper to bring up the differences they have when compared to flour tortillas. If nothing else, this should better illustrate whether or not these techniques are just as valid for flour tortillas.
- Flour tortillas have less flavor but tend to be larger and sturdier than corn tortillas. This means that flour tortillas are ideal for dishes with a lot of flavor and/or many ingredients like burritos and quesadillas.
- Corn tortillas are more flavorful and smaller than flour tortillas. This means that they are ideal for small foods like tacos and taquitos. Notably, corn tortillas are the usual go-to of the two when in Mexico.
Well, Can You Freeze Corn Tortillas or Not?
Yes you can. While nothing beats a fresh batch of tortillas, freezing them is the best option for people who need to keep them around for a while longer.
Is There Anything Special Involved In Freezing Corn Tortillas?
Freezing tortillas is a simple process that only calls for a bit of other equipment.
- Freezer bags. You can also use other freezer-safe containers, though ideally they will be slim enough so that you can keep the tortillas frozen without taking up too much space in your freezer.
Note: If your tortillas came in sealed packaging, it may be best to just keep them that way and use the packaging as a stand-in for a freezer bag.
- Wax paper.
- A marker.
Step By Step Instructions For Freezing Corn Tortillas
- The very first step in this process is one of food safety. You should make sure to wash and dry your hands before you ever handle the tortillas.
- When you are ready to freeze your corn tortillas, arrange them in a stack that alternates between tortilla and wax paper. The wax paper’s purpose is to make it easy to separate the tortillas from the stack after you thaw them out; skipping the wax paper means that the redistributed moisture from freezing will leave the tortillas clinging to each other, potentially even leading to torn tortillas.
- Transfer the stack of tortillas to your freezer-safe container of choice.
- Use the marker to label the container, making sure to include the date that you put it into the freezer so that you can tell just how long it has been sitting in your freezer.
- Move the container of corn tortillas to the freezer and try to position the container in such a way that the tortillas can lay flat. Because the freezing process will lock the tortillas into whatever shape they were resting in, it is best to ensure that they will be as flat as possible.
What Are The Consequences Of Freezing Corn Tortillas?
- As previously mentioned, freezing without the wax paper can lead to the tortillas clumping together during the subsequent thawing process. Even with wax paper, your tortillas will likely be a bit stiff due to having less moisture contained within.
- Because freezing has no effect on the nutrition, taste or value of your corn tortillas, you can freely follow whatever recipe you are using without making any adjustments or substitutions.
- Frozen tortillas are good for up to six months (180 days) after the date you marked on the container.
- When thawing out your tortillas, it is best to use the refrigerator and not the microwave. When using the fridge, allow 24-48 hours for the tortillas to fully thaw out. Once you have thawed them out, you can heat up our tortillas with either a brief stint in your microwave, a vat of hot oil, direct exposure to an open flame or even leaving them to sit at room temperature for half an hour.
- You should never freeze corn tortillas if their packaging lacks an expiration date. On the other hand, if the packaging has an expiration date that seems to have worn away with time, make sure you do a quick scan of the tortillas before freezing. You should look for the presence of any discolorations or mold.
- Only thaw out the corn tortillas that you plan on using. Repeatedly moving your tortillas back and forth between room temperature, frozen and thawed causes a significant amount of stress that will irrevocably change the tortillas’s texture for the worse.
A World Of Possibilities Before You
Whether you are scrambling to find a use for those last 2-3 tortillas in the pack or you have a stack of them sitting in your freezer, you may wonder about some things you can do with your leftover tortillas, be they still fresh or thawed out after being in a deep freeze.
While we have previously stated that once-frozen tortillas are just as viable in cuisine as the fresh ones, that does not necessarily mean you have a broad knowledge of recipes involving tortillas. To that end, we present several uses for corn tortillas after you restore them from being frozen.
- Tortilla chips. Seriously, all you need to do is get a pizza cutter or some other means of slicing the tortillas into triangles, hit them tortilla wedges with a light amount of seasoning and then bake them in your oven to a crisp.
- Chilaquiles. This is a traditional Mexican dish that is commonly had around breakfast or brunch and features tortilla chips. The trend of adding chicken has also allowed it to be served for dinner.
- Tex-Mex Lasagna. I you know how to bake a lasagna, you have a good idea of the technique involved. In this case, you are using your corn tortillas in place of the long flat noodles and layering on the usual suspects of Tex-Mex cuisine: ground beef, onions, peppers, beans and lots and lots of cheese.
- Taquitos. Once your tortillas are fully revived from the freezing process, taquitos are one of the simplest things you can make with them. Just load them up with whatever ingredients you like, roll the tortillas up like a cigar and then move them to the deep-fryer.
- Tostadas. This is another dish that is just about as simple as taquitos. All you have to do to make a tostada is to fry up a flat corn tortilla. after the tortilla has been fried, top it with whatever ingredients you fancy.
- Quesadillas. While quesadillas usually call for flour tortillas, it is not impossible to make quesadillas with corn tortillas. Just be mindful of the comparatively reduced surface area of your corn tortillas and you should be fine.
Not only can you freeze corn tortillas but you also lose nothing in the process as long as you only do it once. Just remember to log when you put your tortillas into the freezer and be sure to put them to use within six months from that date.