Flat flour or corn tortillas are a standard ingredient in a lot of Mexican, Spanish, and Southwestern dishes. Anyone who uses tortillas just for burritos is missing out, because there are so many other ways to use them.
These are just as versatile as bread, if not more so. If you start thinking of tortillas as a kind of very thin flatbread, that may already get you thinking about some ideas for how to use them in recipes. Whether you are making breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are uses for tortillas that a lot of people never even know about, and once you try some of these, you may see them in a whole new light.
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Homemade Tortilla Chips
Did you know that tortilla chips are made from the same ingredients as tortillas shells?
You can make your own by cutting the shell into triangles or circles. Just put them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes and you will have crispy, crunchy chips that are way healthier than what you get in the store. You can control the salt content and ensure they are baked and not fried.
For toppings, you can use shredded cheese, salt, pepper, salsa, pico de gallo, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, chili powder or anything else you can think of.
There are endless possibilities there, and you get to make them the way you like. If you want things to make with avocado with tortilla chips, try some guacamole and homemade chips. They are a perfect combination.
Of all the easy things to make with tortillas, this may be the easiest and most overlooked option. You can make this just like you would a regular flatbread pizza- adding your sauce and grated cheese and putting the toppings on. Since you are making homemade pizza, you can pick the spaghetti or pizza sauce you want and add as many different kinds of cheeses as you like. You can grate cheese or use cheese slices.
Of course, the toppings are up to you, but you may want to consider a Southwestern or Mexican style pizza to fit with the flavour and texture of the tortilla shell crust. That would mean using toppings like chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, and rice or even adding a dollop of sour cream after the “pizza” has cooked.
The big difference between making pizza from a dough and using tortillas is the bake time. You are not trying to bake a bread dough and instead just need to warm up the tortilla enough to make the shell crispy or just hot. You only need to bake the tortilla pizza for about 10-15 minutes.
You can also make mini pizzas out of these by cutting out small, circular pieces of shell and laying them out on a pan spaced apart. You can cook them just like you would the larger pizza tortillas. To ensure that your pizzas don’t stick to the baking sheet, grease the pan first before baking.
French Toast Wraps
You probably already know about using tortillas shells to make wraps, but what about using them for French toast and then creating wraps from that? This is one of the coolest things to make with fajita size tortillas. If you have never made French toast before, then don’t worry- it’s a cinch.
You need to dredge your tortillas in a bowl of egg, milk and cinnamon. The more egg the better for this, as it creates a fluffier texture for the tortillas. Then, cook the dredged tortillas in a small amount of oil.
You just want to dry them until they turn golden brown and then pull them out. You can fill them with fruit, yogurt, eggs, meat, Nutella, pie filling or anything else you can think of. These are delicious when you coat them in a layer of cinnamon sugar as well.
Nutella Banana Wraps
This is a super simple wrap that is one of our favourite things to make with flour tortillas. You just wrap a whole banana covered in Nutella inside the tortilla and wrap it tightly. You can slice these in small sections to serve up on a party platter, and they are really good refrigerated. This is perfect for breakfast or snack time and a great way to make use of leftover tortillas.
One of the simplest things to make with corn tortillas are burrito bowls. You can take all of the things you would put into a burrito and have them in bowl form. It’s less messy this way, so there is no chance of something spilling out from one end to mess up your clothes.
You can toast the tortilla first if you like to give it a crispy texture or just make your bowl from a fresh tortilla. It’s up to you. This is a great on-the-go dish that you can take anywhere, and it’s a superb way to use up the extra food you have sitting in your fridge.
If you have a bit of rice, some beans, some lettuce, a few chopped tomatoes, and some leftover salsa, why not put them all into a delicious, simple tortilla bowl? You can have this instead of a salad for a healthy but more filling meal. Plus, you can add whatever meat you like to it to give it some extra flavour and protein.
Let’s say you are looking for things to make with tortillas fast- no cooking involved. You can take the old classic of the burrito and make it a bit different by turning it into an enchilada.
It’s really simple- you just wrap up your ingredients in a burrito style to start. You can use ground beef, refried beans, cheese, rice, chicken, guacamole, salsa, and more. You wrap it nice and tight and then top the shell with some melted or shredded cheese. You can also top with salsa, guacamole or pico de gallo.
All of this gets heated up to ensure the enchilada is soft. It’s meant to be eaten hot, and enchiladas make for a hearty, savoury dinner or lunch. This is a dish you eat with a fork, though, so don’t try to eat it like it’s a burrito.
Enchiladas are a whole new way for most people to eat burritos, and you may not want to go back to the boring, typical way of eating your tortillas after this.
Not all the things to make with flour tortillas have to be Southwestern or Mexican dishes. You can try Italian or Asian dishes as well, and sushi makes for a fun twist on your typical wrap.
You can wrap up your rice, sesame seeds, raw fish, and other sushi ingredients tightly in a wrap and cut it into small sections. You’re basically using a tortilla shell instead of seaweed as a wrap, and it works quite well. It’s a new way to have your sushi, and it might not be as flavourful, but it’s a novel variation for sushi that is worth a try.
Chicken Tortilla Shell Soup
You can also make a hearty soup from your tortillas, so when you are in the mood for things to make with tortillas and shredded chicken, consider this simple but tasty Latino dish.
The most work probably comes from preparing the tortilla for the soup. You will need to cut it into small strips and toast it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Add that to a soup base of beans, corn, and shredded chicken, and you have yourself a meal.
These are just a few things to make with tortillas, and we could be listing ideas all day here. Hopefully, now you see how versatile these shells are, whether they are made from corn or flour.
There are so many ways to use your tortillas that there is no reason to keep on making burritos every time you have some shells left in your fridge.
What’s the difference between using corn tortillas and flour tortillas in recipes?
Corn tortillas and flour tortillas bring different flavors and textures to recipes. Corn tortillas are made from masa harina, or corn flour, and have a distinctive corn flavor. They are generally smaller and stiffer than flour tortillas, which makes them a good choice for dishes like tacos and tostadas. Flour tortillas, on the other hand, are made from wheat flour and have a softer, more pliable texture. This makes them great for wraps, burritos, and enchiladas. They also have a milder flavor compared to corn tortillas.
Can I make these recipes with gluten-free tortillas?
Yes, you can substitute gluten-free tortillas in these recipes. Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free, but you can also find gluten-free flour tortillas made with alternative flours like almond, rice, or chickpea flour. Just be sure to check the packaging to make sure they are certified gluten-free if you have a severe gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Are there any unique or creative ways to use tortillas, apart from the usual wraps and tacos?
Absolutely! Tortillas can be used in a variety of creative ways. For instance, you could make tortilla chips for dipping by cutting tortillas into triangles and baking or frying them. You could also use them to make a quick pizza by topping them with sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings and then baking until crispy. Another idea is to use them in place of noodles in a lasagna or to make a layered casserole. The possibilities are nearly endless!