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How to Heat Corn Tortillas Perfectly

One of the most versatile flatbread types is the corn tortilla. It’s not just healthy, but it can be used to make so many of my favourite dishes. I use them for burritos and enchiladas, of course, but you can also use them for pizzas, homemade corn chips, taquitos, chimichangas and more.

How you heat the corn tortillas will determine what it is used for, really. So, it is important to know how to heat up corn tortillas. You might just think that warming them in the microwave is the best and fastest way, but that’s not always the case. What do you do if you want your tortillas crispy and crunchy? The microwave wouldn’t work for that.

So, I want to share with you a few methods for how to heat corn tortillas and use them in different ways based on how they were heated.

How to Heat Corn Tortillas So They Don’t Break

Sometimes, you want a tortillas shell that isn’t crispy but rather soft and pliable. This is great when your making wraps, burritos or any other food that requires the shell to be soft and it be wrapped around the food and closed tightly. A crispy, crunchy tortilla shell won’t fold closed without breaking, so how do you heat tortillas in a way that ensure they won’t break?

Hot tortillas taste the best, but a lot of heating methods make them hard and crispy. So, if you are going for a softer shell, I would suggest the microwave method. This keeps the tortilla hydrated and pliable, perfect for wrapping your food for a burrito.

How to heat corn tortillas in microwave? You just heat them on a microwave-safe plate for a few seconds. One shell should take about 20 seconds. If you are heating a stack of them, just warm them for 45-60 seconds.

This is the same method you would use for how to heat corn tortillas for soft tacos. Most other methods simply make the tortilla shells hard, and they will snap apart if you try to bend or wrap them. You can use this same method at first for wrapping up your food for chimichangas, enchiladas and other baked or fried burritos and wraps.

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Heating the tortilla in the microwave is a great way to take a stiff, hard tortilla and make it more pliable and easier to work with. If you are concerned about your tortilla shell cracking because it was left out in the air too long, just warm it up in the microwave to make it softer.

How to Heat up Corn Tortillas for Tacos

What if you want to make crusty, hard tortilla shells? What would be the best way to heat them up and make them deliciously crispy? My favorite way is to use the oven. It’s quick and simple and give you tortillas that are perfect for tacos, pizzas, corn chips and more.

If you heat the tortillas up in the oven when they are lying flat, then trying to bend them into a taco shell shape will cause them to break. So, how to heat corn tortillas for street tacos of any kind of taco? First, bend it into the shape you want it and then heat it up. That way, when it comes out of the oven, it will already be in the right shape and you won’t have to bend it.

Heat the tortillas at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes in the oven to make them warm and crispy.

How to Heat Corn Tortillas in the Oven for Soft Shells

You can heat your tortillas in the oven and keep them soft. They don’t have to end up crispy if you know a trick to heating them. Just wrap them in aluminium foil and heat them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. They will get warm and soft, making them easier to bend and wrap with than before. Be sure the aluminium covers them completely so that they don’t dry out. That foil helps to keep them moist and trap in the water inside the shells.

This is also a great method for how to heat corn tortillas for a crowd. You can warm tons of tortilla shells at once in the oven. Just wrap them all in foil and place them on a baking tray. They can be stacked as well, and you can just wrap an entire stack in foil rather than wrapping them individually. Ensure the foil is closed on all sides for soft, pliable tortilla shells.

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How to Heat up Crispy Tortillas on the Stove

Instructions

  • If you want a fast and easy way to make crispy tortillas shells, then I suggest using a frying pan. Now, you can warm up too many at once this way, but it works for one shell at a time. If you want a personal tortillas shells that crispy and crunchy, then this is the way to go. It’s much faster and more convenient than using the oven.
  • Just use low heat and add a little butter to the pan before warming the shell. It will be warm and crispy in a couple of minutes. It takes about a minutes to cook each side, but your cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the tortilla shell. This can also be a quick way to make homemade corn chips, though it isn’t as effective as heating the shell in the oven to make chips.
  • When you are cooking the tortilla shell in the frying pan, I don’t suggest trying to flip it with a spatula like you would a pancake. The tortillas shells tend to be much larger. If you are dealing with an 8-inch tortilla shell or larger, use tongs to safely turn it over.

Now you know a few ways to heat corn tortillas and maybe have a few ideas you can use next time you have a few too many tortilla shells sitting in your fridge.

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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