Have stale tortillas? Don't be bummed! Check out the many ways to bring those old shells back to life. Find out what to make with tortillas you already have, plus, make your own fresh tortillas in a pinch. Taco Tuesday is about to get SO much easier!

a plate of flour tortillas, from Shelf Cooking

You were excited about taco night… that is until you opened the pantry to find those tortillas you thought you just bought went stale. Womp, womp, womp. Time to order takeout? Heck no!

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Help is on the way! First up, don't toss those stale tortillas; we're gonna share some simple tips and tricks to keep them from going to waste. Next up, we'll share a ridiculously EASY homemade tortilla recipe that you will love. Olé!


Ok, nobody wants to eat a stale tortilla. Gross! So, let's chat about how you can get those poor, sad tortillas back to life! It's actually pretty simple:

  • The Microwave Trick – Sign us up for any hack that's quick and easy — like this one! Just moisten a few paper towels. Then stack your lifeless tortillas on a plate, top with the damp paper towels, and microwave for about one minute. Ta-da! You've got useable tortillas in just 60 seconds.
  • Crisp Them in the Oven – Place your tortillas on a baking sheet and cook at 400° F for about ten minutes. When you take them out, they'll be crisp and begging for tostada toppings!
  • Turn Them into Something Else – No magic tricks required here! It's actually not hard to turn boring, stale tortillas into something else quite tasty. Like, say, chips, or a tasty breakfast scramble. We're about to give you some ideas to try!

Ready to work some magic? Let's talk through some easy-peasy uses for tortillas!


shrimp tostada with salsa, from Shelf Cooking

Do you know what we love most about shelf cooking? You really can't mess it up! Use what you've got, be creative, and have fun! There's no telling when you might discover your new favorite recipe. Whether you're a new shelf cooker or a total pro, you'll love these stale tortilla ideas:

  • Tostadas – Make taco night tostada night! Just spray your tortilla with cooking oil and pop it in the oven for 5 minutes at 400°F, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Top with your favorite goodies and enjoy!
  • Chips – Want to make your own tortilla chips? There are many ways to do it! Check out the options in this Simply Recipes tortilla chips post.
  • Tortilla Strips for Soup – Do you love taco soup as much as we do? Cut your tortilla into small strips, toss with a little olive oil, and bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes. Serve on top of your soup. These are great on salads, too!
  • Enchilada Casserole – Layer tortillas with your favorite pre-cooked meat, sauce, cheese, top with more cheese, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350°F. Dinner is served!
  • Baked Dip Cups – Here's a fun idea! Cut your tortillas into squares, then cut in fourths. Spray a nonstick muffin tin, then add the tortilla squares to each cup and bake for 18-20 minutes at 400°F. Fill with guacamole or your fave taco fixings!
  • Personal Pizzas – Tortillas make the perfect thin-crust pizzas! Just add your favorite toppings and bake in the oven at 400°F for about 5 minutes! Hello, easy dinner.

Pro Tip: Need a good sauce for that pizza? We love this quick and easy homemade pizza sauce recipe. Enjoy!


The next time you run out of tortillas, don't panic. You can make your own fresh, warm tortillas! Make sure to save this recipe. You're welcome in advance.

a plate of flour tortillas, from ShelfCooking.com

Easy Flour Tortillas

In just 30-minutes, you can whip up a killer batch of flour tortillas. We have to warn you. After one bite of these, you may never want the storebought kind again!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Ingredient
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 tortillas


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ⅔ cups water
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.
  • Slowly add water and oil, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  • Continue to mix until you achieve a dough-like consistency. Once you have your dough, transfer to a flat surface.
  • Knead until smooth, then divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Sprinkle with flour, then set aside.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  • Roll each piece of dough flat (into a tortilla-shaped circle) and transfer to the pan, one at a time. Cook for around 60 seconds, then flip and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate and cover while you repeat the process.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy or freeze for later!

See, that wasn't so hard, was it? Now let's think of even more ways to use up those tortillas. Hmmm…. Who's ready for some dessert?!


cinnamon chips with a bowl of fruit, from Shelf Cooking

Tortillas are so versatile, they're pretty much a ninja food. You can make a mean batch of burritos, enchiladas, tacos, you name it! But did you know you can make some SWEET desserts with your tortillas, too? Oh, yes, you can. Here are some ideas we love:

  • French Crepes – Whip up a crazy-good brunch in no time. Spread cream cheese on a tortilla and pop on any toppings you'd like. (Strawberries and chocolate chips sound good to us.) Whisk together an egg and 2 tablespoons milk. Fold your “crepe” in half, dip in the egg mixture, and cook in a skillet for about one minute on each side over medium-high heat. That's it! Out of syrup? Try one of these maple syrup substitutes.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Chips – Anyone up for some dessert nachos? These are so stinking easy to make. Cut your tortillas into chips, toss with some melted butter, then throw them in a large freezer bag with brown sugar and cinnamon. Shake, then bake at 400°F for about ten minutes.
  • Nutella Quesadilla – Spread a little Nutella on a tortilla, toss in a few banana or strawberry slices if you'd like, then fold in half and heat on a skillet for a few minutes. YUM!
  • Apple Pie Taquitos – Who doesn't love apple pie?! This twist on an American classic is so dang good. Get the apple pie taquito recipe from Jo Cooks. Serve alongside some of our homemade, creamy, dreamy ice cream!

You might want to make sure you always have tortillas on hand in case you start craving one of these unbelievable desserts. Keeping a batch in the freezer means you'll never run out again!


Whether you make tortillas from scratch or pick them up at the store, it's never a bad idea to keep some in the freezer for quick meals! Here's how to freeze (and to reheat) those tortillas for later:

  • Flour Tortillas – If you think you'll use them all at once, it's fine to pop the entire bag in the freezer. If you'd prefer the flexibility to use them individually, then it's best to remove them from the packaging and separate using small sheets of wax paper. Wrap the stack in plastic wrap, then in foil, place in a freezer bag and label. Use within one year.
  • Corn Tortillas – If you've made your own corn tortillas, let them cool, then wrap them individually in plastic, place in a freezer bag, and label. For store-bought corn tortillas, you can store them in the original packaging if you plan to use them all at once. They should last for about six months!

Ready to reheat and use those frozen tortillas? It's simple! Thaw them in the fridge overnight or pop a stack in the microwave. Just wet two paper towels until slightly damp, and place the frozen tortillas in between, then microwave for around 30 seconds. We suggest reheating no more than five at a time.

And there you have it! You're a certified tortilla queen. Now what to make first?!

Image with text that reads "homemade tortillas and ways to reuse them" from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more creative ways to use up your leftovers?

That's a wrap! Have fun!