Whether you are making soft tacos, enchiladas, or a layered Mexican casserole, you will be amazed at how much better your dish gets if you heat your tortillas first. The texture becomes a lot more pliable, especially in the case of corn tortillas which can be dry and crack when they are folded or bent.
But even more importantly, whether flour or corn, the flavor of the tortillas becomes so much more toasty and satisfying. And while you can warm them in a stack in the stove (wrapped in foil) or in the microwave (on a plate, with a damp paper towel placed over the top), taking a few extra minutes to warm them individually over direct heat makes all the difference. That’s the only way to really bring up the flavor.
The Best Ways to Warm Tortillas
There are 3 terrific ways to get the most flavor and pliability from your tortillas:
Warming Tortillas in a Pan
Simply heat a pan that is larger than the diameter of your tortillas over medium to medium high heat. There is no need to oil the pan, or even spray it with nonstick spray. When the pan is hot, place the tortilla directly into the pan, and heat for about 45 seconds, until the bottom is browned in spots.
Then use tongs or a fork to flip it over and warm the other side for about 45 seconds. Remove the tortilla to a plate or a clean surface, and repeat with the rest of the tortillas. You can stack them as they are heated.
Warming Tortillas over a Gas Flame
This will not work if you have an electric stove. Turn your gas burner to medium, so that the flame just barely reached the top of the grate. Place a tortilla directly onto the burner, and heat for about 15 seconds, until the bottom is browned in spots, then use tongs to flip it over and toast the other side for about 15 seconds.
Remove the tortilla to a plate or a clean surface, and repeat with the rest of the tortillas. You can stack them as they are heated.
Warming Tortillas on a Grill
This works with a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill. Heat your grill to medium. Place the tortillas directly onto the grill. Doing them in batches of up to 4 at a time, but no more so you can control the browning without them burning. Heat for about 45 seconds, or until the bottom is browned in spots, then use tongs to flip it over and grill the other side for about 45 seconds. Remove the tortillas to a plate or a clean surface, and repeat with the rest of the tortillas. You can stack them as they are heated.
Use Warm Tortillas in these Recipes:
- Alaska Rockfish Tacos
- Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Casserole
- Flaky Fish Tacos with Vegetable Slaw
- Greek Fish Tacos
- Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas