by Amy

September 1, 2020

If you like Mexican cuisine, it is likely you are familiar with tortillas. Those soft, round, “taco shells” that you devour during your special taco nights. But, how long do tortillas last? Since they are available prepackaged in the markets, knowing their expiration date beforehand helps you store them accordingly.

When you buy a pack of tortillas or even make homemade tortillas, you will have leftovers. That is a given. So, I am here to answer all those questions lingering in your mind. Do tortillas go bad? And, can you store tortillas? If so, how long do they last for?

This article is going to answer every single one of your questions and a little more.

What are Tortillas?

how long do tortillas last

Tortillas are the staple flatbreads of Mexico. They are round, and unleavened bread often prepared from cornmeal or wheat flour. The corn tortillas are the more traditional ones. The look and taste of the tortilla often vary depending on the area you are buying it from.

How Long Do Tortillas Last?

To know how long tortillas last, you need to know about the expiration date and shelf life of the tortilla. Different variants have a different shelf life. For example, a corn tortilla might last longer than a flour or wheat tortilla, depending on how you store them.

Whenever you are wondering if the tortillas have gone bad, you need to check the expiration date on the packaging of the same.

In comparison to the store-bought tortillas, the homemade ones have a lesser shelf life. It is likely because of the lack of preservatives in them. 

How Long Do Flour Tortillas Last?

The expiration date of the flour tortillas depends on how you preserve them. If you keep them out on your kitchen shelf, they’ll likely stay fresh for a week. But, storing them in the refrigerator often extends the expiry date by 3-4 weeks.

Additionally, freezing further extends the shelf life of the flour tortilla by 6-8 months. So, in case you do want to save your flour tortillas for long, freeze them.

How Long Do Corn Tortillas Last?

When talking about tortillas, it is likely most people opt for the traditional corn tortillas. So, how long do these corn ones last for? Following their expiration date, the corn tortillas often last for around 8-10 days, depending on the storage condition.

In case you refrigerate them, they’ll last for 7-8 weeks and in the freezer for 6-8 months. But, always ensure that you freeze them in batches instead of storing them in bulk.

How Long Do Wheat Tortillas Last?

Out of all the varieties available, the whole wheat tortillas are considered the best in terms of nutrition. If you ask any of the health buffs, they’ll likely suggest using a whole wheat tortilla. It has a lot of fiber and nutrition; it is extremely delectable and filling too. If you leave them out on your kitchen shelf, they’ll last around a week after the expiration date.

But, in case you plan to store them in the fridge, they’ll last for 3-4 weeks without any issue. In the freezer, though, these tortillas stay fresh for 6-8 months easily.

How Long Do Homemade Tortillas Last?

Homemade tortillas tend to have a shorter shelf life on the counter since they don’t contain any preservatives. That said, they still stay fresh and eatable for 3-4 days. Aside from that, these also stay fresh for 5 days to a week in the refrigerator. If you plan on freezing them, they will likely last for 5-7 months.

How Long Do Flavoured Tortillas Last?

Have you ever eaten those green and red “taco shells”? If yes, they are likely made with spinach and beetroot puree. They are high in nutrition and taste, just like any other tortilla that you eat. If kept outside, they will last for a week on the kitchen counters. In the refrigerator, they do last for a month or so. In case you freeze them, they will easily last you for 6-8 months.

How to Tell If the Tortillas Have Gone Bad?

Tortillas go bad quite easily if you don’t store them right. It is one of the issues majority of the people face. But how would you know they have gone bad?

There are a few different changes in the tortilla’s taste and texture that indicate it has gone way past its shelf life. Being cautious of these signs is necessary to avoid the risks of consuming contaminated food.

Some of the factors to look out for include:

Changes in Texture

If you have corn of flour tortilla lying around long on the kitchen counter, they will start feeling slippery on the outside. They also start forming green or black shade molds on the outside. If you find these kinds of outgrowths on the outermost tortillas in the pack, you can discard them and eat the rest. But, be careful to check every single one of them before eating.

Another change in texture is that the tortillas go stiff if they have gone out of date. But, the hardened texture doesn’t always mean they have gone bad, so you need to check for other signs.

Changes in Appearance

Aside from the texture, a bad tortilla changes in its appearance too. If you witness spotting all over the tortilla, it is likely because of the growing molds. Additionally, any kind of change in the color of the tortilla is also a bad sign. If you especially notice a green or yellow tinge to the tortilla, it is likely that the tortillas have already gone bad.

How to Store Tortilla for Preserving It?

The primary reason why tortillas fail to stay good for longer is because of improper storage. If you don’t store the tortillas the right way, they will only remain good till their expiration date. 

So, how do you store tortillas the right way?

How to Store Tortillas from the Market?

Store-bought tortillas are easy to store. All you have to do is keep them stored in a container when keeping inside the freezer or fridge. 

Just ensure that the fridge and the freezer have constant temperature inside. If possible, cover them in aluminum foil before storing them in the fridge. If your tortilla has an open package, try resealing it before storing them. In case you can’t, opt for the freezer bags.

How to Store Homemade Tortillas?

Homemade tortillas are quite hard to store, especially because they are either sold warm or hot from the vendors. So, know that they last less than the store-bought options. 

For this, you need to follow the steps mentioned.

  • If your tortilla is warm, make sure you separate each of them and cool them down first. Avoid keeping the tortillas in a pile if they are warm or hot.
  • The best way to cool them down is by using a soft cloth cover.
  • Once they cool down completely, put them back into a pile. If possible, you can even wrap them in individual papers before storing them.
  • Put every packed tortilla into an airtight container and store it in the freezer.

Do Tortillas Expire?

Yes, tortillas come with a specific shelf life. Store-bought tortillas tend to last longer in comparison to the homemade ones. So, if you have any type of tortilla lying around in your house, know for a fact that they come with an expiration date. The majority of them last for around a week on the kitchen counter, following which you’ll have to freeze them.

How Long Will Tortillas Last in the Fridge After Opened?

Tortillas tend to last for 4-5 weeks in the fridge after you have opened them. But, it is essential to store them the right way to prevent contamination with other foods in the fridge.

How Do You Keep Tortillas Fresh?

If you have some leftover tortillas that you want to eat in the week to come, you can always pack them up in a freezer bag and then keep them stored in a fridge. If you want to preserve them for longer than that, you can always freeze them in an airtight container.

Do Tortillas Need to Be Refrigerated After Opening?

For the most part, a pack of tortilla after it is opened should be refrigerated. Leaving it open on the counters can cause them to become stiff in texture and even grow molds because of the air outside.

Conclusion

If you have always wondered about ways to preserve your extra leftover tortillas, I hope this article gives you all the insights you possibly need. Make sure that you follow the storage instructions for maximum safety and to prevent spoilage.

About the author 

Amy

Hey! I'm Amy, the founder of FoodLve.com. Well, we all love food and I want to heighten your understanding of it! I started working about 8 years ago and realized that there is so so much to learn about food. Since then I haven't stopped. My motto is to "never stop learning."

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