What Do You Do with Leftover Tortillas?

Sadly, tortillas don’t have a long shelf life. Here’s how to use them up. 

Published June 19, 2023.

You buy a package of tortillas. You make a few quesadillas. Maybe some tacos.

Next thing you know, five days have passed and your unused tortillas are on their way out. Dried-out edges. Stiff. Now what?

Here’s how to use up leftover tortillas when you’re quesadilla–ed out.

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1. Make chips.

This might sound obvious, but it’s a great way to use them up. If you’re inclined to deep-fry your homemade tortilla chips, go for it. Store them in a zipper-lock bag for four extra days of crunchy tortilla goodness. 

You can also bake them! Cut 12 tortillas into 8 wedges. Toss tortillas with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then spread them over 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees until brown and dried, 16 to 25 minutes, flipping tortilla wedges halfway through baking.

Serve your chips with fresh tomato salsa and guac. Blend them into tortilla soup. Or turn them into decadent chilaquiles

2. Store . . . cookies?

Tortillas are a great way to keep tinned cookies fresh. The remaining moisture from your tortillas prevents your cookies from drying out.

Here’s how to do it. 

Place a sheet of parchment paper in your tin, followed by a tortilla, a second layer of parchment, and a layer of cookies. Repeat until your tin is full and your cookies will retain their freshness for a few extra days.

(If they manage to last that long.)

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3. Make dessert.

Maybe you’re quesadilla-ed out, but I’ve got four words: peanut butter–chocolate quesadilla

No cheese here; instead, we spread peanut butter (dealer’s choice: creamy or crunchy) over half of a tortilla, then top the nut butter with a handful of chocolate chips and fold the tortilla in half. Toasting the tortilla in a little butter adds extra richness.

My colleague Brenna Donovan swears by these. As she says, these are “a mouthful of yum.”

4. Host a burger night.

Still have leftover chips? Make our black bean burgers. Here we pulse crushed tortilla chips to help bind the black bean patty. Topped with chipotle mayo, these are out-of-this-world delicious. 

Or, top your juicy beef patty with loaded nachos. Live a little. 

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