How to Tell if Corn Tortillas Are Bad?

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Corn tortillas are a staple in many cuisines, from Mexican to Southwestern American. But how can you tell if they’ve gone bad? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the signs of spoiled corn tortillas and provide tips for storing and using them.

How to Tell if Corn Tortillas Are Bad?

Here are some signs that your corn tortillas may be bad:

  • They have an off smell, such as a sour or moldy odor.
  • They are discolored or have mold on them.
  • They are dry and brittle or have a hard texture.
  • If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw the tortillas away.

Why Do Tortillas Go Bad?

Tortillas can go bad due to a variety of factors, including exposure to moisture, heat, or air. They can also develop mold or bacteria if they are not stored properly.

How Long Do Tortillas Last?

Fresh tortillas can last for up to a week if stored properly. However, this can vary depending on the type of tortilla and how it is stored.

How to Make Them Last Longer?

To make tortillas last longer, you can store them in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator or freezer. This can help prevent moisture and air from getting to the tortillas and causing them to spoil.

What Is A Tortilla?

A tortilla is a flatbread made from corn or wheat flour. It is a staple in many cuisines, including Mexican, Southwestern American, and Central American.

How Many Types Of Tortillas?

stack of corn tortillas placed in a red cloth

There are many types of tortillas [1], including:

  • Corn tortillas: Made from corn flour, these are a traditional type of tortilla in Mexican cuisine.
  • Flour tortillas: Made from wheat flour, these are popular in Southwestern American cuisine.
  • Whole wheat tortillas: Made from whole wheat flour, these are a healthier alternative to traditional tortillas.
  • Gluten-free tortillas: Made from alternative flours, such as almond flour or cassava flour, these are a good option for those with gluten intolerance.

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

Yes, you can freeze tortillas to make them last longer. To freeze tortillas, place them in an airtight container or bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months.

Can You Eat Expired Tortillas?

It’s best to avoid eating expired tortillas, as they can cause food poisoning or other health problems. If you’re unsure whether a tortilla is still good to eat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.

How to Store Tortillas?

Here’s how to store tortillas:

  • Keep tortillas in their original packaging, or transfer them to an airtight container or bag.
  • Store tortillas in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.

Tips on Storing Tortillas

Here are a few tips for storing tortillas:

  • Keep tortillas away from moisture, heat, and air to prevent them from spoiling.
  • If you’re storing tortillas in the refrigerator, make sure they are in an airtight container or bag to prevent them from drying out.
  • If you’re freezing tortillas, wrap them in plastic wrap or foil before placing them in an airtight container or bag.

How to Defrost Tortillas?

To defrost tortillas, remove them from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can microwave them on a plate for 20-30 seconds on high power.

How To Reheat The Tortillas?

Here’s how to reheat tortillas:

  1. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel.
  2. Microwave the tortillas on high power for 15-20 seconds, or until they are warm and soft.

Can I Reuse The Mold Tortillas?

No, it’s not safe to reuse moldy tortillas. Mold can produce harmful toxins that can cause illness if ingested. It’s best to throw away moldy tortillas and not risk eating them.

What Can I Do With the Expired Tortillas?

If you have expired tortillas that you don’t want to eat, there are several things you can do with them:

  • Make tortilla chips: Cut the tortillas into wedges and bake them in the oven until crispy.
  • Use them as a base for a casserole: Layer the tortillas in a baking dish with other ingredients, such as meat and vegetables, and bake until hot and bubbly.
  • Use them as a crust for a quiche or savory pie: Line a baking dish with the tortillas and fill it with your favorite ingredients before baking.
  • Make chilaquiles: Cut the tortillas into pieces and cook them in a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. Top with cheese and bake until hot and bubbly.


Corn tortillas are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes. However, it’s important to store them properly and watch for signs of spoilage. By following these tips and tricks, you can enjoy fresh and flavorful tortillas in your favorite dishes. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and throw away tortillas that appear to be spoiled.


Lauren Beck
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