15 Ways to Use a Tortilla

Photo: 15 Ways to Use a Tortilla.

Tortillas are often a pantry staple and can make for the base of a great breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack! Sometimes we can get stuck on only using tortillas for tacos (which are delicious) but tortillas are a versatile grain food that can be utilized in a number of dishes. Tortillas come in a number of sizes and flavors. Use whole grain tortillas as a way to make half your grains whole grain! A 6-inch tortilla counts as one serving of grain.

  1. Tacos – Tacos can be the go-to food for tortillas but sometimes we can get stuck in a rut and only use our favorite-standard fillings. Switch it up and try ground beef, shredded chicken or beef, fish, bean, or scrambled egg the next time you serve tacos. Our family loves these Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa.
  2. Enchiladas – Making enchiladas can be messy so I like to double or triple the batch and then freeze for a quick and easy weeknight meal! Use frozen enchiladas within 3 months of freezing for optimum flavor and texture. Check out this Layered Enchilada Casserole recipe, a slightly different take on traditional enchiladas.
  3. Quesadillas – Our family often uses leftover taco fixings inside of a tortilla that is lightly buttered on the outside then grilled in a skillet or baked in the oven. Breakfast quesadillas make for a satisfying breakfast or easy “breakfast for dinner” option. Use scrambled eggs, cheese, diced bell peppers, and choice of meat (bacon, sausage, or ham).
  4. Pinwheels – Great for snacks or parties, pinwheels are only limited by your imagination. Enjoy a Savory Pinwheel or try peanut butter, granola, and diced apples (sprinkled with cinnamon and cooked in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute). Roll the ingredients inside a tortilla and cut into rings. Trust me, it’s delicious!!
  5. Wraps – By wrapping a tortilla around leftover meat and vegetables you can have a tasty and easy weekday lunch or dinner!
  6. Burritos – Making a large batch of these Breakfast Burritos over the weekend can make for a quick, easy and delicious start to your weekday!
  7. Casserole – Tortillas can serve as a unique base for a casserole. Try this Chuckwagon Tortilla Stack recipe.
  8. Baked Tortilla Chips – Tortillas can easily be turned into homemade baked tortilla chips. Want a sweet treat? Try these Baked Cinnamon & Sugar Tortilla Chips.
  9. Tortilla Strips – Using a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, cut tortillas into thin strips, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with coarse salt. Spread strips out evenly on baking sheet. Avoid overlapping strips. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, turning half-way through baking. Use as tortillas strips on top of salad or soup.
  10. Tortilla Cups or Bowls – Using a muffin tin or oven-safe bowl to create tortilla cups or bowls. Fill with salad or your favorite taco fixings.
  11. Pizzas – Top tortillas with your favorite pizza toppings for a quick and easy weeknight meal. By using tortillas everyone can have an individual pizza and customize it to their liking!
  12. Fajitas – Fajita filling can be made in the oven, on the stove or grill. Our family likes to use a grilling basket to grill vegetables on the grill. The basket allows you to chop vegetables before grilling to allow for even cooking and prevents food from falling between the grates. Serve with Mexican rice and black beans.
  13. Taquitos – Try these Crispy Jalapeño Popper Beef Taquitos for a hand-held treat.
  14. Tostados – Create your own tostado shells by baking a tortilla at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, turning half way through until crisp. Our family loves the crunchy coleslaw on top of these BBQ Chicken Tostadas.
  15. Fried Ice Cream served in Baked Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls – Need we say more!!

Family memories were brought to life through tortillas in this story about Tony Alvarado where he shares his memories and family recipe for homemade tortillas.

Jill Ladd MPH, RD, LD

— Contributed by Jill Ladd, MPH, RD, LD