You’ve got three choices for warming up your corn tortillas: skillet, oven, or microwave.
I use all of these methods because the meal will typically dictate how the tortillas should be warmed up.
I’ll go over the choices below, but please keep in mind that you will ALWAYS want to warm up your tortillas before chowing down. Not only does this make them easier to work with in tacos and enchiladas, but the heat brings out additional flavor that will make your meal taste significantly better!
Heating Up Corn Tortillas Option #1: Skillet
Warming up your tortillas in a skillet or comal is the old school method and the one I use most often.
Simply heat up a dry skillet on the stovetop over medium to medium-high heat. And by dry I mean no oil required!
Give your tortillas 30-60 seconds per side or until they get warm and slightly crispy.
I use this method all the time for tacos.
Why? Because tacos are infinitely better when the tortilla is warm and slightly crispy!! Better flavor, better texture, better everything.
But don’t just take my word for it as it’s best to confirm this with lots of taste testing 🙂
I will also sometimes add cheese, beans, or rice to the tortillas as they warm up.
And if the protein source has been sitting around for awhile I will even put that on top to reheat as the tortillas crisp up.
Once the underside is forming light brown spots you’ll know they are ready to be eaten.
Sure, you can warm up a huge batch of tortillas in a large skillet and plop them on the table for some self-serve tacos.
But if possible try out the “made to order” style where you serve up tortillas with some fixings on top (beans, cheese, protein) straight from the skillet. It’s a real treat and your friends and family will be forever grateful 🙂
Heating Up Corn Tortillas Option #2: Microwave
Add a stack of corn tortillas to a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave them for 60 seconds or so.
This is the modern, hurried version of warming up corn tortillas.
The tortillas will get warm, steamy, and pliable. This works great for heating up large batches quickly, but I almost never use it for tacos as the skillet is a better fit for that job.
But I do use this microwave method when making enchiladas.
It’s a quick way to get the tortillas pliable and that will make them easy to roll up without cracking.
And since I always bake enchiladas for 8-10 minutes to melt the cheese, you’ll still get some semi-cripsy edges that you won’t get from the original nuke of the tortillas.
So keep the microwave method in mind for big batches or when making enchiladas. Or when you’re in a hurry 🙂
Heating Up Corn Tortillas Option #3: Oven
Wrap up your corn tortillas in some foil and stick ’em in the oven — somewhere around 350-400F.
They’ll need about 5-10 minutes in the oven, depending on how big the stack is, and you’ll get a similar result as using the microwave. They’ll be warm and pliable, but without the crispy edges you get from the skillet.
I tend to use this method when there’s not a microwave around 🙂
But if the oven is already on and I only need a couple tortillas, I will sometimes put them directly on the oven rack for a quick heat-up.
Heating Up Corn Tortillas Additional Option: Frying
And last I want to mention that you’ll occasionally see people flash fry their corn tortillas in hot oil before using them in enchiladas.
This makes the tortillas pliable and will prevent them from getting too mushy if you’re using them in some saucy enchiladas.
I use this method occasionally, but only about once per year or when I feel like doing some experimenting.
Yes, it’s great to get tasty, semi-crispy tortillas out of the frying pan for your enchiladas, but I find them a little too greasy and it’s just not a sustainable method for my kitchen.
Got More Questions? Send me an email!
Okay, those are your choices for warming up corn tortillas. Let your meal dictate the method and you’ll find use for all of the above options.
If you’re new to the skillet method please give it a try sometime soon! Your tacos will be so much better when served on warm, semi-crispy tortillas, and it will make for some happy faces at the dinner table 🙂
Here are some related posts on my site for additional info:
- Homemade Corn Tortillas
- 3 Masa Harina Brands To Choose From
- Easy Chicken Tacos
- Baking Taco Shells in the Oven
- Make Your Own Tostada Shells
- Ancho Chicken Enchiladas