How to Warm Tortillas and Keep Them Soft

Learn how to warm tortillas and keep them soft using the best method for homemade tortillas as well as store-bought tortillas.

This is an easy way to ensure you are serving up soft tortillas for taco night the right way.

how to warm tortillas and keep them soft

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How to Warm Tortillas and Keep Them Soft

Choosing which method to warm your next stack of tortillas can be tricky since there are many methods that can be used to warm tortillas and keep them soft.

The best way to ensure the freshest and best tortillas is to make your own. If you want to give this a shot this recipe shows you how to make fail-proof easy homemade flour tortillas.

You don’t even need a tortilla press to make them and they are perfect for all of your favorite Mexican food recipes. You can even use them for a batch of enchiladas despite this recipe usually calling for corn tortillas or fill them with your favorite filling for delicious tacos.

If you aren’t up to the task of making homemade, you can still enjoy Mexican cuisine without homemade tortillas by learning how to warm tortillas and keep them soft. These methods work for store-bought and homemade tortillas!

Choosing the best options can simply depend on how many burners you have free, what else you are cooking, if you want to make use of a microwave, and if you have just a little bit of time or a lot.

When a cold tortilla or room temperature tortillas just won’t do the trick, choose your preferred method to heat tortillas from the different ways below.

Microwave Method

When warming tortillas in the microwave a great way to add moisture is with paper towels. Place up to 5 tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a slightly damp paper towel.

Microwave on high for 30- 40 seconds depending on thickness. It may take a bit longer to warm corn tortillas than flour tortillas so keep that in mind.

If you need more than 5 heated tortillas, it is a good idea to repeat the process rather than add more to the stack of tortillas.

The most important thing to keep in mind when reheating tortillas in the microwave on a plate is to use a damp towel or damp napkin.

This method works great for both store-bought tortillas as well as fresh tortillas. It is also the fastest way that I have learned how to warm tortillas and keep them soft.

Oven Method

When you want to heat tortillas in the oven, set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Then wrap 6 to 8 tortillas with aluminum foil, being careful to not bend the tortillas or bunch them up.

Place the foil-wrapped tortillas on a baking sheet

Heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.

This is a great method for store-bought flour tortillas or a bag of corn tortillas that have not been sealed properly. Stale tortillas can become hard and crack easily but with this method, you can turn stale flour tortillas and stale corn tortillas into soft tacos again.

how to warm tortillas and keep them soft

Steaming Tortillas

To steam tortillas in an instant pot, vegetable steamer or pressure cooker you will need to add 1 cup of water to the appliance.

You will also need to use a steamer rack making sure the tortillas are not touching even a little water.

Wrap tortillas in a clean kitchen towel; put them in the vegetable steamer over the boiling water.

Steam the tortillas for one minute.

Turn off the heat and let them stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

This is a great way to heat tortillas for many taco recipes because the tortillas will stay fresh and soft for a long time. This method is better than dry heat because it uses moisture to create soft pliable tortillas that make for great tacos that are easy to fill with all of your favorite taco fillings.

Stovetop Method

You can use a stainless steel skillet, cast-iron skillet, cast iron pan, or any non-stick pan to cook tortillas on the stovetop. This works best in a single layer but the good news is that it only takes a short time and there are many different ways to use the stovetop.

How to Warm Tortillas and Keep them Soft Using a Dry Skillet

If you want to heat tortillas without browning the sides be sure to use a dry skillet. Heat for 30-40 seconds per side and no longer than 1 minute per side.

How to Warm Tortillas and Keep them Soft Using a Buttered Skillet

If you want to brown the outside of your tortillas, spread a little butter on the tortillas or in the hot skillet before frying.

If you are using a cast iron skillet to heat corn tortillas you may not need to add oil. They are usually thinner than flour tortillas and your oiled pan may be enough to give the outside a coating.

This may not be the case when you want to heat corn tortillas. They are thicker tortillas made from corn flour so a little extra oil may be needed.

How to Warm Tortillas and Keep them Soft Using an Open Flame

You can also cook tortillas on an open flame if you have a gas stove. Place tortillas on a gas burner set at medium heat.

Allow the whole tortilla to become limp and use tongs to flip, this should only take a few seconds per side. Keep an eye on the tortillas because they can burn quickly.

This is the quickest way to heat a tortilla but it isn’t the perfect method. It certainly isn’t my favorite way to do this but it is quick so be sure to keep that in mind and do not leave them on the flame too long unless you want crunchy taco shells.

how to warm tortillas and keep them soft

Slow Cooker

Wrap tortillas in a damp dish towel, then wrap them with aluminum foil.

Place the wrapped tortillas into a slow cooker that is set to medium-high heat. Heat the tortillas wrapped in a clean kitchen towel for 30 minutes.

This is the best method to use when having a taco bar party because you can leave the slow cooker warm to keep the tortillas at the perfect temperature while serving a large group.

How Do You Keep Tortillas Warm and Soft?

Using a tortilla warmer is the best way to keep tortillas soft. After cooking or reheating tortillas, place them inside of a tortilla warmer with a damp paper towel underneath.

If you do not have a tortilla warmer you can wrap the warmed tortillas in a damp towel and place them in a sealed container. Using a microwave-safe or oven-safe container is helpful because you can pop the container back in to heat up after they have cooled to room temperature.

To store the tortillas make sure they are in an airtight container like a plastic bag or sealed with plastic wrap. Store opened tortillas in the refrigerator and unopen packages in the cabinet until you are ready to use them.

More Cooking Tips & Recipes to Try Out

If you are looking for more cooking tips be sure to check out this post sharing a Crispy Onion Rings Recipe & Tips to Reheat Onion Rings.

Do you love using your slow cooker as much as I do? This recipe for slow cooker cheesy venison dip is an easy crowd-pleaser that is sure to be a new favorite and the best part is that it is so easy to make.

For an easy dinner using the slow cooker, this slow cooker venison chili is sure to hit the spot. Hearty and plentiful, this will be your new go-to when feeding a crowd.

I hope you enjoyed learning these simple methods that share how to warm tortillas and keep them soft. Don’t forget to follow along on social media and sign up for the free newsletter so that you never miss another recipe again!

The Hobby Wife

The Hobby Wife

Greenhouse and backyard gardener, devoted homemaker, and passionate recipe creator. My journey through life revolves around my unwavering love for food and travel. As a passionate cook, I blend my garden's bounty with culinary finesse and inspiration from my travels. From farm-to-table homestyle dishes to copycat recipes that offer something unique, my kitchen is a canvas where flavors harmonize and ingredients tell stories.

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