Tortilla Dishes

Corn, flour, whole wheat, spinach, sundried tomato, hard, soft, chips - so many tortillas to choose from!

You have many options for heating up soft tortillas. You can steam them in the microwave or in the oven, or if you have nimble fingers, you can quickly heat them over the stove's burner. If soft tortillas hold a regular place on your table, you may want to invest in a tortilla holder or warmer to keep them toasty throughout the meal. Of course, aluminum foil, a preheated ceramic or glass casserole with a cover, or a warm, clean towel can help to hold in the heat as well.

Many 'store-bought' hard tortillas are deep-fried. If you would like to have the hard shell without the frying, you can purchase a tortilla baker. We found one at These are non-stick, metal forms that bake soft tortillas for approximately 10 minutes until they become harder, fluted tortilla bowls.

Or you can create your own tortilla baker by experimenting with small, ovenproof bowls, cups, or muffin tins. Use a bit of vegetable oil spray on your 'mold,' line with a tortilla, and bake until hard. You can generally bake tortilla shells several days before eating.

Making baked tortilla chips is easy! Just preheat the oven, spray a baking sheet, and cut soft tortillas into the desired shape, such as triangles or strips. If you like, you can sprinkle on some dried herbs, nutritional yeast, or spices. To make a small amount of chips, you can use a toaster oven.

Here are some tortilla meal ideas:

  • Tortilla Breakfast Pizza: Bake, toast, or steam a tortilla. Top with vegan cream cheese and either preserves or chopped fresh ripe fruit.

  • Tortilla Soup: This recipe is traditionally made with chicken stock. Use a vegetable broth instead and simmer with chopped onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Just before serving, stir in some baked tortilla chips so they can soften and soak up some of the flavor. Then, garnish with some chips as well so you get two textures.

  • Crunchy and Soft Baskets: Bake or purchase a hard tortilla bowl. Spread a soft tortilla (that will fit inside the hard bowl) with refried or black beans. Place the soft tortilla, bean side down, into the hard bowl. You've now got a 'leakproof ' bowl. Spread the soft tortilla's top side with beans, and then fill your basket with shredded romaine, spinach or mixed greens, cut corn, and other ingredients.

  • Wraps: Rather than creating a conventional sandwich made with bread, use a soft tortilla to make a wrap. Top a large (at least 8 inches) tortilla with chopped salad, cooked beans, shredded vegan deli meat, minced smoked tofu or seitan, and a smidge of salad dressing or vegan mayonnaise. Roll tightly, and wrap in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. Now, you are ready to go!

  • Pinwheels: (Pictured on the cover) Use the 'wrap' technique described above, but only use 'smooth' ingredients, such as nut butters, vegan cream cheese, puréed beans or thick hummus, and minced veggies, such as olives, pimentos, and thin sprouts (such as alfalfa). Spread evenly onto the tortilla, and wrap tightly. Slice at 2-inch intervals or into bite-sized pieces to create attractive pinwheels.

  • Fast Micro-Mini Wraps: For grab-and-go lunches, place a soft tortilla on a plate and spread a thin layer of hummus or vegan cream cheese on top. Add a slice of vegan deli meat and/or a slice of vegan cheese and a squirt of mustard. Microwave for 15 seconds to make the tortilla easier to roll. Roll tightly, slice in half, and wrap tightly in foil or parchment paper. This style works well for nut butters, vegan cream cheese and jelly, mashed beans, and even very thinly sliced vegan hot dogs, cheese, and mustard.

  • Quesadillas: Shred vegan cheese and sprinkle evenly across a tortilla. Top the cheese with refried beans or mashed black beans. (If you like the convenience of prepared beans, there are several mainstream brands, such as Rosarita, that are vegan and nonfat.) Then, top the beans with salsa, chopped onions, chopped chilies, and/or minced olives. Cover with a second tortilla and steam in the microwave or bake in the oven until bubbly.

  • Layered Dinner: This is a great way to use up leftovers! Spray a baking dish with vegetable oil. Put down a layer of baked tortilla chips, whole soft tortillas, or soft tortillas cut into strips. Select the ingredients for your layers, which can include mashed avocado; mashed, cooked beans or garbanzos; sliced, cooked potatoes; cooked veggies; chopped smoked or firm tofu; leftover chili; shredded vegan cheese; vegan sour cream; leftover mashed potatoes, etc. Alternate layers of different ingredients with tortillas until the baking dish is full. Bake until hot and serve! A great tip is to assemble your layers early in the morning and then refrigerate until ready to bake in the oven later in the day.

  • Tortilla Dessert Pizza: Bake, toast, or steam a soft tortilla. Top with vegan cream cheese or nut butter, vegan chocolate or carob chips, and fruit preserves.

  • Sweet Tortilla Bowl: Spread nut butter or vegan cream cheese onto a soft tortilla and place it into a bowl. Fill the tortilla with cooked and cooled grains, chopped fresh or frozen fruit, dried fruit, cold cereal or cinnamon tortilla chips, and/or vegan yogurt or frozen vegan desserts, such as Tofutti or Rice Dream.