Can I Prepare Tortilla Roll-Ups the Night Before?

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Tortilla roll-ups are pretty on a plate.
Tortilla roll-ups are pretty on a plate. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When it comes to quick and easy appetizers, tortilla roll-ups are both a crowd pleaser and a host's dream. To make this go-to finger food staple even more appealing, tortilla roll ups are also simple to make ahead of time. Avoid the last minute rush by preparing at least some of your ingredients the night before.

Why Waiting Works

Making tortilla roll-ups the night before is more than just a time-saving maneuver. Rolling up wraps beforehand also gives the ingredients time to mingle for more flavorful pinwheels. In addition, a short period of refrigerated waiting is recommended in some recipes to reduce the likelihood that the wraps will unroll when they are cut.

Strategies for Storage

Any make-ahead roll-ups should be stored in the refrigerator to avoid the potential of the food going bad. Wrap the roll-ups tightly in plastic wrap; each should have its own individual wrap. The wraps will be good for 24 hours in the refrigerator. To avoid flattening the wraps, lay them side by side in a single layer and don't put another layer on top of them. A plate or plastic container is suitable.

Potential Pitfalls

One of the benefits of storing tortilla roll-ups, as opposed to other bread types, is that tortillas don't have the same absorptive qualities as other breads. The result is a reduced risk of ending up with soggy rolls. However, very wet fillings, like those that use dressing, for example, still have the potential to leave tortillas limp and moist. The opposite problem is also a potential issue; if the plastic wrap isn't tightly sealed, the tortillas can dry out and crack.

Avoiding Make-Ahead Disasters

If you're dealing with wet ingredients and you're worried about sogginess, create a moisture barrier layer between the wet fillings and the tortilla; well-dried layers of lettuce or spinach usually do the trick. Another strategy for wet fillings is to prepare all the filling ingredients the night before and store them separately from the tortillas. You will cut down on assembly time without risking a soggy tortilla mess. To avoid cracks from dried tortillas, wrap the plastic securely and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing them into pinwheels.

References

  • Betty Crocker: Veggie Tortilla Roll-ups
  • Family Living Our Favorite Party Fare; Leisure Arts
  • Washington State Bed & Breakfast Cookbook; Carol Faino and Doreen Hazledine
  • Perfect Party Food; Diane Phillips
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