What Is a Whole Grain Tortilla?

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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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A whole grain tortilla is a type of round, flat bread made from whole wheat grains. The bread can be used to make most any type of wrapped sandwich, but lends itself particularly well to Mexican cuisine. The tortillas can also be cut into smaller pieces, fried, and then served as chips. As with any type of whole grain bread, whole grain tortillas typically offer more fiber than those made with refined flour or corn.

For those who are interested in recipes and dishes that are higher in fiber, a whole grain tortilla can typically be substituted in most any recipe that calls for flour or corn tortillas. In most cases, the substitution would not change other aspects of the recipe. Cooking times and methods would still be the same. Some of the easiest recipes for substitution include those for tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.

Soft-shelled tacos can easily be made using these healthy tortillas, as it is simply a matter of using a whole grain tortilla instead of one that is made with corn. Traditional taco filling can be used, and the tortilla can be either wrapped or folded around the mixture. Most soft-shelled tacos are made using a filling of ground beef seasoned with chili powder, garlic and onions. Toppings typically include shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. In addition, taco sauce and sour cream can also be added.


As with tacos, making enchiladas and burritos with whole grain tortillas is simple. All the other ingredients and cooking instructions in the recipe should be left the same. If the recipe calls for a flour or corn tortilla, simply substitute a whole grain tortilla, and the result should be an almost identical yet healthier version of the original dish. The refined flour tortilla only offers about 4 grams of fiber, while the whole grain tortilla delivers about 8 grams.

Tortilla chips are usually made using wedges of corn or enriched flour tortillas, but these too can be made using the whole grain version. The tortillas should be cut into pieces and then submerged in hot oil. This can be done in a pot or deep pan, but because of the risk of fire, a deep fryer is strongly recommended. After the chips are cooked in the oil for about two minutes, they should be removed and allowed to drain. The chips can then be sprinkled with salt or other seasonings.


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