Old El Paso’s Tortilla Stuffers, a review

Old El Paso’s Tortilla Stuffers were new to me in the grocery store.  They may have been plastered all over the television and magazines, but somehow, I’d never heard of them.  I was in the grocery store, hoping to come up with some lower cost alternatives to the expensive freeze dried food intended for a bicycling trip.  That meant it had to be easy, compact, relatively light weight and somewhat nutritious.  It would help if it was filling, because we have all heard about what the great outdoors does to appetites.

My eyes landed on something new in the Mexican/Hispanic food section–Old El Paso’s Tortilla Stuffers, and on a whim, I bought a pouch.  It was the “Carne Asada Steak” which was to feature seasoned rice, beef and black beans in the 9.5 oz package.  Granted, it was packaged for microwave use, but in a pinch, submerging the bag in hot water looked like a do-able alternative, even though it wasn’t listed as an option on the package.  Off we went on our bicycling adventure, but low and behold…the tortilla stuffers never got used.

That meant it lurked on the shelf, mocking me and my fear of pouches of food containing rice, all nicely precooked and tasting like something from Hollywood.  I wasn’t sure if it was sci-fi or horror, but either way, my past experiences had me dubious about the chances that this was beyond “emergency food” level cuisine.  After weeks of it’s mocking yellow package with the appetizing looking stuffed tortillas on the front, even though I know that the package picture NEVER looks like what reality looks like…I got brave.

The package is torn to vent steam, it’s put in the microwave, and shortly afterwards, I stuffed it into four tortillas.  I added cheese and a dab of sour cream, sent three to my other half, and reserved one for my own taste test.

I closed my eyes, sighed, and lifted the tortilla to my mouth, bravely going where this woman had no intentions of going again…

I took that first bite, and started to chew.  It wasn’t mushy, it didn’t have a weird off taste, and the meat didn’t feel like bits of foam either–it felt and tasted like real meat.  The beans were a tad “tough”, which was odd, because it wasn’t like they were undercooked.  They were just…tough.

The spice wasn’t too intense, nor was it so understated that it was negligible.  It stuffed four of the medium sized tortillas very full, and could easily be stretched to stuff six of them.  The container claims five servings, which would be probably about right.

Our determination?  I’m a skilled cook with a good sized Mexican-American repertoire from my years in the Southwest (not Tex-Mex, each region has their own style).  I’d not serve this normally, but…it’s something that’s good to have on the shelf for emergencies, quick meals, or camping/road trips.  (I bet it would heat up quite nicely laid on the dash in the sun while out of the car!)  It can be eaten on its own, or in tortillas.  It can be dressed up with some cheese and salsa…or just eaten.  I can easily see this as road trip food, heated on the dash along with a can of refried beans for some cheap on-the-road food too.  I wouldn’t be adverse to putting it in my pack for a long bicycle ride either.

I can also see this as a favored meal with the younger set–it’s really easy to heat up in the microwave and serve.  It’s pretty tasty, and made more so if you are not quite so skilled at cooking.  It’s a great item to stash in that “good luck” box for a young person getting their first apartment or heading off to college too–it’s shelf stable, uncomplicated, and filling.  It’s also a great addition to that hurricane kit and beats potted meat or vienna sausages in texture, taste, and satisfying nature too.  It’s something adolescents would greatly appreciate in the cupboard for do-it-yourself dinners too.

About giascott

Writer, blogger, cook, grandmother, mother, wife, radio personality, outdoor enthusiast, dog enthusiast, crafter, artist, and part-time nut~~I've earned a lot of t-shirts in my day! I'm one of those crazy independent women who can cut down a tree, build you a shed, sew you a dress, cook your dinner, make some soap, pitch a tent, build a fire, catch some fish, dig in the garden, chase a kid or two, write you a poem, paint you a picture, and a dozen other things...just don't ask me to sing! I'm also embarking on a relatively new portion of my life, one of being disabled. I'm learning some lessons along the way about a lot of things too.
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8 Responses to Old El Paso’s Tortilla Stuffers, a review

  1. Student says:

    Who paid you to write this review? Tortilla Stuffers are disgusting.

    • giascott says:

      I don’t get paid to review anything, and didn’t receive a sample to try either. I guess we just have different standards for pre-packaged prepared food? I thought it was pretty good, considering it was ready-to-eat. It’s not homemade, but it also packs into a pack pretty well, as well as heats in a microwave in just a minute or two.

  2. Jess says:

    From what I’ve noticed, the outdoorsy types tend to like these things, and those that are just normal tend to hate it haha, but I recently saw some people using these as camping food, so I decided I should get a few packs myself for a hike in camping trip. So earlier today I went to the store and picked it up, I hope I like them, but then again… I like MRE’s haha.

    • giascott says:

      Jess, you might have a point. They aren’t gourmet, but for something that is ready-to-eat, portable, and not horrible, as well as easy to find in the grocery stores, the tortilla stuffers work. That’s originally why I even bought them–it’s not that hard to make something like that to stuff a tortilla with at home. On the trail, I thought they’d be great compared to some other options.

  3. Joseph says:

    Just got the Garlic Chicken one and Carne Steak (1.00 a piece @ dollar tree),, I hid some behind boxes in case I liked them, so I am going to pick them up. For a dollar, well worth it !!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    If you are looking for tasty, easy, fast and convenient meal then look no further… This is it!! For ready in 60 seconds these are outstanding! I have tried carne asada steak, garlic chicken, mesquite chicken and the mexican rice. I like them all. They are extremely convenient since the unopened package requires NO refridgeration. And it beats the hell out of potted meat and vienna sausage. I keep couple of packages on hand always. Rolled in warm tortilla with dab of sour cream and salsa and little shredded cheese they are hard to beat. Thanks Old El Paso for thinking outside the box(the frozen tv dinner box)!!

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