How often do you come home from work tired, wishing you could pull your favorite fajita from the fridge? Unfortunately, it is not possible, these delicious wraps don’t freeze well, and you will have a plate of mush instead of a delicious meal. But there is a way to freeze your favorite go-to food when you want something tasty and fast.
Did you know there is a national fajita day? It falls on August 18. It’s a celebration of the Chicano food that everyone loves. It has gorgeous spices and a zingy flavor profile. Hey, you’re a vegetarian? No problem, vegetarian fajitas are a real thing.
In this article, we unveil the secrets of how you can freeze this delicious fast food enabling you to prepare a fast meal when you come home from work. We answer many frequently asked questions, providing factual information to improve your culinary skills.
Let’s get into it.
Do fajitas expire?
Yes, Fajitas are a highly perishable food despite the various ingredients. Once combined, the shelf life of a fajita can be just a couple of days in the fridge.
If you have even tried to freeze a ready-made fajita, you will know it doesn’t work. You are left with a sloppy mess that is inedible.
But all is not lost. You can prepare the fajita ingredients and freeze them separately. It’s not a big deal. You know that fajitas cook fast, and you can prepare a meal within ten minutes, and it tastes terrific and fresh.
You just need to separate the components, say if you have chicken fajitas, separate the chicken, pre-cut the chicken slices, and add some flavorings like salt, paprika, a little cumin, and the zest of a lime.
Once mixed, wrap in saran wrap and place in a freezer bag. Expel the air from the freezer bag and toss it in the freezer. How long did that take?
Slice the veggies, and cut the bell peppers into the size you prefer. Add some onion and garlic, the juice of the lime, and place in a freezer bag. Toss it in the freezer. These two elements of the fajita should not take more than ten minutes to prepare.
But what about the tortillas? They come out of the freezer stuck together and are impossible to separate without having tears and leaving edges behind.
Ok, but your tortillas and separate them. Cut parchment paper squares to the size of the tortilla, and layer the tortillas with parchment paper between them.
Place them in a freezer bag, and you will never struggle to separate tortillas again when pulled from the freezer.
When defrosted, cook as usual. It’s the perfect way to prep[are fajitas for a quick, tasty meal.
Do fajitas need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Fajitas should always be refrigerated. If you have the fajitas raw mix, it should be placed in the refrigerator, and it will last for a few days, depending on the protein.
If you have cooked fajita leftovers, the fajitas should be refrigerated. Again depending on the protein used in the fajitas, they will last, on average, a few days in the fridge.
Never leave fajitas sitting out for 2 hours or more.
Do fajitas need to be covered?
The fajita ingredient should be covered if you have prepared raw ingredients for quick cooking. This will contain bacteria and any flavors that may be absorbed by other foods stored in the fridge.
You can store it in Ziploc-style bags or sealable Tupperware containers.
Can you put warm fajitas in the fridge?
The fajitas should be allowed to cool to room temperature.
You should always avoid placing hot food or warm food in the fridge. It’s bad housekeeping. Placing warm fajitas in the fridge could cause a bigger problem than you might have imagined.
Your fridge temperature will be 40℉ -18℃ or a little lower. Placing warm fajitas in the fridge will elevate their temperature while it radiates heat.
Your fridge may not be as efficient as you might have thought at removing heat. Most fridges take hours to come to 40℉ after being switched on after cleaning.
So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that food sitting at a temperature of 40-140℉ is in the food danger zone. It’s not just your spreadable butter. It is the contents of the entire fridge.
Above 40℉-18℃ bacterial growth on perishable foods will accelerate exponentially. It should be discarded if the food remains at an elevated temperature above 40℉-18℃ for just two hours.
Seems harsh? According to the USDA, after two hours in the food danger zone, perishable foods contain enough bacteria to cause food poisoning.
Furthermore, the fajitas should be covered in the fridge so there will be no condensation!
How long can warm-cooked fajitas sit out?
Two hours. It’s not long, and when you could be dealing with kids or the family in general, you need to be careful with how long fajitas sit out. Still, the truth is fajitas will become contaminated with bacteria and, after just two hours, could make you sick if eaten.
Remember the food danger zone? According to the USDA, spreadable kinds of butter are highly perishable. Sitting out for two hours, the fajitas should be discarded.
The bacteria growth on the food has multiplied rapidly, making the food unfit for consumption.
Does an unopened fajita seasoning go bad?
Fajita seasoning should be used within six months of purchase. Spices and herbs are delicate and tend to lose their aromatic appeal as time passes.
The fajitas seasoning will not go bad per se, but it will have lost its zing, making the fajita meal less appetizing and just tasting of chicken and bell peppers.
Unopened seasoning can be stored in a cool pantry. Storing in the fridge will not extend the shelf life of the spices contained in the seasoning.
How long do fajitas last in the fridge?
Raw fajitas will last for a couple of days. The protein will be past its dest after a couple of days. It clearly depends on the protein but is based on chicken.
Cooked fajitas stored in the fridge in an airtight container will last a little longer, maybe three days. Cooked protein does not have a great shelf life in the fridge, so if we take four days, that should cover the protein from beef to shrimp.
If you have vegetarian fajitas with tofu, it will last for three days if stored in an airtight container.
But as always, the product with the shortest shelf life will dictate the shelf life of the fajitas, which will be the soft veggies like bell peppers that will only survive for three days maximum.
The USDA says:-
Utilize cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days, according to the USDA. Bacteria fall into two groups: pathogenic bacteria, which cause foodborne illnesses, and spoilage bacteria, which cause food to decay and acquire disagreeable flavors, aromas, and textures.
Do fajitas go bad in the freezer?
It truly depends on how you want to use it, is the response. You can definitely get away with thawing the meat and cooking it within a day or two if you just want to prepare a quick meal.
However, you should marinate the meat for at least 24 hours before cooking if you want to ensure that it is exceptionally tender and juicy. Regardless, cooked beef can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.
So there’s no need to worry about the meat spoiling whether you’re cooking for a large group or just want to have some fajitas on hand for a quick lunch.
Essentially you have two choices for freezing, freeze-prepared raw, or freeze-cooked ingredients. The first option will give you a better eating experience and a longer shelf life in the freezer.
Freezing raw prepared fajita ingredients.
- Prepare your proteus and add seasoning to taste with lime zest.
- Place the protein in a freezer bag, and expel as much air as possible.
- Prepare the onions, garlic, and bell peppers, and add lime juice.
- Place the veggies in a freezer bag expelling the air.
- Mark both bags with the contents and the freezing date and place them in the freezer.
Freezing cooked fajitas
- Cook the fajita ingredients and bring them to room temperature before handling them. Do not freeze condiments like sour cream, salsa, etcetera.
- Portion the fajita mix into Ziploc-style bags separating the protein from the veggies.
- Place the protein and veggies into independent freezer bags.
- Remove the air from the bags and seal them.
- Mark the bags with the freezing date and contents of the bag.
- Place in the freezer.
How to freeze tortillas
- Cut parchment paper squares to the diameter of the tortilla.
- Layer the tortillas with parchment paper between them.
- Place in a freezer bag and expel the air.
- Mark the bag with the contents and freezing date.
- Place in the freezer.
Typical frozen fajitas last for nine months in the freezer.
How to defrost fajitas?
The raw ingredients should be defrosted overnight in the fridge. The cooked can be placed in the microwave with a suitable setting. Or place them in the oven on a low setting to cook through, but be careful not to burn them.
Fajitas are the ultimate in fast food, but they have a poor shelf life of just a few days. However, you can prepare fajitas ahead of time and freeze them for nine months. This makes fajitas incredibly versatile and can still be a quick, satisfying meal.