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—Arlene R. Taylor PhD

Mini-corn tortillas taste better to me than large ones. I think they are more fun to serve as an appetizer. When two people work together, preparation can be a breeze. One person steams the tortillas while the other spreads the filling and rolls them up.


  • A dozen mini-corn tortillas (4-inch diameter, if possible) 
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans (heated in a saucepan)
  • 1 can chopped or sliced olives
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped onions (saute until clear)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped mild Ortega green chilies
  • 3 ounce container of nonfat whipped cream cheese (if you eat dairy)


Place all ingredients in a bowl (except for the tortillas) and mix well.

Place a small frying pan over medium heat (or a large frying pan that allows you to steam 3-4 mini-tortillas at one time). Spray or rub pan with olive oil. When you splash a drop of water in the pan, the water should sizzle and evaporate.

Dip tortilla in cold water. Place in the frying pan. Tortilla will steam quickly. Turn tortilla over for a few seconds. Your goal is to heat it through, making them pliable and easy to roll but not to fry brown and crispy.

Remove tortilla from frying pan. Place on a flat surface and spread about 2-3 tablespoons of filling. Roll up. Place on a plate edge-side down. That’s all there is to it!

Both the filling mixture by itself and the prepared appetizers keep for several days in the refrigerator in a covered container. This gives you more options. You may want to prepare a dozen for reheating at a later time (e.g., place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 350-degree pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes). Or you may want to keep the spread mixture in a covered container in the refrigerator and put the mixture together with the mini-tortillas just before your meal.

Note: You can also serve these as a main course. They go well with almost anything. I like them with a large tossed salad or with one of my favorite soups.

You can use regular-size corn tortillas, if you want larger than bite-size, but somehow they don't seem to taste as good to me!


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