Tortilla Stuffers — 5 Minute Meal

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Good to have aboard

On a boat — particularly if you’re cruising full time, away from towns and things like restaurants — sometimes you just need a quick meal.  It’s been a long day and you just want to eat and fall into bed.  Occasionally it’s because it’s been a great day but, unfortunately, more often it’s because a half-hour repair turned into a series of eight related jobs.  And there is no take out in sight.

A few weeks ago, I came across a great new option for just such occasions.  Old El Paso has a new product called “Tortilla Stuffers” and it’s pretty good.  Admittedly, it’s not like a fresh home-cooked meal, but it’s a lot better than some other meal options we’ve tried.

  • No refrigeration needed unless you have leftovers.
  • Two-year shelf life.
  • Right size for two people (yes, I know the package says it contains 5 servings).
  • Meat is included — there are both beef and chicken versions.
  • Package says to microwave but you can also heat up on the stove — or even eat cold, as it’s all cooked.
  • It only takes a couple of minutes to heat it up.
  • No water needed, either.
  • Don’t even need a can opener.
  • Ideally, you wrap it in a tortilla (similar to a burrito).  But it’s also good on it’s own.
  • Dave and I like spicy food and we drizzle a little salsa over the top for extra flavor.  We’ve tried both the beef and chicken and like both.
  • The Tortilla Stuffers are somewhat high in sodium, so you don’t want it as an everyday item.  But in a pinch, it works well.

Not only are the Tortilla Stuffers a good quick meal, it’s also a good choice as emergency rations.  Just keep a few packages on hand in the back of a locker in case something happens and you’re out a day or two longer than anticipated.  With the long shelf life, no refrigeration or water needed, and can be eaten without being heated up, you’ll still be able to eat even if all systems go down or the weather turns too rough to prepare conventional meals.

They’d also be good as ditch bag provisions as the pouches are airtight, won’t rust and you don’t need a can opener.

One of the “Quick Reference Lists” that Jan and I included in The Boat Galley Cookbook was a list of quickie meals (page 85), but this beats all of them for speed and simplicity in a nasty situation — not to mention the shelf life.

Know of any other good options that don’t require refrigeration, cooking or water and work well as emergency rations?  Leave a note in the comments, please — I’m always looking for new options!

Do You Find The Boat Galley Useful?

You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site and the search bar below. No extra cost to you!


  1. Good to know, thanks.

  2. Going to try this….would be perfect during hurricane season in the keys.

  3. Chuck Burns on Facebook says:

    I wonder if it’s gluten free?

  4. Eric Hendricks on Facebook says:

    Mexico and Guatemala (likely all over down here) have a pork product called chilorio, available in a couple of flavors that is superb. Foil pack, enough for two meals for 2, add a little black bean refritos and some crema to your torillas and wow- great meal. Heat and eat with tons of flavor. Yes, gluten free.

  5. Patricia Clark Thompson on Facebook says:

    I’m going to look for this in our stores.

  6. There are a couple of brands of Indian food that also come in prepared foil packets, which I keep on hand for the occasional quick-but-hot meal. Quite good, especially the spicy ones!

  7. A couple (or few) weeks ago you had an article about a homemade taco seasoning. I thought that recipe and canned chicken would be a good option for a quick taco type meal ….. and not nearly as much sodium. Honestly, that homemade stuff looked much more tasty too!

  8. There are several brands of curry (Indian food) that similarly come in packets. Great if you like spicy or are vegetarian. We’re still working on ways to perfect cooking brown rice in the pressure cooker while heating the packets above the rice (or getting pre-cooked packaged brown rice (Trader Joes, for one)). Sometimes the most important part of meal prep is pouring a glass of wine!

  9. Love to use for something quick!

  10. Check the sodium content. These pre-done foods tend to have a very high sodium content…

  11. tried them several times – great. I added re-fried beans and some salsa and had delicious tacos

  12. Donna Chiappini says:

    Great one! I’ll definitely try this. We are always looking for something quick and easy on the boat.

  13. Sounds good, but better than peanut butter? ;~)

  14. Great post. Thanks!!!

  15. These taste gross

  16. Appears to be more of their processed junk to me. Guess its impossible to get away from, and boy do I likes processed junk 😉

  17. Toxic. Processed. Virtually no nutrition, but has Ag and added chemicals your body must now fight to save itself against.

    Convenience at the cost of health. Yum (sarcasm font broken)

  18. Can’t seem to find these anywhere! Will keep looking, sounds great!

  19. Where did you find these? I have checked several grocery stores in the Houston area, looks of Old ElPaso products but not these.

Add Your Thoughts


Please note: I'm currently cruising and don't have internet all the time. Comment approval may be delayed a few days!