Homemade Tortillas

Learn how to make homemade tortillas! With this easy 5-ingredient recipe, they're soft, pliable, and flavorful - perfect for tacos and enchiladas!

Homemade Tortillas Recipe

When we lived in Austin, I fell in love with the homemade tortillas at Central Market. They were so fresh that when you bought them, the heat from the just-cooked tortillas would fog up the bag. It took everything I had to resist opening it up and eating one on the spot! I loved every kind of tortillas Central Market sold – flour, corn, and even multigrain – but their mitad & mitad were my favorite by far. Made with corn and wheat flour, they were the best of both worlds, with all the flexibility of flour tortillas and a delicious corn flavor to boot.

Now that we live in Chicago, we don’t get to enjoy Central Market’s “half & half” tortillas as often, so I finally developed my own corn and flour tortilla recipe. Over the last few months, Jack and I have been making them nonstop! They’re flexible and soft, with a chewy texture and rich corn flavor. If you’ve never had homemade tortillas, you have to try this recipe. It’s quick and easy to make, and the homemade tortillas are so much better than most store bought ones. Whip up a batch for Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, or dinner any night of the week, and take your tacos and enchiladas to a whole new level!

Tortilla recipe ingredients

Tortilla Recipe Ingredients

You only need 5 ingredients to make soft, flavorful homemade tortillas:

  • Masa harina – Masa harina is a traditional ingredient in tortillas and tamales. Made from corn that’s specially treated with lime, it has a delicious, distinctive corn flavor. You really need masa harina to make this tortilla recipe – regular cornmeal or corn flour will not work in its place.
  • All-purpose flour – Mixing wheat flour with the masa harina makes the tortillas soft and pliable.
  • Olive oil – I use olive oil because it’s what I keep on hand, but vegetable oil will work here too.
  • Very warm water – It brings the dough together.
  • Sea salt – It makes the masa harina’s bold flavor pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Whisking together flour and masa harina

How to Make Tortillas

Ready to learn how to make tortillas? Check out this step-by-step guide first, and then find the full tortilla recipe at the bottom of this post!

First, whisk together the flour and masa harina. Add the oil, and use a spatula to mix until it’s completely incorporated.

Fork mixing dough

Next, add salt water. Dissolve the salt in the hot water and pour ⅔ cup of it over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork to create a clumpy dough. Then, mix in the remaining salt water.

Hands kneading dough Tortilla recipe dough

It’s time to knead! Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. It should be a medium-stiff consistency, not soft like bread dough.

12 dough balls

After you knead the dough, divide it up and let it rest. Divide the dough into 8 or 12 portions and roll each one into a ball. Set them on a plate, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes.

Dough ball in a tortilla press

While the dough rests, get your tortilla press ready! Place a piece of parchment paper on each side so that the press won’t stick to the dough. Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin to roll out the tortillas between 2 pieces of parchment paper.

How to make tortillas in a tortilla press

Finally, press and cook! Place a dough ball on your parchment-lined tortilla press and press down hard to flatten. Place the tortilla into a preheated dry cast iron skillet over medium heat, and cook for 30 to 45 seconds. Flip and cook for 30 to 45 seconds more. Remove it from the pan and wrap it in a kitchen towel to keep warm while you press and cook the remaining dough. That’s it!

Tortilla press with homemade tortillas

Tortilla Recipe Tips

  • Choose the size depending on how you want to use them. This recipe makes 12 small tortillas, which are ideal for tacos, or 8 large tortillas, which work great in enchiladas. If you want to use them for tacos, roll the dough into 12 balls before it rests. If you want to make enchiladas, roll it into 8.
  • Adjust the heat. You want your cast iron skillet to be nice and hot before you start cooking the tortillas, but once it’s preheated, it won’t stay at a constant temperature. Instead, it will get hotter as you work, so turn down the heat and/or cook the tortillas for a progressively shorter amount of time on each side. I typically start on medium heat and reduce it to low and start with 45 seconds per side and go down to 30.
  • Don’t overdo it. Great homemade tortillas are pliable – they can bend into tacos or roll up into enchiladas. Cook them just until brown flecks start to appear around the edges. If you overcook them, they’ll become crisp.
  • Wrap them up. This step is essential for making perfect pliable tortillas! When one comes off the heat, immediately wrap it in a kitchen towel. As you add tortillas, the towel will trap the heat and help the tortillas steam and soften.

Homemade Tortillas

How to Use Homemade Tortillas

We love to use these homemade tortillas for tacos or enchiladas, depending on how big we make them. Larger homemade tortillas are delicious in my Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas or the Zucchini Verde Vegan Enchiladas on page 157 of Love and Lemons Every Day.

Smaller homemade tortillas are fantastic for making tacos! Use them in any of these recipes:

Homemade tortillas are best on the day they’re made, but if you have any leftovers, they’ll keep for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months.

More Favorite Mexican-Inspired Recipes

If you love this tortilla recipe, try making one of these Mexican-inspired recipes next:

Homemade Tortillas

rate this recipe:
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Resting Time: 30 mins
Serves 8 to 12
You'll love these soft, flavorful homemade tortillas! This recipe makes 12 small tortillas, which are ideal for tacos, or 8 large tortillas, which are great for enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons very warm water

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and masa harina and whisk until combined. And the oil and use a spatula to mix until completely incorporated.
  • Dissolve the salt in the water and pour ⅔ cup of it over the flour mixture and mix with a fork. The dough will be clumpy. Mix in the remaining water.
  • Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. It should be a medium-stiff consistency, not soft like bread dough.
  • Divide the dough into 8 or 12 portions and roll each into a ball. Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium heat.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on each side of a tortilla press and place a dough ball in the center of the bottom circle. Close the top and press down hard to flatten. Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin to roll it out between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  • Place the tortilla onto the dry hot skillet for 30 to 45 seconds. Flip and cook for 30 to 45 seconds more. Don't overcook the tortilla or it will become crisp and less pliable.
  • Remove and wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough. The skillet will get hotter as you work, so adjust your heat and timing, if necessary.

 

19 comments

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  1. Suzi Campion
    04.28.2020

    We love your website! We are Gluten Free now and would love to make these tortillas. Have you made them GF before? Do you have any suggestions? Would just love if you had some GF baked goods/bread recipes on the blog. Thank you for your help.
    Be safe
    Suzi

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.28.2020

      Hi Suzi, I haven’t tried these with gluten free flour, but I’ll post some GF tortillas after I have some great ones tested.

  2. Elizabeth
    04.28.2020

    I love your website too! Thank you so much. Can I easily roll these out with a rolling pin if I don’t have a tortilla press? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.28.2020

      Absolutely! See step 6. It’s just slower and harder to make them evenly round, but they’ll still be delicious!

  3. Megan Pogue
    04.28.2020

    Thanks for posting this! I will definitely be trying it out. I also live in Chicago and used to live in Austin and always go to Central Market when I am back in Texas. Great tortillas and anything/everything hatch chili.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.03.2020

      oohh, I miss everything hatch chili too 🙂

  4. April Blake
    04.28.2020

    Omg, combining the two flours is genius. I am def trying this soon!

  5. mary
    04.28.2020

    Ohhh these look SO good. I’ll keep an eye out for Masa harina and be sure to try them:)

  6. hannq
    04.29.2020

    can you recommend a good press ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.03.2020

      I have this one: https://amzn.to/3d6gbWk that looks like it’s currently unavailable – but if you look around amazon there are other brands that look very similar.

  7. Liza
    04.29.2020

    Jeanine-
    I look forward to your recipes. Absolutely fantastic!
    Is there a particular brand of masa carina you recommend?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.29.2020

      Hi Liza, I’ve used both Bob’s Red Mill and Maseca with success.

  8. Kaylee
    04.29.2020

    Dallasite here and 100% agree that the Central Market mitad mitad tortillas are THE best!!
    May have to give these a try too though 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.03.2020

      Haha, I really miss them 🙂

  9. camille
    05.06.2020

    Had lots of issues with this one, but I think it was my own doing… I increased the ingredient ratio to have MORE tortillas. But the dough was so sticky! I could barely manipulate them and just kept kneading in more flour. But when it came time to cook, the residual flour would accumulate in the oil and begin to smoke up my entire apartment. I did end up with about 12 small tortillas.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.06.2020

      Hi Camille, I wonder if all of the measurements were accurately increased? The dough should be pretty stiff. If it comes out sticky again, I would add more flour at the kneading stage and work it in really well so there isn’t excess flour. Also, be sure to roll them out between parchment paper, that helps them not stick to the countertop while you work. When you cook them, the skillet should be dry – no oil. I hope that helps.

  10. Jen H.
    05.06.2020

    I haven’t made this recipe BUT reading about it made me miss Central Market something crazy. We just moved from Dallas to Iowa and I never knew I could miss a grocery store so much.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Ha ha, I really miss it too!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.