How to Make Corn Tortillas

There's nothing quite like fresh, homemade corn tortillas. And with such a simple ingredient list and easy-to-follow recipe, these tortillas will forever change taco night!

Tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas are all weeknight favorites. This week, up the ante on those quick-to-fix dinners with a simple upgrade—homemade tortillas.

Think you can’t make homemade tortillas on a weeknight? Think again! This 3-ingredient recipe proves that good food doesn’t have to be complicated.

Use Masa Harina

To make homemade corn tortillas, you’ll need a specific kind of flour called masa harina. It’s a flour made from dried corn (also known as masa). Most supermarkets and grocery stores should carry masa harina, but if you can’t find it there, stop by your local Mexican market. You can use the masa harina for all sorts of authentic Mexican dishes, including tamales.

Do You Need a Tortilla Press?

Using a tortilla press makes easy work of flattening the dough balls. Not sure if you want to buy a kitchen gadget just for tortillas? Understandable, but the bright side is that they range in price from less than $10 to $30. If you aren’t sure about buying a press, you can easily flatten the dough using a heavy flat-bottomed pan.

How to Make Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa harina flour
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Step 1: Make the dough

In a mixing bowl combine flour, water and salt. Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is firm but moist. Once dough is soft, but not sticky, cover and let rest 1 hour.

Test Kitchen tip: The dough should resemble and feel like Play-Doh.

Step 2: Divide and flatten

Dough balls for making tortillas on kitchen tableShutterstock / Africa Studio

Divide dough into 12 equal portions and roll into balls. Gently flatten one dough ball, between two pieces of wax paper, using a tortilla press.

Test Kitchen tip: You can use a large flat-bottomed pan in place of the tortilla press.

Step 3: Cook until dry, yet soft

Remove one piece of the wax paper and transfer tortilla, paper side up, to a preheated skillet or griddle over medium-high. Carefully remove remaining piece of wax paper and cook tortilla for 1 minute until it’s slightly dry. Flip the tortilla and cook 1 minute more until dry and light brown but still soft.

Step 4: Keep ’em cozy

Transfer tortillas to a tortilla warmer or wrap in foil to keep warm; repeat the flattening and cooking process with your remaining dough balls.

How to Store Homemade Corn Tortillas

You can keep cooked tortillas, wrapped in foil, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Want to make a double-batch and save some tortillas for a later date? Just wrap your cooked tortillas in plastic wrap and foil, transfer to a resealable zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw tortillas overnight in the refrigerator before using.

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Lauren Grant
The veggie- and cheese-obsessed lady behind the food blog Zestful Kitchen, Lauren Grant is a trained Culinary Scientist and Journalist. She is a blogger, writer, recipe developer, and self-taught photographer.