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26 April 2014

Learn how to make corn tortillas from scratch with this easy-to-follow recipe, including step-by-step photos and information on technique, ingredients, and tools you’ll need.

Homemade corn tortillas are essential to authentic Mexican cuisine. Sure, you can purchase a package of cheap corn tortillas from the local grocer, but the homemade version has a fresh corn flavor that brings the meal home. They’re also extremely easy to make.

You really only need 3 ingredients: Masa Harina, Water and Salt. Masa is a corn flour used widely in Mexica cuisine, and essential for making homemade corn tortillas.

It doesn’t take much time, and it really is worth making your own tortillas at home. There are many good ones on the market available at your local grocery store, but these are so much better, and far more satisfying since you made them from scratch.

Clean up is pretty easy, and once you experience the flavor, you’ll want to make them fresh all the time.

Let’s talk about how to make corn tortillas, shall we?

Homemade Corn Tortillas on a plate

How to Make Corn Tortillas, Homemade – the Recipe Steps

Ingredients

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup warm water (+ more as needed)
  • Pinch of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat pan to medium-high heat.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add masa dough, water and salt. Mix to form a dough. If it feels too dry, add water a little at a time to achieve the needed consistency. It should not be too wet as to be too sticky. It will be soft and consistent but won’t stick to your hands as you knead the dough.
  3. Form the dough into 8 golf-ball-sized balls of dough.
  4. Line a tortilla press with parchment paper or wax paper and press each of the balls into a flat tortilla. If you do not have a press, use a rolling pin and get them nice and flat.
  5. Dry cook them on the hot pan or cast iron skillet about 1-2 minutes on the first side, until brown spots form and the tortilla dough puffs up, then flip and cook 30-60 seconds more until browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve!

NOTE: The pan cooking time can vary depending on the heat level. Just look for the tortillas to brown and grow puffy. 

Step by Step Instructions – Corn Tortilla Recipe Steps

Masa harina to make homemade corn torillas

Add the Masa Harina to a Mixing Bowl

Mixing masa harina, water and salt to make homemade corn torillas

Add Water and Salt, and Mix.

A Homemade Corn Tortilla ball of dough

Form the dough into 8 golf-ball-sized balls.

Pressing the corn tortilla dough to make tortillas

Press the Tortilla Dough

A pressed corn tortilla dough on a tortilla press

Isn’t that a nice looking corn tortilla? Now they’re ready for pan roasting. Time to Cook the Tortillas!

Dry cook your tortillas on the hot pan or cast iron skillet about 1-2 minutes on the first side, until brown spots form and the tortilla dough puffs up, then flip the tortilla and cook 30-60 seconds more until browned and cooked through.

Homemade Corn Tortillas on a plate, ready to serve

Homemade Tortillas – Great for Mexican Dishes and More

Equipment Needed for Making Homemade Corn Tortillas

You can purchase your own tortilla press and tortilla holder/warmer from the following links. NOTE: These are affiliate links, so we do get a commission.

Tortilla Press: IMUSA, VICTORIA-85008, Cast Iron Tortilla Press, Black, 8-Inches

Tortilla Holder/Warmer: IMUSA, MEXI-1000-TORTW, Tortilla Warmer, Brick Color, 8.5-Inches

Buy Masa Online (Amazon Affiliate link, my friends!) – Bob’s Red Mill is a popular choice.

Recipe Tips & Notes

Here are some questions I get about making corn tortillas as home.

  • Do I Need a Tortilla Press to Make Corn Tortillas? You do not need a tortilla press to make homemade corn tortillas, but it does make the job easier. The tortilla press makes it much easier to get a flat, consistent tortilla. If you do not have one, use a rolling pin or a heavy pan to flatten the dough into tortillas.
  • How Can I Prevent My Corn Tortillas From Drying Out. If you are making a large batch of tortillas, cover the stack of freshly pressed dough with a slightly damp towel to keep them slightly moist. If you do not cook them right away, they may dry out rather quickly.

Try These Homemade Corn Tortillas on Some of My Popular Taco Recipes

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Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Homemade Corn Tortillas Recipe - How to Make Corn Tortillas from Scratch

Learn how to make homemade corn tortillas with this easy-to-follow guide, including step-by-step photos and information on technique, ingredients, and tools you'll need.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: how to, recipe, tortillas
Servings: 8 tortillas
Calories: 52kcal

Equipment

  • Tortilla press

Ingredients

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup water + more as needed
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Heat pan to medium-high heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, add masa, water and salt. Mix to form a dough. If it feels too dry, add water a little at a time to achieve the needed consistency. It should not be too wet as to be too sticky.
  • Form the dough into 8 golf-ball-sized balls.
  • Line a tortilla press with parchment paper and press each of the balls into a flat tortilla. If you do not have a press, use a rolling pin and get them nice and flat.
  • Dry cook them on the hot pan about 1-2 minutes on the first side, until they begin to brown and puff up, then flip and cook 30-60 seconds more until browned and cooked through.
  • Serve!

Notes

Do I Need a Tortilla Press to Make Corn Tortillas? You do not need a tortilla press to make homemade corn tortillas, but it does make the job easier. The tortilla press makes it much easier to get a flat, consistent tortilla. If you do not have one, use a rolling pin or a heavy pan to flatten the dough into tortillas.
How Can I Prevent My Corn Tortillas From Drying Out. If you are making a large batch of tortillas, cover the stack of freshly pressed dough with a slightly damp towel to keep them slightly moist. If you do not cook them right away, they may dry out rather quickly.

Nutrition

Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Homemade corn tortillas are naturally gluten free!