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How to Make Corn Tortillas From Scratch

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Making corn tortillas from scratch is so easy. Having this simple recipe on hand will make take your kitchen skill to another level.

rolled hand-held corn tortilla vertical

The humble tortilla is an essential part of many Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Corn tortillas are especially held in high regard as they are the traditional shell of the cuisine. These delicious discs are made with literally 3-ingredients and take very little effort to press and cook.

What you will need to make corn tortillas

a stack of corn tortillas

Corn flour or masa harina
Boiling water
Salt
Tortilla press* or rolling pin
Cast-iron skillet or griddle

How to make corn tortillas from scratch

adding hot water to masa harina

Start by measuring corn flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and whisk. Pour in the boiling water and stir briskly with a wooden spoon or my preference, a large fork. Work the dough with the fork to make sure that all of the water and the corn flour is absorbed.

corn tortilla dough balls in a bowl resting

Cover the dough with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Let it sit for 10 minutes to cool and for the masa harina to soften. After 10 minutes, divide the dough into 10-12 even piece then roll into balls. Place the balls back into the bowl and cover for another 10 minutes with the damp cloth.

pressed tortilla on a tortilla press

Use a tortilla press lined with parchment paper to press the shell into a disc. Otherwise, use a large freezer bag slit down the two sea lead sides leaving the bottom intact. Place a dough ball in between the two layers like a sandwich. Use a rolling pin to roll into a disc.

puffed tortilla during baking

Heat a seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium flame until smoky. Drop the heat and place a disc or two on the surface. Cook for 1-1 1/2 minutes then flip. Cook for about 45 seconds then flip again. The tortilla should puff up slightly indicating that the inside is cooked through. Place each cooked shell between to very dampened paper towels or cloths.

Tips for making the best corn tortillas

  1. Use instant masa harina because it absorbs the water quickly; Maseca brand is best
  2. Let the dough rest twice; once when mixed and again when the balls are shaped.
  3. Use a tortilla press to shape the shells
  4. Use a cast iron griddle or skillet for even cooking
  5. Keep very damp paper towels or cloths on hand for after cooking the tortillas to help make them pliable
  6. *If you are unfamiliar with using a tortilla press you can follow this tutorial HERE

How to store and reheat corn tortillas

corn tortillas in a storage bag for freshness

Store leftover tortillas in zip-lock storage bag in the fridge for up to a week.
Microwave
To heat tortillas, spritz each one with a little bit of water and stack them in between two damp towels. Microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes to warm.
Stovetop
Again, spritz each one with a little bit of water and place then on a heater griddle for about 30-45 seconds on each side to warm through.

Recipes to make using corn tortillas

15 recipes to make using corn tortillas pinterest pin

Taquitos
Homemade Taquitos | Tastes Better From Scratch 
Chicken Tinga Tacos Dorados | 24 Bite
Tacos Dorados De Papa | Kitchen Gidget
Enchiladas
Cheesy Beef Enchiladas | On Ty’s Plate
Queso Fresco Enchiladas | Kitchen Gidget 
Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole | Colleen Christensen Nutrition
Carnitas Verde | Art From My Table
Tacos
Oven-Baked Tacos Al Pastor | On Ty’s Plate 
Grilled Fish Tacos | Nithi’s Click n Cook
Pork Belly Tacos | A Food Lovers Kitchen
Quick and Easy Chicken Tacos | Piper Cooks
Tostadas
Breakfast Tostados | The Schizo Chef
Chorizo Huevos Rancheros | Binky’s Culinary Carnival
Shredded Chicken Tostadas | Dude the Cookz
Huevos Rancheros [Classic] | Ask Chef Dennis

Other ways to use corn tortillas

Corn tortillas are also excellent for frying to use as:
Tortilla chips for nachos
Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Nachos |Sense & Edibility

Tortilla strips for soup
Vegan Tortilla Soup | Choosing Chia

corn tortillas in a storage bag for freshness
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Corn Tortillas From Scratch

Print Recipe
Making corn tortillas from scratch is so easy. Having this simple recipe on hand will make take your kitchen skill to another level.
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Resting time:20 mins
Total Time:45 mins

Equipment

  • Tortilla press, optional

Ingredients

  • 2 c masa harina
  • 1 1/2 c hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Start by adding the masa harina to a large bowl with the salt and whisk. Pour in the boiling water and stir briskly. Work the dough with the fork to make sure that all of the water and the corn flour is absorbed.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Let it sit for 10 minutes to cool and for the masa harina to soften. After 10 minutes, divide the dough into 10-12 even piece then roll into balls. Place the balls back into the bowl and cover for another 10 minutes with the damp cloth.
  • Use a tortilla press lined with parchment paper to press the shell into a disc. Otherwise, use a rolling pin to roll into a disc.*
  • Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium flame until smoky. Drop the heat and place a disc or two on the surface. Cook for 1-1 1/2 minutes then flip. Cook for about 45 seconds then flip again. The tortilla should puff up slightly indicating that the inside is cooked through. Place each cooked shell between to very dampened paper towels or cloths.

Notes

*See the post for more detailed instructions.

Nutrition

Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Iron: 1mg
Course: Bread, Dough
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: bread, corn tortillas, dough, masa
Servings: 12 6″ tortillas
Calories: 69kcal
Author: Ty

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