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Making your own Homemade Corn Tortillas is an easy way to add more homemade deliciousness to taco night with your very own, hot-off-the-pan corn tortillas!
A step by step guide on how to make the best corn tortillas you’ll ever eat, and only 3 ingredients!!
Step by step photos and instructions below!
Everyone has tacos on Tuesday, right? Why not kick your weekly habit up a notch with these homemade corn tortillas?
I have to admit – if given the choice between flour and corn tortillas, I almost ALWAYS opt for flour. Something about store-bought corn tortillas didn’t strike me as terribly fabulous. Rubbery, and kind of flavorless – I didn’t see the point. Turns out I was missing out – only because I hadn’t yet attempted to make my own! This is of a technique than a complicated recipe, these have a lovely pronounced corn flavor to complete your meal.
I live in Phoenix, so I have easy access to Mexican grocery stores, restaurants and food trucks. I first began making my own corn tortillas when watching a lady in the store making tortillas to order for customers to purchase and take home. She was like a dream to watch, mix, roll, press, cook, flip and wrap.
I finally got up the courage to ask her for her hot tips on how to make tortillas, and she laughed!! Not really AT me, but because to her – it was like an automatic function. She grew up watching her mother make them, and gained the skill as she got older and began cooking for her own family. She showed me how to mix the dough, and how it should “feel” when it was ready to be rolled into balls and cooked. Showed me the proper heat, and how to keep them warm and soft. I did not grow up with a mama who made tortillas, but I feel like she was an excellent substitute!
I have been making my own ever since, and always keep a bag masa flour in the pantry, in case taco fever strikes (it does, about once a week actually!) Flour tortilla lovers – try these corn tortillas at home and let me know if you are a convert, like me!
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! As long as you check the product you use – the masa harina is gluten free (as is water and salt)
Just grab a rolling pin, and roll out to a very thin, even circle. It will take longer, but homemade tortillas are so worth it!
Humidity is your friend! Using a tortilla warmer is a good option, but wrapping in a clean towel will also do the same job. If you make them ahead, just heat in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Instant Yellow Corn Masa Flour – also known as masa harina, buy this with the regular flour in the baking aisle of most grocery stores, or grab it from Amazon.
- Water – you’ll want this to be hot water – not boiling, as you’ll be handling the dough soon after mixing, but hot from the tap.
- Salt– this flavors the tortillas, but you can absolutely leave it out if you wish.
Equipment notes for Homemade Corn Tortillas:
- TORTILLA PRESS – You don’t NEED a tortilla press for this, but it sure is handy and makes quick work out of the task of rolling them out. You can get them online (or if you live in Phoenix, many grocery stores carry them. Mine is made of heavy plastic, but the aluminum/cast iron kind are super cool too – like this Tortilla Press (affiliate link)
- TORTILLA WARMER – A tortilla warmer (affilate link) is also pretty handy – it keeps them warm, and makes them soft and pliable, ready to use. If you don’t have one, a towel will work just fine – just keep them covered WELL.
- CAST IRON SKILLET – I’ve used a non stick skillet before, but much prefer the even heating of my cast iron. I use my smaller one for this, and it’s perfect. It’s this 10.5 Inch Cast Iron Skillet (affiliate link)
How to make Corn Tortillas
Make the dough
In a large bowl, add the corn masa and the salt and mix well.
Add the hot water, and mix into a soft dough (it should be about as firm as a soft cookie dough).
Add more water if needed.
Line a tortilla press with a zip lock bag (I just cut down the sides). Sheets of plastic wrap, parchment paper and wax paper also works well.
Divide the dough into roughly 20 dough balls.
Place 1 ball onto the lined tortilla press and …. press.
Cook the tortillas
Carefully remove the tortilla from the press, and add to a large cast iron pan or large skillet – heated at medium-high heat.
Let the tortilla cook about 30 seconds, until the edges look like they’re drying… then flip
Cook a further 45-60 seconds, then flip again – the tortilla will puff up.
Add tortilla to a towel line tortilla warmer.
Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
What to do with leftovers
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until it is piping hot!
You can use taco sauce if that’s what you can find at the store.
Adding black beans, or pinto beans to the taco meat mixture is also a great way to add a little fiber, and will make your meat go further. Which means more shells. And more leftovers. I call this a win.
This recipe can also be frozen before baking. Cover tightly with foil and wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze.
Want some ideas on how to use your fresh corn tortillas?
- Spicy Soft Chicken Tacos. Kick your Taco Tuesday habit up a notch! Topped with anything you like, this is a recipe you’ll make again and again. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or for sharing with friends on the weekend!
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Hearty and warming with just the right amount of spice, blended with cheese, topped off with jalapenos, cilantro, and crispy tortilla strips.
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole. A classic recipe using chicken layered with a creamy sauce studded with peppers and onions, then baked in a casserole dish with cheese and corn tortillas.
Homemade Corn Tortillas
- In a large bowl, add the corn masa and the salt and mix well.
- Add the hot water, and mix into a soft dough (it should be about as firm as cookie dough).
- Add more water if needed.
- Line a tortilla press with a zip lock bag (I just cut down the sides)
- Divide the dough into roughly 20 dough balls
- Place 1 ball onto the lined tortilla press and …. press.
- Carefully remove the tortilla from the press, and add to a medium hot cast iron skillet.
- Let the tortilla cook about 30 seconds, until the edges look like they’re drying… then flip
- Cook a further 45-60 seconds, then flip again – the tortilla will puff up.
- Add tortilla to a towel line tortilla warmer.
- Repeat with remaining dough balls.
Tips & Notes:
- Are corn tortillas gluten free? Yes! As long as you check the product you use – the masa harina is gluten free (as is water and salt)
- How to make corn tortillas without a press? Just grab a rolling pin, and roll out to a very thin, even circle. It will take longer, but homemade tortillas are so worth it!
- How to keep homemade corn tortillas soft – humidity is your friend! Using a tortilla warmer is a good option, but wrapping in a clean towel will also do the same job. If you make them ahead, just heat in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel.
- Keep the dough covered while cooking the tortillas.
- If the dough gets dry, add some more water. Too wet? Add a little more masa.
- Flip the tortillas when you start seeing brown spots.
Recipes written and produced on Kylee Cooks are for informational purposes only. Kylee is not a certified nutritionist. Nutritional data provided on Kylee Cooks has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration.