HOMEMADE CORN TORTILLAS

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

Homemade corn tortillas are amazingly delicious and easy to make! If you like homemade flour tortillas, you’ll love this Mexican recipe too. Enjoying a fresh tortilla straight off the comal is a deeply satisfying experience.

PIN CORN TORTILLA RECIPE!

Homemade corn tortillas in a red tortilla warmer next to a cast-iron press.

ABOUT CORN TORTILLAS

In Mexico, where I have a second home, many families enjoy homemade corn tortillas several times a day. They make them fresh, or buy them from a market or a small neighborhood tortilla factory.

At Mexican tortilla factories corn tortillas are made with just two basic ingredients: nixtamalized corn and water, or masa harina and water.

Nixtamalization is a traditional Aztec process that began more than 3,500 years ago. Dried kernels of corn are treated with a solution of water and lime (a white powder that’s slaked lime or cal) to soften the hull or outer skin. The transformed corn is called nixtamal.

Nixtamal is processed by a mill with 2 lava-stone blades. The mixture is ground into a dough or masa. The process involves just 3 ingredients: corn, water, and cal. There are no preservatives. This Mexican staple is used to make a number of regional dishes to include homemade corn tortillas.

A stack of homemade corn tortillas on a blue/white striped kitchen towel.

ingredients

Traditional corn tortillas are made with just 2 ingredients: masa harina and water. But for this Mexican recipe, we’re including a bit of salt.

WHY SALT IN THIS RECIPE? As a little girl, I remember Dad sprinkling salt on corn tortillas when making quesadillas. When touring a tortilla factory in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, our guide said he too enjoys homemade corn tortillas with a pinch of salt. With this in mind, I’ve added salt to this recipe.

Ingredients for homemade corn tortilla recipe along with a cast-iron tortilla press.

SAVORY PLIABLE CORN TORTILLAS

While not traditional, some Mexican restaurants in the U.S. that make corn tortillas by hand will often include some lard. It gives their tortillas a slightly savory flavor. They’re so delicious! Some will also include a squeeze of lime.

Adding a bit of fat to the recipe can also help tortilla-making beginners keep the dough together more easily without it cracking. The cooked tortillas look exactly the same as the no-fat version, but are slightly more pliable.

I recommend first trying the traditional recipe. Later, if you’d like to experiment with adding fat, melt 2 tablespoons lard in hot water. Let the liquid cool down before adding it to the masa harina to form the dough.

Traditional Mexican tortilla warmer filled with a stack of homemade corn tortillas fresh off the comal.

EXPERT TIP: USE A TORTILLA PRESS

An Uno Casa tortilla press is an essential kitchen tool. It makes quick work of creating round, flat, uniformly-thin, homemade corn tortillas. Just like those served at Mexican restaurants or street taco stands in Mexico.

I also use this cast-iron beauty to prep a whole variety of international and local recipes. A great kitchen tool has more than one purpose!

High-quality kitchen tools reduce time spent in the kitchen preparing meals for your family. It’s an opportunity to spend more quality time with the ones you love. It’s what we all want. Life is short. Work smarter, not harder.

Balls of masa on a Mexican clay plate next to homemade corn tortillas and a comal.

TRADITIONAL CORN TORTILLA RECIPE

Get ready to make a dozen homemade corn tortillas your grandma would be proud of!

  • STEP 1: In a medium bowl, combine masa harina, salt, and water. With clean hands, mix until a dough forms. Knead it inside the bowl until it’s soft, smooth, moist and thick. Like the consistency of Play-Doh.
  • STEP 2: Tear off a piece of dough and squeeze it. If cracks appear it needs more water. Moisten your hands with water. Knead the moisture into the dough. Form it into a large ball.
  • STEP 3: Cover ball of dough with a damp, lint-free kitchen towel. Let masa rest for 10 minutes.
  • STEP 4: Divide ball of dough into 12 pieces. Between the palms of your hands, roll them into spheres the size of golf balls. Transfer to a plate. Cover with a damp towel to keep dough from drying out. 
How to make corn tortillas in 4 step-by-step images.

how to MAKE corn tortillas

RECIPE PREP: Make liners for the press. Cut out 8 squares of parchment paper slightly larger than the press, or 2 squares from a zip-top freezer bag. Pull out a tortilla warmer, or line a basket with a clean, dry kitchen towel.

Here’s how to make the best homemade corn tortillas!

  • STEP 1: Preheat comal or griddle over medium heat. Splash a few drops of water over the surface. If the water sizzles, the comal is ready to go. Open the tortilla press. Place a square liner on the bottom plate so the whole surface is covered. Put a round ball of masa in the center of the plate. Slightly flatten it out with your fingertips.
  • STEP 2: Cover disk of masa with a liner. Lower the top plate of the press. Fold the handle down. Apply even pressure to flatten the dough.
  • STEP 3: Open the press. Peel off top liner. Keep it for reuse. The flattened tortilla should be 5 to 6 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Flip tortilla onto the palm of your hand, with half of it hanging down. Peel off the bottom liner. Keep it for reuse.
  • STEP 4: With the raw tortilla draped over your palm, hold it directly over the comal. Place one edge of the tortilla down first. In one swift gentle motion, slide your hand out and up from under it. The tortilla should be in the center of the griddle.
How to cook corn tortillas in 4 step-by-step images.

HOW TO COOK CORN TORTILLAS: Cook 30 seconds on each side, flipping 3 to 4 times. With your fingertips or a spatula, lightly press around the edges to encourage pockets of air to form in the middle. Homemade corn tortillas slightly blister and puff up in the middle. Transfer to a tortilla warmer.

Cooking homemade corn tortillas on a cast-iron comal.

recipe faq

HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE CORN TORTILLAS?

Once tortillas are cool, transfer them to a zip-top bag with any air pressed out and refrigerate.

HOW LONG DO CORN TORTILLAS LAST?

Homemade corn tortillas are made without preservatives. When tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, they’ll stay fresh for 2 to 3 days. Store-bought tortillas can last for 7 to 10 days.

CAN TORTILLA DOUGH BE FROZEN?

No. This is not recommended. The thawed dough will have a very crumbly texture. Instead, store prepared masa in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature before using.

HOW TO HEAT CORN TORTILLAS?

Here are 3 easy ways: 1. Warm corn tortillas on a comal (hot cast-iron skillet). 2. Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in foil. Heat in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. 3. Wrap 4 to 6 tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave 30 to 45 seconds, or until heated through. 4. Rewarm on gas stovetop over a low flame. After 15 to 20 seconds, flip them over.

HOW TO KEEP TORTILLAS WARM?

Store cooked tortillas in an insulated container like a tortilla warmer, or in a basket or bowl lined with a kitchen towel.

BEST BRANDS OF MASA HARINA?

The most authentic brand is Maseca masa harina. Find this product in the Hispanic section of major grocery stores, or at a Mexican market. Another great choice is masa harina by Bob’s Red Mill.

ARE CORN TORTILLAS GLUTEN FREE?

Yes, if they’re assembled with just MASECA masa harina, water and salt. But for health and nutrition, always read the labels of every ingredient. Look for the words “gluten free” on the packaging.

IS MASA HARINA THE SAME AS CORN FLOUR?

No, these products are not the same. Corn flour has a finer smoother texture. These ingredients are not interchangeable for homemade corn tortillas. If corn flour is used the tortillas would be crumbly or rubbery.

IS CORNMEAL THE SAME AS MASA HARINA?

No, these products are not the same. They’re not interchangeable. Masa harina has a very distinct flavor.

WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF A TORTILLA PRESS?

Flatten homemade corn tortillas with a rolling pin or the back of a small heavy skillet. To make the tortillas round, use a large biscuit cutter or a small plastic bowl with a very thin edge to cut them out.

Mexican tortilla basket with a stack of freshly-made corn tortillas and a metal tortilla press.

recipes using corn tortillas

There are so many ways to enjoy fresh homemade corn tortillas! You can use them in recipes, or serve them on the side. Here are some great ideas.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Homemade corn tortillas are more delicious than store-bought. If you love this easy recipe, give it a 5-star rating in the comments!

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Homemade corn tortillas in a red tortilla warmer next to a cast-iron press.

HOMEMADE CORN TORTILLAS


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 Tortillas 1x

Description

Homemade corn tortillas are easy to make with this authentic Mexican recipe. All you need are 3 ingredients. They’re so fresh! Pair them with your favorite Mexican meals.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups MASECA masa harina
  • 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, as desired
  • 1 cup warm water (plus extra, if needed)

Instructions

PREP CORN TORILLA DOUGH

  1. In a medium bowl, combine masa harina, salt, and water. With clean hands, mix until a dough forms. Knead it inside the bowl until it’s soft, smooth, moist and thick. Like the consistency of Play-Doh. Tear off a piece of dough and squeeze it. If cracks appear it needs more water. Moisten your hands with water. Knead the moisture into the dough. Form it into a large ball. 
  2. Cover ball of dough with a damp, lint-free kitchen towel. Let masa rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide ball of dough into 12 pieces. Between the palms of your hands, roll them into spheres the size of golf balls. Transfer to a plate. Cover with a damp towel to keep dough from drying out. 

HOW TO COOK CORN TORTILLAS

RECIPE PREP: Make liners for the press. Cut out 8 squares of parchment paper slightly larger than the press, or 2 squares from a zip-top freezer bag. Pull out a tortilla warmer, or line a basket with a clean, dry kitchen towel.

  1. Preheat comal or griddle over medium heat. Splash a few drops of water over the surface. If the water sizzles, it’s ready to go. Open the tortilla press. Place a square liner on the bottom plate. Put a ball of masa in the center of the plate. With your fingertips, slightly flatten it out into a disk. 
  2. Cover disk of masa with a liner. Lower top plate of the press. Fold the handle down. Apply even pressure to flatten the dough. Open the press. Peel off top liner. Keep it for reuse. The flattened tortilla should be 5 to 6 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Flip tortilla onto the palm of your hand, with half of it hanging down. Peel off the bottom liner. Keep it for reuse.
  3. With the raw tortilla draped over your palm, hold it directly over the comal. Place one edge of the tortilla down first. In one swift gentle motion, slide your hand out and up from under it. The tortilla should be in the center of the griddle.
  4. Cook 30 seconds on each side, flipping 3 to 4 times. With your fingertips or a spatula, lightly press around the edges to encourage pockets of air to form in the middle. Homemade corn tortillas slightly blister and puff up in the middle. Immediately transfer to a tortilla warmer.

Notes

HOW TO FLATTEN TORTILLAS WITHOUT A PRESS: Flatten the balls of dough with a rolling pin, or the back of a small heavy skillet. To make the tortillas round, use a large biscuit cutter or a small plastic bowl with a very thin edge to cut them out.

HOW TO KEEP TORTILLAS WARM: Store cooked tortillas in an insulated container like a tortilla warmer, or in a basket or bowl lined with a kitchen towel.

HOW TO STORE FRESH TORTILLAS: Once tortillas are cool, transfer to a zip-top bag with the air pressed out. Refrigerate up to 3 days. 

HOW TO REHEAT CORN TORTILLAS 3 WAYS: 1. Warm corn tortillas on a comal (hot cast-iron skillet). 2. Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in foil. Heat in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. 3. Wrap 4 to 6 tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave 30 to 45 seconds, or until heated through. 4. Rewarm on gas stovetop over a low flame. After 15 to 20 seconds, flip them over.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Homemade Corn Tortillas, Corn Tortilla Recipe

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

HOMEMADE CORN TORTILLAS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Do you enjoy freshly-made tortillas straight off the grill? Did you know they were super easy to make? What will you make or serve with yours? Share your thoughts about this corn tortilla recipe in the comments!

5 thoughts on “HOMEMADE CORN TORTILLAS”

  1. Making tortillas from scratch is kind of intimidating but your steps make it so clear and it looks so easy! I’m going to get the ingredients and try it out!

    Reply
  2. This recipe was amazingly easy to make, and thanks to your helpful tips, we ended up with a perfect batch of corn tortillas for our taco dinner tonight! Yum!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares