Homemade Corn Tortillas

There is nothing better than a delicious corn tortilla… no wait there is: a delicious homemade corn tortilla! It may seem like it’s too much work or too difficult to make your own, but you won’t truly know until you give it a try! Here are step by step instructions to make your own corn tortillas.

Why make your own?

They taste amazing

If you have never eaten a fresh corn tortilla, you are in for a treat. They taste best right after they have been cooked.

They are most likely healthier

When you make your own tortillas you know exactly what is in them. Many commercial tortillas have less than desirable ingredients in them — preservatives at best, trans fats at worst. When making your own you also get to decide how much salt and which kind (if any) of fat you want in yours.

They are cheap

Unless you buy corn tortillas by the case, making your own is much cheaper than buying them. Each corn tortilla cost me about 7 cents. I am sure you could make them even cheaper by buying a cheaper masa harina.

It is fun to make them

Mark and I love making tortillas together. We both have our jobs; I roll them and he cuts them out. The challenge is to time everything so that as soon as he finishes one, I have the next one ready. This way we both try to be super fast, which makes it fun and well… fast.

what is masa harina?

Translated from Spanish masa harina means “dough flour”. It is made by treating dried corn in a lime solution, then washing and grinding the soaked corn into a dough, drying that dough, and then grinding it into a flour. You could even make your own masa harina, but as you can tell, it is rather involved. Look for masa harina that only contains corn and lime.

How to make homemade corn tortillas

In a bowl, mix together the masa harina and the salt.

Heat the water and pour it into the bowl. Make sure the water is warm, but not too hot since you will be touching the dough with your hands.

With your hands, knead the dough until well combined and soft.

Cover the dough while you make the tortillas to prevent it from drying out. Wrap some plastic wrap around a cutting board to prevent the dough from sticking to it. Place some dough onto the wrapped cutting board and put a layer of plastic on top so that the dough won’t stick to the rolling pin.

Roll the dough between the layers of plastic wrap until it is evenly flat.

Place a small plate on top of the rolled out dough and cut around it with a knife. Put the scraps back with the other dough.

Most likely the tortilla will adhere to the plate at this point. Turn the plate around and slowly loosen the tortilla along the edges.

Voila! A tortilla is born!

Repeat until you have a nice stack of tortillas.

After you make all your tortillas it’s time to cook them. Heat a pan over medium to high heat. Add a little oil if necessary. The oil will make the tortilla taste better, but is not necessary if you have a pan that does not stick. Cook each side for about 1-2 minutes.

Corn Tortillas

Makes about 12 6-inch tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups
  • ½ tsp
  • 1 ¼ cups
  • 1 Tbsp
  • Masa harina (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • Salt
  • Warm water
  • Oil for cooking (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. In a bowl, mix together the masa harina and the salt.
  2. 2. Heat the water and pour it into the bowl with the masa harina. Make sure the water is warm, but not too hot since you will be touching the dough with your hands.
  3. 3. With your hands, knead the dough until well combined and soft.
  4. 4. Cover the dough while you make the tortillas to prevent it from drying out. Wrap some plastic wrap around a cutting board to prevent the dough from sticking to it. Place some dough onto the wrapped cutting board and put a layer of plastic on top so that the dough won’t stick to the rolling pin.
  5. 5. Roll the dough between the layers of plastic wrap until it is evenly flat.
  6. 6. Place a small plate on top of the rolled out dough and cut around it with a knife. Put the scraps back with the other dough.
  7. 7. After all the tortillas are made, heat a frying pan over medium to high heat. Add a little oil if necessary. The oil will make the tortilla taste better, but is not necessary if you have a pan that does not stick. Cook each side for about 1-2 minutes.

A tortilla press would make the whole process a lot faster, but maybe also less fun! Enjoy!

– Christina

5 stars

Mark says:

Before trying these, I never really imagined getting excited about a corn tortilla — I saw them simply as part of a tasty taco. One day Christina called me in and handed me a piece of corn tortilla straight from the stove… suddenly they were very interesting to me. It is nice to help in the kitchen (since it is fun to be together and it gets them in my mouth faster), but what gets me excited to make these is the unforgettable experience of eating them hot. Wow.

nutrition facts

tortilla without oil

Calories: 67, Fat: 0.5g, GL: 12, Fiber: 1.5g, Protein: 1.5g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Sodium: 85g

nutrition facts

tortilla with oil

Calories: 77, Fat: 2g, GL: 12, Fiber: 1.5g, Protein: 1.5g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Sodium: 85g

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32 comments

  1. Jenn says:

    I have never made corn tortillas. Looks like fun though!

    • Yes, making them is pretty fun, but not as much fun as eating them!

      Maybe I just trick myself into thinking it is fun so I get to eat them… not sure. Whatever…

  2. I love corn tortillas, but I have never made them before. They are going on my “must make” list!

  3. Mae says:

    Wow! these look awesome! I’m so glad to see you back to blogging. I enjoy reading your poss so much.

    I think I will try these. I tried to buy corn tortillas for gluten free sandwiches and quesadillas but every package I picked up included about 20 ingredients like preservatives, stabilizers, and hydrogenated oils. Needless to say, I didn’t buy any- the homemade version is definitely my solution!

    • Mae! So great to be back. I knew you would not abandon me! haha

      I know! That is why I decided to make them myself. But now I am glad I did just so I could taste a fresh one! What a difference!

  4. sippitysup says:

    Handmade corn tortillas are a revelation. Nothing like the store bought variety and corn are by far superior to flour. Great post and TKS for visiting SippitySup. GREG

    • So true, they taste so much better! I love your site by the way… very entertaining and the recipes/pictures are awesome! If anyone is reading this… go check out their site!

  5. Helena Mullett says:

    You could make this for a party and really add a wow factor to the mexican meal. Thanks. i assume I could do this in advance – same day or day before?

    • You can store them in the fridge either raw (without cooking them in the pan) or cooked. They taste best right after they came out of the pan, so I would probably try to cook them as closely to eating them as possible. But they taste great no matter what. Mark sometimes takes a cooked one from the freezer and reheats it again in a pan, they can become very crispy like that… almost like a tortilla chip.

  6. Um wow those look amazing! Definitely saved the recipe :)

  7. Brendon says:

    Next time tacos are on the menu, these mofos are gettin made FO SHOOOOO. Good job Christina. Good job Mark on the taste testing. You are so brave.

  8. Paula says:

    Way to go. I have never made tortillas before. I’ve thought of making flour ones though.

  9. Who knew this was so easy?!? So glad to see you back :smile:

  10. […] making your own corn tortillas from scratch, you can find great directions and step-by-step photos here on my friend Christina’s blog, Health […]

  11. Lauren says:

    Great to see you at it again Christina,

    I always buy tortillas when they are marked down (a budget b**** like me can’t fork out AU$6 for 8!) But this looks like it would suit me to a T!

    Hoping to find Masa Harina in Aus – not liking my chances, but will give it a go.
    Would flour tortillas be the same method but just wheat flour rather than masa harina?

    • Lauren,

      I hope you could find masa harina where you live! I had to laugh at your comment! :) That price sound pretty steep.

      I think flour tortillas usually contain other ingredients such as lard (yuck!) or other type of grease and sometimes baking powder. But the rolling, cutting, cooking would be the same.

  12. Bo says:

    Hi Christina, I would like to try to make it and taste it ASAP !
    Mark, would you describe more details of the feeling when you tasted it? lol
    =P

    • Let me know how it went!

      Mark’s comment for you: “Dearest Bo, thank you for reminding me of these delicious tortillas. I will urge my wife to make them tomorrow. Then once again I will taste their delicious, savory, corny flavors all over my mouth. When I eat them, I am happy.”

  13. xtian says:

    Hi!

    Can we directly chuck them in oil to make crispy chips or do we have to cook them a bit in the skillet first before frying?

  14. mike says:

    I love that you were able to make your tortillas so consistently thin. This is a problem that I have struggled with for a long time. Have you tried making tortillas with a tortilla press? I was looking at purchasing one to improve my consistency and make the prep work a little easier, but reading the negative reviews online about tortillas coming out too thick has deterred me from trying one.

    • I haven’t had the chance to use a tortilla press! But it sounds like a good idea. It is definitely a bit tedious with the plastic wrap etc.I will let you know if I find one that I like.

  15. Michele says:

    Hello! Nice recepie! It really works great!
    Now…I was wondering, since I’m not able to find anywhere masa harina, what if I use normal corn flour with a spoon of corn starch? Because I am celiac and I cannot use gluten flour.
    I’m looking for any possible alternative of masa harina and normal wheat flour, and it is a bit difficult and I really would like to prepare homemade tortillas!

    Thank you for your help!

  16. Marina K. says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I used it today to make Homemade Taquitos ^__^ https://instagram.com/p/8mImSBMqdB/

  17. paper writer says:

    I do like tortillas. And they seems to be really complicated to me. Just because of the corn flour. It is really complicated to deal with it.

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