If you’ve never made them before, homemade tortillas may seem daunting or out of reach. I assure you though, they are easier than you think and 100% worth the effort.  We’ve been making flour tortillas for a couple of years now and almost never use store bought because they just can’t compare. I’ve tried my hand at corn tortillas a few times before but haven’t been completely satisfied with the results. Finally though, I’ve found a recipe that works.  These were so, so good!

Also, a word about shaping.  I must admit, I am totally excited about my recently purchased tortilla press.  I held off buying one for such a long time because I generally avoid buying unitaskers, but when I considered the fact that we make tortillas at least once every week or two, it seemed rather silly that we didn’t have one yet. If you have a press it will make the shaping process a lot quicker and simpler, but if you don’t, never fear. You can use two skillets or two pie plates pressed together to have the same effect.


1½ cups masa harina
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, softened butter, or lard
About 1 cup hot water, plus more if needed


  • 01

  • 02

    In a medium bowl, combine the masa, salt, and fat of your choice. Stir together with a fork until evenly combined.  Gradually add the water to the bowl in a steady stream, mixing constantly, until a soft dough comes together.  (I make my dough just slightly wetter than I think it should be. The masa will absorb some of the liquid while the dough sits, so a bit of extra liquid helps prevent the dough from being crumbly.)  Turn the dough onto a work surface (lightly floured, if necessary) and knead briefly just until the dough is smooth and supple.

  • 03

    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

  • 04

    When you are ready to cook the tortillas, divide the dough ball into 10-12 equal sized pieces. (I use my kitchen scale to make sure they are all about the same size.)  Shape using a tortilla press, two pie plates pressed together, or a rolling pin to form 6- to 7-inch rounds.  (No matter which method you choose, shaping between two pieces of plastic wrap makes it easier.)

  • 05

    As the tortillas are shaped, transfer them to a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Cook about 1 minute per side, just until each side begins to brown/char.  Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Once all the tortillas are cooked, let rest under the towel briefly.  Though they may seem stiff just out of the skillet, the warmth and moisture under the towel will help make them perfectly pliable again.  Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days.


  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

    I’ve wanted to try this for so long. I think it’s time. :)

  • Stephanie Coleman

    I am excited to try these, I’ve made your flour tortillas before and love them! question, does using a different fat yield a different result in taste or texture? Just curious :)

  • pamela

    I *love* homemade tortillas but hate rolling them out – so time-consuming! I think it’s time to invest in a tortilla press, too. Do you use it for your flour tortillas also? I was reading something in Cook’s Illustrated that said a press is only good for corn tortillas? Thanks!

  • Melissa Brooker

    You make this sound so easy, i’ve been wanting to try this for so long, it’s pretty hard to find corn tortilla’s here in Ontario, especially white corn. I will give this a go!

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried the press with the flour tortillas yet, so I’m not sure. I think I have seen other people do it before though. I’ll report back when I do!

  • annieseats

    It shouldn’t make too much of a difference, but I’m sure they do taste slightly different.

  • Amelia

    I’ve always wanted to make my own corn tortillas, but if can never find masa harina. You would think that someplace in charleston would sell it, but nope. My choices are corn flour, order online or venture out to the sticks to some little Mexican shop I suppose.
    Happy cinco de mayo :)

  • waglerways .

    What is masa harina and is it hard to find?

  • Karen

    I haven’t bought corn tortillas in years, since we started making them, but we’ve never added fat. Just the masa, salt, and water. I’ll have to try that! I’ve never tried flour tortillas either, but I think it’s time. :) Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

  • annieseats

    That is so crazy! Our standard midwestern grocery store carries it in the Mexican aisle. That is what Amazon Prime is for, I guess :)

  • annieseats

    I found it in my regular grocery store in the Mexican aisle.


  • annieseats

    The fat made all the difference for me and is totally what made these finally meet my standards. When I have made them with salt and water only, they are always a bit crumbly, no matter what I do. You have to try flour tortillas now – you’ll love them!

  • AmyRohrer

    I’ve tried flour tortillas before, but had a hard time rolling them quite right. Didn’t want to invest in a press because I only make them homemade for special occasions (for now). I never thought to use the 2 pie plates pressed together!! I can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks for the great tip!

  • annieseats

    For me, investing in the press means that they will no longer be a special occasion item in our house and I’m so glad! I would definitely recommend one if you are so inclined. I have had pretty good success with the pie plates in the past though!

  • ami@naivecookcooks

    these look so soft..I tried making once but came out really hard and not tasty at all! Will try again!

  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

    I’ve always wanted to try making my own tortillas. I have to work up the motivation!

  • Melissa Brooker

    I just noticed the gif, I’m loving them!

  • annieseats

    Do it! It’s easier thank you think and they taste SO much better. You’ll be so glad you did!

  • Bridgmary

    Do have a preference for the fat?

  • Kris

    I thought I would just chime in on the press for flour tortillas topic….I have been making tortillas for awhile (both flour and corn). You cant really use the press for flour because they won’t get thin enough. You really need to roll it out and stretch the gluton. Oh and do you ever bake or fry your corn tortilla for chips or hard shells? I havent but wondering how it would turn out.

  • Helena

    I was really pleased to see this post – I make flour tortillas regularly but have yet to try corn ones. Thanks for experimenting with recipes! I too would be interested to know whether the press works for flour tortillas.

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried all of the variations myself but tend to just use whatever I have on hand.

  • Deb

    I’m so excited to try these! Just curious, what kind of kitchen scale do you use? I need a new one, do you have a recommendation?

  • annieseats
  • Deb

    Thanks so much!

  • Jennifer

    Try baking the leftovers in the oven, get them crunchy and make tostadas! :D

  • You’re right tortilla’s have always seemed to be a very daunting task. I never knew there was such a thing as a tortilla press! definitely going to have to try this recipe out. Thanks Annie!

  • We can’t find ANY good tortillas near us, so I’ve been toying with the idea of making our own. So excited about this recipe, since I largely prefer corn to flour!

  • Saraj52

    Can’t wait to try your corn version! I love your flour tortilla recipe but I definitely don’t make them as often as I’d like because of rolling them out. I’ve been looking at a few different presses. On amazon, there are options for a press/cooker together, and it is not much more than the regular press. I’m wondering if that is worth it to avoid the extra step. Have you heard anything about these?

  • annieseats

    Hmm, I’m not sure. I don’t exactly know how that would work but I guess if they exist, they must. Of course, it’s not much trouble to transfer the tortillas to a pan so there’s that.

    I did try flour tortillas using the press yesterday and while I did still need to flatten them a bit more with the rolling pin, it took significantly less time and effort thanks to the use of the press. Just FYI.

  • Val

    Corn flour is the same as masa harina. Unless youre talking about corn meal, thats definitely different. :)

  • Megan

    I always just use the recipe off the Masa bag, but have been adding lime zest to it lately. Your recipe looks simple and tasty.

    I love our tortilla press! My favorite kitchen tool even though it only does “one” thing. P.S. We use it to press dough for empanadas too! (http://thelifeofmegananne.blogspot.com/2013/09/memory-of-taste-empanadas.html)

  • sweetsugarbelle

    I wish I’d known you didn’t have a press! I’d have mailed one! I’m a tortilla snob…nothing better than fresh, corn or flour. I love that you made these!

  • shamrock 44

    I prefer to use organic butter or Gee and I also press them out with a glass pie pan because you can make them as thin as you want.

  • Edward Christophersen

    Appreciate you didn’t do the oddball measurements like some sites (“1+15/64 cups masa harina and 2/3 cups + 1 thimble water”). Like my wife says, “It ain’t rocket surgery”.

    Just one suggestion: to get equal dough balls without the trouble of weighing them, roll the big dough ball into one long cylindrical stick of equal thickness, then chop off visually equal lengths to make the individual balls.

  • Danita Day

    I made these last night and they turned out great. I’m excited as we eat a lot of tortillas. I’ll try the flour ones next. thanks Annie