Nothing More and Nothing Less Than the Best 3-Ingredient Corn Tortilla Recipe, Ever.
Fresh, homemade corn tortillas are unbelievably easy to make! They only have three ingredients (one of which is water, which barely counts), they’re fun to make (enlist the little people for this one!), and they’re even inherently vegan and gluten-free. Best of all? Homemade corn tortillas make the best tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas you have ever had in your life, if you can wait long enough to make something out of them and not eat them all straight out of the pan. Soft, foldable and warm from the skillet, homemade corn tortillas are a simple indulgence you can make anytime you want.
Corn Tortilla Ingredients
Among the many reasons to make your own corn tortillas, knowing exactly what's in your food is high on the list. Store-bought, shelf-stable tortillas aren’t just not as delicious as freshly made corn tortillas (though they’re that, too) store-bought tortillas necessarily have preservatives in them added to help them last longer on the shelf. When you make corn tortillas at home, you can keep the ingredients super simple, resulting in the best taco ever AND in a slightly healthier tortilla, too! Plus, if dietary concerns are at play, homemade tortillas are always the safest choice (and we’ll talk more about that later). Here’s all you’ll need to make our corn tortilla recipe:
Masa harina. Masa harina is a flour made from nixtamalized corn, which is corn that has been soaked in limewater (or sometimes another alkaline solution). It’s very fine—don’t confuse it with cornmeal!—and it comes in white, yellow and even blue varieties, depending on the type of corn used to make it.
Warm water. It doesn’t have to be hot, but at least room temperature and definitely not cold.
Fine sea salt
How to Make Corn Tortilla Dough
Did we mention that making corn tortillas at home is easy? Yeah, it’s probably the easiest dough you’ll ever mix up! Here’s how it’s done:
Mix the dough! Use your hands to mix the masa harina, warm water and salt.
Let it sit. The corn tortilla dough is ready when it’s about the consistency of playdough. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough sit for ten minutes.
Roll the dough! Working with about two tablespoons at a time, roll the dough into even balls. Line them up on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel so they don’t dry out.
How to Cook Corn Tortillas
Yes, we use a tortilla press to make these. Yes, it’s the absolute best way to make corn tortillas at home. But! If you don’t have a tortilla press, we don’t want that to stop you from trying our homemade corn tortilla recipe because they’re just so good. So, if you don’t have one and aren’t ready to buy one quite yet, just place a ball of dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and press it down into a tortilla using the bottom of a heavy, flat-bottomed skillet. It’s not going to yield tortillas that are quite as perfect and thin as those you’d press with a tortilla press, but it’ll work in a pinch! So, back to the how-to! You’ve made the dough, now it’s time to cook these corn tortillas. Here’s how:
Heat. Heat a dry skillet over high heat.
Press. Press the tortilla dough ball flat in a tortilla press between two pieces of parchment paper.
Cook! Cook the pressed dough in the hot skillet for 30 seconds on each side.
All of Your Most Pressing (Ha) Corn Tortilla Questions, Answered.
Are corn tortillas vegan? Our corn tortilla recipe yields vegan tortillas, but you should always always check the ingredients on store-bought ones if you need your tortillas to be vegan.
Are corn tortillas gluten free? Yes, our corn tortilla recipe is gluten free! If you’ll be serving these to someone with a severe gluten allergy, you’ll want to be double double sure by buying masa harina that has a gluten-free certification. Even high-quality masa harinas, like this one from Bob’s Red Mill, are not always “certified” gluten-free, because they’re processed in a building that processes flours that do contain gluten. As with the question about whether or not they’re vegan, if you’re eating store-bought tortillas, it’s always best to check the ingredients.
How to store corn tortillas? Once all the corn tortillas are cooked, store them in a zipper top bag, or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Wrapped up like that, you’ll be able to keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Corn vs flour tortillas and how to know when to use which. In our many, many taco recipes, we often call for specifically either flour or corn tortillas. But we’ll let you in on a little secret—you can actually use whatever kind of tortilla you prefer! Swap these homemade corn tortillas in for the flour tortillas we call for in our jerk chicken taco recipe and you’ll be a happy camper. There’s no wrong way to enjoy these—just make them and eat ‘em up, loaded with whatever makes you happy.
What to Make With Corn Tortillas
In addition to making every taco recipe we’ve ever shared (and we’ve shared a lot of them!) taste extra delicious, these corn tortillas are excellent in these four quick and easy recipes:
Tools You’ll Need
How Did You Use Your Tortillas?
We’d love to know! They’re so good, there’s really no wrong answer! Even if you made them and immediately gobbled them up (been there). Try the recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!